Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State insulted and talked down on students. He's a disgrace
In the video, the number one citizen of the Southwest State is seen talking down on protesting students whose institution has been shuttered for eight months.
"You complain that your school has been shut down for eight months", the Governor blares in Yoruba. "Am I the one who closed your school?"
As the student voices get louder, Ajimobi gets visibly irritated and antsy.
"If this is how you want to talk to me, then go ahead and do your worst. If you think you can be troublesome, I dare you...I am ready for you. Let's see what you can do.
"You have no respect for constituted authority", Ajimobi lectured on. "This is not the first time schools are getting shut. If your school was shut down for eight months, so what?
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"If you come here shouting at me, I am not going to talk to you. If you came here to start a fight, do go ahead. This government will not tolerate any nonsense from anybody".
And then, he dismissed the agitated students with a wave of the hand after plenty of back and forth.
"I am not going to talk to you again", the Governor announced. "Even if I don't pay salary, the fact is that I am the constituted authority for Oyo State".
It was all I needed to throw my smartphone under the chair and out of sight.
For a moment, you would have been forgiven for thinking that the man in the middle of your picture was some military dictator, not a Governor who was elected by the same people he was talking down on.
Here's some context to the entire debacle:
The students probably belong to the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
LAUTECH is jointly owned by the Oyo and Osun State governments.
In June of 2016, LAUTECH was shut down because lecturers and other workers of the institution have been owed months in salaries.
On December 9, 2016, angry LAUTECH students took to the streets to protest the closure of their school. They were immediately met with Police tanks and were dispersed with live bullets and teargas canisters.
When a State Governor who should be very sad at the ramifications of shutting down a school for close to a year, chooses to dismiss students and hurl insults and invectives on them instead, we all should be sad.
Sad because it is little wonder that our country is in the sorry state it is.
Governor Ajimobi should be ashamed of himself. He's an utter disgrace to the people who elected him.
He's serving his second term, so he won't need the votes of these same people in the future, he must have thought.
But if he as much as thought about the value of education in a State and region where access to education is often held as a totem, he won't be so rude.
The real tragedy is that he belongs to the APC--Nigeria's governing party which promised to educate more people before 2019.
This week, all the Southwest leaders of the APC gathered in Ibadan. It's doubtful if all the ministers, Governors and lawmakers at the meeting room, mentioned providing quality education to their people.
No one cares.
LAUTECH belongs to the Osun State government as much as it belongs to the Oyo State government. Remind me again if Governor Rauf Aregbesola has made any meaningful moves to see that school reopened.
When students protest because their school has been shut, it's because more than their leaders, they understand the value of an education in a country that has depended on rent from crude oil for sustenance since the '60s--instead of its human resource.
Governors Aregbesola and Ajimobi have done themselves little favours for each day that school remains shut. To think that these are the same leaders who'll lament the rising rate of crime and social vices in their States.
Certainly, like most of the political leaders in Nigeria, they are too arrogant, cocky and rude to see the nexus between the country's poor educational standard and rising inequality.
They are too set in their own ways to realise that when you don't provide an education, you do your State or country a huge disservice.
You set the country several steps back. You are not likely to recover from an economic recession if your people aren't educated.
But these Governors and politicians have been so blinded by filthy lucre and the primitive accumulation of wealth, to care.
Ajimobi's performance on the day was a show of shame.
In more serious countries, lawmakers would have him impeached before the end of the working week.