September 26, 2021

UCJ-UNILORIN

Official Website Of Union Of Campus Journalits, University of Ilorin.

Unilorin Transportation Series: The Task of Risk, Episode 1

4 min read
Adebola Makinde

Can poor grades be blamed on the lack of school facilities? Every Unilorin student has something to risk. It has to be something. 

Like every other student on the queue, I tried to maintain orderliness at least (even if just this once). A friend smiled softly as though he was making jest of my action. He said, “there are no regulators… And you’re on the queue”. I deemed him to be part of those disorders (not law-abiding) Nigerians as he concluded: “the Nigerian spirit is in us” (those on the queue). In no time, he got his ride. Whenever a bus arrives, people from behind on the queue reach out to struggle for a space in the bus. This has been the tussle since I resumed my second year.  

Accommodation on campus 

I thought of staying in school but the sad fact is that it is not conducive. I stay in an apartment of 130,000 naira with comfort – electricity, and water is guaranteed. Staying in school deprives me of these basic facilities. My room may just be a little more than the breadth of the room four students stay in school and pay an average of 75, 000 to 80, 000 naira for private hostels. 

Demmah has an apartment outside school and inside the campus. She goes to whichever one pleases her.

The first day I saw this mammoth queue, I was perturbed because the line was meters of long-distance. We were able to find space in a queue after begging a coursemate. It was still a long one and students were looking weary, disturbed, and totally off the mood. One wonders when to read and settle after a long day. I had finished lectures at 6 pm that day on a beautiful Monday only to discover the week was going to be a thorough one. 

Demmah said she alternates whichever one pleases her mood and she chose to stay off-campus that day. She began lamenting issues she faces on campus “… I was trying and I gave up. I gave up trying to secure a room in the school (public) hostel. It is crazy only those who watch and leap get it. I eventually got a room in my hostel – a private one”  

A particular evening not so long after I resumed my second year of study, a friend I call ‘Oroge’ announced that he would rather thank God that there is light (power supply) in school because they forget to thank the power distributors most times after a long while (a couple of days, months without the blink of power). It got me to think the situation is tenser than we often think it is. Some students are nightcrawlers and would not read until it is night. Can poor grades be blamed on the lack of school facilities?

It has been since forever…”

“It has been since forever. Your set is lucky. You came in soft. That is how the situation has always been. We need to queue for hours. You should ask anyone in 300 level, 400 level. They would tell you it is not a new thing”, my cousin, told me when I got back home after a long day of looking for a bus. I had also lamented to my friend: “I have back pains; I have a test tomorrow and I just need to try and read tonight. I am so stressed and it seems my brain cannot contain anything. I need to go to bed early”… These are constant cries I tell. 

My first encounter with the ‘bus situation’ started since I came to the University of Ilorin as an aspirant. My brother had been a stay lite and he informed me and my dad that we have to wake up early so I do not miss my post UTME exam. We woke up as early as we could but we waited for some time before the bus conveyed us to the destination. 

The population of students off campus which is shortened is more than the ones who reside on campus. Not that many students would not wish to stay in school but it is not conducive for them. Many have even stayed off-k only to realize it is better to have comfort. 

This is an absolute saddening situation but it seems some students are complete lost in the pleasure of pain and fate. I saw a video of students laughing while they were sitting at the back of a long truck. It is risky and anyone who falls off traded his life by choice. I do not think the truck driver is to be blamed. Several other videos I saw made me conclude they must be freshers (newbies) who know nothing about the other transportation system in school which includes the green and yellow Ilorin cab, korope, and Marco Polo. 

After luck came for me, I and my two other friends eventually got a bus and we had to squeeze. We all managed till some people arrive at their specific destinations. I would not deny that God helped us. We were in a long queue and hopelessly standing meanwhile, shunters keep breaking in the line. We left the queue in faith even though we were not sure to find a bus. 

“I cannot continue to walk to and fro to look for a bus. If I push one more step further, I might break”, Ope said. Some other students with health issues are on queue but fate has assigned them to a task of risk.

I thought the Passion administration fixed this. Okoko Wisdom fondly called Passion was the president of the student union in my 100 level days and to be much sincere, I was a novice that the ‘bus situation’ has always been a matter to contend with. I truly hope this new administration (Omoluabi’s administration) does something useful that the student remembers them for; especially the transport issue.

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