by Festus Ogun
For the interest of my esteemed readers who do not know who Femi Adeyeye – the subject matter of this piece – is, he is the Unilag student that was recently rusticated over a Facebook post for two academic sessions. The lad had only written his opinion on the state of the institution, touched some wrongdoings of the Senate members and equally voiced out his opinion about the Vice-Chancellor of the University, not knowing all these will put him into a big mess, embarrassment and trouble.
In my view, rustication is the worst punishment which can be leashed upon a student by any institution. This type of punishment ought not be frequently applied as seen in our universities today, but is supposed to be applied once in a blue-moon – in situation where the due process of the laid down laws have been practically followed, without omitting anyone of it. Nigerian universities authorities, as a matter of fact, usually take any student or students group who speak against any of its decisions or rather tyrannical rules as an enemy and as such they look out for all possible means to ensure such a student or student group becomes a persona non grata. Though, this is the ugly reality, however, it is condemnable.
The truth is, the University of Lagos Senate have breached the cardinal principles of natural justice. One, they have failed to give Femi Adeyeye the most needed fair hearing. Two, they have successfully attempted to be the judge in their “own” cause. To the best of my knowledge, since Adeyeye hasn’t been granted fair hearing, all the rustication process is very illegal and morally unfit.
Many writers have since done series of analyses on the illegality of the rustication and the university has been equally urged to cut short the illegal totalitarian decree. Infact, many top human rights lawyers have also condemned this highly unconstitutional behavior of Unilag Senate. Since so many articles have been written however, this piece will not focus mainly on joining other libertarians to give lashes to the buttocks of Unilag ‘senators’ but to give more hard talk to the rusticated student himself.
For anyone that have read through the piece that led to Adeyeye rustication, it is crystal clear that the diction deployed by the writer is probably one of the reasons for his illegal suspension. Let us get something right from onset: this writer is not, and can never be on the same lane with the Unilag senate, but he is pointing finger at the grave mistake or error committed by the rusticated student. I have read the piece over and over again, and I detected the fact that the writing style adopted by the writer and equally the diction employed by him are mainly what provoked the Senate to do ‘commit such grave offence’.
Adeyeye’s choice of words is too disrespectful. He has failed woefully to pick right words needed in the context of his writing. I can say this “wholemouthedly” that through series of his writing I’ve read, Adeyeye seems to have no regard for constituted authorities. The truth is, though constituted authority may be brutal or at times cross their lane, but being disrespectful in challenging or correcting them will do no one good, rather it will add more insult to the already sustained ‘injury’. As you know, the place of ‘respect’ for elders in our society – or all societies? – can never be belittled.
Truly, this is a big lesson for, not only Adeyeye, but all of us that write against tyrannical rule. As revolutionary or libertarian writers, there are ways in which we can communicate our grievances without being disrespectful to the oppressors. Infact, being rude or disrespectful may prevent us from getting what we are agitating for. In my view, it is better to be silent, employ are careful writer and communicating your grievances than composing bad-mannered sentences which will make those whom you are challenging take you less serious. Being a writer is not synonymous to being rude and being disrespectful.
The bottom line of everything is that if Adeyeye still wants to keep challenging these constituted authorities, there is need for him to be more careful of his choice of words. There are numbers of words which contain only one meaning. He should restrain himself from adopting offensive words. He must be very selective in using his words.
The funny thing about life is that, this Adeyeye may be very respectful and humble in his relationship with people, but the way and manner he writes doesn’t indicate any ‘respective’ trait in him. In this aspect, he must make urgent amendment and be very conscious of his words. However, I will urge him not to stop waging serious war against the tyrannical nature of his university management. That I am in full support, but, he must be ever careful of his diction.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.