ANSU Students Riot And The Need For Realisation Of The Social Contract

uclSecurity is one of the features of a democratically stable State. I write this little piece, which also serves as a rejoinder to a question posted on my Facebook wall by a Friend – Ezebue Onochie – who happens to be a fellow 2012/13 Political Science Graduate of the Anambra State University as regards the recent ANSU Students Riot.

The ANSU Students Riot is very unfortunate as Anambra State Government needs to take up its responsibilities by addressing and proffering veritable solution to problems the State University is facing. This Riot will go a long way in helping us answer these questions; (1) what is the essence of Government without touching the lives of the people? (2) Does it depict any social contract between the Government and the governed? (3) Is Anambra State Government genuinely committed to the Anambra people?

I must start by commenting on my accomplishment in office, which is in the peoples’ minds. I will not write much since there are many accomplishments. Under my administration as the Public Relations Officer of the Students’ Union Government, I did what is constitutionally required of me. I worked on establishment of effective communication channels. My SUG Electoral Campaign was a Campaign of Ideas not slogan. For the first time in Anambra State University, I was the very first person that articulated and championed the establishment of Afri Hub Centre, Press Releases/Newsletters and Ultra Modern ANSU Radio FM (which was part of my Campaign Manifesto as written in my Campaign Posters). I am highly elated, as the School Management has taken it into consideration and Afri Hub ICT centre has been established while the management is moving towards realizing ANSU Radio FM. The SUG through my Office installed two (2) Big Plasma Televisions and two (2) DSTV satellite receivers in the Boys Hostels. I used my good office to canvass improvement to the poor condition of the University Hostels. I moved for the publication of an SUG Magazine, which could not be achieved because the School Management felt there was no funding for it, forcing my Office to work closely with the Department of Mass Communication Editors in their publications. I fought against Political shenanigans as I opposed the illegal suspension of the SUG President where the SUG Senators acted on ultra vires. The five irate members (among them was a law Student) of the Senate reported me to the Security department as I floored them because their argument didn’t hold any water. While in Office, the members of the SUG Executive Council nicknamed me “Constitution” due to my emphasis on Constitutionalism as a means of achieving success/efficiency in the union. Because of my achievement in Office, on 25th August 2012, the Rotaract Club of Anambra State University under the Rotaract District 9140 of Rotary International honoured me with an Ambassadorial Service Award.

There is nothing wrong with Anambra State University that cannot be cured with what is right, as being great in little things is the stepping-stone of success in life. The hike in tuition fee of the State University without the necessary dividends goes a long way in depicting the class and extreme capitalist nature of the Institution while relating it to the Anambra State Government as only the rich ones can afford the tuition fee. What is the problem with Nigeria? As Nigeria has three tiers of Government so is insecurity drawn from federal to Local Government Level, even below local government. As the Country is suffering from the threat of Boko Haram, the Students are suffering from repeated armed robbery attacks, kidnapping, murdering, rape and assault. Security does not just mean protection of the high-class members of the society but it extends to the general population. Nobody has the right to do away with someone’s life for it can’t be replace.

WHAT DOES INSECURITY DEPICT?

(1) – It shows that there is erosion of the authorities, which affect the discharge of their duties.

(2) – It devalues human life.

(3) – It does not encourage moral and ethical standards.

(4) – It brings an abysmal image, which goes a long way in retracting development opportunities and advantage.

(5) – It is an attestation of the absence of the social contract, which the people are yearning for in return for the mandate given to our political leaders.

Insecurity is what we all must fight against, as we shouldn’t neglect it.

As it is said, insecurity is not what started today. It has been accumulated long ago, ranging from petty crimes to grand crimes, which should be curbed to the barest minimum.

Using fighting as an illustration, when an individual develops the habit of fighting, if care is not taken, he will graduate from using his fists to the use of deadly weapon, which can eventually lead to murder.

This crime shift suggest that all forms of crimes whether petty or grand crimes should be dealt with and the perpetrators should face the wrath of law so as to avert future occurrence, which can have disastrous consequences.

The Government and the Criminal Justice System should serve as a veritable tool in instilling discipline among the citizens as these can be realized when their performance is promising.

The leaders should invest more in youths so that they will offer the best in their time to come. I believe any problem that has not been expressed is at best not solved. I laud the Students for expressing their grievance in a peaceful demonstration. We grieve together on the death of our colleague who died as a result of insecurity where the government has failed the Students. Our prayers are that God will grant her eternal rest and may her death expose those behind the callous act. We must stand up for what is right as we criticize the government apparatus for government belongs to all. These serves as landmark achievement that will propel us towards keeping our society on a pedestal of hope.

This is the hope that beckons us onward in this time of trial, these are the work that await us all, to be done with truth and prayer to God.

 

Nnaemeka Kevin Umenzeakor, an NYSC Corper currently serving at Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), sent this piece from Ibadan, Oyo State.