A STEP FORWARD

oau

I have been a student in Obafemi Awolowo University for more than five years and I’ve been privileged to witness three different student union governments; the Devaino, Alaje Paul and F-jay led administrations. The union was proscribed during the F-jay regime when the management and the student body were locked in a fierce battle over increment in acceptance fees. The students embarked on a series of protest, obstructing activities on campus for two consecutive days leading to the closure of the school for two good months. Normal academic activities returned after the break, some student were suspended and everybody forgot about the increment issue, time had indeed calmed the boiling nerves. So, when this fresh issue of increment in school fees arose, I was afraid we were about to witness a recurrence of history.

OAU students pride themselves in engaging in cultured, intellectual protests, something we proudly call ‘scientific aluta’ devoid of vandalism and pure display of hooliganism common to other institutions. But I must confess this approach by the elected and yet to be sworn-in Ibikunle-led student union government is the most scientific I have experienced. The rounds of protests would be futile if it were centered on campus premises alone and the school might have been closed down by now. Taking the matter outside the four walls of the university makes sense, after all the student leaders had series of meetings with the management which failed to produce any worthwhile result. It is therefore a wise move to get important stakeholders and influential personalities involved because they might be able to get the management to forsake the path of arrogance and tread the more hallowed path of reasoning.

Speaking on Channels Television’s widely acclaimed breakfast program, Sunrise Daily is a progressive step and as a student, I wished a representative of the management was in attendance to speak the mind of the management but upon discussion with an elderly friend I realized it will be ridiculous for the management to send representative from Ife to Lagos just to grant an interview. It will suggest that the management is incapable of putting their own house in order and needs an outsider to help broker peace in her home. Channels and other media outlets have been very helpful in this fight but if we really want to get the management to speak their mind, I suggest we approach them or walk up to them. ASUU and other stakeholders have also joined the struggle and I’m optimistic that in a little time and with the assistance of more people we will be able to reverse this unjustifiably cruel increment.

NO TO FEE HIKE IN OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY

oau school fee hike

The management of Obafemi Awolowo University has concluded plans to paste a poster with the caption “No Poor Student Allowed Here” in bold print on the entrance of the institution. Or how do we explain the astronomical rise in both school and hostel accommodation fees which pundits have calculated to be to a tune of about 300 percent! The fact that this unwarranted increase is targeted at the fresh unsuspecting students (at least for now) many of who made the institution their choice because of the pocket-friendly fee it charges makes it totally unacceptable. These same students have been forced to sit back at home for almost a full year because of the ASUU/FG impasse which we were all made to believe was necessary to address the decay and other challenges facing our universities.

An average OAU student if woken from sleep will be able to tell the tales of the good old days which our dear lecturers often brag about during classes, recounting their experiences with relish. These are days of free meals balanced either with half chicken or a whole fish, when two people live in rooms that now accommodates between 6 and 12, days when their clothes were washed and ironed for them such that all they actually had to worry about was their books. All these were the norm in the not too distant past and it is so sad that the right under the watch of the beneficiaries of this system everything is collapsing. Were it not for the solid free education program of those days, majority of those who are now bent on increasing fees would probably have ended up in one village or the other.

The fact still remains that the fees paid by students in the federal government owned institutions is without a tuition fee, so it is a basically supposed to be the addition of some levies and this should not by any means add up to what we have been asked to pay. In a society like ours where going to school and having a certificate is a really big deal, this increment may become a clog in the wheel of progress of many who though brilliant and ambitious cannot by any means afford this neck breaking charges. A lot of things don’t flow in this country, just a select few keep sapping the juicy part of the chunk while the majority battle for the bones that left. Hitherto, this access to affordable tertiary education is probably the only noteworthy dividend that some can boast of enjoying in this country, it brings this tiny ray of hope that they’ve got a shot at a better tomorrow. Right now, everything seems to be working together to deprive them and snatch this future that they have envisioned.

In all fairness, the times have changed, but all the same, this neck-breaking increment is not the way forward. Over the years student bodies have been fighting for the statutory 26% budgetary allocation benchmark for education set by UNESCO, more people should join that train. If this is implemented, there will be funds to settle the needs of our institutions and students will not have to be at the receiving end all the time. But for now, we must advocate for a reversal to normal as per the school fees in Obafemi Awolowo University which hitherto has been the cheapest school in the country. If we fold our hands, then we might be about to witness marathon increase in fees in our national universities because OAU has always been and will always be a point of reference.

Graduate Musings

The race is not the swift
Neither the battle to the strong
It is not of him that willeth
Neither of him that runneth
It is not of him that proposes
Nay! Not of him that juxtaposes
Not of him that lay awake at nights
Feasting on the candle light
Nor of him with incredible might
It is not of him that runs relentlessly
Paying attention to every single detail
Not of meticulous study habits
Neither of diligence that dwarfs all equals
It is not of a focused, unflinching gaze
That distractions see and take to their heels
Neither of wisdom that balances it all
Not of strength in travelling through the terrain
Nor of courage to pull through from past failures
Not of healthy habits and well-planed meals
Not of stipends that answer petty everyday questions
Neither of riches that shame necessities and excesses
Not of friends, ever-faithful co-travellers
Soul mates through sour and sweet
It is not of parents and their untold sacrifices
I can chronicle it over and over again
Perhaps a thousand lines will suffice
But it is only of the Giver of life
The God of all Grace
The custodian of mercy, from whom all things flow
The lover of straying souls
The lifter of weary heads
The master planner,
The one who knows the end,
right from the beginning
and has the future clasped in his hands
The Alpha and the Omega
I give you Twale! Eledumare

YES! I’m live on wordpress!

The great Martin Luther King said, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”, so, I’ve decided to join ‘the lets hear it crusade’. I know we’ve all got things and opinions about issues around us, we can only help ourselves to progress as a person and even a society by giving voice to our beliefs and views, it is only in that way that we can test the viability of our opinions and also arrive at a conclusion that is best and will be able to stand the test of time. I look forward to basically sharing my thoughts with you all and i’ll like you all to make this a worthwhile and fun adventure by not hesitating to submits your comments and thoughts on any of the issues raised.
Dreams matter, pursued dreams matter most, i’m patiently awaiting that time when every youth in this country will be able and free to pursue their dreams no matter how offside it appears. The time when our country will not be engulfed in atrocities and untold absurdities, impediments clogging the wheel of dream actualization. but until that day comes, we need to fortify ourselves against the fiery darts that fly our way everyday and choose to stay committed to our dreams and passion. we should thrive and succeed in spite of all these complications, after all we are Nigerians, a strong, resilient and thoroughly endowed people.
I have also been eternally locked in a blossoming romance with the arts, particularly the aspect of literature, so you can find me playing around with words and ideas poetry and short stories.

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