With the story below, I wish UNN students the best in their exams commencing this week. I extend the same good wishes to all young people in other schools as they pursue their studies.
I also dedicate the story to my colleagues- lecturers and teachers everywhere.


Mrs. Chidinma Ikeuno’s confidence was growing by the minute. Since she came to her daughter’s fiancé, Dr. Obinna Ezeji’s office 50 minutes earlier, he had been nothing but charming. She could see why her daughter, Nneka, loved him.

She didn’t notice the uber-strictness Nneka had said he exhibited. He was very gracious and friendly to the three students who came with a request for material to write their term papers with. He briefly discussed their various topics with them although the term papers were for courses taught by other lecturers in his department – Linguistics. He even personally picked out five books from his shelves for them.

As he attended to the students, Chidinma appraised his physical features. Obinna was plump and about 1.78m (5 ft. 10) in height. He smiled a lot which made him look younger than his 31 years. Chidinma also liked his complexion – he was fair like her. He could easily pass for the son she never had. She imagined that her grandchildren would be cute.

Before the students interrupted their conversation, they had swapped family stories which confirmed the report her family got when they inquired about his roots. He came from a Christian home. His father, a headmaster, and his mother, a seamstress, provided a stable and loving home for him and his siblings.

As soon as the students left, Chidinma declined Obinna’s offer to take her to lunch and launched into the reason for her visit.

“Nneka told me that she failed your course,” she intoned.

Obinna confirmed that with his ever-present smile on. “Yes, the course is Computational Methods for Linguists.”

“You have to pass her. She cannot be failing a course you are teaching when she’s practically your wife,” Chidinma, the wealthy business woman used to having her way, demanded.

Obinna did not lose his cool. He patiently explained to Chidinma as he would to a child that lecturers are not supposed to let their personal relationships influence their teaching and grading of students.

Chidinma sarcastically asked him which lecturers he meant. “The ones in heaven or on earth?”

“Lecturers change grades all the time and they do it for personal reasons,” she insisted.

Obinna laughed and leaned back in his chair. “Wow, I didn’t know you had such a poor view of lecturers,” he responded.

“How many marks are we even talking of? Five marks, ordinary five marks. Just find five marks to make her pass.”

Obinna, still smiling, began to open the drawers in his desk and rummage through them one after the other.

“What are you doing?”

“Searching for the five marks as you instructed me.” When he noticed the dismay on Chidinma’s face, he burst into laughter.

“What sort of demonic laughter is that?” she queried him.

He was still shaking with laughter but managed to respond, “My laughter is demonic? I suppose your request by contrast is angelic.”

Chidinma was changing her view of her prospective son-in-law fast. He was not only refusing her request, he was having fun doing it. She felt his responses so far revealed an underlying psychopathology. But she didn’t want to give up yet.

“I’m not asking for an A or B. Just let her pass. Another carryover will give her an extra year in school,” she pleaded.

“No can do,” Obinna maintained. “If she works harder next time, she will certainly pass the course.”

Chidinma’s massive bosom was heaving with anger. As she gingerly picked her Hermès handbag from his desk and stood up, she expected Obinna to beg her to stay. The least he could do was apologise for hurting her feelings even if he wouldn’t grant her request, she thought.

But he did nothing like that. Instead, he accompanied her to her 2021 Honda CR-V EX parked in front of the Chinua Achebe Building some 30 metres away, making small talk and laughing all the way with his colleague going in the same direction.

Chidinma did not join in the banter because she had made up her mind that there was no way she would allow Nneka to marry such a “twisted” human being.

“It is one thing to be wicked,” she told herself, “but it is more sinister to do so with smiles and laughter. Obinna is sick and I’m glad I found out before the traditional rites of marriage were done.”

-The end-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja

Hope you enjoyed the story. Let’s chat.
***Do you think Obinna should have granted Chidinma’s request?
***Do you think he’s sick as she claims?
***If you were Nneka, how would you react to what transpired between your mum and your fiancé?

