Saint Thomas Aquinas said; an unjust law is no law; that means, I have the right to protest through civil disobedience or protest. If I choose to protest, I may do it in no few ways, which could be: a Boycott, Civil Disobedience; Conscientious Objector; Fasting; Hara-Kiri; Riot; Rebellion; Revolution etc.
Recently in Nigerian Universities, protest has become synonymous with upward review of school charges. Increase the school fee, and protest will surely follow. The aftermath of such protests is the subject of interest to me and a serious cause to my worry. Do these protests achieve the goal(s) for which they are designed? No, Hardly. In fact, the cost of the protests most times outweighs the reward for their success.
Typifying the case of the University of Jos, Jos; we at the university community have in more than a time experience the sweet-bitter taste of the freedom of expressing our right and the costs for such expression. It was yesterday, 16th March, at our famous MPA that the university management through the registrar again made the announcement of the increase of school charges, immediately, sitting next to my friend Orizu, we started a serious protest within the confine of our sealed lips as we heard our registrar continuously nail on the lid of the coffin of our buried rights.
Now, as the student body intends to make their grievances known, more than we did, they must consider a more effective approach other than the traditional student protest. Perhaps what we always do, is move out on the streets and shout *“Aluta! Aluta!! We no go agree ooo, we no go agree”* and more often than not hoodlums hijack the protest and make it violent, school closes, after many months of staying at home, we beg the school to reopen and pay the same fee and sub-charges. Losing our cause only to gain the lost of precious time and much money…
This time, we should not just jump into the streets and make chants yet, the student leaders should sit down and consider these questions?
- Is it within the legal rights and laws governing the University in the powers of the management to increase school charges?
- What is the constitutional position of the student body in the law(s) supporting the act?
- Is such increment genuinely needful?
- Is the amount incremented fair?
- What is the student body sincerely aggrieved of?
- Are we agitating for outright downward review? Or a compromise for a lesser amount? Or do we demand for provision for installment payment method?
The union should then schedule to meet with Management and dialogue, with an aim to reach a compromise most beneficial to the students.
Am I then suggesting that the students should not protest?
#NOto45K But, if we must, we must do it within the costs that will ensure profit at the end of the transaction.
We must remember that, our freedom is only true in the objects of our willful enslavement; we must then tread cautiously avoiding waking ill consciences to remain so. The union that makes us strong must first be strong or else, we strength to misery and regret.
ALUTA CONTINUA VICTORIA ACETA!