This Rainy Season
The rainy season always has its way of taking its toll on the populace,
though this year, it has become like an army of heavenly soldiers, making
rounds, taking a pee, on the children of God after a very long period of denial.
After much heat, it is unarguably a fact that many have been patiently
awaiting the arrival of the rainy season. However, this joy and exhilaration that
accompanies this much anticipated season has been short-lived by some
number of factors.
It is not strange to anyone in Ife or its environs that the current
incessant downpour of rain has caused more harm than good most especially
for the students of Obafemi Awolowo University and other supposedly
In more specific terms, this unrelenting element of nature has had its
intended purpose of soothing defeated and has left students embittered by its
all so perilous extremities. Gentlemen that still lived perplexed as to how some
ladies managed to fit giant hand fans into tiny bags now have a new cause of
awe as ladies that are not even carrying any bags so miraculously produce
umbrellas when this unexpected rain begin to fall. Those on campus are well
aware of the fact that they cannot visit their neighbors on the next block,
without carrying either their umbrellas or wearing their raincoats. One cannot
afford to go out on a sunny day without having an umbrella somewhere around
the corner, even to buy agbado from across the street. You cannot starch your
ankara on a Friday afternoon for fear that you’re going to be drenched
eventually. The ‘on-campus thieves association’ have coiled back into their
dens, but the Jackobians and the Jackometers have somewhat refused to be
affected even though they’re falling sick at very alarming rates. Clothes that
would only be worn next month have to be washed this month because of fear
that they might not fully dry up before the time of use. The estimated figures of
probable pregnancies have doubled because of the cold where everyone is left
shouting “Weather for two!” and some junkies that have spent over 6 years in
school are left wondering why they are still single. Students are missing
impromptu tests at very alarming rates and the tiny little bits and pieces of
their humbled GPs are shedding cancerous tears. The rain has seemingly done
so much harm that even in its absence, people are now beginning to lie on it
every once in a while.
“Bro. Richard! Why weren’t you in church on Sunday?
But of all these comparative majorities, there is one that seems to outset
all others in its technicality and its relative call for urgency. This is the
continually disturbing condition of housing and accommodation of students that
have one way or the other, been left with no choice but to haul their loads and
academic agenda beyond the alluring gates of the university campus.
I do feel the need to establish however, that I would not have written
this piece, if it did not come to my hearing and the small apertures with which I
view the world, that some students in tandem with their possessions are only
‘a rainfall away’, from being flooded out of their universal existence.
A friend sent me a picture of a bungalow that was almost flooded this
morning of which he had to spend about the next 10 minutes of his time
convincing me that it was a one-storey building with the ground floor already
gone and submerged in the flowing waters. It was only until I started seeing the
status updates of quite a number of people on my contact list did I believe that
this, was true. It is rather disturbing to know this, and to some, it is just plain
hilarious. Yes! We all might have laughed at some point but we must never
forget that the people, whose houses were flooded, could have been us. What
makes you any different? Only because you got lucky enough to be awarded
bed space on campus or because your father is a rich man? Story! Story!!
Story!!! That is story for another day, and it will defeat the purpose of this
piece if I choose to dwell on that as the summary is, let’s not forget we’re
In spite of that, the issue I am bent on addressing is why? Why have these
thing happened? Is there a way to prevent them? Why do we talk about this
thing and still have to talk about it next year, because the truth we cannot run
from is that it is almost likely that nothing will change.
Oh! I’m not being pessimistic. We want to pray about it. We have to
pray about it, yeah! But we do know that we cannot replace actions with
prayer right? I’m just asking by the way. We cannot afford to continually tag
ourselves as the society that prays but does not actively get out and do
something about the problem or challenge in question as the case may be.
But what really happens around here? Let me just tell a quick rational
The school management decided to reduce the number of students that
were allocated bed space in the various halls of residences? Why? For all we know, to better the welfare of the admitted few and make the hostels more
conducive for them. Did they weigh the pros and cons of how a random and
drastic change in campus population would affect the school in its operations? I
have absolutely no idea. As long as the managerial objectives are met, the
board is happy, and whatever happens as a consequence is not directly their
business, like it or not. The students at the receiving end had no choice but to
find their ways and get themselves hostels off campus, to their own advantages
as well as detriment. The bus drivers saw an opportunity to exploit the
students, and God bless their soul, they have, despite the need for their
services waking up as late as they can and students missing some very
important classes, attendance and test consequentially. Prices of some goods
off campus were ridiculously increased to mention but a few.
I have to salute the actions of the school managements though. I am also
obliged to say it was too drastic a move and no other alternatives were put in
place for the wellbeing of her students.
To conclude the story, Ife as a town hasn’t particularly been supportive
of progress. I can only wonder how long Obafemi Awolowo University has to
be in Ife for the economic state of affairs to improve, even its outlook. How
many more Federal Universities have to be introduced for a town such as this
to move below standard to a level at least “acceptably below par”
The landlords are merely people that have converted their family houses
to partial hostels so don’t blame them. Those that build hostels build it only
with the intention of maximizing their profits, unless your pocket is large
enough to afford anything better than the old but inattentively renovated
structures. Student? Who really has time to worry about these things when
you are still thinking of how to dissuade your GP from committing suicide? The
government has other sides of the economy to focus on than to concentrate
on building good roads and effective drainages. Their pockets are there to be
enriched. The market woman has to feed her children. The bus drivers have
families too. Some of our lecturers have not been paid their salaries. Some of
their children are dying too.
We are a merely a community of people programmed to survive by any
means possible, and until that is done, things will always seem to stay the same!
Like how this piece was written today, I am almost sure it will come in
handy next year and the year after.