good old days, when many of the nation’s decision makers of today
were still in the university or polytechnic, whether in Nigeria or
abroad, they justifiably had the sense of “I have arrived”.
kinds of food easily available to all categories of students on
the campuses did more than fill their stomachs; they were also
delicious. Indeed, secondary school students and those studying
privately at home had enough motivation in the socio-economic
conditions of students of institutions of higher learning to work
harder at their studies in order to join them.
basic necessities of life were taken for granted because they were
easily available within the academic environment then. The
social, economic and political conditions within and outside the
campuses were very favourable.
those days, when a student was leaving a tertiary institution, his
major headache was not where or how to get a job. Rather, it was
how to make the right choice of where to work.
were the days that almost everything could be said to be working
well in the country. They were the days that sanity reigned in all
sectors and every one felt proud to be a Nigerian.
today’s students of institutions of higher learning in Nigeria,
the above situation might sound like a tale from outer space or a
happening during the recent official visit of the wife of the Vice
President, Mrs. Titi Atiku Abubakar, to Ado-Ekiti, vividly
demonstrated the painful reality of poverty in Nigeria’s
institutions of higher learning today, which, of course, is an
accurate reflection of the larger society.
to reports, some obviously poverty-stricken students of the
Federal Polytechnic , Ado-Ekiti, at the venue of the official
function, perhaps wondering whether they actually belonged to the
same Nigeria with the privileged woman and members of her
entourage, started shouting “money! money! money!” when the woman
thought that all she needed to do was to wave and say bye to the
obviously embarrassed or confused Mrs. Atiku was said to have
promptly ordered one of her aides to give the students some
undisclosed amount of money.
shouting of “money! money! money!” was a reflection of the needy
condition of the students, what happened after the windfall was
received brought out what can be regarded as the shame of a
to the reports, a female student who, perhaps, had been stripped
off her dignity by poverty, snatched the money from the hand of
Mrs. Atiku’s aide and attempted to bolt away with it. But her
fellow students were also too hungry to allow her escape with the
windfall. They pursued her, caught up with her, beat her up and
stripped her naked before they retrieved Mrs Atiku’s largesse from
that incident was not enough to reflect the pervading poverty on
the campuses today, another equally degrading one happened in the
same town during the visit of the wife of the vice president.
that event, some NYSC members and some students of University of
Ado-Ekiti in a hawkish fashion swooped on the loaves of bread
brought by a reputable company after a request for some loaves was
perceived as being delayed more than their hunger could tolerate.
They struggled with the officials of the company and the security
men employed to guard the place in their attempt to take away the
loaves of bread .
quite unfortunate that academic pursuit in Nigeria’s institutions
of higher learning today is tantamount to an exercise in
dehumanisation. At the end of the harrowing experience called
academic sojourn in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions of today,
there are no jobs for the majority of young men and women.
wonder the nation’s elite class, including the decision makers,
send their children to other countries where sanity reigns in the
teachers in Nigeria have shouted themselves hoarse in their bid to
persuade the government to allocate adequate funds to education.
Rather than see reason with them, the government tries to present
the ASUU members as the spoilt and stubborn children of the ivory
tower whose insatiable desires have become an unwarranted
embarrassment to the government and inimical to the polity.
dons may not have always exercised restraint but the
government has no excuse for its strangulating education policy.
today, the escapist sermon being preached by the failed
leadership, their apologists and chorus singers is “don’t ask of
what your country can do for you, but ask of what you can do for
who preach this callous and satanic homily cannot seriously expect
a student who had struggled and suffered to pass through the
university and yet remain unemployed many years after graduation
to think about his country before thinking about himself. He had
spent between five and seven years for a course that ought to last
not more than between three and four years due to avoidable
disruption of the academic calendar. He has no idea where to get
a job after graduation or what the future even holds for him. In
fact, no hope and no future! What does the nation expect from such
wonder undergraduates and fresh graduates are swelling the ranks
of the ubiquitous armed robbery gangs in the country. The glaring
poverty in the nation’s institutions of higher learning calls for
the serious and urgent attention of the government.
quite aware that the situation in tertiary institutions is a
reflection of the sorry state of many Nigerians today in spite of
the huge revenue being made from the nation’s resources everyday.
believe that it is in the best interest of even the ruling elite
to do something urgently about the pervading poverty in the
nation’s institutions of higher learning and in the country before
it is too late.