THE LAST DOSE?

STRIKE NO MORE.

 1…7…0, 1…7…0, what is it again?

I try and try, but all ends in vain

1…7…0, 1…7…0, I can’t seem to remember

Those six little figures… my poor matric number!

 

I am the unfortunate Nigerian student

Hardworking, ambitious, always compliant

I am the bone-eating son of a butcher

Who none cares for a second to look after

 

While busy sipping from the Pierian Spring

The fountain went dry, an event unforeseen

The unions cut short our bid to know

Even ‘IFA’ oracle insisted we must go

Confused and dejected, we packed our bags

Thinking that the next day, we’ll be back

But days turned to weeks, weeks to months

We waited and waited, all came to naught

 

At first, to the union, we showed sympathy

But then, the issue became just too lengthy

No more were some on the fence

To all, the strikers were now in defence

 

Some learnt teaching, bricklaying and carpentry

The rich ones, out of fear, swiftly left the country

Some hurriedly settled down to marry

Some could not endure, that they got heavy

 

Alas! At this time, many were buried

Here and there, you hear a student’s obituary

But no! We did not suffer alone

The great union also lost one of its own

 

Our market women cried enough is enough

A Lagos lawyer said we can’t take it no more

Igbo youths were paid to pressure the union

Vanity upon vanity, we were left in confusion

 

The government issues threats of no pay

When union protests, they chase them away

Go back to work, we have no money

So says the vile and chubby Harvard lady

 

 Promise after promise, offer after offer

Yet the union’s stance stands, it does not falter

Then came Goodluck, like a Deus ex machina

Union got thrilled, and forgot the grounds for fracas

 

Or so we thought…

Sadly, the royal meeting yielded no result

After 13 hours of nocturnal discourse

The season-film just never halts, not even a pause

 

The media mediated,

Sending us neither here nor there

Even a silly fella under @ASUU_Nigeria

Misled much through his twitter gear

 

The game is no longer interesting

The movie, no longer amusing

The union has lost its radiance

The students are no longer concerned

 

The government again issues threats

We will sack you all, they declare

Pro-Chancellors too did speak

Resume in a week or forever have your break

 

When all hope seemed buried and lost

The authorities agreed to pay somewhat

The union knew it the best they can muster

And to all’s joy, re-opened the Ivory Tower

 

When two mighty whales brawl

It is the planktons that really hurt

The strikers have gone on another repose

But I ask, is it a stop? Have we had the last dose?

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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?