Hello and welcome. On the 8th of April 2016, the University of Lagos Management suspended all academic activities and closed down the school indefinitely. This was as a result of the protests that happened the previous day. The immediate effect of this decision by the school authorities was, yes you guessed it, another protest. As you read this, you’re probably in your house where there’s no light.
Now, because we care, and also because this is Nigeria and there’s always the possibility of history repeating itself, we are going to be giving you tips on how to handle any similar situation in the future. This time however, our writers ARE experts on this particular topic as they experienced the events first hand, so you cannot even say our advice ruined your life. You cannot.
At the end of the article, please, feel free to donate towards our organisation as we continue working on our mission to improve your life this year. Please donate. We’re begging. We need money. Epp us ejoor sir, ma.
That being said, we present “HOW TO ESCAPE FROM UNILAG”
FENCE: I’ll never forget the 8th of April. Waking up to the shouting and screaming of people as they tried to fathom what was happening. I rolled over in my bed and picked up my phone and scrolled through; a message from my group chat. I sat up and rubbed my eyes. Say what? Leave the hostel before 10? How please? And go where? I ran out of my room to see people already leaving with their belongings. Back in my room it was the same story. In a haze I began to do the same thing. I packed up and soon I was ready to go.
Having survived, I’m here to give you a few pointers, please read carefully.
As soon as you notice any unrest in the Student body leave IMMEDIATELY. Everyone was aware of the protest on Wednesday and Thursday, but no one suspected the mass exodus that would follow the next day. So to be safe, once you notice students are complaining, just leave. You don’t have to take a bath or brush your teeth, just get in a bus and go far away. You don’t even need to have money. Once people smell you in the bus, they’ll understand that you’re running away and the conductor will free you.
Go in a group. As far as I’m concerned, going in a group saved me. My idea is this: people have a tendency to stampede. During a stampede, people get pushed down and trampled on. If you’re in the centre of a group, once one person gets pushed down, you have the opportunity to use the person’s body as leverage and escape. Apologies to those who escaped with me 🙅🏾 it’s just a survival thing.
Ensure you have strong girls or buys in your group. To scale a fence requires upper body strength which many people lack. If you’re like me and you’re one of those people, you’ll need someone strong to hoist you up and another person to guide you at the other side. Don’t worry about thanking them, they’ll cop a feel (might be on purpose, might not be) and that is payment enough. 🙅🏾 If you ask me.
Pick a safe exit route. Some people passed the canal…if I hear. Not about that life please. I looked for options and the best for me was the fence. Considering the luggage I was carrying and the state of the sun, it was a wise decision. We had to be fast though. The one thing I’m grateful for is that it let me unleash my 007 instincts, I was magnificent… at least if you don’t count the actual scaling.
BACK GATE/CANAL: April 8th 2016 was a day of lessons. If you’re a Unilag student, unlucky to be in the university premises on that day, you’ll relate perfectly. We all know that unfortunate incidents are parts of life and they don’t give notice before taking place. This is why it is advisable to note the following when you find yourself in any such situation.
Wear pants. I mean both underwear and trousers actually. It is necessary that you wear both with a belt safely holding the “shokoto” tight. This is necessary because you’ll most likely need to run like a mad man on his way to a toilet or jump over a fence like a House of Reps member. Trust me, after having to run from an angry mob to the back gate side and jumping a fence to crossover to the “canal of escape”, I was grateful to my pants. Well if you’re a religious someborry that thinks a piece of cloth would take you straight to the gates of hell, that’s just quite unfortunate. I’m sorry for you.
Pack lightly. I’ll admit, I over-packed for this “holiday” that Unilag bestowed upon us. In fact, as I stepped out of Moremi to meet my friends waiting for me, one of them lamented and asked if I was leaving for good. Shaa there was a car waiting at the gate for me so I didn’t see what was unreasonable. Hours later, sitting on my luggage in the middle of the road at back gate, I began to wish I didn’t carry as much. I regretted more when it was time for me to scale the fence of the canal. Imagine where you need to jump over a high fence with like three travelling bags and other humans scrambling, struggling and almost competing with you to crossover. If you think the Israelites had it rough, think again. May what I went through with my bags not be your portions in the name of Jesus.
Wear comfortable shoes. In times like these, being fashionable, err isn’t particularly needful (forgive me Mayowa). What you need to focus on asides wearing pants and carrying little is wearing a comfortable footwear that can help you run. Heels or brogues shouldn’t even be on your mind. Be smart. Just slippers, sandals or sneakers would do. They don’t have to be fine or classy (who is looking at fine in troubled times biko?) but simply comfortable to help you through the journey. I mean, I had my fine bathroom slippers on throughout the travails and they helped me during the trek through the ‘Valley of the Shadow of the Canal’ unto the Promised Land outside school gate. That is the job of slippers, it’s even on the Dunlop website. Check it if you don’t believe me.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES: I used to think that there were just 2 entrances and/or exits in Unilag (except if you’re a VC shaa, and you have boat and helicopter), but on the 8th of April, I found out how wrong this notion was. One of the other exits is the Environmental bypass/MRS road/Construction site. So, if you wanna run away during a protest and you wanna follow this particular path, just abide by these simple rules and you’ll be alright.
First, do Not tell anyone where you’re going. As soon as you hear the place is open, just start running there. Fast. Don’t wait for anyone, don’t tell anyone bye bye, don’t stop to apply your make up, just go. Because, if you’re forming good samaritan and start telling everyone the news, you wee just carry last cos those protesters will find out and goan block the place. And we both know that they did nor born you well to argue with the protesters.
If you’re an ajebutter, better just stay where you are cos this road is not for you. To follow this path you must be tough. You must set your inner agbero free. You must be ready to push or beat up anyone. Old or young, male or female. Do not shine teeth with anyone please, let them know that this is not a joking sturvs.
And finally just run. It doesn’t matter where or why, just run. If you see people running, join them. If no one is running, you better start running for no reason so that others will join you without asking questions. Just run. Forget about everything and everyone. Forget about your brother or sister, your friends or squad. Forget about everyone, including bae. Especially bae sef. Cos when those ‘protesting protesters’ catch and start beating you, bae will not beg for you o, trust me. So run, please, for your own sake. Me I’ve shaa warned you.
Thank you for your time and patience. Plix, if any one of you knows anybody working in Senate Building, epp us and beg the person. Shey someone cannot play with VC again ni? Ordinary protest and yaff goan send us away? Ah! Na wa o.
Written by: Great Opara