By OREOFE WILLIAMS
I went to the University during days of extreme violence. If the cults were not clashing, the activists were on the streets. I can’t count how many times,during examination, when we heard gunshots and our invigilators would have disappeared from the exam hall before we could open our eyes. We walked on campus in extreme fear and trembling. At the end of it all, the school was either shut down or a few students suspended. Academic activities returned to normalcy and the reasons for initial protests not necessarily considered.
Recently, one of Nigeria’s frontline activists had made a U-turn on street protests, insisting that such protests usually have little or no effect. Somehow protests turn violent and lives are lost and despite all there are no effects whatsoever.
Often times, I have advised my mentees in Nigerian Universities never to be part of any protest. Most times, protests begin peacefully but you may not know how many hijackers are often available. Nowadays, political thugs hijack peaceful protests to score cheap political points. Pro’tests’ then become pro’exams’ where no student has the capacity to succeed.
We are in a digital age. Violence is not the first solution to any campus challenge. No parent wants to lose his child to campus violence. So, there are many other alternatives through which certain requests could get to the appropriate authorities without losing any student.
Besides, certain challenges are particularly common to us all. One of such is the power supply. So, an endurance of four years on power outage is much better than losing anyone. Even if Government finds solution to it today, the dead won’t be there to enjoy it. Summarily, it wouldn’t make any sense to champion a violence for what you wouldn’t enjoy.
I believe no Governor or first Lady would instruct that their own students be gunned down but the weight of attacks could propel immediate extreme action from some overzealous men of the force. So, as a student who believes in his own future and is planning to accomplish to achieve his own goals, it is simply better to let such a convoy go while you make your complaints known later. Any action could be hijacked by folks who are not even students of your school.
There were things we were told when we were young but we didn’t understand until we grew older. There are things you will never understand now until you grow older.
Either it’s understood or not, just let these words ring in your ears:
‘Violence breeds no good fruits’.