By Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa
My name is Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa and I have a story to tell.
My matric number is 2 years behind my present level. If you don’t want to read long stories. You can as well stop here. That’s the basic idea of all I want to say.
I waited 10 months at home before I resumed. I went home for NASU strike in my first semester, then it was “a united struggle of the oppressed”. That was the slogan in the air.
In my second semester, we were shouting “war!”, someone raises his hand with the Nazi salute and shouts “all say war!”, everyone around returns the chorus “war!”. That was the protest for poor welfare conditions. That protest was and is still morally justifiable. It went as far as Sahara Reporters and TVC. They did come around to cover the horrendous situation of the hostels which are nothing short of hellistic(i just created that word. Please acknowledge me if you choose to use it elsewhere), horrible, terrible, horrifying, unhuman and any other word in all languages humans speak that describe evil.
I did make a submission at the Angola mini-congress and that was my second submission at a congress of Great Ife Students. My submission that day was for
- The Union should work towards reconciling internal divides that tore her apart
- Action on the reinstatement of Olawale Owolabi(who I have later come to learn has a complicated case that should be taken to court and not for us to be shouting up and down)
- Mass appeal for good welfarism.
Those may not have been my exact words. But that’s the closest it was to it that I recall.
On the day chosen for the protest that started with some students initiating the process that lead to a congress. My slippers tore at Angola, I kept walking with the hope that I would get a cobbler on the way, but I did not get any till we reached school gate. That simply means I walked bare-footed over that distance protesting.
The Vice Chancellor suspended the President of the Union and two other principal officers on the allegations of assaulting a lecturer. I don’t know the truth of that story. But I have cause to believe it was a plot to frustrate the struggle. They were suspended with the President bagging 6 semesters and the Secretary General bagging 4 semesters alongside the PRO. The apathy that followed the declaration of their suspension reminded me of the yourba adage “omi da leyin eja”(the water dried on the fish’s back). Students responded with “Did they protest for me?”, “who sent them?”, “How is it now my problem? We should just finish this session and go home abeg.” The same students shouting “war!” weeks earlier.
They were after NANS Zone- D intervention reinstated, with their suspension terms reduced. I don’t know if anything went under the table as regards their reinstatement. I say only what I know.
I believe in positive non-violence. I believe in fighting tyranny. These are ideals I live for and to quote Madela verbatim “if need be, die for”.
I however have bigger dreams outside the 18,000 acres of Obafemi Awolowo University. I have dreams outside Awo Notice Board debating, outside SUB and outside the gate. I have big dreams.
I already have to cope with the mental trouble of my juniors at secondary school becoming either my mates or seniors at the Nigerian Bar. That’s not even a problem. The problem is that I’m tired of protesting and agitating when it’s some scally wag that will go behind all of us to collect money.
I am not tired of the struggle. I am tired of betrayal. I am tired of the fact that there are no victory strategies properly mapped out. I am tired of the fact that a Union gets 21m as allocation(thats what we hear. The financial statement has never seen the light of day). The budget written by the principal officers with the exception of that of the PRO did not seem reasonable to me.
Hello. I’m at home. I want to resume.
Until there is a leadership I can throw myself behind, I am not supporting any agitation except for welfarism. If it’s a nincompoop that students vote again after the Union structure becomes recognised(management claims it is under suspension. But anywhere 2 or 3 OAU students are gathered, there the Union lies. It is not a Ballon, it cannot be suspended. Keep this in mind), I am not going anywhere. My war has finished.
I am not cannon fodder.
I intended when I began writing to end this with the hashtag #reopenOAU or #ResumptionUs which are both trending now. But if we resume. Lemme quickly give you one small jist.
- Are you the one that will wash the toilet if NASU decides to continue their agitation?
- If Acting VC is not accepted by ASUU, will you lecture?
- NASU vs OAU Governing Council that is in court, the Governing council has been dissolved. Who will answer the charges of NASU in court or pay their salary?
- Buhari has aggravated the problem by removing Salami. An administration thirsty for popularity makes unwise moves like the ones Buhari has made! Will Buhari come and lecture Contracts or Constitutional Law if we resume and the stalemate in court continues?
- University Amendment Act of 2009 provides procedure for the removal of the VC. Buhari does not have a legal adviser. His dissolution has no weight of Law. But since you’re happy Salami has been removed. Will you come and constitute a new governing council?
I have told my story. Tell yours. We may resume next week. A spirit appeared to me and told me that just now. But if not next week. By the time we resume, you’d be old enough to collect pension.
Department of Ibadan
Faculty of House