The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has provided insight into why a candidate who scored 302 in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) was not admitted for Medicine at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Goodness Shekwobyalo Thomas from Niger State was not admitted despite her high UTME score sparking nationwide uproar and negative reports against ABU and JAMB in the traditional and social media.
But speaking in Abuja Thursday at a meeting convened to review the matter, JAMB Registrar, Ishaq Oloyede, said the candidate caused the confusion that led ABU not to admit her for medicine.
“The evidence before us is that the candidate changed her course from Medicine to Anatomy,” Mr Oloyede, a professor, said. “We can see that clearly in the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS). She did that on her own and she was therefore not in consideration for medicine at all.
“If she had not changed her course, she would have been number 36 (of 80)on the merit list of ABU for medicine.
“After she changed, she became number one in Anatomy and she was offered admission for that course. When we asked her why she changed, she said someone in ABU called her on phone to change her course. We asked her for evidence, there was none. ABU said they never advised her to do so.
“But despite that, ABU still went ahead to reverse the change she made and offered her admission in Medicine even though that was not cleared with CAPS. I asked her why she is not telling the world that ABU offered her admission in Medicine eventually. She had no answer.”
Ms Thomas has an aggregate score of 288 after scoring 302 in UTME and 274 in ABU post-UTME screening, JAMB records show.
Her average score placed her in third position among candidates from Niger who applied to ABU to study medicine. Isa Mujahid and Hassan Rukayat Nda-Isah scored 299 and 292 respectively to place first and second in the tally.
At the meeting held at JAMB headquarters in Bwari were Bello Attahiru, Niger State’s director of schools and educational services, who represented the state’s commissioner of education; Haruna Ali Mohammed, ABU admission officerand relevant JAMB officials.
The candidate and her parents failed to show up despite assuring JAMB officials they would attend.
It was resolved at the meeting that ABU and JAMB would work together to see that Ms Goodness was approved for her initial preferred course – Medicine.
JAMB also promised to assist her if she preferred to move to another university to study medicine.
“If they want her to be in another University, we can facilitate her movement,” Mr Oloyede said. “Having created that kind of controversy and sensation, she may no longer be comfortable studying in ABU. But for her to change university, the right processes must be followed. No Nigerian university can admit her without the right processes because she already has an admission in ABU.”
Mr Oloyede advised Nigerians against sensationalising issues or reading ethnic and religious meanings into them when do not have all the facts.
Also speaking, Mr Attahiru, the Niger State official, said with the evidence he saw, he could say confidently that the candidate changed her course and caused the confusion that arose.
“All the doubts I had have been cleared,” Mr Attahiru said. “They just wanted to sensationalise the issue. If her (the candidate) and her parents were here, they would have been shown the evidence of what happened.”