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The Battle Against the Needed: Truth!

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After the BCH 2** exam, a large number of students exited the 1500
lecture theatre mumbling and crumbling furiously at distance. They
were blurting chafing utterances as if they are waiting to “discipline
the lecturer”. Already, some were looking ready for a confrontation
and I wondered why have they turned themselves into a restless
vuvuzela? Even the distance between us did no help with the
distraction that the commotion caused to my last minute urge to cover
my 3 units of neurophysiology in the last 15 minutes for my exam.

As I struggled to concentrate on my textbook, I thought maybe the question
paper was not as friendly as expected, shaking my head, I mused how we
youths are lazy and hate reading our text books. The crowd kept
growing in magnitude for every passing second and students began to
disperse to various study hideouts and hostels, leaving behind what
was perceived to be a sheer waste of time.

“Brother, what is going on over there?” I asked one of the fellow
tempestuous students as I walked up to the lecture theatre.
“I have never seen such a thing, as if we are in primary school” he
replied with disgust written over his face.

“It is Yemisi, a girl from my department. Apparently she noticed a
400L student giving out a written answer book for 200L students as an
exchange for an empty one. Instead of keeping mute and minding her own
business, she raised her hand, calling the attention of a lecturer,
and she then reported the activity” he continued to pour his rage.

“What is her business? What concerns her? An old 400L student for
that matter! What if the spillover is a cultist? The crowd is waiting
for her to come out of the hall, so that they could beat her
merciless” he concluded as if it was the best solution.

I know one thing for sure, lecturers are always excited at this. The
two culprits filled the black malpractice form and will be facing a
disciplinary panel which means by an optimistic proportion of 95%.
Both of them will be either gifted a ticket of rustication or a visa
of suspension for a maximum of 4 semesters to have a vacation to
digest the well earned N20,000.

By now, I was moving closer to the nutty-herd, I heard arguments
springing out like flares among the students. One claimed, she should
have continued with her work since the malpractice wasn’t disturbing
her in anyway. Another promised to deal with her in this department.
Indeed she was the culprit for she interrupted the sacred process of
cheating. What a sad reality! Almost every monomer of this inane
compound was thinking with the same rusted perspective despite being a
combination of Muslims and Christians (the popular moralists- SMH).

This scenario is an indicative of how much, most Nigerians embrace
corruption with the warmest hugs and grins. They attack what is right
and can’t see what is wrong in the “wrong”. No wonder, the president
of the nation, President Jonathan doesn’t conceive stealing as an ilk
of corruption. Indeed, mere stealing a sum of public money that isn’t
enough to buy a Peugeot car is not a solid reason to jail the public
officer.

Little wonder, some Nigerians perceive iniquity as a social behavior
rather than filth. Don’t be surprised that, in most Nigeria universities, cheating in the examination hall isn’t considered a
crime to be publicized but, a crime to be ‘harbored and condoned’.
These ridiculous men and women don’t consider bribery a play of
corruption but an act of due. No wonder standing for the truth is
like holding a naked electric wire. People never fail to shock you
with their usual senseless critics.

If you are not reading this article with your eyes alone, you would
notice and agree with irritation and restlessness with the students
regarding the exposure of the academic crime. This is not only shocking but also unreasonable.

This is a classic example of a shocking headline of the Punch
newspaper issued on19th October, 2013 tagged “Oduah’s N255m Car
Scandal: We’re Searching For Those Who Leaked Story – FG, forgiving
the fact that the image of the concerned administration was smeared
with the lackluster color of sleaziness, but for the whole Federal
Government to declare a manhunt for the whistleblower that broke the
story of the two BMW armored cars bought for Aviation Minister,
‘Sinister, Stella Oduah”. This is just like saying, a group of
hardworking vigilante apprehended a gang of robbers, and the police
began arresting these vigilantes and latter freeing the gang of goons
for their hard work. Imagine how much corruption is condoned! This
nation is sick.

It is becoming a social cliché that the youth are the most effective
machine that can power in to make the positive change we desire, but
with this growing coeval of youthful liars I refuse to take
responsibility for being a pessimist.

In the world today, the idea of
telling the truth is dredged up only as the final resort when the easy
alternatives of denial, ruse and bribery have been wearied. Even
though religious institutions are occupying the empty lands and
properties around us propagating holistic messages with supersonic
speakers and magnetizing huge ‘faithful acolytes’, the concept of
virtue is absence in the heart of these goers.

T. Augustus Leith rightly expressed in his essay ‘On Speaking the
Truth’ that the first of all virtues that should be instilled into the
young mind, at all hazards, and is that of speaking the truth, on all
occasions, plainly, frankly and without hesitation. Yemisi stood with
such self defining confidence to speak against the malpractice, she’s
not like you who would just crumble with your heart and silently pray
that the miscreant is caught. She stood for the truth, and made herself a trustworthy figure; a figure of honesty and scrupulousness.

Yemisi, I thank you my sister!
However, the angry headless students in the story above displayed how
much they speak the truth themselves, despite the fact that the
culprits were cheating them too which they chose to be apathetic
about. Though I have spent hours reading tirelessly, then on getting
into the examination hall I was only able to answer a handful of
questions correctly and my fellow miscreant began writing rapaciously
from a micro chip or macro script yet you’ll think this criminal
hasn’t cheated my hard work? To realize this logic you don’t need a
calculator. Yet you think it is none of my business? I am sorry to
burst your delusion it is in fact every bit of my own business,
because my silence is a heinous allowance of evil against myself. Yes,
Evil.

One of my notable teachers (may God bless Him) once said to me, Speak
the truth even though its affects you. Speak the truth, even though,
it hurts you. Speak the truth even when you are joking, because the
truth Sayers earns more enemies that love him. I asked, how’s that
possible? His reply was that these were the enemies that will come to
him and say ‘we know you are trustworthy, keep this money for us’, ‘we know you are truthful, be our leader’, ‘we know you are honest, be a
judge on this matter’.
I will subside with the one of the precept of William Faulkener; who
said, “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and
compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over
the world would do this, it would change the earth”. Wouldn’t it? But
are you ready to muster up the guts?

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