‘Dear Prof. Florence Banko Obi, I Know The Pains And Trauma That Comes With Dropping Out Of School For’ — Man Penned Down Heart-Tourching Letter To UNICAL Vice Chancellor 

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‘Dear Prof. Florence Banko Obi, I Know The Pains And Trauma That Comes With Dropping Out Of School For’ — Man Penned Down Heart-Tourching Letter To UNICAL Vice Chancellor

We all know from the story we read about you that you had a humble beginning like most of us. When we read or hear your story of how God took you from the dungeon of poverty to the pinnacle of wealth and power through the instrumentality of education, we are inspired and optimistic that the God that used education to change your story will change ours. Your story is a typical story of from grass to grace.

 

Mom, it will interest you to note that I have always been your secret admirer ever since I attended your inaugural lecture. In that lecture, you emphasized over and above all, the need for inclusivity in education. Here you underscored in very strong terms the need for everybody including the disabled and the abled, the mentally impaired and the mentally sound, the rich as well as the poor to be carried along and be treated equal in our educational environment. You agitated for an enabling learning environment for all students irrespective of their financial background and pathological condition. When I think of this, it amazes me how most times our thought patterns are the direct opposite of what we truly are. And how easy it is to say and fantasize about things we would never do even when given the chance to put our words into action.

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You are indeed a living inspiration for most students. Most students sleep in the classrooms because they can’t afford the luxury of accommodation just to fulfill their ultimate goal of being educated like you.

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Most of them can barely afford a square meal a day just so they could save a little money to pay just 38k which was the amount for school fee prior to your emergence as the first female VC of the prestigious University of Calabar. We celebrated your victory because we saw in you a caring mother who has come to nurse her educationally malnourished academic progenies with the milk of your human kindness towards the humanization of their humanity.

 

Just when we thought our horrible situation will not get any worse, we witnessed an exponential increase in our school fee by our own mother despite the harsh economic situation at the moment. Dear mom, is this action of yours not tantamount to throwing the child with the bath water?

 

Dear mom, it is instructive that I put you on the know that with this outrageous increment of tuition fee and other school charges, most of the promising students with bright future under your maternal and academic tutelage from poor backgrounds have dropped out and taken into crimes and other social vices.

Their hope at the moment has been dashed and crashed into minuscule shreds given the cruel reality of the moment.

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With all due respect ma, I hope our mother’s ever charming face will now glow with smiles at the thought of the fact that the lethal substance she administered on her children has begun yielding the devastating results she yearned and clamored for.

 

Dear mother, please forgive my manners as I pose these questions:

 

If the stories peddled around by rumor mongers that you are from a poor family like most of us, is true, would you have graduated from the university under the same harsh condition you have subjected the students to?

 

Dear mother, How will you feel at the thought of the fact that many students dropped out and took into crimes during your tenure?

 

Was it your intention to clamor to be the first female VC in UNICAL just for the capricious motive of making of the school a Hell on earth?

 

Will you be happy and proud to identify with the history that it was during your tenure as the VC of UNICAL that we experience an astronomical increase in the number of school dropout and crime?

 

What is your motherly role in this ugly scenario?

 

What are you putting in place to salvage the situation?

 

How can the undergraduates come to terms with the cruel reality staring them in the face that barely a year ago their school fee was 38k but today, aside other charges, it has astronomically risen to a lump sum of over 48k?

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Should we talk about post graduate tuition fee and school charges that keep skyrocketing every year like Nigeria’s corruption ladder?

 

Now that you have successfully deprived the poor the right to education which is their inalienable right, I hope you are fully ready and prepared to bear the brunt that will come soon from the aggrieved and frustrated school dropouts?

 

Although, I’m not directly affected by this, but I feel the pain of the poor students, because I have been there too and I feel their pains the more.

 

I know the pains and trauma that come with dropping out of school for no fault of yours. After having tried your best to pull through the ugly scenario, you finally find your most dreadful nightmare staring you in the face that you’re a hopeless and frustrated school dropout.

You are a beautiful story of grace to be to be told by lips yet unborn because you braved the odds and weathered the storm through the wings of grace and hard work in a male chauvinistic institution to be where you are today.

Dear mom, please, 🙏 do not abuse the grace that brought you this far.

 

With love from your unknown academic son and admirer,

 

Ekwok Onah

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