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Poor Leaders Poor Masses: Goke Butika

POOR LEADERS, POOR MASSES
GOKE BUTIKA
We should not blame a man with ‘k-leg’ of carrying something not straight on his head, thing has not being straight from the below.
Both corporate and social media were rocked with stories of how Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State tongue-lashed the aggrieved students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) who protested their prolonged stay at home because of strike action embarked upon by the lecturers of the institution, and the fall guy of the stories is the governor whose diatribe is being celebrated negatively in the media.
Ordinarily, the way and manner the governor spoke according to the video posted online exhibited a tinge of arrogance of power peculiar to aristocracy but strange to democracy, while the “unruly behavior” of the students during the protest appeared to be out of bound for the “constituted authority”. But only people who are interested in the surface of the matter would simply take side between the divides, for the debauchery beneath is messier and appalling.
Make no mistake, our leaders in this part of the world have little or no respect for the people, because they are being served instead of serving, and this negative trend should be blamed on three factors-one, citizens are no longer raising issues with their representatives on what and how they should be governed, rather people prefer to raise issue of who has the deepest pocket when election is approaching.
Two, instead of the people to recognize that “a python must be caught by its voice in order to meet it under the tree”, they would rather be divided on partisan line or choose a leader among the lots of the bourgeois class who are using their resources to oppress them, for the system is long determined by the available rich political leaders- is either you choose the stingy thieves who stole the public funds through politics or civil service, only to spend the stolen wealth on their families and concubines or you choose the generous thieves who are helping few out of their stolen impoverished legions, only very few think about the people or believe that tomorrow will come. So, it is a statement of fact that the opinion of the masses is purchasable.
Three, it is belabouring the obvious that this nation is in short supply of men of honour. Gone were the days when those who were in politics loved their country and societies-they wanted to serve in order to better the lot of their people, knowing well that they would be appreciated by the people when they return to them, but ever since we had abandoned our core value of respect for service, and now celebrate ill-gotten wealth and filthy lucre, the mutual respect between the leaders and the people had become a casualty.
Based on the fact stated above, I was not surprised that Ajimobi behaved to type, irrespective of provocation from the students, and I would not sympathize with the victims, because soonest, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) that ought to fight for the interest of the students would waste no time in arranging the highest “award” –‘student friendly governor of the year’ for Ajimobi. Make no mistake about it, if Buruji kashamu said to be a fugitive could be so celebrated by NANS, and student leaders in our higher institutions of learning are demanding for security vote from the contributions of their colleagues, how can it be worse?
However, the bigger picture is that the nation’s education is in deep mess, and unfortunately the people who are saddled with the task of fixing the critical sector are obviously bereft of ideas, and over the years, our ministers and state commissioners of education are just going back and forth on policies like yoyo. I have just attended a university convocation in Dallas, Texas USA, and I took time to interrogate issues with the educational system in the country, and I found out that the government of the USA believes that the future of the country lies with education. So, qualitative elementary and post elementary education is guaranteed, while loan is packaged for those who are interested in going to the university. More so, the system is designed in such a way that the public schools are more sound and acceptable than the private schools, despite the fact that the curriculum must be the same. Besides, all barriers that would make education difficult have been rolled off.
Pathetically, opposite is the case in Nigeria, the system is designed in such a way that for a student to obtain university education whose curriculum is still fixated on analogue driven system with theoretical demonstrative technology, because of the global effect; such a student would be subjected to series of barriers of different examination, which will force thousands of them to settle for the courses they do not like. No wonder, no Nigerian university is among the first 100 universities in the world. Meanwhile, these students would still be going to classes with hunger and stress; not to talk of unbefitting accommodation that would make a well-groomed dog sick, while the lecturers who are only waiting for an opportunity to flee the country for greener pasture would also transfer their own aggression to them. Poor Nigerian students!
Maybe Ajimobi and his colleagues in their fortresses called government houses do not recognize those facts stated above, how would they when they have no business with the public schools? Their children populate foreign schools abroad, they speak Queen English or American accent and the result is manifesting now in marriages being consummated lately. Those children would meet themselves in USA or Europe while schooling, and their wedding would be celebrated in highly secured venue that would not be accessible to those who voted for their fathers. Pathetically, some children of the oppressed would still find money to buy data to celebrate such wedding on their facebook accounts. What a nation!
Painfully, these vulnerable students who are fighting to go to school would not find job when they are through, because their fathers did not ask the people who presented themselves for election some fundamental questions, and the knowledge in schools is so sagging now that the students have joined the adulterated ideology of money for vote. So, how would people like Ajimobi respect the yearnings of the students, when it is a glaring fact that the student bodies would be purchased in the next election.
Meanwhile, the only way the oppressive rich ruling class could keep the people in check, and bring them to submission is to spread ignorance and illiteracy, and that is reigning now, then, how would the situation be remedied? The answer is found in the collective resolve of the people to get it right, until then let’s continue with the celebration of the issue that divides us instead of the issue that unites us.  I suggest the debate of leadership/followership must begin now.


Butika writes from Houston, Texas, USA.

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