“Today, almost 30years of rudderless leadership has rendered our universities almost worthless.”
I may not know the current situation now but the University of Nigeria I left in 1985 was a citadel of learning where the Dignity of Man is restored. When I got to the University in 1980, it was to me the best place you can be; the environment was unique, the structures correct, the teachers good, the students fantastic and well behaved. We were told then we were the best the nation could produce and therefore the most privileged to be there. The name University of Nigeria rings bells. It was the best brand then, the only university that taught General Studies (GS). If you are in Science, you must take a course in Humanities and Social Sciences and if you are in Arts or Social Sciences, you must take courses in Sciences.
That was the University of Nigeria I know; an institution built for excellence, for the best and nothing but the best; a great university built to produce great minds for Nigeria. I do not know the situation now but the troubles of our country have permeated into the corridors of our university system and rendered the huge sacrifices of our heroes almost nugatory. Thanks to the leaders of Nigeria for rubbishing our university system. In the University of Nigeria then, anybody who gives a good account of himself or herself at the Manifesto Night becomes the President of the Student Union Government. That was how Dr Olu Oguibe, a very small but mighty man won the presidency of the Student Union in 1982. It was Dr Olu Oguibe who told us that if leadership is measured by might, giants would have been ruling the world. Again, he taught us that Methuselahs would have been ruling the world if leadership is measured by old age.
In Nsukka then, you cannot aspire to be in any office in the Student Union Government if your cumulative average is below 2.5. From 1980 to 1985 when I left the university, I did not see two students fighting and I did not lose anything to anybody. There were no killers and thieves then. There was nothing like cultism.
Today, almost 30years of rudderless leadership has rendered our universities almost worthless. Things that you could not imagine then are happening now in our universities. Hard criminals, fraudsters, 419ers, drug peddlers, certificate forgers, oil thieves, looters, armed robbers, kidnappers etc walk into our most priced universities to pick doctorate degrees for fees. Students who have no entry behaviour are now students in our universities, producing graduates that are not graduates, graduates that are not employable, graduates that are armed robbers, kidnappers, rapists, thugs and what have you. Oh we have gone full cycle.
This is the only reason why the Federal Government would deem it fit to appoint Alhaji Salisu Buhari, a disgraced former Speaker of the House of Representatives (removed as Speaker for certificate forgery) as a member of the UNN Governing Council. This is public assault. This is impunity. This is recklessness and at best, unholy. My Alma Mata whose motto is ‘TO RESTORE THE DIGNITY OF MAN’ cannot take this public assault. The state of our university systems in Nigeria today tells a big story of how miserable our leadership has become in the last 30 years. The tragedy is not peculiar to our university systems as it has permeated into every sector of our economy, dealing a dangerous blow to all the things we hold dear. Villains and fraudsters of yester years who were thrown out of the system because they were found wanting have been exhumed, dusted, repackaged, garnished, robed and re-dressed to look like angels and then brought back to the system, and the rot continues. Enemies of the organized systems and organized institutions have been recycled into the system to continue to inflict pains on the project Nigeria.
Please, let somebody tell President Goodluck Jonathan to use his left hand to throw away Salisu Buhari from the University of Nigeria’s Governing Council before we get annoyed. Salisu Buhari is a reproach to the education system. He is a rebuke to the sacred values of education and should not be found anywhere near an academic constituency. He is a smear to academic integrity and will ever besmirch the sacred ethos of education. He is a dent to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a huge mockery to the values of the school and the entire Nigerian educational sector. He has no redeeming value and should be kicked off. President Goodluck Jonathan should use his leg if the left hand cannot do the job to kick Salisu Buhari on the buttocks for convenience sake. To allow the certificate forger to tarry a day at the University of Nigeria is to rubbish the pride of that great university.