This story was first published on my Facebook page, Aunty Edith, on April 1, 2023.
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  • Ezimora Reliance

    My mum was headmistress/principal at my school all through my primary and secondary school days. If you failed, the teachers would personally bring you to her office. She’d also make sure she dealt with you at home too. We never thought her wicked….rather we strived to make better grades. Fiancé or not, Nneka should do better to pass his course. How can other students trust his capabilities if his own wife-to-be keeps failing his course? I have to applaud Obinna on how he handled the conversation with his would be mother-in-law, shows real maturity. Back to my books….

  • Okoro Charity Oluchukwu

    Wow, so amazing ma.
    I support that the lecturer did the right thing because if you continue giving unmerited grades to students, they won’t take the course and the lecturer very serious. I pray for success in our exams. Our labour shall yield success.

  • Favour Chigbo

    It takes a great deal of discipline to not let one’s emotions or personal relationships override our sense of moral rectitude and this we must learn.

    Insightful piece, ma.

  • Pearl

    Well I really enjoy the story . It was very funny. I must say I obinna should have not grant his fiancée mother request . I believe you don’t give up your principles for someone . But I also think he should have explained better knowing fully well that his finacee mother is used to having her way. Well nenka knew her finacee very well she should have put in more effort to pass the course . Chidinma must have known that her future son -in-law is very principles .She just wanted to try her luck .for I would want my daughter to marry him because this days it’s hard to fine a principles man.

  • Ugwuanyi Perpetua

    “Lecturers are not suppose to let their personal relationships influence their teaching and grading of student”. The above statement said it all, we should learn to differentiate between work ethics and personal relationship, work hard and depend on nobody for the result manufacturing. If only we all becomes like Dr. Obinna Ezeji, our country and the world at large would be better again. DO THE RIGHT THING. Thanks ma’m, really educative. God bless you…!

  • Ngwu Chinasa Modesta

    Thank you for the exam wish, i really appreciate, and thank you ma for the story it is a very funny story it really made my day.

    • Anyanwu Geraldine Ngozi

      Ooh my goodness!
      This story is very interesting but I wish to know what happened later between Obinna and Nkechi.
      It is really rare to see persons like Obinna, and in as much as his doing what is right,it is really painful the way he communicated it to his mother in -law.

  • Njoku Ebere Victoria

    I think Obinna did the right thing for not listening to his mother-in-law,on her request to add more mark for her daughter, his wife all because she failed her course that Obinna, the husband is teaching.No matter how related a person is to any individual, the right thing is still the right thing, I will not because she or he is related to me I should therefore
    compromised, No. Nneka is a student just like the rest, even though she’s married to a lecturer, that does not make her different from the rest.
    In as much he did the right, the manner of approach which he used in reacting to that manner was quite insulting to his mother-in-law, I felt he could have just explained to her the reasons for not doing such rather than just laughing continually and irritating her.

  • Assumpta Anachu

    Obinna is a man of integrity. Now the mother understands why Nneka said her fiancé is a strict man .Haha but I must admit I wouldn’t go on with the marriage if I were Nneka, there’s just something unpleasant about Mr Obinna’s toughness.. almost as if he doesn’t love Nneka enough to do whatever to make her happy

    • Wow, you want a man to do whatever his woman asks to make her happy, even when it’s something wrong? That is a narcissistic way for a woman to seek her happiness and a treacherous foundation to build a marriage on.

  • Will ifeanyi

    This is timely, it pushes one to do their best, rather than relying on the pre-existing relationship they have with the lecturer to get good grades.

    • Benjamin Emmanuella Ezinne

      Obinna actually did the right thing but he should have reconsidered his personal relationship with Nneka after Chidimma’s appeal. I can’t marry a man who would do such to me. No way!

  • Anita kadiri

    * What Obinna did was the right thing to do..
    * He isn’t sick..I believe he was just following his work ethics..there shouldn’t be preferential treatment, not minding who the person is.
    * I’ll let things go because what he did was the right thing to do knowing fully well what my mom asked for was wrong .

