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Thursday, 14 September 2017

DIARY OF AN ADVOCATE- EPISODE 9: (CASTING A LOT) by Ebi Robert












Life had to just continue amidst all the travail. I had to find a way to cope, no matter how hard it may seem. I was very sure of the creator’s code; he never fails, he is righteous. All I could do was believe in him still, no matter how tough the circumstance was. At that point in my life, God was the only refuge and surety I had. I was ready for the fourth WAEC examination, because that was the only way out, but like I promised, I never intended writing it again if for any reason I fail that subject called English Language. After all, it isn’t my father’s. It is simply one white’s man language that I was forced to learn. So boring at times; I have always had a big fight with the “R” consonant, so each time I pronounced a word with it; I got the best jest from those fellas who believed that some tongues were not just well cut. Yet Literature in English remained my favourite subject even though, then, I never knew what Literature was looking for inside ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 

I was ready for the next session exams. I had already prepared my heart for it when a friend of mine told me to go check out my 2009 results that was ‘outstanding’. According to him, he had checked his which was showing the same result but it was released. Perhaps I could be lucky he said. I smiled it off; there was no how that result could be released. I had given up on it. If not for that result that wasn’t released, I wouldn’t have written English Language for a third time. Besides, I had checked almost seven times, and nothing showed up. 

“Leave that result abeg. You know how many times I don check am? I don buy scratch card, finish the first one. Now you say make I go check again”. 

I refused his advice, yet he kept on asking me to check. So I had no choice than to summon the courage to check. After all, there was no harm in doing so. So, I visited one of the stores where the cards were sold, and in the company of one of my colleagues, I went to a business centre where the result was to be checked again. I looked firmly at the person who was logging in. He had requested for my PIN and examination number which I had provided. ‘Hmm’.. It was loading and the after some seconds, the result was out. I looked and couldn’t find the word “OUTSTANDING” anymore. It was like a dream. I was not too calm though, because though the long word was nowhere to be found, I had to be sure of what the grade was. What I needed was the least Credit and my days of WAEC examination will be over. I looked closely and checked, and guess what? I got a C6. 

It was like a dream. I jumped up and hugged the lady beside me. I praised God for it because I had passed it at last. So I won’t write WAEC for the fourth time as I thought! Finally, God had proven my friends wrong. I was so happy, but a man who never understood then asked me: Is it because of WAEC you passed, that you are so happy this way? I looked at the man’s face and said: “If only you know what it means to write an exams like this on your own in the midst of persecution and you being cheated as well and above all, passing, then you will understand why I am jumping and singing about this little C6 (words amended)?”


C6 is the least credit grade, yet it was an A+ for me. I knew what I had suffered because of my faith. For others it was rosy, but for me it was different. The man was touched at my words and so congratulated me.
I came back home as a little hero. Better young, yet noted for doing something some felt was impossible. My siblings were all quiet and so I was ready for the next challenge. JAMB and POST UME exercises were the next. I started reading from the day I saw my result, I was determined to make sure I entered into the University the next session. So I studied hard, I had the duty of also proving to my friends that those exams were like every other exams. Despite passing the WAEC on their very before, they antagonized me still concerning the JAMB. I just could not understand, but they had seen it as a heavenly exam that must be passed by all means. But for me, it was different, I felt that the best way out was to study hard and with God by my side, I will triumph. I bought the necessary books, finished them back to back and also read most of the past question papers, answering all the questions myself. I tested my hand on them; I worked on my speed and accuracy and it was cool after a while. I hardly read at night, so I busied myself during the day as usual for me. 


One Medical officer who I respected so much was among those arguing about the need for malpractice or bullet as they call it. I always argued against him and many others almost every day. I came to realize that those for God are always few, because I was the only youth among my peers in the compound who refused the idea. For the Medical officer, it was a challenge to him. I asked God that I wanted to write my JAMB at the faculty of Law, Niger Delta University, because the last time I wrote my exams there, I wasn’t disturbed at all. My prayer was answered because that was exactly the place given to me by JAMB. Then a computer Centre operator who registered me, looked at me and said sometime like this: “Young man, it seems God is with you.”

