Sometimes in 2000, miles away from Nigeria, a friend and I, during our many stories from home said to me ‘our children will have to fight that out, our generation didn’t benefit much from that country, no point even talking about likely solutions to its never ending drama.’ She pointed to her then seven year old daughter saying it is her generation that will go back to Nigeria to fix all the wahala.
I did not have any child at the time so really can’t stretch my imagination to seeing my children dealing with issues that I can’t be bothered with.
The video clip below shows protesting students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho (LAUTECH) after 8 months straight of strike by the university’s staff – same story of non payment of salaries by the government.
The video of Oyo governor addressing protesting students is too upsetting, but not at all unexpected. Here is the link for that one. Sometimes, it works when a public official shows a little bit of concern, this guy, Governor Ajimobi doesn’t give a damn as he displays in the video.
According to a family who lives in Ibadan, Ajimobi is known for speaking like eni ti ori re ti gable (simply put: a jerk), sadly calling him names don’t help, what will help is for these students to continue protesting peacefully until their school is opened for studies.
LAUTECH is a university caught up in the middle of two states – Osun and Oyo so it is easy for both governors to play ping pong with funding. I am still not sure why Osun can not wash off its hand in this school leaving all for Oyo to deal with.
Anyway, what I have learnt from Nigeria government from the 80s is that there is no real care for public education. Ajimobi’s key point was that there is no money to pay salaries that he has accumulated for 8 whole months. My question is, why not work with the school management 8 months ago to find working solutions so students can stay in school, even if it has to be increase in tuition?
I know why – for someone who started his political career as a senator and now a two term governor. I doubt any of his children has ever walked into any public school system in Nigeria. The state is ‘cool’ enough to govern but he is too much of ‘Constituted Authority’ to relate to the challenges of what people have to contend with.
I read somewhere that one of Ajimobi’s daughter is presently in the UK studying – next time another Oyinbo says Nigeria leaders are Fantastically Corrupt, rest assured they knew exactly what they are talking about. Who else would hate his/her own people so much and refused to invest in public education?
Now I have a better answer for my Seattle based Ibadan friend who thinks kids born in diaspora are the ones to change Nigeria. My own kids will have to read and do thorough research in order to sift through layers of lies and unfulfilled promises. It is not their job, it is all of ours especially those who have lived though the system.
Even for today’s adults, we still give benefit of the doubt to many who didn’t deserve it – hence we have President Buhari (GEJ isn’t an option nonetheless) However, those that have lived through decades of deterioration of public education in the country are the ones to revolt against unfair system – hence I really feel for LAUTECH students, no one but themselves can figure out better ways to revolt against unfair system. Others will follow when they lead.
I know politicians would say just about anything to get into the office but I think the blatant neglect of public school system in Nigeria is very bad – they just don’t see the effect as their own family aren’t affected.
More power to LAUTECH students. I don’t think Ajimobi will change overnight, but I sure hope these students continue to disrupt their endless meetings.