  • Nnabugwu blessing uchechi

    Nice story!!!
    I think what he did was Nneka will have to work hard for her grades.

  • Precious Nwabueze

    A didactic piece

  • Obiogwu Onyinye

    Lolz. This is soooo nice
    I don’t think Obinna is wicked though
    He is just a person with principles

    Second, I wouldn’t have failed if I were Nneka, lol. But I would have certainly understood him and what he stood for.
    So, it most likely wouldn’t get in the way of our relationship.

  • Emmanuel Ejiofor

    For this type of discussion, Obinna should have declined her request Politely. How can you make jokes in a serious conversation like this, especially when it’s with an elderly woman? There are ways to turn down requests without making fool of the other party.

  • Amah Victoria Chiamaka

    To me, it is shameful for Chidinma to request for marks for her daughter in the name of marriage engagement. It seems she’s encouraging Nneka’s lackadaisical attitudes towards her education. I like the fact Obinna maintains his dignity and respectfully or rather, humbly rejects Chidinma request. This is an interesting piece. Thank you ma.

  • Harrison Nnamdi Ogbonna

    In order to avoid repeating courses, students should work extremely hard.

  • Madukwe Ebube Franklin

    I think we should not use obstacles as excuse for failure

  • Robinson Mercy

    Thank you for the exam wish ma, This story is indeed timely.

  • Pearl

    I love the story very amusing . I support obinna in his decision and also I’m against chidinma for trying to make her daughters fiancée to compromise his principles . If I am chidinma I would be more proud to have him as my son-in- law .

    • Chijioke chinemeogo Jennifer

      The story is educating Mr obinna is a principled Youngman and Nneka just wanted to take advantage of his office, she didn’t expect that side of him. As students let’s work hard and avoid carryovers.

  • Bibian

    The man is right.
    Every student should study hard to pass exam and not depend on any lecturer to award unmerited marks.

  • Chidalu

    People tends to take advantage of relationship just because obinna is her son in-law doesn’t make him obligated to give her daughter free marks. She should work harder so she can pass. Obinna is a man with integrity.

  • Chukwuebuka Joseph Uzochukwu

    Thanks a bunch for the wishes Ma’am!
    This story depicts how we tend to capitalize on our relationship to people in high positions to get favours we are unworthy of.

  • Bassey Gideon

    It makes for an interesting read.

    I believe she’s entitled and as such believes he owes her something and when he refused, she’s sees him differently. I believe it could have been the same even if it was a different request.

    However, it might hurt her not to get what she wanted because entitled people tend to be hurt when they don’t get what they want especially when they don’t deserve it. I believe he shouldn’t have made a joke out of it and rather taken a much more serious stance.

  • Nwobodo kosarachi

    LoL I know that on a normal,most mothers would behave as nneka’mum did,and it takes a well disciplined and principled man to do what obinna did,nneka is his fiancee and ofcourse is actually somehow allowing your fiance to fail your own course,if I’m to be nneka or the mother I will definitely not be happy about it but that is not a reason to stop nneka and obinna from getting married..He actually did the right thing.

  • Thomas Sean Chukwuebuka

    This is really nice ma. Thank you so much for the exam wish. This is a wonderful story. It is indeed timely.

  • Oluchi Chinecherem

    In the end, it’s far more honourable to be committed to studying and placing hopes in God for the best.

  • Okafor Unoma Oluchi

    Giving an ethical response under this circumstance and not letting emotions becloud him is an admirable quality from Dr. Obinna.

  • Ezeh Joy Amarachukwu

    He did the right thing… As a lecturer’s fiancee, one shouldn’t even fail a course in the first place, because she has easier access to him… But if the lady is truly virtuous, she would understand him and be humble enough to rewrite the course..
    Thank you so much Ma

  • Dan Eneojo Joseph

    Placing due process over sentiments is a very tough scenario to be in but doing the right thing is always the best decision.

