BY EBELE ORAKPO

Many Nigerians live in poverty and for most people, the only hope of getting out of poverty is through quality education. Unfortunately, that opportunity to get a good education is fast slipping through the fingers of the poor,” commented Joshua this Monday morning in the Mile 2-bound commuter bus as a newscaster said something about the crisis in the Lagos State University.

Said Nike: “My brother, that is just the truth and that is why I am pained that our leaders are toying with the future of the Nigerian youth by their complacent attitude towards education. They think that nothing will happen, but in a few years time when the consequences of their actions and inactions begin to manifest, I pray they will be here to face the music. They will then realise that the Boko Haram insurgency is a child’s play.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if some go into armed robbery or even join Boko Haram guys just to raise money to pay fees because unlike in some countries where students easily get employment or student scholarship, it is almost impossible here. We’ve heard that Boko guys pay their recruits up to N500,000,” noted Chioma.

“Our leaders are gradually but steadily ruining our youths and we stand idly by and watch and play dirty politics instead of calling them to order,” said Tony.

“This is what Nigerians should rise up against. When it comes to demanding accountability from elected officials, we behave like the ostrich, sticking our heads into a hole, believing that we are safe. The LASU students are trying sha! Look at Brazillian currency, Real, exchanging for two per dollar while the Naira goes for N160 to a dollar yet we feel we are better than South American countries,” stated Joshua.

“Of course! What did you expect? By the way, what products does Nigeria export apart from oil? What industries do we have? So how do you expect to have a strong currency in an import-dependent economy? Brazil produces steel, cement, television sets, automobiles, refrigerators, computers, aircraft, processes petroleum   and so much more. So tell me why their currency will not be strong,” stated Tony.

“It’s all corruption. Our leaders are too corrupt!” said Chioma.

Replied Nike: “We are always quick to condemn. Are you not corrupt in your own little way?” Continuing, she said: “But to tell you the truth, Nigerians are in for more trouble if the education sector is not handled carefully. Dr. Frederick Fasehun has said it all. He said the increase in tuition fees at LASU will discourage education and increase unemployment in the long run. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop and I daresay that a frustrated person is a ticking time bomb. So don’t be surprised if these same people in a few years, will begin to haunt them. Don’t ever strive to be the only rich man in your community because the poor will not allow you to enjoy your wealth in peace.”

Shebi the Igbos have a saying that the child that says its mother will not sleep, neither will it sleep. Again, whoever is holding another on the ground is holding himself too,” said Chioma, adding: “I only pray they will come to their senses and reduce the school fees.”

“But truth be told, quality education does not come cheap so you don’t blame the government for hiking the fees,” said Tony.

“Yes, but not 1000 per cent hike? Haba! Don’t they have conscience? Where do they expect the parents and guardians to get the money from? They should have looked for alternative means of funding, like cutting down on the amount they spend on the executives and legislature,” suggested Joshua.

“Hmmm! I no dey house ooo. Those guys will not sit back and allow such to happen,” said Chioma.

Continues next week.

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