Greenfield: Playing The Devil’s Advocate, By Olawale Olaleye

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The kidnap of about 23 students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, and the mindless killing of five of them, have left me traumatised for many days running and of course, precipitated some mind interrogation.
In fact, with this development, I have no doubt in my mind that the bandits/terrorists are complete animals, who like Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said, do not deserve any form of engagements. Just go after them and decimate them. But, that’s not the thrust of this intervention.
As a parent, I have been mulling my options in the last few days and some of the questions agitating my mind include if I could ever send my child to a school in the North at this time in our nation’s history and or if my child had been attending the school before things became this bad, would I still let him or her continue in that unsecure environment? I don’t have to engage my mind for too long or mealy-mouth about this. It’s a “NO”.
However, in playing the Devil’s Advocate, the president, some weeks ago advised all the schools (perhaps, across the land) to beef up security in their environments. Is the message in that advisory not clear enough? The Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces just asked you to take up your own security and yet, these felons strolled into your school unchallenged and left with some 23 undergraduates, including some of the school’s staff. How does that make the school authority feel?
A private university allegedly without any perimeter fences, yet, didn’t deem it fit to make security a priority is to say the least disturbing. Is it about the money (tuitions) or the desire to raise future leaders in an environment conducive for learning?
If anything, the outbreak of Coronavirus has exposed so many things hitherto considered unbending in our peculiar society. What’s wrong with still maintaining online studies in the face of this destructive security challenge? Why put people’s children in so much risk and harm in the name of schooling? Isn’t the living that will go to school? Physical attendance, in the circumstances, is neither exigent nor expedient. It’s total nonsense!
The current security challenge is a pandemic and the leadership isn’t pretending anymore about having no clue on how to get round it. With the situation currently in the north, schools at all levels should be shut down and let them revert to virtual learning until probably when another serious government takes over and is able to address the problem.
The worst thing we can do to ourselves is to continue to blame a man, who has come out to express helplessness over our challenges. Not again. Much as the government lacks the integrity to follow the path of honour, the time to start thinking for ourselves is now. Let your environmental situations dictate your choices. President Muhammadu Buhari won’t come to your aid – not now or later. The best you’d get is a satanic condolence statement, which neither soothes nor heals. Period!

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