Mellowing in the Jungle: The sorry case of OAU students spending 2 years in a level

By Adekunle Famuyiwa (Sirso)

Undoubtedly, all the students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife must have been tired of spending 2 years on a level Since 2019. Unlike their counterparts in other public universities, the time they would promote to another level remains a reverie. They are limited to the realm of their thoughts without having any idea of the plan the university has for them. 

Like a popular lawyer cum activist in Lagos, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana, said sometimes ago, “Nigeria is a jungle”. He furiously lamented how those without money, voodoo, or God will suffer in the Nigerian jungles. There are many jungles in Nigeria and the jungles are likely not for the weak and suckling because they might crumble. This is why the surviving Nigerians are dubbed the strongest in all spheres. 

The descriptive picture of the jungle we grew up with is that of the lion and the other animals, with the lion lording them. It is a prey and a big threat to them. Any animal who dares to question the authority of the lion prepares for a journey of no return.

A typical jungle will have a hierarchy with those in the highest category giving a nod to those who are below. Those in the upper category on the ladder are always at the helm of affairs. They have access to their daily needs even at the expense of the disentitled. There are no reasons for their ox to be gored on the little issues of life unlike the disentitled below them. They are the powerful, the wealthy, the politician, the mogul, and the academic lord.

While those at the lower level on the ladder are always subject to the rulings of the powerful. Most often than not, they are the poor, the powerless, the limited, the disentitled, and the coward. They have one special attribute of mellowing in the jungle. If there are people who will say nothing and do nothing, it is them. What they solely care about is how they will survive in the jungle. This is their default setting. And there is no problem if their struggle for survival is not hampered. Well, it is not their fault.

Students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife are currently consigned to one level for two years now in one of the Nigerian jungles since 2019. They are mellowing in the educational jungle. Although, many students have succumbed to other mouth-watering and life-changing offers while at home, their situation is still a sorry case that resonates and oozes academic stagnancy. 

While I will not subscribe to the aphorism, “it is not how far but how well” or “delay is not denial”, because they are napkins we perpetually use to pamper problems. I will compare them to their colleagues in other universities whose educational lives are not artificially thwarted. It is a sorry case that a student would have to spend six years studying a 4-year course. It is a sorry case that their age is counting and their plans to progress in life are disrupted. It is simply a sorry case!

Worryingly, the problem is not an OAU problem. It is a Nigerian problem, dark and black, confused and begging for clarity. The economy of Nigeria is one to wail about. Nothing specifically is working and moving. All sectors are doomed. No employment. There are bad roads, damaging policies, destructive leadership, complacent citizens, and tons of devilish acts that even the devil won’t dare to perform when he is in a bad mood.

OAU students are currently but pitiably mellowing in the jungle the pathetic situation of the country throws them into. I hope they won’t have to mellow again in the “outside world” when they graduate.

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