By Ibrahim Aminu Iliyasu
A job is a valuable thing that many graduates aspire to gain after graduating school, especially those who consider certificates as tickets for a better life. Years back, our parents told us to go to school and read well so that we could get better jobs and live in affluence.
Today, the trend has changed. Many graduates have now become financially unsuccessful since day one. Of course, it is good to be educated because education is a privilege even among one’s peers. Yes, it is. But that does not assure one a luxurious life. Also, being a graduate does not allow you to be selective in the business or job you can do. I am saying this from pure experiences.
It has not started today. Buying job offer is as old as the Nigerian post-colonial bureaucratic system. To join the military, one has to pay the sum of 100K or 150K or even above to get himself a permanent ticket for life in the Sambisa forest.
Doubtlessly, all our public institutions have been compromised. They are after money, not merit. Sadly, schools and health institutions where professionalism is supposed to be prioritised are also indulged in this. These days, if you do not have money, no matter your qualifications, you would be unemployed. Even those who can link you to those who give job offers have to pay for you or bribe the human resources team or MDs for a job offer.
I have received different but few job vacancies for sale. Sometimes I ignore them or deliberately reject them. For example, there was a time when I was a security guard at one institution that I coincidently met a father’s friend – a banker, an influential one. He is currently a bank manager in Kano. I opened the gate for him, welcomed him and greeted him. He was surprised that I was a security guard because my father knows the big guns.
While having a conversation, he told me one word that still makes me happy and proud. “Ai matsalar Alhaji dan due process ne, shi ba zai iya ba da kudi ba a samo ma ka aiki ba” (the problem of Alhaji is that he is a man of principles. Therefore, he cannot give money for his son to be employed”. At last, he promised to talk to Alhaji. While parting, he gave me some money I desperately needed, but notwithstanding, I summoned some courage and rejected the money. I thanked him and moved on.
Secondly, I was once sent to an interview. After I answered all their questions, the interviewer asked me what I had for him while leaving. I said nothing. He nodded his head and told me they would call me. Till now, they have never called me.
Thirdly, I had another interview with an organisation. The guy who sent me to the organisation pretended to care about my condition and wanted to find a better place for me. Fortunately, I have all the requirements. While I thought I would be automatically employed, the man invited me to his office and confessed that he was “gay”. Angrily, I insulted his forefathers, himself and the satan that sings for him. I still regret knowing him. Thus, I forgot about his job.
Frankly, I cannot do things to get a job and/or find a place in the labour market. I cannot do voluntary services in any organisation anywhere on earth because my family and I sponsored me to study. I did not attend a community school either, and I had never enjoyed any government scholarship. Therefore, I cannot share my knowledge or time free of charge.
I cannot use my money to buy a job offer because any institution that requests me to pay something before it gives me a job is certainly not looking for my credibility or proficiency. Thus, it doesn’t deserve my energy and time, for I would rather die as a hawker than do such evil.
I will not betray my Creator to please the created. For instance, I will not sodomise to get a job. God forbid. Amin.
Ibrahim Aminu Iliyasu is a graduate of Political Science and writes from the ancient city of Kano. He can be reached via email@example.com.
Malam Ibrahim you are brave and youve left a legacy for all to learn. Allah ya kara albarka.
You have made us proud. Keep up the good work! After all, “One with God, is the majority. “