I stared at the iconic University Senate Building of the so-called African Most Beautiful University Campus, like a village boy who is lost in the city, I stared as though this was my first acquaintance with this architectural wonder that have been a reminder of the dreams of Past Heroes. As I stood, I glazed through the paper Laurel, I was surprised I had gone through 6 years instead of four years of academic, psychological and Physical torture for this flimsy piece of fancy Paper. I x-rayed this building, and I hissed, it has lost its fancy to me, I hated the Building for being the hid-out of erudite criminals who ran this zoo called an institution. This edifice that was losing his mojo to the rough hand of sunlight, and the cold hands of rain brought back Memories, of how frustrated I was when I stepped my foot into the University. It has been my longtime dream to study in this prestigious University, for four years, I tried to gain admission into the institution to study Pharmacy, while my mate had given in to fate, they applied for institution that was less prestigious, and for courses that was less ambitious, I was determined to study in this University. Well you might say that I got what I wanted, but there was more to it.
After trying to reach high places in the realm of this institution, with my money (I was doped on several occasion), and pulling the string my connections and the connections of my family members could afford me, I was eventually admitted, but unfortunately, not to study my most preferred course, but to study my Least preferred, Agricultural Science Education. I hated Agricultural Science, and Education, made it even worst, I can still recall how frustrated I was, how dejected and down casted I was. I cried when I saw the admission list, how my wishes became a sour dream.
My first Year was a mirage, I was not myself, in fact, I had been forced to resume for the course I dislike, I manage to scale through with an average grade. I secretly purchase another JAMB form, I wrote it, but nothing good came out of it. The first two years was frustrating, I saw a crazy world, nothing seems to motivate me, yes, the vicinity of the University was inspiring, the building was impressive, the lawn, ever green, the credentials of the institution was amazing, but all I see after these, is a lady with a Beautiful face without brains. The facilities, Labs, the lecture rooms were old, rusty, archaic and uninspiring. Lecturers pump their ego instead of imparting knowledge on their students. And the school Authority play Politics with the life, career and future of helpless students. Later, I ignored the imperfection, I concluded that the Institution was a Microcosm of Nigeria, a country know for it rot and irresponsible leaders. All that was on my mind is out to survive, how go graduate and leave this confinement. And how to leave this country altogether to a place where dreams of a perfect society is not mere wish thinking.
6 years after my harsh acquaintance with the most powerful building in the institution, I stood, with the wind ramming into my convocation gown, and I still wonder why I dislike my Alma matter, perhaps, maybe, the sour memories are still fresh. I groan at the memory of the bed bug infested mattress in the hostel, how, my skin became spot filled as a result of the louse feasting on it. I remember series of toilet disease episodes I had to endured, the disappointment in my mother’s voice when she called to ask if I had been sleeping around, and how I ended up contracting STDs, even though I have always kept my celibacy commitment. All these because of an unkempt, broken and unmaintained toilets on campus.
I hated that I had lost years of my life due to various interruption of academic calendar, there are uncountable cases of the ASUU Strike, the various incidence of the school being shot down as result of student protest, the lecturer don’t help matter at all, there are various episodes of the University non-teaching Staff strike. The unnecessary prolonged holidays. All this made me feel like a broken person, The university has imparted into me and all my colleagues with an education that was lagging in motivation and purpose. Today, I will leave this University’s walls an educated person not an enlightened person. Now I have a lot of work to do on my confidence, will and mindset. I also need to get an International Passport. It is time to abscond.
This Short Story expresses the experience of Most Students and Graduate in Nigeria in the far from perfect Institution referred to an ‘University’, Obafemi Awolowo University have be under Lock and Key as a result of the ambition of few men, living the students of this institution to roam the street without knowing how long they would be restrain to the bore comfort of the home. This is my way of imploring those who have the power to turn things round, to intervene for the benefit of the student whose dream are almost fading away as a result of the strain and interruption in the educational calendar. #ReOpenOAU.
Photo Credit: http://punchng.com