IMAGE OF A NIGERIAN STUDENT REVOLUTIONARY: A SATIRE!
There is no doubt I was one of the best brains on campus; Yes, I was! I was a Marxist- a Leninist! I was a Student Revolutionary! You don't believe me, do you? You are skeptical? Don't worry; I am sure that by the time I am through with my analysis you will be on my side.
I was ready to do anything for other Students- I was not bothered if I spend ten (10) years on Campus. I was ready to lead any protest and face any government at the helm of our affairs. I wanted to be like Comrade Segun Okeowo, who in 1978 led University Students in 'ALLI MUST GO' demonstration (facing military government) - the Mother of all demonstrations in Nigeria. I wanted to be like Comrade Ralph Aregbesola, Comrade Abimbola Daniyan, Comrade Shina Agboluaje, Comrade Ike Molokwu and host of other Comrades who led many demonstrations which resulted to the total sanitization of The Polytechnic, Ibadan in the '70s.
I wanted to be like Comrade Egbeleke AdeRopo Ayodele (ROPO)- the former SUG President of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso; who as a result of his exemplified leadership qualities set an unsurpassed record of the first Student to serve for two terms as a Students' Union President, in Nigeria, even if not in Africa or the World at large. He presided in 2001/2002 and 2003/2005 academic sessions. He led many struggles against students' exploiters.
I wanted to lead a Student protest that will spur The Nigerian Revolution; like the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, 2005 'Orange Revolution' of Ukraine and numerous other Revolutions that were Students' spurred. I was even ready to die in the struggle and in fact want to die like the Comrades cut in their prime on July 10, 1999 at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) - George Akinyemi Iwilade, a.k.a AFRIKA, Tunde Oke, Eviano Ekelemu & Co. and other Students Revolutionaries who have died on Revolutionary Assignments- may their Gentle Souls Rest in Perfect Peace! I wanted to be a 'Martyr' of Students' Revolution!
You are still not convinced I was a Student Revolutionary??? Then, look at my dressing: my already threadbare Blue and Black striped Polo Shirt or my ragged White-turned-Brown T-Shirt and my Rough-and-Dirty, old tattered Jeans trouser- a relic of 'KIJIPA', an ancient Yoruba Textile! Just look at my scruffy and unkempt hair, a replica of that of Karl MARX, Fidel CASTRO, or even better Leon TROTSKY; so shabbily! Look at my haggard-looking face crammed with pimples. I was not poor and my parents gives me enough money to feed on; but I spent all on printing of leaflets which I distributed weekly and the remaining I donated for the smooth-running of the struggle.
My weekly columns and leaflets gained so much attention that lecturers and other students can't wait to read them; they read with pleasure and smiles, 'Bobo yii sha; this guy no get work at all', so they say weekly- I was not for once taken serious. Before dawn, I would see those leaflets I spent money on, littered around the campus; I would pick and pile!
I lent my voice to all campus issues; wrote articles, press releases- condemning what is condemnable and commending commendable acts! Imagine the great sacrifices I had made for the struggle to continue. How I spent my money and how I walked the length and breadth of the campus preaching Fairness, Justice for all; Transparency Accountability in our Students' Union!
I was always indifferent to whatever policy or law made in the Senate Building. Always at the forefront of every protest, spitting fire; vituperating the School Authority or the Architect(s) of the course for the struggle. I moved around creating enemies for myself, I steeped on many toes; I lambasted the lecturers and even the school authority is of no worth in my weekly columns in most of all the Campus Magazines. I made myself so famous that I was labeled a Rebel!
Since I was being squirt with sweet scented perfume which attracted bees; so I fixed on diving into Campus Politics proper! In my contest for SUG President of my Institution of Learning; I printed posters and distributed flyers, my posters pasted on all the walls of the Campus. 'Tomi'Nigeria for SUG president', written boldly with white paints, on all the roads leading In & Out of the Campus.
I turned my campaign to a crusade ground, preaching the words of 'CHANGE', quoting and making references to the works of Martin Luther King Jnr, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Obafemi Awolowo and the likes. Other students saw me as a joker- never taken serious, even a bit! Noticing that, I put all efforts towards my campaign, hoping to emerge victorious. I presented the finest manifesto, I blabbed, tattled and prattled at the Presidential Debate that I'm no one to beat because of my belief that no one is dispensable when it comes to the game of voting- a sugar-coated tongue I have!
Unfortunately, I was rejected at the poll; because of the students' mind's eye that I was a stubborn fellow and if I eventually emerge victorious, I would hold the school to a ransom and make academic activities stand-still- a mock-up of Goodluck Jonathan's administration- seeing a wrong perspective of me. How sad!
The numbers of invalid votes was even more than those who thumb-printed on my candidature. It was more or less a show of shame I staged! Then I became a laughing stock on campus, making jest of me became some peoples' hobby. A loser I became! A strong-willed fighter, I issued press releases, gave flimsy excuses and sorts of balderdash, just to defend the woeful show I staged- fought hard with pen to uphold my dignity and integrity in other to walk tall with my head high again on campus- which I achieved!
At the end of every semester I sit for examinations, give the right, exact and correct answers to the questions given. The lecturers marked me down and my 'CGPA' straw-zipped, because I was a Rebel- following orders from the authority; slammed with 'F' and 'AR' in some of courses I offered. You know what it means; I had to re-sit for the failed courses in my final year. I was schematically silenced by the school authority, in my final year; I had to pay all attention to my primary assignment on campus, though I still engaged in my usual tirades. I turned the library to bedroom- studying hard in other to circumvent an extra year. I sat for the failed courses and other papers in my final year examination and praise be to God I passed all; guess my harangues was looked over by the school authority???
I submitted my final year project which I had to defend before I could say goodbye to our Campus; the project I was never allowed to defend. I became a casual staff at the office of my project coordinator; sweeping, cleaning and dusting the table, chairs and windows every blessed working day- a futile endeavour! I was later told to work on another project. I dared to ask the reason(s), but dumbfounded I found my coordinator- unsubstantial pretexts were all I heard! I was then bashed and dashed with the reality that I had to spend more than my slated year of graduation on campus- that's extra year(s) of course! All my mates, friends and other comrades had bid their farewell to Campus.
I was left alone, to carry the cross myself! Fortunately with the help of God and some people, I was freed after I spent 6 to 7 years on Campus. My mates are now in Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and other big cities, working with Banks and Companies and their Bank accounts getting fat day-by-day with fresher faces. Here am I, jobless, wandering around the cities attending Student Rallies, Town Hall Meetings, Inaugural Lectures, Public Lectures and the likes.
I am still at the forefront of every protest, spitting fire as usual, condemning all government policies. I am now a renowned jobless Comrade, a Unionist of Repute, and an exemplary Leader for other Student Activists- I am a Role Model! I am the President of Nigerian Youth Alliance for Good Governance and Democracy, P.R.O of Nigerian Youths for CHANGE, Convener of my State's Youth Wing for Democracy. Writing Press Releases has become a duty and responsibility, but believe me, loving the life I'm living- Aluta Continua!
With all these analysis and presentation of facts, I think by now you've believed that I was a Student Revolutionary; any person that's still doubting my being a quintessence of a Nigerian Student Revolutionary had better be taken to 'ARO' Mental Hospital to see a Doctor- A Psychiatrist!
Oluwatomilola K. Boyinde is a Student Revolutionary; P.R.O, Union of Campus Journalists, & All-Nigeria United Nations Students and Youth Association, LAUTECH. (United Nations Student Ambassador for Peace). [email protected], @TomiNigeria, 08032434218, 2AF2EB9D.