I have never been one to write about politics or its dirty nature, seeing that it gets all clumsy and it’s always shady. But the morning of the 29th May (Nigeria’s Democracy Day) had me in all sorts of strange emotions I cannot explain. I remember asking myself “Is Jonathan possessed?”
Why must Goodluck Jonathan make a speech and literally throw the whole nation in chaos?
Just so we are clear, I am not against naming national monuments in honour of our heroes past. But I am of the opinion that they would be more honoured if everything they toiled and sweat for is up and running. Twenty six years down the line we are still trying to fix NEPA problems, water is luxury, our security has been seriously compromised, we can’t even pay NYSC in time, and we are renaming a school? Seriously? How does that make students smarter? How does it improve living conditions in the hostels?
The memories of those who fought for this said democracy and fundamental rights of citizens are as a matter of fact being insulted.
Fix the roads, give us electricity and water, make life easy for us, then rename a school Patience Ebele Jonathan University(PEJU) if you like. We would rant for an hour but we would let it slide. Renaming Unilag in honour of MKO was for me by far the cheapest stunt pulled by this dispensation. Really, the Yoruba’s are supposed to be happy with you now that you’ve bribed them with honouring Abiola???
On the flip side though, Nigerians as usual keep missing the point. They are easily carried away. President Jonathan has conveniently distracted us from more important issues like Boko Haram and the fuel subsidy removal scam as he in all his wisdom or lack of it decided not to talk about it in his boring hour-long speech. And we are making jokes about MAUL and MALU.
I have pondered a lot on the issue and it beats me that majority of the students who don’t support the name change are protesting because the new name does not fit the Unilag swag. I ask; What nonsense swag please? In my very honest opinion, no Nigerian university at the moment has any swag. All—including the premier university and the one at Ile Ife. OAU is great for having just 6 hostels for nearly thirty thousand students. UI is premier university and the school can’t provide water and electricity. Did I hear someone say swag? Please give me a break.
Fighting President Jonathan seems like a worthy cause to donate to right now but we have to strategize properly if we are gonna ever win this battle. The moment Unilag students took the protest out of their campus to the streets, they missed it. Many even said they wouldn’t have minded if he named it Herbert Macauley or any other random name. The point people is that it is not about the name or how it fits with your swagger. It’s about how your school is the unfortunate “object” being used to distract Nigerians as a whole. But this war can be fought legitimately. Your school is established under an act of the Federal parliament. President Jonathan didn’t amend the act and suddenly change your name. Easy! Go to court and contest it. Protesting on 3rd Mainland Bridge is barbaric and all that’s left of your supposed swagger has gone down the drain.
Nigerians need to be extra sensitive. If the change we clamour for is gonna come our eyes and ears must be at alert then. Every meeting, agenda and unnecessary committee and decision must be checked. I looked through the achievements of the government in the last year and literally just shook my head.
In any case, I really cannot wait to see this administration go. 2015 seems so far away though. The “ridiculousness” of the ideas of these people beats me. I heard there is an air-conditioned pedestrian bridge to be built! That one is story for another day.
In the mean time, when next we want to honour our heroes, can we not cause confusion please?