  • I support obinna in his decision.
    Very interesting story and the timing is great.

  • Amarachi Udeagha

    This is quite a read, it has an exquisite change and an adhesive lesson.
    For one, I do not agree with the statement that Obinna has a twisted mindset. He is just principled and would rather enjoy teaching you through it than help you wallow in the wrong path.

  • Odiase Osazee Erico

    Obinna did the right thing as a husband to be and as a lecturer, he has a responsibility to maintain academic integrity and treat all students fairly, regardless of personal relationships or outside pressures. Changing a student’s grade for personal reasons would be unethical and could compromise the integrity of the entire academic system.

  • Juliet

    Well I understand obinna, and I like the fact he did not give 5 marks as Nnekas mum requested.

    Somehow I also think he didn’t treat the response well, yes she asked him to look for 5 marks, he could have just said there is nothing he can do and end it there, but instead he started looking for the mark in his drawers, somehow seems like he was mocking the woman.

    Yes maybe somehow some will say, she deserves it, but she is a mother, most mothers will want to go out of their ways to assist their children in ways they can.

    I feel obinna was a bit rude in is answers towards his fiancé’s mum.

  • Mboutidem Godwin Samuel

    The man isn’t sick. When has laughter become sickness?
    Chidinma should be happy, having a man who doesn’t compromise for relationship as a son-in-law.
    I enjoy the story, funny title.

  • Thank you Ma. This piece is really helpful.
    It will help in pushing students to read more instead of relying for help.

  • Treasure Emone

    I think some lecturers need to learn from obinna. Not only lecturers, even public servant. Standing for what is right is very important as someone who is working in the public service

    I’m enjoying this blog ma’am, I read it whenever I have the opportunity to.

    Very inspiring blog

  • Ndidiamaka Ede

    Very nice story ma. Obinna did the right thing. If he continues to add marks for her, Nneka will continue to fail and always hoping for extra marks. Obinna is really disciplined.

  • Chiemerie Regina Okoye-azi

    The fact that Obinna offered help to students who came to ask for materials shows that he must have also done the same for Nneka but she failed because she didn’t work hard enough. Chidinma should have been grateful that her soon to be son-in-law is a man of discipline and integrity who wants the best for everyone despite his personal relationship with them.

  • Adeeyo Stephen

    Well, honesty and integrity should be appreciated. If she truly loves him, she will go on with the marriage notwithstanding. Mr Obinna needs someone with a like mind.

  • Nweke Blessing N.

    I believe what Obinna did is the right thing to do. Relationships should not interfere with work. Nice one Ma

  • Ezeanya Immaculate

    The lecturer is a straightforward man. He did the right thing. But if I were to be in his position, I will teach my partner so she will pass very well with good grades. At least this will teach the lady to be more serious with her education. Ma’am, I learnt a lot from this story.

  • I wished the story would have continued a bit more. The resilience of Mr Obinna is what many of us need to learn. Obinna did the right thing. Obinna is not also sick as his mother-in-law claims he is. We live in a world where the right thing is considered abnormal and the wrong thing is seen as normal. If i were to be Nneka, my trust for my fiance will skyrocket. This is because, if he would not compromise for me, even while our relationship is at it most delicate period then i know he is truly a man of virtue

    • True, we live in a world that inverts virtue. We just need to learn and stick with what is right by time-tested standards, like the Bible, regardless of the new and uber-relative trends.

  • Chinaza

    Honestly even though it’s a hard decision to make in our society today but I commend Obinna for that wonderful display of good ethics in his profession

  • Nwaneri chinenye Priscilla

    First of all Obinna should not agree to the demands of his would-be in law . Just because he has a relationship with Nneka does not mean that he should go against his professional ethics.
    Secondly, Obinna is not sick . He was just following the ethics of his profession and inorder to avoid an argument from his would-be mother in law , he had to make a joke out of the whole scenario.
    Thirdly, if I were in Nneka’s shoe I would feel really bad about what transpired.
    I wish that lecturers and also public servants whould learn from Obinna. They should put aside emotions when it comes to profession. Thank you so much ma for this wonderful story.

