We are unaware of the slow and unsteady crippled journey to an outstanding development level which has virtually encompassed our nation. I vividly know most of the prominent ministers and governors and councilors in our areas know this fact too well but still, they paint it with crystal clear pitched-black pictures of abracadabra. I have decided to define these motions as magical and as delusional.
I have immensely tried to ignore all these, to fend for myself alone as a Nigerian youth should. I have really tried to overlook the pains of uncircumcision which had long uprooted the roots of our so-called standard government of which we clearly visualize as false statements by those prominent lumberjacks that reside in our parliament sits dishing out ideas which they hardly see unfit for the forward movement of our beloved country.
Believe me, I have tried to fully ignore the diminishing catastrophic downgrade of our land and our cultures and the solemn promises which were openly tabled to us before the supernatural beings and before the earth on which my feet pads and before the eyes of cameras during the elections of our past and present coward governments.
Few years back, I was in search of a degree course in the university – which I hadn’t chosen myself. Papa insisted that I attend the institution, pointing out the proximity to our home. I declined with much vigour and opened up with points clearly stated for him to think through.
“This is my future, papa,” I said “this is my life, please reconsider.”
He rushed to the backyard and fetched a stick, and then he chased me out the house for defending my choice of institution. So after seemingly endless journeys to the university he chose for me, surviving the pre-undergraduate exams and the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board Exams too, which I half-hazardly prepared for. I got admitted. Papa rejoiced that evening, Mama too was sincerely captivated by the glorious news. She danced around our little parlour, illuminated by the kerosene lantern with its oily threads wicked out the kerosene from the little tank of the lantern to the flame. She carried her wrapper with both her hands as she danced from Papa’s armchair to the center table. I watched in amazement as she danced in agile happiness. But these things do not bother me. I couldn’t say now that happiness did not outgrow the best of me, the long-term anger which I felt in me when I laid my eyes on the boards of admission lists searching for my placement. I was tireless and relentless. I was outwardly held in massive doubt. But that was half the issue or I will regard it as the worst time of any West African youth who participated in the profuse rush for intake, in search of higher classic education.
I joined in the bustle. I was extremely naive of the new environment. We freshmen felt the similar rush of new blood flowing through our cheerful hearts. We were pushed from post to pillar, used by the system, then dumped in the halls were the freshmen orientation was to hold. I sat at the last row and waited patiently for the occasion to commence. I waited for the mantle to grace the floors of the ceremony. Indeed, I thought less of the entire scenario. What I really did not see was a bunch of naive fellows waiting to be brainwashed with words coated in detergents as strong as OMO. We were meals served to the Vice Chancellor, to the registrar and to the Lady Provost who also acted as the vice chancellor’s personal assistant.
Amidst the entire confused recent undergraduates I sat., I have pursued a dream which I had finally achieved so what more did I require but to relax and be at ease. Answering the title of ‘undergraduate’ depicted awe for the lot of us. I retired at the back of the wooden benches which were arranged in rows and columns like tiles in the Chinua Achebe theatre. I was focused on the emerging entrance of his excellency, the vice chancellor of the institution and his personal assistant
He was introduced with all his numerous titles and accomplishments as a professor and as a citizen of the country. We were all young and so plentifully in certain situations or in the records which were just announced by this lady P.A. We all stood from our wooden seats and applauded his numberless achievements despite the proof.
“Dr. Madueke Richardson!” his name resounded simply once in the large speakers placed strategically at certain strategic areas of the unequipped theatre. He mounted the podium slowly and gracefully, his fine-polished Italian shoe stepped one leg in front of another leg.
My attention was seized by his flashy appearance. I always take engrossed attentions in several activities that happened around me and so I took serious notice of everything going on before me. His suit was totally black and finely tailored by the very best of Aba tailors, he had the look of an African Pundit who virtually knew and worked with all the hooks and the corrupt loopholes in the government and it’s administration system. This was not in the least surprising to me.
The Dr. exchanged his black dairy which had the insignia of the university in bold colours of green and white on the front page and back covers. He did so in place of the red microphone he received from his assistant. We all sat back and stared at him intently as he alone occupied the red carpeted stage. He began with his speech of welcome note which we all were unused to.
“Welcome, welcome my new students!” He said softly with prowess as a local councilor or chairman of a large ward thanking his electorate. We jubilated and jumped up and down in temporary hysteria which was fast circulating through the corners of the theatre. The place was hot. Why would it not be when the ceiling fans hung on the partial P.O.P ceilings did not function? Apparently, they were for some interior decoration. We all were unknown to the fact at the time that the joys flowing through our bodies were not to be contained.
His personal assistant tempered us down with the wave of her palms. The V. C resumed as though the heavy hysteria which had soon erupted was unexpected. One hand in the huge trouser pockets of his suit, he paced from one end of the stage to the other like a preacher in sober reflection.
“This is a university,” he said to us “we do not train vagabonds and touts here alright?” he paused for a second and stared at us all expecting a reply from his attentive students.
“Yes sir!” we replied thunderously.
He continued, explaining to us each sector of the institution. He told us that his school was not in any sense contradictory to the things clearly stated in the jingles on radio and on the NTA nightly news. He said the untarred roads leading all through the campus were to be reconstructed, he said to us that day that all the dilapidated buildings had to be rehabilitated. Honestly, his speech that day took me by the hand and led me through a paragraph to months and still nothing visibly occurred, not even a maintenance specialist arrived. The tuitions he solemnly promised to slice that very day rose yearly.
That little space of time widened my brown eyes to the numerous lies our rulers tell to assume office. They, like Dr. Madueke whose providence to looting funds was charming. They drive around in their Range Rover Sport and Mercedes Benz of which have they had acquired with our share of the national cake. They have widened the orifice of their greedy pocket to satisfy themselves. Indeed, this is appalling. Our generation still grows in this manner and the exemplary characters will never be let to emerge office. There is simply a minute opportunity to weed out the thorns swallowing the pride of the country’s state or uncertainty and it was goodness.
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