A Nigerian With Albinsm Who Was Refused Employment By Nigeria Police Service Commission After Undergoing Trainings And Screenings At Police College, Jos
BY DR. ALADESANMI ADEDAPO DAMILOLA, A Nigerian With Albinsm Who Was Refused Employment By Nigeria Police Service Commission After Undergoing Trainings And Screenings At Police College, Jos
My name is Dr Aladesanmi Adedapo Damilola, a veterinarian by profession, a native of Ekiti state from a family of six (including my parents). I am a prince who loves to play basketball, take long walks, meeting new people and making them laugh. There’s so much about me I can’t type but perhaps I should let you know that I am an albino because regardless of the many other interesting things about me it’s the one thing people never forget about me.
I grew up in a loving environment and because I’m very extroverted I happen to make and have more than a truck load of friends (which seems to surprise most people). My childhood was typical and extraordinary in a lot ways all at the same time. I aced and topped my classes all through my nursery and primary education. That trend continued for the most part all through my secondary education as well and I didn’t do too shabby all through veterinary school at The University Of Ibadan, Oyo state.
After graduation from the vet school I served my country just like everybody else through the NYSC scheme during which I was posted as a meat inspector and veterinary officer at arguably one of the busiest abattoirs in west Africa, Bodija Municipal abattoir in Ibadan, Oyo state. I delved into my private practice shortly after the youth service during which period I honed my skills as a vet. I also invested some time in a passion I’ve had longer than I can remember, being a radio broadcaster, I had a short spell at Progress FM, a part of the Radio Nigeria franchise in Ekiti state as a Duty Continuity Announcer. It was during this period I saw the Ad posted by the Nigeria Police Force, on its website, regarding the recruitment exercise for 2016 and applied.
By grace I was shortlisted for the interview. As fate will have it I was screened and my name was published as part of the successful candidates to report at the police staff college in Jos for training on the 31st of December 2016. I was recruited as a veterinary specialist into the Assistant Superintendent of Police Cadre.
All through the training we underwent a series of screenings all of which I scaled just as anyone else. I worked very hard and soon got the attention of all the instructors, the course officer and even the course coordinator as one of the best cadets in the camp. I never experienced any down time or health issues all through my stay and through the expert guidance of the admin staff in Jos, alongside the other cadets, I was well trained.
Notice I haven’t mentioned anything concerning albinism all through this short story. Well, it wasn’t until a day before passing out that I started to really feel discriminated against in all my 29+ years on the face of this planet. While my colleagues received their appointment letters on that day, the 18th of may 2017, I was left standing there wondering what the problem was as I filled a complaint form instead of getting my letter as well. Needless to say I was worried and distraught but on the encouragement of the camp commandant I came down to Abuja after the passing out parade on the 19th of the same month to sort out whatever the issue was. It was on getting to the Police Service Commission the following Monday that I was informed that I wasn’t issued an appointment letter based on a recommendation from the college concerning my albinism and for the first time in my life I wondered if I created myself and or had done something wrong by allowing myself be born.
I went back to the Nigeria Police Force HQ and by grace again I was re-recommended to the commission but to no avail. I was posted to resume my duties as a Superintendent of Police in Lagos, since June, but I haven’t been able to report because I still haven’t gotten my appointment letter. Fortunately, or unfortunately, my salary is being paid as ASP by the Nigerian Police till date. The employment letter when given to me will be upgraded to SP and all salaries and entitlement accrued for the post will also be added.
It is my hope that this small story finds favourable consideration that results In the release of my appointment letter so that I can go ahead to start the work that I am sure I am capable of doing in service to my country, albino or not.