  • Gbatalibe uchenna Mildred

    Sincerely if I was Nneka’s mother I will feel the same way because that is the story we hear told, but Obinna acted according to his conscience which is right. If all lecturers start doing like Nneka’s mother wanted, that means everyone will start passing without merit.


    Good, that is a wonderful display of good ethics in his profession. We should not allow personal relationship influence us to do things, we will regret in the end. I love his stand and his boldness to turn the request of the woman down. Being a lecturer’s wife shouldn’t give you the licence to be unserious with your studies.

  • Obinna Chiamaka

    Obinna did the right thing by not granting chidinma’s request which shows that he is a man of integrity as well as an upright man which is quite rare in today’s society. He didn’t allow his relationship with Chidinma’s daughter to cloud his state of reasoning.
    And he isn’t sick as she claims but then he shouldn’t have made fun of the situation as he did. And if I were Nneka , I wouldn’t take the matter to heart but would rather try to learn more from him and try to improve.

  • Tom Teme

    This story just shows that Obinna is a very disciplined man. This story is very educative.

  • Nwabuisi chinonso peace

    I actually support the decision Obinna made. As a good fiance he did the right thing, he cannot just give her free marks when she did not earn it. This is the type of person Chidinma should even pray for her daughter to marry and not the other way round. Sure, Nneka will feel bad at first but she will realise that it was actually for the best and she will learn from the experience. In this life we should always do what is right no matter how hard it may seem.

  • Esogwa Jubilate A.

    The reason why we have quack doctors and half-baked graduates is because lecturers like Obinna are few in our Universities today. All they are after is to make sure the student buys their textbook, and then they (students) will be given an A or B.

    Then, for Chidinma like-minds, THERE IS A PRICE FOR EVERYTHING. Don’t expect a miracle when you have not worked for it.

    Thank you so much, mummy, for this lesson😊


    Obinna isn’t sick, he believes in doing the right thing. His action shows he is morally right and not biased. He did not allow his personal relationship to interfere with his work life and ethics.

  • Onah Celestine kenechukwu

    In a country like Nigeria, this act would be complimented openly but deeply criticized in the secret.

    However, it takes only a disciplined person to do what that man did as it is right thing to do. I can remember teaching in a primary school after my secondary education. My baby sis was in the class I was handling. I overheard friends telling her that nobody would beat her again since her elder brother was her teacher. But they were all shocked on how I never demonstrated any favoritism. Even when I punished students, hers was always greater.

    It takes discipline to detach personal life from professional life.

  • Omeke chidimma

    I commend the lecturer ,for making discipline a respecter of no man or any other thing, by not allowing it to be influenced.

  • Kalu Victory

    My dad would say “every man must maintain their integrity, don’t allow it to be thwarted by frivolous things” I love that he refused to give her that “just five marks” it shows that he is very disciplined and a man of integrity.
    Thank you ma

  • Ogechukwu Joy Omeje

    Obinna did what he knew was right and upheld his moral values despite being Chidinma’s prospective son-in-law.

  • Obadike Praise Chiamaka

    First of all I must commend the ability of the title of this story to attract my attention to click on it….

    Well Obinna, as hard as it is to admit, wasn’t wrong in his judgement as he is displayed by the writer as a principled young lecturer. However I don’t support his rudeness towards his soon to be mother-in-law. The sarcasm and his lack of Willingness to explain things more properly and politely to chidinma was quite glaring. And although we all know that there’s a little possiblity of her understanding his reasons, I feel he still owed her that polite explanation.

    Good read. Thank you for the intriguing story!😊

  • Alung Glory

    The kind of relationship that exist between a lecturer and student,should not make that lecturer to do what isn’t right.
    Nneka failed the course,and the right thing to do is for her to retake it so she can learn.

