Even before some people from Zaria started questioning reports of Adam Zango paying school fees of 101 indigent students, I have been privately expressing my doubts about the whole story.
My conclusion then and now, in the absence of clear information, is that either Zango is being scammed by the school proprietor or we are being scammed by both of them.
Here are the things that didn’t add up:
- The letter written by the school commending Zango for the gesture was written on 12 October 2019 which turned out to be Saturday.
- It is normally the parents of beneficiaries that should write a letter of commendation and not the school.
- The letter was not signed by anybody; no name and signature.
- No list of the purported 101 beneficiaries was attached.
- The school fees paid are the same for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd terms and for from SS1 to SS3.
- Basically, fees for the 1st term of every session are higher because there are payments that are only paid once at the beginning of the year. Also, SS3 fees should be higher because students are expected to sit for WAEC and NECO.
- When paying for school fees for the year ahead, the school factors in inflation cost and give you an estimate. Where it turns out the actual fee is higher than what you paid, you complete the balance. But where it turns out that you pay higher than the actual fees, you get a refund.
- Also, when paying for such a large number, schools usually give progressive discounts where the discount increases as the number of students increases. All that didn’t happen. Instead, Zango paid (or was charged) the same amount of N49,940 flat rate for 1st, 2nd and 3rd terms and all through SS1 to SS3. Implausible!
- There was no copy of the signed and stamped bank teller or any verifiable evidence of payment from any bank. If they can go to the extent of sharing receipts and commendation letters, they should have no problem posting the bank teller or evidence of payment.
- From a financial logic perspective, given the idea of how much celebrities in the North earn, if a celebrity of Zango’s status could part with such amount in one single gesture, then FIRS should be looking for Adam Zango’s tax files.
Even the program logic betrays common sense. If someone has N50 million to spend on education, I guess he will rather spend it sending children to university where there’s a real funding challenge.
ABU school fees are not up to 50,000 naira per session. At 49,940 per term, Zango is purportedly spending 3 times that amount to send a kid to secondary school for one year. I don’t blame people for sharing or commending Zango for the gesture even if it turns out to be untrue.
Everyone can make this mistake. Many people did so with good intentions. But even in our bid to share the good news, we should not fail to carefully scrutinize claims in this age of fake news and misinformation. It is even more damning when you see news organizations falling into such errors in their bid to be the first to report news stories, no matter how inaccurate.
As I said earlier, it is possible that Zango is being scammed by the school proprietor. It is even more possible that both the school proprietor and Zango connived to pull such a costly stunt on an unsuspecting public. Whatever the case may be, it is now apparent that after officially dumping Kannywood, Adam Zango decided to script his first post-Kannywood movie with all of us as actors. This, to me, is the ultimate achievement.
By Ahmed Musa Hussaini