“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~ Martin Luther King
Not too long ago, while sitting in a hall alongside a long time graduate of university of Ibadan at a gala night. The graduate, when asked some questions about his undergraduate days responded with rosy stories of how palatable things were in the past. After minutes of questioning and answering, one of the attendees who is currently an undergraduate remarked that _”egbon, that time na when yansh still dey back.” Albeit, it sounds jocular but it is nothing but the bitter truth.
About three years ago, the university environment was saturated with news of bags and phones being snatched and ladies being sexually harassed in some places such as ‘technology road’ and ‘St Anne’s road’ which so many claimed was as a result of the presence of darkness and absence of stand by or active security operatives. After so many agitations, the menace was forestalled with installation of street lights and regular patrol by security men. Still, the death of one challenge give rise or pave way for another.
In saner climes, the gown is distinct of the town, and for this reason, the latter looks up to the former to provide it with well-bred and trained personnel that will help reduce the problem in the society. It is still not clear whether it is the polarise border or the kangaroo security system that is responsible for the invasion of deadly aliens from the neighboring town. These hoodlums gain access without ado into the University to execute nefarious activities, indoctrinate students and wreak havoc such as either carting away students’ personal belongings or vandalising the school properties. With the high rate of association of this bad eggs with the supposed good eggs under the watch of the University, it is noteworthy to note that the town can no longer beat it’s chest for the products of the gown; why? Because they are not solving but adding to the problems of the society.
Ever since the epoch of revolution was long gone, the world is fast reproaching back to the dark ages when lawlessness and social vices was the order of the day. In those days, when things were still rosy, some activities were carried out in the dark and kept as topmost secret, but now, such things are done in broad daylight. Cultism, despite the many anti-cultism signposts, is gradually becoming part and parcel of the University activities. It is spreading so fast and taking over everywhere with the speed of light and should nothing be done as soon as possible to curb it, it may end up providing for itself a faculty with so many departments in the nook and cranny of the University community.
For some days, weeks and months now, in places such as Tedder hall, Zik Hall and independence hall, some strangers have been spotted therein and from their mode of dressing and manner of communication, they are nothing but cultists.
Prior to the birth or rebirth of these cultists, smoking in the university of Ibadan is becoming unbecoming and unbearable. Truly, the words of Robert Mugabe that says “a cigarette is a pinch of tobacco rolled in a piece of paper with fire on one end and a fool on the other end” is true. If one is not a fool, how on earth will a sane individual having read the inscription on the pack of a cigarette that smokers are liable to die young still go ahead to consume such product.
.Just as Boko Haram has taken over some villages in the north, these smokers have also colonised some spots such as the SU pitch on weekends (basket ball court especially), behind faculty of Education TETFund building at night, rarely under the shed adjacent to Zik Hall elders’ block, regularly in the bush that leads to Zik Hall block C. from Youth Friendly Centre and some other dark spots on campus. What annoys one most is how conspicuous they go about their activities and what baffles one is how they smuggle in those drugs through the watch of the security operatives at every entrance of the University.
What a pity! If not for the absence of the cat, the rat wouldn’t have crowned itself as king of the house. Ever since the voice representing many other quiet voices have been made voiceless and it’s power house put under lock and key, all other voices have been relegated to mere murmuring; and with the recent fait accompli suffered by or mete out to the already made voiceless voice, the little murmur of the other voices have been reduced to absolute and perfect silence.
Upon seeing that the atmosphere is tensed, the environment is rubber-stamped and every word from the top is taken as said, one need not ask why students of the first and the best university are docile and conformable. It is like “the fear of SDC is the beginning of wisdom” is boldly inscribed in the heart of every uites. Students are not only scared to ask for their right but also unable to defend it when it is being infringed on or violated.
Aside what has been earlier stated, the university is also suffering from cultural degradation and immorality. While some students are basking in Cultism, drug addiction and hooliganism, a bunch of others are figures of sightseeing. The females, especially, have made themselves ordinary object of sexual fantasies and gratification. If you are in doubt, take a walk down to faculties of the social sciences, education and arts, most of the ladies are either dressed unclad or half nude. Some even go to the extreme in their costume and if not for the absence of rock music and presence of academic insignia, one would have mistaken the faculty to be a club house.
Except one decides to violate the words of Martin Luther King Jr earlier quoted or be like the same that passed through a rock leaving no impact, it is safe to posit that the University of Ibadan is no longer at ease. Should no measure be put in place as soon as possible, the university might lose its value and be relegated to the level of The polytechnic, Ibadan.
OLUWATOYIN Betterdays is a campus journalist. He writes from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. He can be reached via 07010124528 or email@example.com