By now we’ve all heard a lot, some were same old noises, and some were new emerging voices encouraging us all to vote wisely. It is worth doing a simple reality check given we will be stuck with whoever is voted in for the next four years – that is a long time to be miserable.
To the OAU students who had trouble deciding who they should vote for on Saturday. Knowing that we have very short memory – I’ll help to juggle it. I know that lots have been exchanged in cash and kind in the hope to have your votes, who are we kidding – it’s Nigeria, Stomach Infrastructure is the norm. Bear in mind though that one of the main reasons you are at the university was to study and get a degree other social and political involvements are wonderfully great as they prepare you for the world outside.
Note that if you are in second year at OAU today, you have spent more time on the street than in the lecture room, if it wasn’t ASUU strike, it would be something else – the truth is you are at home/on the street instead of the lecture room. Do yourself a favour and imagine a leader who is capable of working in your favour – persistently encouraging the federal government to fix the mess in our federal tertiary institutions while the state does its part religiously in your favour. Who do you think could do this? The incumbent governor who has spent the last three years fixing the primary/secondary schools in the state – bringing the school to a state that all children are excited to go to daily? Or Dr/Senator Omisore who has represented the state for the last eight years both at the senate deputy governor and still can’t see any problem in the messy state school system?
Use your vote wisely.
Another scenario – the situation on our campus is bad when it comes to safety, because no one is doing enough to stop the trouble makers. Don’t get me wrong. You protested, yelled and made lots of noises but no one was listening. It is the government responsibility to ensure that your life is safe while on campus and in turn to make sure school administration does their job – not you taking on the responsibilities meant for the school admin. Afrika, George Iwilade did not attend OAU so his life could be cut short in his prime, he spoke up against violence on campus and for that, he and a few others were butchered like loveless animals in their dormitory. Fifteen years on, no one has been brought to justice. Vote for a leader who is capable of bringing the problem of violent cultists on our campus to end. Violent campus cultists exist in a lawless environment where blame game is the norm – no one thinks it is their job to care about your safety. We are all aware of Omisore’s outrageous public display of emotions while in office – the most memorable one was his case with Chief Bola Ige and the cap saga, which of course was the only tip of the iceberg.
Goes without saying that some of our elders are controversial, their attitudes is not worthy of emulation – yet we still have many around us that we can trust and look up to for inspiration as and when needed. These are men and women who have been lending their voices for decades for the goodness of humanity. Their unrelenting energies is enduring. We do not have enough of them in their age bracket that are willing to fight for the common good.
In early May this year, I happened to be in a small gathering whereby Prof Wole Soyinka was in attendance, at the best time to get Professor’s attention – pointing towards him, I told to a friend that Prof is a keen supporter of our incumbent governor’s administration. Timothy who was not from Osun State faced Prof and asked “Hey Prof, is there any honest politician left in Nigeria at all?” Professor in his usual forthright manner said “yes, there are, a few, yes.” nodding as he reply the gentleman. I believed Prof – not just because of his words but also because his body language said a lot – it was more like “believe me or do some facts-finding yourself and make up your mind.” This is not the manner in which most of our elders talk – usually they impose their beliefs leaving no room for younger ones to think otherwise.
I do believe that we all need a champion, people who persistently stand by their words, speaking against corrupt regimes and drawing our attention to what is important – fair justice system, quality education for all, talks against intolerance of all sorts etc. Remember how serious Wole Soyinka said Nigeria should take Boko Haram in 2012? Imagine we listened to him at the time, perhaps #bringbackourgirls would never have happened and many other meaningless wasted of innocent lives could have been prevented. Now it is your chance to listen to the voice of an elder whose voice has not faltered for six decades.
Thank you Professor for your continued support of what is right.
A friend says to me, “What’s in it for you”? I say “A lot.” I loved to imagine Osun State to be a place where peace reigns, where everyone is treated fairly. A state where we celebrate our commonness. A place where differences of opinions would not trigger yet another killing spree. A place where for heaven’s sake students in our higher institutions can complete their diplomas as the stated in the brochure and being able to defend their results. A place where dialogue is favoured over violence to resolve conflicts. A state where we do not have to stoop so low for Stomach Infrastructure to point the obvious truths.
In the next 48 hours, all will be history.
I have done my part, hope you will do yours too – Vote wisely.
And if you did, I hope we can all “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth…” Pharrell Williams.