The Niger State Government is not happy with the Elijah Thomas family for letting their ward, Miss Goodness Thomas, go to the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, instead of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, to study Medicine and Surgery, we can exclusively disclose.
The State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Hannatu Salihu, expressed the state’s dissatisfaction in the presence of her Permanent Secretary and the Director of Schools Services, at a meeting with Mr. & Mrs. Thomas in her office on Monday.
She advised the family to “take the admission as Goodness only has one JAMB number and may have difficulties when she eventually is ready to go for her National Youth Corps service”.
She alleged that JAMB wants them to accept the admission.
Although, Mr. Thomas declined comments in an interview, it was gathered that the family stood their ground that their daughter now prefers her status as a student of the Igbinedion University and formerly informed the Commissioner that their daughter had her matriculation last Saturday.
We gathered that the girl on Monday declined acceptance of the ABU offer in accordance to the option given by the Registrar of JAMB, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, when he met with the Admissions Officer of ABU, the representatives of Niger State Government and representatives of Civil Rights Organizations where he ordered ABU to offer Miss Thomas admissions to study Medicine and Surgery with a proviso that the girl has the right to accept or decline offer according to admission procedures in the country.
The family was with the Commissioner when Miss Thomas rejected the ABU offer on Monday and her parents did not even know the girl had declined the offer; though they expected her to.
Dissatisfied with the Thomas family’s stance that Goodness will no more accept ABU offer, the Niger State Commissioner for Education told the family to expect a formal letter on the issue from her office and their stance will be documented.
We cannot ascertain whether the family has received the letter since Mr. Thomas who is an indigene of the state from the Dogara family of Gurara Local Government Area declined to speak with reporters.
The Thomas controversy went viral after ABU refused to offer the brilliant student admission to study Medicine and Surgery but Human Anatomy, which drew the opposition of the Nigerian community including the civil rights groups and the Benue State Governor all alleging that Miss Thomas was discriminated on because she is from the Christian side of the Northern Nigeria.
A Bini Princess and philanthropist decided to award full scholarship to the girl at Igbinedion University where she matriculated last Saturday.
According to the Bursar of Igbinedion University, Mr Nosa Edogiawere, she was one of the 62 recipients of the scholarship that matriculated on Saturday. The list included a house help who was thirsty for education.
A source close to the family said they have been receiving visitors from their church, families and friends who came to congratulate them “on the doing of the Lord”. Mr. Thomas it was also gathered returned from pilgrimage to Jerusalem last weekend.
– ENIOLA OLATUNJI.