Opinion: Can the revolution just begin now?

by Olabode Emmanuel

occupy protest

We need a change! A change in the way we think! A change in the way we act! A change in the way we recruit civil servants! A change in the way we choose our leaders!

Shall we start the revolution now?

Talking about mincing words, I refuse to do that now. I’m really angry! Have we not been pushed to the extreme yet?! What the heck is wrong with us in this country? Do we ever think at all? I don’t think so! I wonder if we sit down to examine the consequences of our actions – rulers and the ruled.

I’ve been reading and hearing about the recent political events in the country within the last few weeks but decided to keep mum. I said to myself, it won’t be worth it anyways. We’ve written a million articles, lamented day and night, cursed during the rainy and dry seasons, yet nothing! We’ve not seen any positive result.

I was wrapping up my 1st semester examination when I heard ASUU declared a strike against the Federal Government. The same old story I told my self. Let’s see where the road leads to.

On a second thought, I examined it from another angle. My first semester break is just supposed to last for 2 weeks. What if they do not call off the strike before then?  That means another disrupted academic calender right? I tried to console myself, well, it’ll give me the chance to attend to other non-academic things, after what I had described as a very stressful semester.

Last Friday, July 19, 2013 should have been the last working day of my short break but it seems it still continues, thanks to ASUU and the almighty Federal Government.

I’m not bothered though, we’ve seen this scene play itself over and over again. I can proudly say that out of my three years as an undergraduate, I’ve spent about a year outside the academic arena as a result of justified and unjustified strike actions.

Unfortunately, we are unconscious of the crisis and its consequences. Most especially, those of us who don’t have the luxury to attend private universities. That reminds me, there’s this family friend of mine I assisted in filling his post-UTME form into OAU when I was in Part 1. Guess what, he’s now in Part 3, Covenant University. Shame on me? Blame it on circumstances beyond my control.

Another instance of how much I’ve suffered as a student was when I just gained admission into Obafemi Awolowo Univeristy Ile-Ife. The then VC, Professor Faborode hiked the freshmen’s acceptance fee from #2,000 to #20,000. The student union staged a peaceful protest. And the school management in their ‘awesomeness’ formulated some lies to the media and public that students were ‘causing trouble’ so they locked the school gate, suspending all academic activities. Days went by, weeks turned into months, nothing was done. I didn’t read or hear anywhere that, the Minister for Education said anything about it. Neither did the President of the country. I was heart-broken. It shows how insensitive the government and our parents are to the plight of this nation. We spent over three months at home doing nothing. The privileged ones ‘ported’ to private universities, while we at the other side, waited and prayed.

Since then, I’ve experienced several strike actions that have led to the closure of institutions of learning across the nation. What is
disheartening is that, everyone seems to be unperturbed, going about their normal business of suffering and smiling. I repeat, what a shame.

As I said earlier, multiple incidents have occurred in the last two weeks that makes one wonder if those in government are humans (I am not sorry if I sound rude)

It’s been various dramas featuring our political stalwarts.  Imagine the Rivers State saga! That was way out of it, considering that most of them are parents. I would have ‘disowned’ my FATHER if he was part of them. That was shameful and barbaric. Theirs is a story for another day.

The most recent is Governor Yerima’s bill that has been passed into law. Are you kidding me? A ten  year-old-girl can get married? She’s a woman? Could this be one of the reasons the North is so backwards and underdeveloped? Looks like we are more blessed with retarded minds than our natural resources. I mean it! In this age and century. What level of education, experience, or knowledge does an eighteen year old girl have that qualifies her to bid the single status farewell. I must confess, there is madness in this land.

We’ve got a lot of unreasonable people in power. They’ve got nothing to offer. We’ve got bad roads everywhere. Workers are on strike. Health care system is nothing to write home about. Foreign investors are relocating. Electricity does not even exist in this country. I say again, there is madness in this land. It takes a normal man to reason that some things are needed to be put in place to live a comfortable life, at least.

We need a change! A change in the way we think! A change in the way we act! A change in the way we recruit civil servants! A change in the way we choose our leaders! A change in our extreme religious belief! A change in our satisfaction with mediocrity! We need a change. We all talk of it but how do we come about it? REVOLUTION!!! If not now, WHEN?



Olabode Emmanuel Olawumi is the Creative Director, OYA MAGAZINE www.oyamag.com, an online entertainment and youth empowerment magazine. He tweets at @hollerbhodeh


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (2)

  1. Emma, please when you finish from school, apply to be a secondary school teacher and train your students to be good citizens. That’s the kind of change we need. Everyone wants to be “very successful” (cars, houses and vacations abroad), that’s why we can’t change much. Let me remind you, you are part of the 10 percent that can afford to go to University at all.

    My brother, the wahala is too much. We all can’t think alike, not bus drivers, conductors nor mechanics, not professors nor politicians, not even people of different religions.

    Nigerians can’t all have the same mindset. While you are complaining about Child Marriages in the North, 70 percent of Northern Nigerian Youth that are not in University are planning to marry 14 year old virgins that have not been “tasted by another man”. They will give out their “many”14 year old sisters and daughters too.

    Sometimes, it feels like Nigeria should be divided into two (at least two), so that we all can live according to our different cultures and no region will slow the other down.


  2. Ola, I agree with you a hundred and one per cent. My only suggestion is that the change should not be a voilent one. And you know what? It begins with me; I mean you. You have quite a pen and a passion too. Keep it up!

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