The only viable way forward


By: Kehinde

The only viable way forward

I consider it pertinent to go against my earlier resolve not to put pen to paper about the dreadful developments that have plunged our dear university into chaos for posterity’s sake. The history of the future generations is being written today on our watch and we are witnesses to it..

I keep asking myself several questions, the answers to this great bewilderment even seem more elusive. When did we become a group of social media noise makers? We used to be distinguished by our high level of intellect. Where are the days when our astuteness, acumen, decisiveness and sagaciousness spiced with radicality and tenacity were the weapons with which we fought our way to freedom? Have we become a shadow of our former shadow so hastily? I will not bore you with too many words but I want to ring a warning bell to all UItes to get our priorities right in this struggle and to only expend every effort fruitfully. I crave your patience to read very carefully:

The Vice Chancellor of the university stated in his interview with Diamond FM on June 1, 2017 that we do things the same way and expect different results. He was making a mockery of the students’ vain effort in pushing for the rescindment of Mote’s rustication. I have every reason to believe that the Vice Chancellor is right about that, but not in his context nonetheless. During the Mote’s struggle, the hashtag OlayinkaMustGo rocked twitter, but all to no avail. This time, OlayinkaMisfit has substituted so perfectly to continue the deplorable and shameful denouement. A futile venture, collection of absurdities at best! Have we not proven him right through our endless nonsensicality to do things the same way and expect different results? The OlayinkaMustGo hashtag, despite several likes and retweets waned down and died. So did the movement.

Greatest UItes, I want to appeal to our conscious minds to see beyond the status quo. I want us to understand that in this game of chess, we are seen as mere dispensable pawns. It is left for us to stop barking on twitter and awaken to the fact that it takes more than a pawn to checkmate a king.

We have a good case to fight. Our union has been forcefully suspended despite the fact that the Nigerian constitution, which supercedes all others, states in Chapter 4 Article 40 that: “every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interest.”

Furthermore, we are privileged the antigraft war by the Federal Government of Nigeria has taken its keen eyes on Nigeria’s tertiary institutions with some universities already indicted. University of Ibadan charged a sum of #650 per student for about 30,000 students in the 2015/16 academic session but only managed to produce the cards for freshers and finalists, while the hapless stalites were left for endless harassment by law enforcement workers, banks etc. Some students lost huge sums from scholarship boards due to non-issuance of ID cards by the university. This session, 2016/17, the Vice Chancellor, after locking down the institution, claimed the ID cards would cost a sum of #2,000. In that sense, the #650 paid last year and the #1 350 paid this year would be combined. I stand to tell the honorable Vice Chancellor that things are never done that way in any rational setting. What happened to communication? Why didn’t we get to know this since the commencement of the semester?

This is a good case to fight.  Greatest UItes, I want to admonish us to channel more of our energy towards seeking the services of reputable lawyers, human right activists and advocates who are interested in this case. Let’s file a petition to the EFCC and other antigraft agencies to audit the university. Let’s involve the nationwide broadcasting corporations and media.

A lot has happened over the past two years. Pharmacy  in the university, which was once the profession’s hallmark, has lost accreditation. Things are falling apart. It is certain that an audit by anti-graft experts would reveal the rottenness in the system. Let’s make the management battle on two front and see how well they’ll fare when the obviously hidden rottenness in the system sees the light of the day.

It takes more than a pawn to checkmate a king. Let us stop the twitter noise and start acting like the intelligent troupe that we are.

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