By John Mayaki
As a child, Godwin Obaseki likely fantasized about enrolling at the premier University of Ibadan and brandish a certificate that will unlock for him a life of greater comfort and societal pride.
But when the sun rises, the dreams of the night wooshes away, and the dawn offers men an opportunity to realize the dreams. However Obaseki, in his unique brand of laziness, failed to grab this opportunity and make good of his academic longings, hence resorting to contrived certification of schools he never attended. And smart like all crooks, he has succeeded in building a career on a foundation of falsehoods. Except that now, the fictional background has come back to haunt him.
Seeking a re-election bid in a fiercely contested race, oppositions driven by unquenchable desire to win have put each other at the spot, investigating past records and claims, trying to find incriminating factors that would ultimately disqualify their co-contestants. And so comes the nemesis for the great dreamer Godwin Obaseki, the man whose education spanned quite fairly well until the point of tertiary institution.
What has been found is not just able to disqualify Obaseki, but is also outright incriminating. The mindless forgery and blatant doctoring of certificates are simply jaw-dropping. At one instance, Obaseki began school at the University of Ibadan in 1973 and graduated in 1976. This claim is backed by a statement of result that is devoid of dates or reference numbers. Yet, another certificate exists, establishing a claim that Obaseki rather began schooling at the university in 1976, graduating in 1979.
Against this background of existing contradictions, another blunder arises regarding the ideal duration spent in pursuing a degree in Classics in the prestigious university. If admitted on the strength of an ordinary secondary level certificate, one ideally spends 4 years in the program, but if admitted with an advanced level certificate, the degree can be acquired in 3 years. For Obaseki, initial claims made were that he got admitted into the university with an ordinary level certificate. But when posed the question about how and why he then finished his program in 3 years, he turned back and tendered another certificate, this time an advanced secondary-level certificate, claiming to be what he was admitted with.
However, this same advanced level certificate is not without blemish. At a point, it states that Obaseki ran the course for 2 years (1974-1976), but at some other point, the study is deemed a year course that took place in the 1974/1975 academic year. Like that is not enough, Obaseki broke a record with his entrance of the English Language as a subject studied and written in the certificate exam whereas the English Language is not an option offered at the advanced level.
The story is all confusing but that, exactly, is the nature of dreams—which is what Obaseki’s tertiary education claim is. Illusions are unclear, misleading, and blurred, it is not precise and perfect. And with Obaseki, we find illusion on all fours, we find how a man built a life on dreams and illusions, running far in the race of life wearing the boots of falsehood and forgery. But the curtain has fallen on this fiction of a man, and now he must wake up to a bitter reality.