I was bound under the shackles of examination malpractice and impersonation…
Indeed, I have come to understand that the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
First, I want to thank God for helping me see and understand what examination malpractice and impersonation really entails and that it is a sin, because before now, I never saw anything wrong with them. Rather, I saw it as a way of helping a brother or sister who was stranded in the examination hall. Afterall, “Nobody is struggling for first position in the University” I thought.
In my department, I was known for striking different kinds of ‘formations’ depending on the course and lecturer for both my seniors and coursemates who wrote exams with me.
And all things being equal, the formation always sufficed as a sure plug for passing the exams. As a result of this, a lot of people wanted to sit with me during an examination.
As time passed, during the second semester in my first year, I discovered that many students were somewhat lazy about their studies or maybe they were not even ready for school at all. So I strategized a way of ceasing the moment of their laziness to enrich my pocket.
It started as a joke which subsequently became a lucrative business (i.e writing test, exams and doing assignments for people). It transcended from the usual help I gave in the exams hall to a money-making venture as I happily anticipated exams every semester. I had different exam malpractice clients who came to me for business or better still, examination deals two to three weeks before the exams. I adopted the rational-choice theory of striking deals with clients who paid more money.
Due to my business, I always had to read my books and sometimes books that were not even part of what I was studying. I read back to back and this resulted in me sleeping two hours everyday during the semester and no sleep at all during exams period. I often felt sick but for me, it didn’t matter as far as making money was involved.
Since examination malpractice was working perfectly, I was encouraged into impersonation by some of my friends but my fear was that I may be caught and probably rusticated in the process. So my clients strategized a way for me to write their test and exams at a sit-out within the campus and also in my house.
How did this happen?
For context, most of my clients were ‘Yahoo’ boys and I was deceived into writing a test for one of them when he asked me to follow him to a sit-out for a drink. I was surprised when he made an order of over N9,000 for me and was still asking me whether I needed more after I was done eating. In my mind, I thought ‘do you want to kill me with food?’ not knowing the food I ate wasn’t for free. It was until he brought out a foolscap sheet and asked me to write the powerful test we had finished writing that afternoon that I understood the reason for his generosity. I could not resist because I had just finished eating someone’s food for over N9,000.
Besides, this was outside the school premises and no lecturer was there. However I was still very surprised that something like that could happen. He told me that they know how to run things in that department, and that I should not be afraid. He added that when I finish writing the test, he will liaise with the lecturer’s personal assistant and everything will be put in place. This was how I made this particular sit-out my test hall especially for some clients who bought me food and still paid me my full price for impersonation.
Due to the risk associated with impersonation, I kept this part of me very quiet and only very few people knew about it.
The Assignment Specialist
Writing assignments for people was also a specialty for me as I did it gracefully, but I didn’t know it was a form of impersonation. An assignment which some people painstakingly finished in two days, I finished five of that same assignment in one day. I thought this could only be God’s grace.
This brought in the most funds for me as I sometimes made up to two or three times my school fees in a semester from it. I could stay a whole semester without calling my parents for money for anything. To me, God was using these things to relieve some burden off my parents.
I did assignments for people from different departments and faculties, and only got to know the client during the submission date sometimes. I deliberately charged very high prices when other assignment plugs in my class charged way cheaper, yet I was still patronized majorly by the big boys.
Some clients would be absent from school for a whole semester and I was the one running everything requisite for a student to do for them. Spanning from writing their names in the attendance list, assignments, tests and assisting them in the exams hall. I thought all these were some sort of favour from God.
Because of this, I hung out with most of the big boys in exquisite places. I heard scary stories about hanging around people of this caliber, but for me, I didn’t run kiti kiti or kata kata.
Somehow I was still able to drink water and drop my cup because I felt I could always play my cards well.
A Different Path
Fast forward to October, 2022 when the strike was suspended and people began to come back to school; examinations were at the corner, and I was happy that my set time of making money from assignments, examination malpractice and impersonation had come. A song titled“we would never settle for less” was my drive during this season. I played it while lying down and rising up.
During the exams period, one of my female friends who was once a member of our formation and later left us after she got born again and started attending God’s Lighthouse told me that what I was doing in the name of helping people was examination malpractice. I abruptly quieted her by saying that humans are frail and that God understands the frailty of man. This was a concept I coined from a renowned man of God in this country who I was following ardently at that time.
After the exams, I did not want to travel back for Christmas break though virtually all the students around had traveled home.
Then, this friend of mine invited me to the DEEPER WATERS RETREAT at God’s Lighthouse and I obliged to her invitation.
During the retreat, Pastor Ita preached about every bit and piece of my life as though he knew me. Each time I went back to the hostel after each day’s session, I couldn’t sleep because of what he preached. At times, I felt like unlearning everything I knew in the past and relearning what he was preaching, but it was a Herculean task for me because a greater part of me did not want to be receptive to all of what he was preaching about.
Also while in the retreat, I met someone whom I never knew from Adam, who also talked to me about examination malpractice and impersonation, how the devil accuses the brethren day and night and how legalistic the spiritual realm is. In my adamant heart I was saying, “Aunty abeg talk finish make I comot here”.