  • Alung Glory

    Nneka failed the course,and the right thing to do is to retake the course not minding if she’s your future wife or not.
    But in nigeria,most people will let her pass because of the relationship between them.

  • Awoke peace

    What an interesting story. Going through this story, I am already picturing how the ladies faces were, while leaving Mr obinna’s office.What obinna did was right and he showed that he is a disciplined man and won’t play with his position. He did right.

  • Eleke Jane Somadina

    Obinna is really disciplined and a man of great moral value. It takes a lot of courage to do that because his relationship is at stake.

    We should detach emotions and personal relationship from professional jobs like this. It is easier said than done though.

  • Oliseji Goodnews Adaeze

    Words or vocabularies aren’t enough to qualify Obinna’s character. He is indeed a man of substance and it’s very rare to see a person that won’t let his emotions or relationship with someone influence his decision.

  • Anayo chinonyelum Cynthia

    Obinna did the right thing ,nnenna should study hard and don’t think education is bed of roses because she has connection, love no be every thing.

  • This is an interesting story. Obinna was bold and courageous and he did the right think

  • Chinodebem Madukaife

    Truly, there goes a man of substance,integrity and good upbringing. If only Nigerians could take this as an example. The content of his mind and heart are justified. That so called “just five marks” has shown his integrity.

  • Ochije Favour Chinenye

    Wonderful story , great title!
    Obinna made the very right decision of not heeding to the plea of his soon to be mother-in-law. I could imagine the smile he had on while refusing Chidinma’s request. He did excellent by not letting his personal relationship interfere with his school activity. It must have been a tough moment for him but he pulled through. I must commend his sincerity. If I were his wife , though pained, I’d try to look at the good side and be proud of my fiancé.
    I was really engaged with this story and cannot help but give praise to the author. Ma’am you are doing a great work!

  • Eke Loveth Adanna

    Obinna did the right thing, the fiancee Nneka should know that working hard by putting more efforts in studying pays alot and not hoping on him for grades because he is her fiance

  • Okeke Ifechukwu Ethel

    I actually think Obinna did the right thing. This is the real definition of being disciplined. I’ll really want to have someone like Obinna in my life , because it’s definitely going to make me strive hard for greatness .

  • Tricia Ogbuehi

    Obinna is actually not sick but I think he should have granted the request of his mother-in-law to be because five marks is not worth loosing his fiance.

  • Nmesomachi Igwe

    This is a real symbolism of one of the problems in our educational and in fact all other systems in our society today – the who knows somebody parasite.
    Big shout outs to the honest bunch in our society.

  • Enete Precious Chikamso

    Normally as a teacher or lecturer, you are not supposed to let your personal relationship with your student influence your grading for that student. This is because you will only end up making the student very lazy and foolish.
    I’m glad Obinna stood his ground without being rude.

  • Odugu chioma Cynthia

    This story is teaching us especially our lectures, that we should not our influence and personal relationship with students, to be awarding marks for students that do not merit it.

  • Dunamis Udemeobong

    Aunty Edith just left the story for us to give a conclusion😂
    I’d say that Obinna didn’t want to give up his principles because of personal relationships which is quite okay and he didn’t have any bad intentions actually, he only wanted his wife to sit up.

    And if I were Nneka I would get really upset with Obinna, not because he didn’t give the five marks to me but because he made fun of my mother to the point of even searching his drawer for the five marks; that wasn’t right at all. I would call him later to have a personal talk and understand his reasons for his actions rather than taking any drastic decision that may lead to regrets later.

  • Ogbu Cynthia Nneoma

    Placing due process over sentiments is a very tough scenario to be in but doing the right thing is always the best decision.

  • Okoye Paul Ketachukwu

    This is a tough scenario to start with. The lecturer obinna was right at some extent but making mockery of her mother-in law to be wasn’t necessary. Secondly, i think he should have added the mark for her. He isn’t sick rather being diligent and disciplined in his work I’ll say she shouldn’t marry him.

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