HERE WE GO AGAIN !

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HERE WE GO AGAIN!

‘’Adewole … Ole! Adewole … Ole! Adewole … Ole! ’’
This is the chant that permeated the cool breeze of the serene Thursday night atmosphere on the 14th of March, in the various halls of residence in the University of Ibadan, especially in Zik, Indy and Mellanby hall where I reside. As the saying goes; ‘boys are not smiling’.

It is uncommon to see greatest UItes come out in the open to vent their grievances and resentment. However, on this day, it was absolutely warranted. They were pushed to the wall, and had to fight back. The remote cause of the protest is one that has been confronted in recent past, and which has led to a total cessation of academic activities. It is the issue of sporadic power supply.

I find it awfully lugubrious that the premier university, ‘the first and the best’ is, unlike many other residential universities in Nigeria, unable to boast of constant power supply. Residents of Teddar hall {the VC’s hall} and Mellanby hall {the premier hall} had to succumb to two whole weeks of darkness and near inactivity, while their counterparts in other halls enjoy the little electricity supplied them.

Despite the efforts of the hall excos, writing letters and attending meetings, the school authority still maintains that the students’ plight is none of its concern. The installed inverters that the VC always brags of as an epic achievement were rendered redundant as there was no power to charge them. The kitchenettes were deserted. The reading rooms too had suddenly gone untenanted. Only the high-spirited ones went there with their dimmed torches and reading lamps. The scenario is even worse in the various borehole sites; with long queues of buckets in the few places where water is rushing. Students move from one hall to another just to get water; and cases in which early-morning classes are missed is not uncommon.

Students from the affected halls of residence also have to visit neighbouring halls to press their clothes. The various lecture theatres are always filled with long strings of extension cables brought by desperate students who had run out of better alternatives. Aside from this, UItes became more cautious in the unnecessary usage of devices that depend on light, particularly mobile phones. Intellectual scholars have now forcefully metamorphosed into savages, as they now roar jubilantly to celebrate the slightest indication of power.

It is worthy of note that rumours abound that the reason for the power outage is that the school authority plans to save money by using less than the 1 megawatt allocated to the university. It is of course added that this is just to give room for embezzlement.

Without further ado, the authorities vindicated the popular saying that ‘the only language government seems to understand is protest and strike’, by supplying the much-anticipated power just a few minutes after the peaceful but potent protest started. However, this is not to suggest that the predicament UItes are facing in terms of power supply is, in any way, over.

A few days later, on the 18th of February, we experienced a déjà vu. A similar procession is held by students from Mellanby and Teddar, and again, the light was brought almost immediately to calm the nerves of the infuriated students, but the students have refused to be deceived. As a matter of fact, as I write this in my room {09:10pm}, scores of mellanbites are outside shouting; ‘We must go! We must go! We must go!’ and ‘no bobo!’

The questions that cross my mind now are: Is this supposed to be seen in the acclaimed premier university of Nigeria? For how long will we continue like this? For how long will power supply in the University of Ibadan be appalling, sickening and utterly nothing to write home about?

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