When I was about to leave the retreat on the last day, the Prophetic Intercessory Team prayed for me and still highlighted the aforementioned issues coupled with some things pastor Ita preached about like the love of money. They also mentioned that I had an academic idol. I was somewhat thinking it seems God is taking this thing very seriously so I decided to talk with a leader, Sis S. who expounded more on the issue of examination malpractice and impersonation so much that inside me, I was beginning to accept that what I had been doing overtime was bad before God but the cash and material benefits attached to it would not let me be.
Fighting My Desires
Leaving the retreat venue that day, I was soliloquizing,“Why did you even attend that retreat in the first place? Look at how you’ve been stripped-off of everything. Look at what you’ve done to yourself”. This is when I knew I was in some sort of problem with God already.
I got to recently understand that the devil was speaking to me in the language of his kingdom which is LIES. I was really battling with indecision. Luke 12:47-48 which pastor preached about being beaten with many blows for not doing accordingly after hearing and knowing the master’s will rang in heart. The spirit of truth was trying to convict me but the devil kept countering it by saying that, “if you were not there in the first place, you would not know this truth that is now disturbing you, let alone being given many blows.” But another voice kept telling me that“even though you didn’t know the truth, in the end you’ll still be flogged.” Pastor’s teaching on how we should endure sound doctrine kept ringing in my mind too.
Between the period of my leaving the retreat venue to my house, the fight in my mind was comparable to the second world war. I could feel that two entities were fighting for my soul. But I myself was resolute in my mind that I will not change at all. Imagine hearing the truth and still taking such a decision.
I tried to wave off the whole situation and indecisive thoughts from my mind but I couldn’t.
That night, in my dream, I saw myself being judged by God for something which pastor had preached about in the retreat. When I woke up, I thought it was just a ripple effect of what I was thinking about during the day. Unfortunately, sleep became something I did not desire to come my way again that night because everytime I made an attempt to sleep, I continued from where I stopped in the ‘judgment dream’. I survived that night but the following days were worse.
One of the days, I saw pastor seated amongst the judges and he was judging me. I kept telling myself, “Look at what you’ve done to yourself. Before now, you could sleep with peace of mind until you attended that retreat”. I remembered how pastor said during the retreat that the things we had heard from Scriptures will be used to judge us, because to whom much is given, much is expected.
I was also listening to the Believers Bible School audio which Sis S. gave me.
In all these, I was still not ready to change. I trivialized all those dreams about judgment, mostly because I thought it was just a dream, and not real judgment.
Then I had another dream. This time, it was regarding my academics. I saw myself standing in front of my departmental result board, and I saw that I had nine F’s which means I had failed all my courses. The dream felt more real than my past dreams. I asked God, how and why I should even fail one course, let alone nine which meant that I’ll have one or two extra years in school. His reply was that the devil had accused me of examination malpractice, impersonation and for making many people lazy. The nine F’s was the punishment meted out for those charges brought against me, not because He wanted to fail me.
When I woke up this time, and discovered it was a dream, I was 100+1% ready to change.
I asked God for forgiveness, but inside, I didn’t know how possible it would be for me to stay away from examination malpractice and impersonation, especially writing assignments for people.
Freedom at Last
By January 2023, I started worshiping with God’s Lighthouse. Time and time again, I heard people testifying about how they wrote their exams without any form of malpractice. I kept praying to God for strength to finish this semester without getting myself involved in any form of malpractice, impersonation and the likes.
When the semester began fully, I told all my clients that I was no longer interested in running their school activities again, including writing their names in the attendance list when they were not in classes. Some of them made mockery of me saying that I have been brainwashed by religion and some even went as far as cursing the pastor that brainwashed me.
I saw this coming because before leaving the retreat that day, Sis S. told me that it will be very tempting for me given the fact that I was the key player in the formation but I should hold firm to my stance in God.
The height of it was when tests began actively. After my first test, I didn’t conform to cheating and virtually half of the class came out and slammed me. It was the case of one man vs 70 to 80 men. I was trying to tell them that examination malpractice is a SIN. No one was on my side and finally, some of the class stakeholders called me aside for a discussion. They told me that I don’t know where life will place me or them in the next 5 to 20 years, and that I didn’t behave like this in my first or second year so how come I started this in my third year? I tried telling them the truth but no one wanted to understand my viewpoint. I told them that I had taken my stand and there’s nothing they can do about it.
I kept sitting at the front of the class during tests and exams and nobody even wanted to sit at the same desk with me again because I was no longer supplying answers. They knew not to waste their energy in asking for help because it obviously did not work and I too would not ask them anything.
During the exams period while people were praying for the ability to read and understand, I was praying for the spirit of the fear of the Lord and I really saw God help me during that period in that, I was able to complete this semester without indulging in any form of examination malpractice or impersonation and the likes.
Transitioning from an expert chest to one who indulged in nothing of that sort is truly by the power of God alone.
I’m grateful for the deliverance I have enjoyed from the Lord, for the truth of His words, for the dreams of judgment that were all God’s mercy drawing me closer, for wise counselors and the gift of brethren.
Thank God for changing me.