The last piece I wrote about students’ community titled “Ojo Aderemi and the Caterpillars of the Premier University is now four months old. The kingdom of evil ones has prevailed for four months while the righteous ones are still suffering in thy hands of the evil ones.
Luckily, they have reinstated the union and there are preparations to hold union elections but the main casualty of the incident; Ojo Aderemi who happens to be the Student’s Union President is still cooling his feet at his father’s house because he challenged the demi-gods and caterpillars of the premier university, demanded for explanation and public apology for the inability of the school authority to provide ID cards for students despite payment of ID card fees. “Old, rich and guilty people should apologise to young, innoncent and ordinary students”? This is Nigeria. The protest was the decision of the congress but only student leaders bear the consequence.
Sadly, student associations meant to spearhead the rescue mission have been divided at all levels. The interest of the students populace has been buried, same people meant to be tackled by these pressure groups are now persons they consult for advice and recognition hence wolves now attack goats without fear.
3 years ago, I sat down with an adjunct professor of African studies who crucified students activists for always embarking on protest at every slight opportunity to address societal issues on campus. He advised student activists to focus more on writings and dialogue so as to minimise closure of schools. I smiled and nodded my head in approval. In saner climes where there are no wolves and goats in tertiary institutions, dialogue and critical articles solve issues but unfortunately, Nigeria is not a saner clime. Her schools are dominated by wolves and goats.
Ojo Aderemi exhausted tenets of dialogue; he was not devoured intellectually but was eventually dragged into the mud where it was easier for them to defeat him. He woke up one day to read on WhatsApp groups like every ordinary student that the union has been suspended. Is the union a mix-mag? Aderemi asked innocently but descended heavily like Anthony Joshua’s blow on faces of his tormentors. They executed their plans in a secret meeting, read it out openly and created another source of income and means of survival for some students whose fathers do not work to provide enough for their families. Nigeria is unfortunate; the compedium of “ignorants” ably led by demi-gods who are unforgiving and persky in rude decisions are running the affairs of our campuses.
I have once issued a stern warning leadership of students bodies across the country that if they fail to address issue of victimisation in one campus, it would happen in another campus and eventually becomes a tradition. People who survived through ‘scopes’ ignored my warning and continued to celebrate these demi-gods by giving them awards of excellence. Calling wicked men, good does not clear off records of their cruel and despotic acts.
A philosopher once said that “wickedness was like food: once you got started it was hard to stop; the gut expanded to take in more and more. This was the message I passed but was ignored. Tens of brilliant minds have been expelled by school authorities because they decided to agitate for basic amenities students in other countries enjoy without noise. I doubt if I have ever read a more brilliant article from the student’s arena than the article that led to the suspension of Kunle Adebajo yet he was suspended. The brilliant ones were denied opportunity to wear khaki while thousands of students who can not spell “graduation” and other “Yes students” were pushed to NYSC.
Months after a vice-chancellor of one of our leading universities looked unto a fellow human and said to him that he has no beards and lacks moral rights to engage him because he’s not a member of their pot-bellied cult group where funds meant for growth and development are siphon, another student of a particular institution in the same region has been suspended over a facebook post. One wonders why schools find it more easier to suspend students than subjecting them to intellectual discourse. Can we simply say that we have old men in Nigerians schools not elders?
The story of ” this boy with no beards and the ‘demi-god” is very similar to the stories of the biblical Moses, Pharaoh, David and Goliath. Like the “demi-god” looked unto the boy and said to him that he has no beards and facilitated his academic suspension, Goliath also looked at David and said to him ” Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” but David replied “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is God.
Jagunlabi Goliath fell down (yakata) like a tree striked by thunder and David eventually triumphed over the enemy of the God’s chosen ones. There is a silent message here, I congratulate the wise.
The tale of victimisation across Nigerian institutions is similar. Top officials of institutions suspend students association at will. They expel daring and students who refuse to dine with them at will. I doubt if there’s any particular month news of suspension of union activities or victimisation of students is not published yet such sad incident continues to re-occur because there’s nothing concerned students authorities are doing to address it. And whenever they make attempt to intervene, they remember how hungry and miserable they are.
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta seems to have a tracking record of victimisation, injustice and rape of students right. Apart from victimisation of students and suspension of union activities, the officials of the school have never been found doing something remarkable in the front pages of newspaper. This is the sole reason why I was not surprised when I read about the suspension of the young man over a facebook post but I’m perplexed that the future is blur.
As heads of schools enjoy their tyrannical and dictatorial style of running the affairs of Nigerian campuses, taking tommorrow into consideration in every decision they make should be included in their top priorities. Some people were there yesterday, they are there today and some people will be there tommorrow but there’s always a blank page for all.
Pharaoh once rejoiced as a tyrant and despotic leader while Moses once suffered from his antics and oppression. Moses was sent by God to rescue the dying and hopeless people of Isreal from the gnashing teeth of Pharaoh. Moses was mocked, despised by Pharaoh and the mandate of the people was ridiculed yet he became victorious. Pharaoh ignored the warnings and signs of God and eventually met his waterloo. He was swept away from the surface of the heart.
To genuine and purpose driven students activists who have been compressed, victimised and tormented by antics of the oppressors in the course of rescuing innocent students from shackles of maladministration and oppression, I say to them that “Pharaohs/Goliaths they see today, they shall see them no more”
Lawal Sodiq Adewale (Apagunpote Olayimika Chocomilo) can be contacted via 08164411922 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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