Mrs. Ruth Omopariola-Bolarinwa, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)’s Faculty of Education ‘2009 Best Graduating Student’ where she read Guidance and Counselling, like other university graduates before and after her, is yet to get a job, six years after completing her National Youth Service, which she did, incidentally, at her alma mater.
Born and bred in Lagos, but married to a Yoruba man from Ondo State, she suffers from auditory or hearing impairment, an ailment which has remained with her since childhood. But that did not stop her from excelling in her studies at UNILORIN, and even emerging as the Faculty’s best graduating student.
But despite beating the hearing ones, she is yet to get job seven years after graduation. Hence, she picked up her pen to write a letter to Ambode, through The Sun Education, to explain her plight and to plead with him to give her a job.
“I don’t know how to reach him”, she said in the accompanying note to her emailed letter (I was to later ask for and get her photograph). “Otherwise, I would have sent the letter directly to him. But I believe he reads newspapers and will get to read this. I only pray and hope that he does not feel embarrassed by my making public, what was supposed to be a private or personal matter.” Published below is the letter, edited for reason of space constraint:
A passionate appeal to Ambode, Governor of Lagos State
I applied for the Lagos State Civil Service job in July 2016. I got to know about the vacancy through a friend who forwarded the advertisement page to me via Whatsapp. The vacancies were open to everybody and I applied for the post of Education Officer online.
Few weeks after submitting the online application, I received a text message (SMS) on August 9, 2016 to come for screening the following day (August 10). The screening which was held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall inside the government secretariat was successful, likewise the oral interview held at the staff training centre, Magodo, on August 11, 2016.
But the issue of state of origin played out at the interview. The panels disagreed with me that I am from Lagos despite the fact that I was born and bred in Lagos State. I had my primary and secondary school education in the state. Having spent more than 30 years of my existence on this planet in Lagos, I believe I am qualified to work in the state.
This is not the first time and may not be the last that I will experience this discrimination. I could vividly recollect my experience at the Federal Civil Service in 2012 when the ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan gave the disabled graduates employment opportunity. Like the case with the Lagos State Civil Service job, I went through the screening and the interview successfully. Interestingly, I was the only hearing-impaired applicant.
I expected to be selected as the only deaf applicant having done well at the interview to the best of my knowledge. But I was disqualified based on the names on my certificate. These experiences are discouraging in every sense of the word.
As I write this letter, I got an email from the University of Ibadan that I passed the English proficiency test to secure admission for my Masters’ degree programme but I am not sure if I will go ahead with the admission process because of the employment discrimination I have been passing through since after graduating from the University of Ilorin in 2009. The question I kept asking myself is: if after completing my Masters programme, what next? State of origin or deafness palaver again? It is hindering the fulfillment of my God-given destiny. This is unfair!
I have always seen Lagos State as disabled-friendly state, being one of the few states in the country that has signed into law the bill on rights of persons with disability. Nigeria is in recession and the jobless youths are bearing the brunt, as there is no financial backing to help them eke out a living for themselves and to cater for their dependent ones.
To this end, I am appealing to the compassionate governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode and the Civil Service Commission to consider my application as an Education Officer having gone through the rigorous screening and interview as a deaf applicant.
“Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see” – Mark Twain.
28 Edun Alaran Road, Ahmadiyya Bus Stop
Ijaiye Ojokoro, Lagos.
Source: Today Trending News