Following the continuous occurrences of the ‘no light, no water situation’ in the University of first choice and the Nation’s pride, our future leaders resorted to what I would call a ‘peaceful protest’, an oxymoron which drives students into exhibiting astonishing syndromes. The basis for this show of disapproval stemmed up from the realisation by students, of the internally generated revenue that the authorities have kept for their extortive use instead of using it for it’s appropriated purpose of catering for the provision, repair, and fueling of the 4 (instead of 6) generators. There have been several broadcast messages going around to spur students up to act, several more to show that they would not stand down, even after the short detention of the ULSU President and P.R.O. But even after the uncountable BCs, a lot of students still can’t place exactly on what basis they need to protest.
It was brought to the notice of the students, on the 7th of April(Thursday), the suspension of all academic activities on campus, the closure of the University, and the vacation of the halls of residence before 10:00am on Friday, all with immediate effect.
‘The decision to re-open for normal academic activities would be taken as soon as municipal services improve’.
This information wasn’t taken with a pinch but with a handful, as, by early Friday morning, the whole school started packing their bags and luggage, before the wrath of 10:00 am would hit them. Those that left around 8:00 in the morning left without a flinch. Students started moving out with immediate effect, not wanting to be victims of any unfortunate situation. Almost all the female hostels were vacated before 10:00 but the male hostels were still well occupied for reasons best known to them. With or without any luggage, the streets of the University were flooded with students, as they made their ways to the school gate to exit the premises. But little did everybody know that the gates had been locked by the protesters. The reason was to keep all student in and make them join in the fight. But it seemed like nobody was interested. They all just wanted to vacate the institution’s environment. Those living in private hostels outside school were not affected by this non consented restraint of movement (false imprisonment). Apart from the reason of ‘protest’, many just wanted to go home for the weekend.
In no time, our students were left with no choice but to exhibit acts of seemingly inexcusable desperation to leave the school. A lot turned to pass the back the gate out, but unfortunately, it had also been locked by the students. And that is why I wouldn’t blame them for resorting to 3 major absurd exits. The first was, doing what they all could do best, ‘jump’; no chill. Believe me, this wasn’t funny, as, the big girls of everyday were brought down by just a padlock. The second paramount exit was the path beside the back gate. The path I would call a ‘canal’ where you’d never see anyone pass on a normal day. Our students did not hesitate to enter this valley, as the ‘tushness’ in their bloods were washed out by the adrenaline of wanting to leave by all means. I do not blame them! The third exit was a route newly discovered by the whole school. The name of that path, for the purpose of this escape, was called ‘Quintech road’. That place used to be filled with water until about a year ago, when it was filled up with sand. This was our magic escape route, as it led its followers to an MRS Petrol Station outside school. Isn’t that amazing? But, not long after this glorious discovery, the protesters found out about this route, rushed there, and locked it up, which gave everyone no option but to sit down and move about on the roads of the University and wait for the next ‘escape route’. During this struggle, some ‘hoodlums’ had prepared themselves to harass leaving students and some, snatch their bags away from them.
However, not everybody was involved in this struggle. Some were happily moving round the school. Some didn’t even leave the hostel. And since 10:00 till now, nothing has happened to the ones who remained in the hostels. Wait! I just heard some minutes ago, that they’ve started locking up the hostels.
It is funny how ‘panic’ can distabilize thousands over nothing.
As at now, even with the uncountable BCs, I still cannot fathom the reasons backing this protest. Nobody knows how long the school will be closed for. We’re now unsure as to whether or not exam will be moved forward, even though many want it to be postponed.
Since the authorities do not even have the resources to satisfy the students wants in this already trying economy, we’ve all been ordered to vacate. Students from the medical school have also joined in the fight to obvious ‘nowhere’. Why it started, we are not clear. What the authorities have to say, we have not heard. When this will end, we’re unsure. The best thing to do in this situation is to go to a peaceful place and prepare for exams, so our case will not be like that of UNIPORT when they were asked to write exams which came up immediately after a long strike and which they were not prepared for.
The school gate was opened around 12:00 and students rushed out happily, as it was to be shut again in short time.
There were no buses allowed to move anywhere outside the school, as the ‘Armed Forces’ had taken their ground, ready to devour any traces of violence or seeming fatality. The RRS were maintaining order from outside the school gate, as there was no violence inside the school. Reporters were present, blogs were feeding infos, photographers were very well involved, and ‘Sahara Reporters’ Facebook page now has a picture of My friends and I walking out of school helplessly with our bags, heading on the deserted Akoka road, for the bus stop. How they took my picture, I do not know. What I know is, I’m safe.
As at now, the protest is still on. Brace yourselves and hope for the best.