July, 15th. 2017
I doubt if anyone with a modicum of conscience or education can give thumbs up to the government of Kogi State. The state especially under the current administration has consistently showed its incompetence – how grossly incapable it is to effect any worthwhile deliverables.
In fact, I’m constrained to submit that it does not posses the conscience to get embarrassed even if the entire institutions in the state closed down throughout this sad, ignoble and unhappy regime.
They do not appear to possess enough dose of honor to process the implications of our collective disaffection and agitations. I stopped writing about them a long time ago because they won’t be around for ever, will they?
I will forgive Bello and his gang a thousand times, than accept the debasement of our scholarship. I often can’t easily let go each time any member of this community regales in unscholarly indulgences.
I have received some bashing for my position on the ASUU – government imbroglio. While I do apologize for appearing insensitive to the plight of the unpaid staffers, I believe the concerns raised were probably unclear (I also take responsibility) or deliberately misread.
That being said, the import of this update is never a rejoinder, but a passionate observation on over a trend that I believe are not in our best interest. Within my extremely limited experience, I believe we must call out this trend for what it really is.
It is simply unfair to lump up an entire demographic which takes opposing viewpoint over a particular cause as representing the problem of Nigeria. In fact, quite on the contrary, this represents the hope of a just intellectually mobile and liberal future we all aspire for. Any effort to make them feel worthless is intellectual banditry that must be promptly jettisoned.
The tens of thousand of students who have taken a position over the protracted strike in the state’s tertiary institutions have been demonized in the most unfair and undignified manner.
What the older generation owes this demographic is an honest, a humble (not condescending) and consistent analysis, education and engagement. And professors Andrew Efemini, Pius Adesanmi, and other progressively minded folks like Olusegun Iselaiye must be highly commended for their quality enlightenment efforts.
I think it’s important that our university teachers be reminded how strategic their profession is to the development of an informed and tolerant society. And it cannot be achieved through the paternalistic approach which unfortunately pervades the Nigerian campus space. May I suggest that the critical stakeholders unmount the high horse of exclusive stakeholdership and duly recognize the interest of others and their rights to hold divergent views.
You see, scholarship got badly injured the moment our academics became too intolerant to opposing views. The arrogance that made transparency become a matter of convenience, is no less a trouble for progressive thoughts. College teachers now have a feeling that they owe no one any explanation for actions or decisions they take – much less the students (the very reason for their engagement/employment). It is on record that historic movements began on college campuses – probably by young and inexperienced people – which presupposes that the concept of tolerance, free speech and an operationalized understanding of education was in force. I do not know how many of our academics still believe that peaceful protest is within the rights of students as procured by the constitution of the Federal Republic and the international charter.
The current youth population has been repeatedly bashed for daring to give vent to its convictions. The disdain with which the older folks now treat opposing views is to say the least unintellectual. Rather than engage, they victimize; rather than present helpful and superior arguments they demonize. Where then is the difference between them and a government that opens fire on protesters? I once told my sister never to be part of any antigovernment protest – sadly I had to give same advice to my brothers who are university students. They could get withdrawn!
Evidently, ASUU KSU does not deem it a matter of obligation to reach out to its internal and external publics particularly its students and their parents. Sadly still, pro – ASUU sentiments on various media platforms would rather decry the misguidedness of ‘our youth’ than engage with relevant information.
Teacher – student mutually respectful engagement is neither a concession nor condescension. It is a duty. And if you believe they don’t have sufficient intelligence to understand, perhaps it is time to interrogate what they are being taught.
We must fix this.
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July, 15th. 2017