In what is an extremely bizzare massacre, 27 students from the Federal Polytechnic Mubi college in Nigeria were massacred 2 days ago in which pleriminary investigations link to forthcoming Campus elections.
This seems to be a graduation of violence means that characterise college elections all over Africa. In Kenya for Example, the immediate former SONU secretary General, Alex Matere was attacked by what has been severally linked to political hooliganism.
Several colleges have closed down due to botched elections, several elections nullified due to fraud and many candidates disqualified for engaging in intimidation and hooliganism.
This tells a sad story about our generation. It tells of a generation that is perfecting the art handed to it by its fathers. A tradition that one can armtwist democracy through violence and terror, that power can be gotten through blood letting and that human life is insignificant as it can be arbitrarily sacrificed to gain power.
In Kenya, ethnicty continues to get root n college politics. Electioneering seasons see mushrooming of ethnic cohorts, not to celebrate the beauty of diversty but as bargaining schemes for power. This is what refelcets itself on a national scale with such perfect resembalnce.
It is even worrying that many college student leaders find themselves in national politics. In Kenya for instance, Several minsters and other prominent leaders had stints at college politics. Hon. James Orengo, Anyang’ Nyongo, kabando wa Kabando, William Ruto and many others.
If it is this same translation that we will see in the coming decade, then the political future of our countries is bleak. Africa will then have to contend with the same problems of ruthlessness, hoolignains and negation of the sovereign right of people to choice.
I urge those of my generation to continually exercise tolerance, to continually be able to know that just as we are entitled to choice so is everyone else. We are a people bound in the same skin, faced by the same challenges, inspired by the same hopes. It is inexcusable for this continent to loose 25 young Nigerians whose contribution to the world would certainly have been great.
And as Kenya heads to election, political interests will start to infiltrate our colleges. As young scholars, we know that sensationalism, regionalism, tribalism and intolerance is what has costed our country its hope. We cannot afford its continuance, we cannot afford its perpetuation and we must fight for its termination.
We have a chance of exerising knolwldgebale democracy. Where our vote is founded on conviction and concern for ourselves and our collective growth.
I mourn the 27 young Nigerians. I urge speedy investigations and prosecutions.
May God bless Africa. May God bless Kenya.