Like most of us, I haven’t met Mmesoma beyond everything I have read and heard about her both on and offline; the interviews she gave, and the videos circulating about her “claims.”
I say “claims” because, the girl truly believes herself. She isn’t “lying” because she honestly believes we all got it wrong.
Like many around me, I have talked about Mmesoma like I would a niece or even a daughter. I have wondered about the many times she cursed herself over this matter and the pain and trauma she must be going through.
“I did nothing wrong.” Well if you consider that everyone’s doing it, so…
Anyway, I have come to one conclusion- Mmesoma is a brilliant young woman and like many brilliant people I know, especially kids her age, they are not street-smart!
She is brilliant enough to score 249 in Jamb, a feat in itself.
She is brilliant to have been noted to have a track record of excellence in her academics…and because of this, I think, she is unlikely to knowingly engage in exam fraud the magnitude of what we are currently witnessing now.
I just think Mmesoma is not street-smart.
If she was, she would immediately have seen she was being scammed when the offer of “upgrade” was introduced to her.
Yes, it’s an “upgrade,” that’s the street word for inflation of grades. (See how fast we are all learning?)
I think Mmesoma was scammed into entering an upgrade agreement that involved payment.
So you need an upgrade?
Yes, I think she must have been told several candidates did the same and she could, too. Since her first choice of university is University of Lagos, she must have been told she needed an “upgrade” to make the cutoff point. She agreed I am sure, for a sum, I am sure, and pronto, given a printout. She didn’t even know it isn’t being used by Jamb anymore.
Like many who are being scammed, she didn’t know it was a scam. She believed the lie and stuck with it.
So because she didn’t know, she announced her scores to the world. Before she could count her accolades, it smacked her right back in her face!
Here’s another reason for me, as Mmesoma’s father said, how did she know she got the highest Jamb score?
Jamb candidates never know who scored the highest marks except Jamb makes that declaration, so how did Mmesoma get that info?
Because the fake site she used declared her so. If she had been street smart, she would have known this couldn’t be true.
This is one other reason I think she didn’t think “upgrade” was a scam. If she actively went out to “forge” the said result as being reported, she wouldn’t broadcast it! It’s like blowing a stolen whistle, you will get caught. A thief will not go boasting about what he has just stolen.
No, mum’s the word.
But Mmesoma did a video, announcing her “scam” to the world and the world caught her. “Upgrade” has a nice name to it but it is a fraudulent means.
Now, where do we go from here?
Mmesoma will pay for what many others have probably got away with and so Jamb slammed her hard.
I think Jamb was too rash, too hasty to pronounce her a fraud and detailing DSS to go after her. Did they call her first? Did they send their officials to talk to her to verify her claims?
I think further banning her from writing Jamb for the next three years is too harsh! The punishment, in my opinion, is like killing a mosquito with a sledgehammer.
When she was quoted to have said, “There must be a mistake somewhere,” I think she totally believed the dummy she was sold.
It’s sad that the scholarship she was said to be have been awarded by Innoson Motors, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, has been withdrawn.
A pity that a once brilliant student is being so heavily punished for one mistake. Our elders say “When you use the right hand to flog a child, you use the left to draw the child close.” Where’s the lesson for this girl here?
I’m pleading, let’s not use this one mistake to define her life.
I am not advocating for her to go unpunished. One year Jamb ban, maybe but already, the shame, the trauma, and the pain of all of this media attention is more than enough punishment for her and her family.
Let’s focus on the fact that this girl made a mistake, one I hope she will learn from and get over, in years to come.