I smiled because I knew that God was about proving himself beyond man’s comprehension. Luckily for me, the Medical officer was posted to the same centre. So I thought it was a good opportunity to convince him of what I said. We entered the exam hall and wrote the exams. I guess he must have observed me working on my own. A lazy student around me had not written anything, I guess while waiting for BULLETS that did not arrive. I left the exam hall smiling. I was sure all was well, except for some questions, I was sure of my victory. The results came out and I scored a total of 228. 

The score was too small for me I thought. How can I successfully get admitted to study law with such a score, considering the level of competition on the course? By then, the Federal University was newly established, and ready to admit the pioneer set. So I filled NDU as my first choice institution with Law as the first course and also the Federal University Otuoke as my second choice University with English language. Later I was so scared because I wasn’t sure I would be admitted so I had to change the Law as first choice to Theatre Art. 


Later, being still confused, I met a friend and told him about my plight. He then advised me to fill Law again, telling that I will make it. I was so confused, so I gave an opinion, I said: “God will not come down from heaven to tell me what to read, so I am going to act as my instinct tells me, and I believe God will confirm it. I have going to write the name of both courses on a paper and ask you to pick and the one you pick will be the one I will choice.” He accepted and so the lot was casted, and I guess he picked LAW. 

I was so confused and so I asked: Could this really be the will of God? I refused the lot and intended leaving it the way it was, but Joseph Dokubo who was the son of the proprietress of the school I worked in, who was also the guy who picked the lot asked me to fill Law. He convinced me and I summoned the courage and filled it back, but this time around, I changed the universities. NDU was taken as a second choice, not knowing I was simply complicating issues for myself. I got to understand the mistake I had made after some months. 

I prepared for the POST UME as usual. I first wrote that of Otuoke and scored a total of 257, but I was not okay with the score. I needed something better. I later wrote that of NDU, and I was sure I did well even though my score was not sent to me. Soon we were told that the Otuoke University had offered students admission, so I checked and found out that I had been admitted to study English Language, I was calm, at least I was sure of going to school that year, yet English Language was not my dream course. Law was. So I patiently waited for a response from NDU, but all to no avail. No text message was sent even though I had given the institution my contacts. 


Soon, I was told that the second choice students had been admitted, so I went to a cyber CafĂ© and checked and Lo, I had been admitted to study Law. I was so happy. I jumped up to the skies. I went home and told my people of the mercies of God towards me. Everyone was happy for me. I wondered how my jamb score scaled me through. Though I had not seen my POST UME score then, but I was sure, it was something reasonable. I told my mum about it and some monies were sent to me for payment of my fees. I printed out my admission letter from the school but my Jamb admission letter was Otuoke’s. I had no JAMB admission letter from NDU. Based on what I was able to understand, Otuoke had sent my name to Jamb before NDU second list was sent and I needed the JAMB admission letter to get admitted into NDU, but how could I get it? I had also had a name issue which mad me to swear an affidavit in court and as well published it in the Compass National Newspaper after selling my first laptop. It was so frustrating. I had gotten to know about the issue after I paid for the acceptance fee in NDU. I got to NDU for the verification exercise but the school didn’t accept me because I had no JAMB admission letter. According to them I had to reject the admission but NDU no longer did that. Therefore, for that to be done, I had to travel to Abuja. I wondered how I could do that. I know no one in Abuja.  I had no idea how long it will last. My supposed course mates had spent almost a month taking lectures while I was at home. How do I get the money to go to Abuja and come back? I was sure all hope was lost. Two admissions which ordinary ought to be a basket of blessings ended up giving me tears instead. If I had not gotten the admission to study Law, it would have been different, but there I was; a young man who fought for it and when it was time for me to smile, my dream course was just slipping away. I just said to myself that if it is the will of God, let it be done. 

Soon I started seeing myself as an English Student. Sure I had no choice; I was just ready for the task ahead even though I was not happy. It was as if I was almost getting all okay with it not until I watched one Filipino movie with the name: DESTINED HEARTS, where I saw the Characters of Christain and Ara playing the role of two intelligent lawyers arguing beautifully well. That was when my emotions arose. I cried like a baby and told God: “If it is your will that I should read English Language, then let it be done. But God, to be sincere, I won’t do well as an English Student because I don’t like that course.”


[STAR ADVOCATE OF THE EPISODE-   There will be no star advocate for the episode] 

[Suspense- in next episode, readers will get to know how I ended up reading Law to keep alive the dream of being an Advocate]

WATCH OUT FOR EPISODE 10

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