After five years of painstakingly studying Pharmacy in the University of Ibadan (UI) , I still ask myself ‘As a graduate of UI can I hold a candle to a graduate of Oxford?’ My answer has always been, and still is ‘YES’, howbeit shaky, ‘YES’, nonetheless. It’s a question of mind over matter – or better still, a question of individual over institution. Granted such self-consolatory schemes the truth is, here at the university of Ibadan we are centuries – make that ‘light years’ – away from what obtains in the top universities of the world. (Of course, we still hold the patent to those legendary excuses: lack of government funding, power outage, inadequate private sector intervention… Who cares?) That should not hurt our pride though, because many alumni of this great – remember mind over matter? – university have gone on to accomplish great feats in the so-called Ivy League or Red brick institutions. But hold on. There’s the other side of the coin: Many alumni of this great university have also gone on to disgrace us over there. Perhaps, just perhaps, they weren’t our students; or they probably are – and I’m more inclined to think this way – those students whose winning formula was “La cram, la pour, la forget, la graduate.” Many of them finished summa cum laude here! Lord help those foreign universities who admit such thinking they’ve recruited assets!
Anyway, I reckon UI’s a great place to study. There’s always that air of inconvenient convenience: resumption is always delayed, calendar is never followed and we are most vulnerable to strikes: ASUU, SSANU, NASU, NLC, TUC, and even, Ghost workers’ strike. However, there’s that assurance that someday, somehow exams will start, senate will meet, tsunami list will be released… and your fate is in your hands. How convenient! Just tag along! And what do UI graduates always think of themselves when they go to the outside world? Product of the first and the best! Kassa final! That’s very true – in Ibadan at least. In wider Nigeria it’s subject to racketeering. I hate to wash down my own school. Is that not like shooting yourself in the foot? I think it is. So instead of pointing out the cracks and fixing them let’s just paint over them. We’ll forget they exist in no time. Again, how convenient!
We have many ills here in this school. The administration is doing its best to resolve them and I reckon that someday, somehow we’ll get there. (If you can’t handle the original Newton reflecting telescope at least you sha handled a telescope, no?) It’ll take some time but we’ll get there.
Ibadan’s no more than a springboard
The world is your oyster
So dare the free-fall
I’ll be in the foreground cheering you on.