By Gbadegesin Muftau Adewale.
The management of University of Ilorin is etching it’s name in another book of record — only this time for a controversial reasons. Or how else will an act that is deemed a disregard of citizen’s civic and constitutional duty be described. Clearly, national interest in all ramifications should trump whatever internal resolution or decisions taken by any public institution or private organization.
Ivory towers either from Cambridge to Cairo are regarded as bastion of political sagacity and hotbed of intellectual ingenuity — and it is not surprising to see a university like Harvard churning out the highest number of American Presidents in history. Imagine, how laughable it will sound should a school like Harvard place its calendar stability ahead of it’s core ideology of producing highly informed and politically savvy citizens like Barrack Obama and a host of other outliers. Just think of an internal resolution by Stamford university urging students to remain on campus for exams while general elections stroll in? Unilorin is neither Harvard nor Stamford but at least, for posterity, she can learn from them.
Unfortunately, the “Better by far” students are already disenfranchised from voting either the two major contenders or other pretenders. I began voting in 2011 and to say electing one’s leader is the most icing on the cake would mean to say nothing. Vividly, I could recollect how my vote and those of others led to a regime change in my state. By 2015. My political consciousness had reached a crescendo. I was completely an active citizen that partook and participated in hiring and firing of political office holders. The opportunity I had then can never be measured. It was a perfect moment — but now, I am down on my knees clenching my teeth!
Already, the University of Ilorin has always been subjected to mockery, ridicule — and is comically referred to in some quarters as an advanced… school that competes with tutorial centers. At facial level, one would consider such as a joke taken too far but on a more deeper thinking, the joke is not far fetched from being true.
Raising politically conscious citizens transcends mere chapter contributions in (GNS) textbook or shouting Aloha instead of Aluta. It’s an ideology that is deeply rooted in the (DNA) of a citizens oriented school. Justifying or rationalizing such uninspiring decision only added salt to the injury — and utterly made matter worst.
Of course the implication of placing exams ahead of election can only be imagined. The over charged political atmosphere in the metropolitan city of Ilorin is instructive enough for a change of decision but remember, this is Nigeria, a country where anything is possible, apart from the volatile state of Kwara state and the desperation running in the blood of political gladiators, one other question begging for answer is does NYSC really worth the precious life of any Nigerian or better by far student?
Critiquing NYSC and other Justifications.
Only the living serve, the dead are already trundling the extra terrestrial territory in search of their souls. But if truly only the living serves, why should the protection of those living not be a priority to us? Why should NYSC dead line be more important than the only lifeline of a precious Nigerian? Why is NYSC essential to the management than allowing citizens to vote government who will create jobs and serve the masses sincerity very well?