Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Comrade Safety And The Rest Of Us

By Sodiq Lawal

"I spent 11 years in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree(OSPOLY)and ended with just a National Diploma (ND), the system won me, now am with the system." - Comrade Seun Abosede ( Safety)

The recent fiat short of my post about Comrade Seun Abosede( Safety) has made me to elaborate better for those seeking to know much about him. I have seen lots of commentators, leaders, cadres and others reacting, seeking for better explanation to the short piece.

In many ways, Comrade Safety is a typical student activist who hailed from Iresi in Osun, he is fueled by a nagging anger over the fact that there are haves and have-nots, oppressors and the oppressed. His 11 years in OSPOLY was on activism, many times he was suspended, rusticated, and lots more for emancipation of Nigerian students. There are countless numbers that he had been suspended for sessions yet believe in emancipation of students.

After spending 11 years in OSPOLY, he was given admission in Imo State University and there, he bagged his BSC successful. Currently, he is a special assistant to Governor Aregbesola on students matter.

What made him achieved this great milestone, was and is his commitment to emancipation of students.

Student activism is not new. Sometimes it is misguided, sometimes it’s dismissed, but it is always earnest. As young as Comrade Safety is, who had put up with enlightenment and wantedq concerns about students movement and civil rights to be heard. He eventually became the more radical arm of civil rights, basically on students matter, leading and direct action protests again at oppressions. He is passionate and provocative.

Safety showed that students are an integral part of a participatory democracy and that they deserved to have a seat at the civil rights table in relation to management of institutions and government.

We have new cause to think about student activism, human rights, and the continuation of the civil rights movement because of concurrent and related student protests in our various campuses. Of late, there has been a lot of talk about students and their curious ways, about how they are intensely politically correct, overly sensitive, and unduly coddled.

Some have suggested that students are frivolous activists, that they no longer have senses of humor, and that liberalism has run among on campuses, ruining them in the process.

This is a reductive and rather lazy understanding of student activism.

Activism requires momentum and continuity of practice, and the regularity of vacation makes that quite  difficult. Organizations that are careful and have strong leadership in place can take steps to adjust for this seasonal nature, but there’s just always going to be major lulls in campus organizing according to the calendar. And politics happens year- round.

Speaking of continuity of practice, campus political groups constantly have to replace membership and leadership because students (we hope) will eventually graduate. Again, that problem can be ameliorated with hard work and forethought by these groups, but it’s very difficult to have consistent strength of numbers and a coherent political vision when you’re seeing 100 percent turnover in a five- to six-year span.

 Town and gown conflicts can make local organizing difficult. Sadly, many institutions towns are sites of tension and mutual distrust between the campus community and the locals. The degree of these tensions varies widely from campus to campus, and they can be ameliorated. In fact, making attempts to heal those divides can be the best form of campus activism. But it’s the case that the complex conflicts between institutions and the towns in which they’re housed will often make it difficult to build meaningful solidarity across the campus borders, which often serve as an invisible wall of attention and community.

Lift me up
As I rise on shaky knees
Give me strength To rise from this bottom of rocks
Willed in my determination
To climb back to this mountain top
Call me a Climber, ambitious
An Expeditionist
A Pilgrim on uncharted land
A Soldier on these battled bends
An Activist when I take a stand Peaceful, but with determination

From Sodiq Lawal, Ile Ife


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