First, I like to thank our great nationalists for fighting for our independence and freeing the country from the shackles of colonialism- even though we’re not entirely free, mentally and psychologically. It is great to see that we now have a country of our own. And it is so beautiful to see how we all run it down daily. The arable pasture given us is now almost in a state of aridness. Well, that ain’t really my business. My business is this;
I choose not to keep silent in the face of things that matter to me. I choose not to watch my rights trampled with utmost indignation and contempt. I do have a right and this right concerns me. It is my right to education. Well, I guess it does not bother you the least because y’all don’t know how it feels when your schooling is made epileptic. Constantly seized by strikes from aggrieved unions protesting unpaid salaries. Poke shit!
Today it is NASU, SSANU, and ASUP. In the University of Uyo, administrative work has reached a standstill. You won’t get this gist because your children are apparently abroad or in private universities. Na only person wey wear shoe go know wey e dey pinch am. Lemme give you a summary of what is happening from my own side of campus;
Faculties closed, which means no signing and stamping of necessary documents until further notice. As I speak there are some school fees receipts locked in there pending when it will be opened. You think it does not make me want to pee in the pants. It does because without collection of it, there’s not going to be any registration of courses. And when the portal is closed, I will be doomed. You know what that means huh?
That is not my case. My case is there ceasing of water and electricity. I mean we queue to fetch water from a spluttering tap spitting trickles. We twist in discomfort from the heat, fan our bodies with clothes and paper backs. I mean that there is no electricity. Haba! Is this one of the requirements to get a Nigerian degree? E never reach like that na. Just give me a conducive environment to read and at least pass, then leave me to think about how I will be a corper shun after school, and serve my fatherland. Then maybe be awake to the reality of being a Nigerian graduate. But for this part, lai lai Nigeria will never happen to me.
But come to think of it, I don’t get why? I don’t get why they should transfer your punishment to us. This is a wrong transfer of aggression. It is affecting me, I mean us.
Why would you not pay them for their labours. I feel their pains too because my mother is a public servant. No you don’t know how it feels when you’re at the point of need for some money, and all you get is ‘’wait, they’ve not paid us.’’
Well, protests don’t hold much water in this part of the world. But as a necessity, so we won’t be entirely silent, some girls from my hostel embarked on a peaceful protest about the situation. And the school sent down a rusty tanker filled with water. Hmmmmmm. But that was some girl power in there.
Please just pay them their salaries, mbok. We yaf tire for the strike already. Pay them all, every dime and every mite.
Someday after I am done with school, I will sit back and muse after this. It is my hope that my children will never go through this. We shall all graduate and stand on the hill of colourful dreams while staring at the uncertain future.
And by the way, I too will grow up, I too will get old but I write this for the sake of my unborn children. So that they will know that their Mama didn’t keep silent. And that they be proud that their Mama comes from a line of strong black women.
Ekomobong Ekpenyong is my name and I am standing on the National Anthem. Arise! O compatriots Nigeria and Nigerians call, please obey.
Please pay them their salaries. It yaf do.
(An aggrieved Nigerian student who is schooling in Nigeria)