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Opinion

Students’ Victimization: Can Silence Still Be Golden?

Various scandals have been rocking our institutions since the beginning of this year. Some were exposed, while some are swept under the carpet because of fear. But the big question to ask ourselves is if “Silence is still Golden.” I was reading through a piece by a fellow campus journalist from Obafemi Awolowo University, Adejumo Kabir, in which he highlighted some of the victimizations happening in some institutions but no one seems bold enough to speak up.

The cases of sex-for-mark in OAU, LASU and UNILAG are a few of the numerous cases that are happening on campuses. Lots of students keep quiet when faced with molestations, harassments or victimization because of the fear of ‘Certificate.’

Let me drive straight to the main issue in this piece. The recent suspension and expulsion of students by school management, especially campus journalists who are doing their work are appalling. School managements are seeing these students journalists/writers as a threat to their unlawful acts.

Kunle Adebajo was suspended by the University of Ibadan over an article that was published in the Guardian newspaper in 2016. Being a final year student of Law, Kunle observed the poor facilities in UI’s hostel and saw the need to carry out his role as a journalist in an attempt to see a positive reply but the reverse was the case. Was he expected to keep silent in such case?

Daniel Osula, a student writer at Delta State University was expelled for exposing the evil act of his Head of Department. He was a final year student of Engineering. The HOD was said to have demanded money for a project. In addition to that, the HOD had asked everyone in the final level to contribute some certain amount for project presentation. But of the two times he requested for the money, nothing was done and the money wasn’t traceable.

Daniel was just one of the few outspoken people but has decided to look on. Fortunately, an anonymous student who also felt the pain of the extortion wrote a petition against the HOD and submitted to the necessary quarters. Daniel on his own part only showed his pain on FACEBOOK which the HOD saw. He was summoned and expelled for posting the issue on his Facebook page, despite the several threats from his HOD. Was he supposed to keep silent on such issue?

Another painful incident is the purported suspension of Ijioma Caleb who exposed the Students’ Union President over cases of fund diversion. Caleb happens to be the Public Relations Officer of the Union but he exposed the mismanagement after the President had forged the General Secretary’s signature (they were the two signatories).

Why should Caleb be suspended for exposing such an evil act? The accused President was never suspended for his illegal act neither were his accomplices expelled.

What a ridiculous act going on in our campuses! Shall we continue like this? Some school managements are not ready to take to correction. Therefore, anyone who comes their way will be shut down.

Is this the period to say Silence is Golden? No. We hope those who are speaking will continue. No one should shut us up. In Kabir’s words ‘the world does not celebrate cowards’. Let’s rise, support and mobilize against students’ victimizations.

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