It has been a while I wrote something here. Today, I pick up my pen with an aching heart. In 2011, I gained admission into the prestigious Department of Political Science, Niger Delta University. Then, the school environment was the safest place you can possibly be (I mean, very safe!). It was safe not only from criminals but also, from the loud noise of electricity generating sets and the clatter of neighbors. The choice of a reading hall was yours to make, as you were safe wherever you chose to read. A good number of my colleagues, used the Engineering Block of the university. Personally, I preferred the lecture rooms. It was perfect for me as the rooms were small containing just few people. Thus, I saw less people I knew which minimized the possibility of distraction. The only thing you had to worry about while reading in the lecture rooms was the smell from the misused 'small rooms'. Night in NDU was like day time. It was normal to see students stroll all around the campus at odd hours of 12a.m to 3p.m. it was normal! Quite a number of times, when I was fatigued, I would stroll down to Engine Block or the Auditorium from the lecture rooms to meet my colleagues to share ideas, chat and ease the stress, before strolling back to the rooms for business. We enjoyed this tranquility when there was nothing like Man O War and other informal security outfits now introduced.

In pursuit of higher skills, I came back to NDU but this time, I don't know if I should apply for a licensed gun or go back to the village to be trained on how to handle a bow and arrow or perhaps, move around with a machete. How did we get here? I mean, how did security degenerate to a level where 6:30 p. m or 6:30 a. m is no longer safe? It is only a man that has a spare life somewhere that can risk reading in the lecture rooms now. For you to read in engine block, you must either be a god or a beast (Okay, maybe I exaggerated on this one).

A university with over 12,000 students population plus a part-time and a graduate school with grossly inadequate classroom blocks have conditioned students to read only at the Auditorium. The authorities have not thought deep enough to realize that the 'wahala' is gradually coming to the auditorium. It began from engine block, nothing was done. Rather, a security man would blame you for going there. It moved on to the V.C and administrative block area, nothing was done. The situation further consumed the Lecture Rooms right to the Lecture Theatres and the Pavilion. Can a discerning mind guess where next? How can you possibly expect over 12,000 to read in an auditorium with less than 500 sit capacity? Going to the auditorium to read means, you have decided to waste the next productive day for sleeping. You are tired of reading, you can't possibly sleep. Everywhere is tight with so much heat that is next only to hell. This alone could lead to a drastic fall in students academic performance (Maybe, someone should consider Insecurity and Student Academic Performance in NDU as research topic).

In all these happenings, the NDU security outfit is sit-tight and comfortable playing the role of fashion inspectors (maybe, something more)…"hey you! go back your Jean tier, you wear sleeveless". What are 10 security men doing in one small gate that now has security cameras installed? Even if they are not formally trained to know that a thief is more likely to come through the window, the biblical teaching of Jesus about one who comes through the window, should have passed on the message. Dress inspection is not a bad idea but only the living wears a dress. What went wrong now that we now have Man O War and all the other 'wars'?

What happened to the rustication of cultists in NDU. There is no single billboard in NDU sponsored by the authorities or the S.U warning against cultism and examination malpractice yet, these twin problems are the greatest impediment to development in our school system and society. Just imagine the damage that a dishonest, wicked and undisciplined student who perpetrates exam malpractice would do to a nations economy. We often assess some of our leaders and sigh at their ignorance; malpractice could have been the reason. Alas! It is on the rise and nobody is saying anything. I mean, many deaths could have been avoided in our hospitals if some doctors had been honest and disciplined enough to shun exam malpractice. Instead of a care giver, we create a professional killer!

The only group whose feat is unparalleled in the history of the Niger Delta University is the Niger Delta University Women's Association (NDUWA). They have achieved what no S.U have achieved! I don't know them personally but their words have been written in my heart right from my first day in school. They didn't have to organize a seminar, the billboards they erected, directed my path and gave me all I needed in school. The very popular one that says "Where you born a cultist? Shun cultism", has been destroyed and no one is talking about it. I guess it is not a priority. Remember! Walter Rodney said, at the level of the individual, development means increasing the morals, self-discipline and capacity of the individual.

It is only the living that can pursue education! Make NDU safe for us again, rusticate cultists and punish perpetrators of exam malpractice. A behavior that is reinforced by a reward would continue and that which is punished would go extinct.

Saying nothing about insecurity and cultism is a reward and it would definitely be reinforced.

Angalapu, Dengiyefa
The unobtrusive Observer

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