Written by Akinola Rotimi

From what I understand, many UNILAG students are afraid. They can’t even share photos of the terrible things they’re going through. They fear they could be rusticated or expelled. After all, their parents sent them to school to earn degrees, not to be “troublemakers”.

It’s sad we’re already creating a society of timid minds. This is not the way forward. UNILAG management is killing the future of these students. This is wrong. Totally wrong.

What’s the point of earning a degree and not being able to positively impact society? What’s the point? Must we trade human dignity for a certificate? For how long will Nigeria continue like this?

Today, I heard police hit a female student with a gun. She was bruised a little and terribly shaken. Yet she doesn’t want to expose this cowardly act for fear the school management could come after her. A colleague who saw her in that state is also afraid of openly talking about it for fear of being victimised.

Rain affected a portion of Honours hostel today. Students are afraid of uploading the photos online. They fear the management could deal with them.

I took a walk around UNILAG on Saturday night. At the medical center, I saw the only ambulance the school has. The best university in Nigeria with at least 10,000 people resident on campus has ONE ambulance. How can they respond to multiple emergencies? Don’t they know they’re putting lives at risk here? Human lives.

These are common sense questions. When some students asked those questions in April last year, they were suspended. Seven months on, nothing has changed.

What kind of society are we building?

Parents are home waiting for their children to graduate and take on the world. How will timid minds take on the world?

See how broken our country is? See why the products of our academic institutions don’t seem to have the answers?

This is a very emotional topic for me because right inside this UNILAG, I was victimised for asking simple questions. The people at the heart of this corruption want their own children to succeed while they deliberately wreck other people’s children. I hope I don’t get to speak about this one day. It will be very bloody.

When I took the issue to the school organ designed to address such, the person at the helm told me “I will rather watch the system rot than hurt myself trying to fix it”. This person was later promoted. See why Nigerian leaders can’t sacrifice what’s necessary for collective progress?

UNILAG should reverse policies, discard tactics, and shed all strategies put in place to make students cower in few of “Almighty” management.

If the current repression continues and we fail to speak up because “it doesn’t affect me”, we will all die when the river eventually overflows.

And it will. And we will die. All of us.

Author: Yemi Olarinre