I think I’ve lost count of the evils of JAMB unto my soul. Maybe I do remember, but I don’t want to do the count.
Two years ago or thereabout, it was Federal Government Girls College, Umuahia; I lost my phone. I also remember losing my wallet in Holy Rosary Girl’s secondary school- I can’t remember what year, but I can say for certain that the school has nothing holy about it; several others lost valuables on that holy ground. JAMB has taken a lot from me, yet it has refused to give way for my success. I have been a regular customer, maybe which is why they have decided to retain me as a permanent candidate. God forbid! Do I look anything like Chukwuma Ciroma Adekunle, who WASSCE decided to use as an ambassador?
Last year’s experience is still fresh on my mind. It was Government College, Umuahia. The centre has a reputation for producing great results. I went over to the school few days to the exam to get acquainted with my exam venue. After my tour, as I walked towards the school gate to board a bus home, I met Him.
He introduced himself as Joey, a 400 level student of Computer Engineering in the Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike. The University is few minutes drive from the exam venue.
Joey asked me if I needed help with my exams.
‘How do you mean?” I asked.
‘Someone to help you write the exam.” He explained.
After several minutes of discussion, we exchanged numbers. I gave my meeting with Joey a lot of thought, very serious one. I called him that night, and we agreed to meet the next day to talk business.
I applied for Mechanical Engineering that year. He assured me he was equal to the task, but I had my doubts. To prove his authenticity, He opened his phone’s message inbox, I saw several messages from a contact stored as ‘JAMB’, he opened the most recent of them all, it said: ‘Tomorrow is the deal day. I trust you to handle this with extreme care. I don’t want to lose my Job.’ ”
I paid Joey half the agreed price, the rest to be turned in after the deal- a very huge amount; he complained he was taking a lot of risk, which included writing the examination. The next day was the D-day. That night, I prayed to God; they say heaven help those who help themselves. I prayed that God would do his part, and help Joey.
I arrived at the venue that morning to meet Joey; I was impressed with his keeping to time.
‘How far?” I extended my hand for a handshake.
‘Cool.” He replied, shaking my hand.
He was looking cool indeed. Starched blue shirt tucked into a fine cut black trousers. He was dressed to kill. To kill Jamb. For me.
I waited till I was sure Joey was seated in the exam hall, I then strolled to the school’s canteen, walked over to the counter, paid for a bottle of fayrouz drink, walked over to an empty table, pulled out a chair and sat in wait of the Lord, to show himself mighty through Joey. I would have preferred a bottle of cold beer, but the school canteen couldn’t provide me with that. I smiled as I pictured myself telling my friends over the phone things like: “I am in the lecture hall”, or “I just finished with lectures”, or responding to questions of “how are you?” with lines like: “school is stressful”, etc…
My happy thoughts were interrupted by a loud laughter emanating from the table behind. I leaned back a little to get a better hearing of their funny conversation, to help kill time.
‘These Jambites are desperate, very desperate.” One of voices said.
I kept quiet. I refused to blame them, it wasn’t their fault. They needed to wear my shoes to understand.
‘One of my friends has been progressing with this for a long time. I don’t know how he does it, but he always succeeds.” Another voice started.
‘I know it is Ebuka, that boy is bad.” the first voice said, laughing.
‘No, not Ebuka,” the other voice replied. ‘‘It is Jonathan.”
‘Yes. Joey. He shows his victims text messages, which he claims is sent by a JAMB official. They pay him; he goes into the hall and shades any option that comes to the pencil’s mind. ”
I choked on my drink.
Our senior Pastor has blessed my scratch card for this year’s JAMB examination. My examination centre is at one Seminary secondary school at Aba. I heard things happen at Aba. If Jamb does not let me go this year, I will try another path for my future. I heard kidneys are expensive in Malaysia.