I can’t quantify the enormous courage I’ve summoned and the braveness I’ve conjured to write this. Each paragraphs, I’ve deleted and rewritten times without number, carrying out the process reiteratively, crisscrossing over my words in an extremely careful perusal of each; maximally utilising my lexicon… Not that I’m alien to the words I use but to acquire mastery of the full usage, maintaining absolute aptness for whatever I intend and ensuring that no iota of the minutest mischief is made against any authority in this documentation.

Everyone is aware of the condition of the Nigerian economy and majority blame no one but president Buhari. Therefore, the topmost leader of any organisation is one who gets the commendations if all goes fine or otherwise if things fall apart. Just like the Nigerian economic recession is blameable on President Buhari, so is the whirl condition of UNILAG as students, non students and parents blame the mishaps that have befallen this federal institution on the sole Vice Chancellor, Professor Ramon Bello. The accidental death of students, rumours of mysterious disappearance of female students, the students’ series of uproars which were the consequential effects of the one-time internal drought and loss of power, the suspension of the ULSU and now, the rustication of some former executives of the suspended students’ representative body.

These days in the University of Lagos; we dare not speak, we dare not take actions, we dare not observe our full rights as students and we dare not express our distress. Every student now acts dastardly towards supporting his or her colleague, especially when having any form of relationship with the administration. Even me, I have been a coward because of fear that is being stricken into my heart! Who would want to be rusticated for even a semester in the penultimate not to talk of the final year? I feel extreme pity in the lugubrious condition of most especially Jumai A. F, the former ULSU PRO who has also been served a rustication letter in her final year, a law student! Others too, who had only exercised the charisma of what student leadership should be, are facing this same ugly fate. These are not criminals for Pete’s sake.

My fellow rusticated colleagues, if peradventure you’re reading this, please know that I’m in deep depths of deepest sorrows for I have failed you. I know you stood up for me but now I can’t do the same for you. Please do not blame me; my parents and other family members have seen how unjustly (as they claim), you’re treated while no one comes to your aid. For the same not to happen to me, they have been pulling my ears and pinching my back, shedding tears and warning me tremendously not to get involved; “do not stroke the manes of your ferocious VC, lest he pounces on your defenseless girths”, so they warn. Will I thus turn away from the tears of my Procreants? Please forgive my cowardice at this time.

Our Vice Chancellor is a very good leader but people do not understand that he cannot make decisions on his own without the consultation of others just as the case of Buhari with his officials.

Yesterday in a tricycle, it was a total wash down of our VC by an old man, his peer or perhaps older. He is characterised by sparse greyness of his hair, beards and moustache. He tightly held his briefcase on his laps while he fired our VC with bullets of verbal obloquy as he conversed with the other two passengers apart from me who sat with the driver at the front and only listening to opinions… “Ramon is a very contradictory human. He who once graduated from the Great Ife, where student activism and unionism are prominent concepts therein, now criticising, punishing and suspending student union leaders and their actions? How deviational!”… And by the Lord of the worlds and Witness of what I’m writing, this is a plain truth.

While the student passengers were busy buttressing the old man’s opinionation, I was also trying to chip in to support the VC but then again, I remember what happens to people who go out at this moment to hail “sai Baba”, the stripes they receive in consequence of their action, so I kept quiet, though I wasn’t happy. How would I have explained to them that the VC is not to be blamed but the childish students? Yet another exhibition of cowardice. I wonder who I’m more afraid of, the school’s administration or the cowardly students when they step out of school.

The VC Sir, I know that this will eventually get to you through your optical tentacles; please for the sake of today, a day of freedom of Nigeria against bondage and helotry; reverse the rustication decisions against our colleagues. We know you can’t do this by your own self but perhaps, your superior authority will appeal to the sense of pardon of the whole administration. If others don’t realize, I do, that you’re a good leader with great personality. Project this fact to the world and tamper justice with mercy sir. We will always be children and we’ll always err; only pardon can set us on regretful paths of realizing our mistakes.

Thank you sir as we anticipate your Merciful pardon.

Chiwuzo Alexandre
University of Lagos, Akoka.