Saturday, April 14, 2018

UNIFEMGA: Let the youths run and embrace elders


When you are in danger, you have to run. But you don't run to all directions. You run strategically. You run with care. The place you are running to is as dangerous as the danger pursuing you. So, you scamper only to safe place. Nothing else. When a child is cutting a tree in the bush, the elders know where it will fall.

In Yoruba tradition, when the elders talk, they speak with authority and reference. Nobody looks at the old man to his face. It is a taboo. Nobody dares the elders and lives to tell the story with pride. The reason is simple. They have lived their lives to defend principles and values. They have seen it all. They know the struggles in the past. They see different types of cards survival always throw up, yellow, red, purple, what have you. But believe me, they possess instant solution to problems.

It is an elementary logic, you don't have to travel to Sokoto (State), when what you want is in your Sokoto (trousers). Can anyone convince me the blessing in the Israelite journey? They marauded, suffered and lost in their long winded odyssey. They dreaded shame. They tasted humiliation. They dreamt dishonour. They called heaven. They prayed for the worst. The good lord left them to their plight.

No one should judge by his/her fancies. The God is not a wicked God. The Israelite was only paying for their actions. They made a choice and they stood by it. It is the price for disobedience. No cheating. No injustice. What they did was simple. They were sent on a voyage to enter Palestine (Canaan). They flaunted the instruction of their prophet (Musa/Moses). They were left with two options; go back to Egpyt, or perish in vain. Whatever choice we make in life. It will always stand for us or against us.

The parable of Mssnoau is in similar fact to the proverbial Israelite journey. The story is loaded. It is a tragedy of grace to grass. Israelite spent fourty years in pains. We spent more than a decade in wilderness. Things went from bad to worse. Structures collapse in stages. Relationship broken. Brotherhood suffered. The community was directionless. The atmosphere was bleak. People were ready to accept anything. It was as bad as that.

In the near distance close to home. The elders appeared from the blues. It was the dawn of UNIFEMGA. They wasted no time. They took the Mssnoau struggle as a pivotal UNIFEMGA struggle. They came with cash and kind to broker lasting solution. Their intervention was a game changer. Their presence carries a high dose of weights. They are sincere in their actions. And that is the magic that clears the way for them to navigate the storm and make progress despite multiple bricks and setbacks.

There is a popular adage that says that, the elders must not be in market place while the children go astray. It definitely pays to accord old age with some code of respectability. Thank God we have responsible elders who have the love of community and humanity at hearts. They have given out the opportunity for us already, not on credit. We simply need to buy in. It is time to run and embrace our elders with honest mind. They are ready to turn around the fortune of every Muslim students on campus. This is not to sweet talk or calling black red. I have experienced it and I can attest to their vision.

When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. The biggest loser in this show remains the students. They suffered tangibly and intangibly. We are still counting the losses. No matter what. The gods are not to blame in our ordeal. It is self inflicted. What has happened has happened; it belongs to the past. We are now starting with a clean slate. We have come to realise our differences and ready to work with moderation.

The youths and the elders must agree for society to grow and flourish. Anything aside that, anarchy will reign upon the land. We have seen it, we don't pray we see it anymore. Muslim students on campus will decide what they want. Do they want to proceed on the journey to the promised land, or go back to a land of eternal struggle and extreme agony? At this point in time, we cannot afford to fail.

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