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STUDENTS’ MISCONCEPTION ON PROTEST. By: Kolawole Emmanuel

It’s quite pathetic to be drunk in ignorance, even in the twenty-first century when the world is experiencing drastic change in thoughts and civilization.

We often cannot tell the difference between been educated and having the educative cognizance that back reasonability.

Professors reason at times like lay men; students view issues sometimes as ‘slaves’, who just have to say, ‘yes sir’, to their masterr, whether in a wrong or right perception.

I had the opportunity to engage some students. In that course, I could observe not only their fears to challenge school authorities, but I could also notice their lack of absolute indepth of denotative meaning of words.

They speak sound vocabularies in its excess, but in a short time engagement, they are already at the wit’s end’, paralyzed and tossed away by torrent of confusion.

From the simple dictionary meaning, protest is a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something.

Protest can take different forms, from individual statement to mass demonstrations. Protesters organize a protest as a way of publicly making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinions, government policy, or management decisions.

Protest tactics can be use in different ways: rally or demonstration, march, vigil, picket, information distribution, sit-ins, boycott, press conference, inter alia.

The above definition does not denote violence; protest as a tool is not violence centric, we manoeuvre its power into violent acts by ourselves.

Martin Luther King’s 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a peaceful protest. King used it wisely and it brought him the desired result.

Mexican Movement of 1968 got my attention the most. A coalition of students from Mexico’s leading universities all stood in tandem and counteract against victimization and injustice. French Revolution in 1789 is not left over, among others.

Presently in Nigeria, a University Vice Chancellors feel bossy. Proscription of Students’ Unionisms and unjust rustications of Student Activists give them ego. They feel intoxicated and in their free will, they ust scrap the ‘freedom of association to naught’.

This act could have been referenced as ignorance, if they were one of those rubberstamped primary six leaving certificate politicians.

But shall we call professors, doctorate degree holders and lecturers, who violate proper norms and starve justice, ‘educated-quacks’?

The University of Ibadan Student Disciplinary Council’s adjudication in April 2019 was a typical example of the kind of students, our institutions want to build. They want dumb, silent and callow students, whose only existence in institutional societies is to wholeheartedly agree to hike fees.

In a sane country, where laws and orders govern, and where public office holders decisions and operations are scrutinized, we won’t have a Vice Chancellor suspending students on the basis of fighting for their rights.

You owe students a public apology for collecting money from them without given them the service they paid for; if we think wisely, it is fraud. Any person that engages in such act is a swindler, who breaks the neck of justice.

A father is different from a boy. A father takes responsibility even when situation is stiff.

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, also had similar experience last year. They came out victoriously because they knew what they stood for and they took their stead to defend it.

‘Let us graduate, let us graduate’ is all what could break out from the patted windows of your mouth. It is good to be called a graduate, likewise shining in NYSC dress fit well. But remember millions of graduates are out there in the labour worl. They are out there living aimlessly, shoved to a corner by unemployment daily rampages.

They had fussed over what you are blabbing about now. Their heart bleed dirges for not correcting the imbalanced status quo before they left.

To save the rest is to save yourself. Sleep over it and battle with your conscience.

If you are in their shoes, will you be glad?

Kolawole Emmanuel Tayo is a citizen journalist and a concerned Nigerian students advocating for Justice.

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