For some weeks now, blogosphere has been awash with the news of how the CBN embarked on a recruitment of the children of privileged Nigerians without due process.

My First reaction to the CBN Job saga was “The issue was raised as part of the on going campaign by “enemies” of this present Government to paint it black“.

Indeed, when that CBN Job issue became public knowledge, I didn’t really bother to react because these things happen in Nigeria. It is part of our culture or so I thought.

I recall our school days, we had what we called the VC’s ADMISSION LIST where children of the high and mighty in the society were given admission on a platter of gold while the rest of us struggled with JAMB.

When I went to ABSU way back to check the Law Admissions list, I saw that about 43 people were given admission based on JAMB but by the time we ended the first semester of our first year, we were close to 280 in our class. I was Course Rep then, so I am talking with authority.

A good number of those guys dropped by the wayside with the same speed with which they were admitted. So others did excellently well too.

LIKE CBN, LIKE NDDC the rot continues..

Sometime in 2011 or so, the NDDC put up an advert for the recruitment of lawyers into the Commission from the 9 Oil Producing States. I was already in the oil sector then and again, I saw it as a chance to work at a place closer home since as at then, the stress of Lagos was already choking me.

So, pronto, I applied. So did many others. We were all invited to an aptitude test which took place at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology in PH.

Boy, come and see crowd of lawyers! It was a frightening site. Lawyers from all parts of the country. Infact, every lawyer I knew was there. Almost all my classmates were there. Even the very senior lawyers.

Infact, I saw one lawyer from my place who was then a Deputy Director in the Abia State Ministry of Justice. I greeted him and asked him why he was here. He laughed and said to me, Enyioko, make I follow una lick this oil money…he hehehehehehe.

I also saw my senior Chimaraoke Ejie, though he was dodging somehow…hehehehehe. I saw my junior colleagues who used to see me as an ideal law student those days in school. Chai, unemployment is a leveler o.

The truth is that there were several categories of vacancies. They had openings for lawyers for various ages, up to the Director Cadre but because they chose to do the tests on the same day, everybody saw everybody. There were thousands of lawyers there that day.

It was a computer-based test and the confusion was huge. You would easily notice that some of our colleagues don’t even know how to use a simple computer. One of my pals from Aba who has this big boy style simply stood up and walked away from the test…hehehehehe.

Funny enough, after the test, the computer showed you your result immediately. So you knew if you had any hopes. People left the hall that day sighing and cursing our country…hahahahahaha..,chai!

Anyways, I was one of the few that passed the electronic test and were subsequently invited to the next stage which was now the oral tests – my favorite. Once the matter enters talking, forget it…I will get it. God bless me that side well well.

Somehow I was confident I would get the job. This was exactly how I got my first job in Lagos. I had written and passed the aptitude tests and would later get an invite for the series of orals.

That journey started with close to fifty lawyers that appeared for the test in Victoria Island in 2009. At the end of the day, I was the only one taken and offered the job. That was how I came to Lagos in the first place.

So I was confident again.

We had the orals. Cheap questions. Mostly current affairs which is my turf. I attended that day with Victor Onyegbado, another egg head lagos lawyer with oil and gas bias. He was from Imo and I, Abia. So we posed to threat to each other and were both confident we would be taken. We even started seeing ourselves as colleagues and maybe neighbors.

Before we left the venue that day, I approached one of the organizers who was a staff of the NDDC and sought to ask him a few questions. He told me clearly that the entire exercise was a show and that already, they had a long list of names from the Presidency, National Assembly, Governors of the NDDC states and even governors from the North, Judges, Traditional Rulers.

Infact he said that they are battling with managing the numbers as compared to the few vacancies they had.
Why then did you people have to make us go through this if you guys knew that it would be a waste of time?
My brother, you won’t understand.

I was deeply frustrated and I rushed out of the place and gulped two choked bottles of STAR on my way out of the place.

That was the last I heard of that recruitment.
The people who got those jobs never showed up for that interview.

These things happen everyday in this country and this is one of the reasons why we have people working in our MDAs who already have a mindset.
Our journey is far as a nation.

Where is my Snuff Box?

Written By: Onyebuchi Ememanka
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