The just concluded Nigeria Police entrance examination using JAMB Computer based test (CBT) where Arabic language ( the official Islamic language) was made compulsory for Muslims and Christians alike. To many Christian youths who sat for that examination, the display of the Arabic language questions came as a rude shock. Many could not recover from the setback until JAMB logged them out of the CBT platform. Obviously achieving the aim of the Islamic extremists who are hell bent on fostering their religion and culture on the Nigerian Police Force.
While It is true that in some Police examination centers, some officiating officers advised the candidates to ignore the Arabic language questions but that again ran contrary to the examination instructions wherein a candidate was required to answer 180 questions viz- Use of English 60, Arabic language 40, Fine Arts 40, and Agriculture 40 hence summing up the 180 questions each candidate is required to answer. This deliberate attempt to undermine Christians in Nigeria leaves so many questions as to the unity of the nation. It goes to confirm the following -
1. That in a country we all call our own, because the Inspector General of Police and the President are Muslims, they ensure only Muslims get easy entrance to the force.
2. That they ensure that only Muslims find their way into strategic planning positions . If not how come this policy of forcing Christians to write Arabic language was planned and hatched without any Christian knowing about it until the entire Christian community in Nigeria were told they do not count.
3. It also goes to confirm the plan
to make Arabic language compulsory for entrance to our Universities with utter disregard for the principle of secularism of the Nigeria nation will be attempted to be forced down our throats..
However, it's important to warn here that the Christians in Nigeria can no longer be taken for a ride. We therefore call for immediate cancellation of the purported police entrance exams and a proper examination conducted.
The candidates should be informed of the subjects they will be examined on afore time so that they will be properly tested as it is obtained on every sane society..
We also find the puerile justification of this very provocative action by JAMB very ridiculous.
JAMB in its official reaction to the controversial introduction of Arabic language claimed
1. That the only subject candidates were to take was Use of English language
2. That the other 3 subjects (Arabic language, Agricultural Science and Fine Arts) were dummy questions.
3. That candidates will be assessed only on 23 questions.
The JAMB explanation does not hold any water at all. Other professional bodies like the West African College of Surgeons, National postgraduate medical college used JAMB for the CBT examination and they don't have no dummy questions. They set only Surgery examinations questions or questions relevant to the specific specialty.
Dummies are used for pre test exams, not actual exams to know if the questions are of good standard. And pretest is performed on very few candidates to gauge the standard of the questions.
In addition, at the Port Harcourt center, it was only few minutes to the end of the examinations, that the candidate were informed that they should answer only USE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
The implicatation is that they were shortchanged as there was little or no time to complete the test.
The JAMB officer is being clever by half, how can you introduce 157 dummy questions in an exam of 180 questions and then claim they are to answer only 23 questions.
*How can you answer 180 questions in 45 minutes*?
And why Arabic language, even if they claimed it is Alphabetic abracadabra, why not Accounting that comes before Arabic in Alphabetical order?
The most appropriate action is to cancel the exams and conduct a fresh one devoid of controversies.
It will be wrong for the President of Nigeria ( who swore to defend both the Christians and Muslims alike) turn around to allow his appointees seek to divide the nation through their actions .
It is the same attitude by Mr President that made him fill virtually all of the top security positions with his fellow Muslims from the Northern part of Nigeria. This is highly provocative and insensitive in a multilingual, multicultural and diverse nation as ours.
If the President can allow this affront now and he is still seeking the vote of Christians for a second term we do not trust he will keep us alive if he ascends that throne for another four years.
Benefit of hindsight shows that government and its agencies use silence to undermine the demand of the nation in previous similar circumstances. Therefore, we demand evidence of of cancelation of the examination and fixing of date for a retake within 72 hours of this notice. Else, the Christian community in Nigeria will have no choice than embark on other measures to seek redress of this national insult.
We also demand evidence of the withdrawal of Arabic language as a compulsory elective for management science studies in tertiary institutions from National Universities Commission.
Prof Charles Adeyinka Adisa MD
National President, Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship.