Football, draught, Sound City, Big Brother Nigeria, ludo, that is what the medical students of Kogi state university have to look forward to every morning, afternoon and night.
Unlike their counterparts in other medical schools, who wake up each morning to the reality of grueling lectures, practicals, ward rounds etc., the students here are left to the mentally unstimulating activities with which they must numb themselves so that they do not remember the pain, remember the depressing state which is now the sum of their daily existence.
This description of events is utterly bleak, un-encouraging, downright despairing, but sadly, it is all through.
One word defines this state, “stagnation”, or call it what you may, non-accreditation, lack of accreditation etc., it denotes the same state. A condition in which the medical students of said institution can neither move forward nor backward. They may have all the lectures they please, but they can’t take exams that would qualify them to go to the next level, a truly disheartening condition, which has been aptly described as running a race with no ending in site, no finishing line to cross, just running and running and running. Who wants to be a participant in such a race!
The stagnation of the members of the Kogi State University Medical Students Association is even more heartbreaking, because it could have been avoided, the signs where there, the lessons from the pitfalls of other earlier established medical schools could have been avoided.
But as the popular saying goes, “the people that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat the same mistake”, and how true this saying has proved in this case. Imagine being stuck in a particular class for three years, not as a result of any academic failings on your part as a student, but as a result of administrative ineptitude.
Think that is bad enough? Imagine studying a programme for almost two years, that ordinarily should have taken three months, and then when the exams come around almost everyone fails, are the students that daft?
The list of harrowing experiences goes on and on, and an accurate chronicling of them would actually make for a very enjoyable reading of comic – tragedy genre of literature, that is if these experiences were not the true, heartbreaking experiences of actual medical students.
The struggle inches forward, and now the students decide, that it is time to take their destinies into their own hands.
They make enquiries, they research, they dig deep, they search wide, and they unearth gold, so to speak.
The medical students of Kogi State University learn of the availability of an institution, right within the heart of the state, which would put an end to the nightmare which has become their very existence, a Federal Medical Center in the state’s capital which can serve the university, ensuring the full accreditation of the medical school.
But they discover something else, this solution they have found out about, is not news to those in the corridors of power, the availability of this “elixir” of life has always been known to them, but for reasons unfathomable, they have chosen to allow the students to continue to suffer miserably, while their salvation lays close by.
An outsider looking at the facts of the issue clearly laid out would say in his mind (and perhaps rightly so), that this must be a case of chronic foolishness, or malevolent wickedness, or maybe it’s just plain old ignorance.
The students will continue to fight this war, a war to ensure that their voices are heard, that the right thing is done, that that futures are not sacrificed on the altar of self.
The question is, who will listen to their cries, who will stretch out a hand to help pull this not so young ones anymore from the miry cesspool of academic stagnation?
Will it be the school management? Highly unlikely, for these ones have branded the students as outlaws, threatening them with expulsion, should they ever thinking of staging another protest to demand their rights.
Will it be the college itself? Sadly no, for the college of health sciences kogi state university is also powerless, being under the iron grip of the school management.
Then who will be the savior of KSUMSA?
The one who has the power to bring amelioration to the rapidly deteriorating situation of this institution, is the state government, more specifically, the executive governor of Kogi state, “the white lion” of the confluence state, His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
For with just the swipe of a pen, an executive order, a written memo, he can bring relief to the hearts of hundreds, hundreds of KSUMSA students, who will remain eternally gratefully, not just in words, but also in deeds, as they will not be able to serve the state in their own way, by catering to the health needs of the citizenry of kogi state.
The final question then is this, will his Excellency do the needful?
– Eneojo Gabriel Sanni