It’s exactly six months since I left Africa in pursuit of an M.sc degree programme in the U.K. Although I am not new to travelling to the U.K, leaving Nigeria after different bitter experiences was something I joyfully looked forward to.
The night before my trip was similar to this night that I write this piece, it was as if I had offended the gods of sleep and they won’t bless me with their presence, I was so excited to leave the country of my birth. As I proceeded to the airport being driven by one of the greatest men I could ever meet I glanced at every part of the environment with a winning smile, a winning smile that said good bye to pain, a winning smile that said good bye to failure, a winning smile that said good bye to greed, a winning smile that said I would never miss you.
“Good day ladies and gentlemen we are now about to land into Heathrow airport” that was the voice of the Pilot, my palms began to sweat out of excitement for the newness that life has promised, my mind was open and free willing to taste and savour the sweetness of the U.K.
Getting to the house in Northampton after a three hour ride with my little brother and my mum I was completely fagged out and all I needed was the taste of my mums cooking, a nice warm bath and a sound sleep.
It was time to go to school and begin my registration process, and on the train from Northampton to Coventry I began to shed tears, I shed tears for multiple reason one of which was because I realised the extent of the wickedness of the Nigerian leaders and the Nigerian people, I have found myself in a country with no major mineral resources, a country where majority of its populace do not have half the moral values that Nigerians could die for but yet things were working, I still had drops of tears in my eyes when I realised I had gotten to my destination immediately I did a rough calculation in my mind and discovered that that the same journey would probably have taken three times more in my country.
In my previous trips to the U.K I hardly ever left Northampton so having to go to school in Coventry was a bit of challenge for me, however I noticed the sign posts that gave direction from the train station to the school there was no missing it, this did not particularly impress me after all we had street post in Lagos but the descriptive details however marvelled me, getting to the school I started to see guys and girls living free like birds this was however strange for me as I had attended a school which was built on strong autocratic and Christian values, it was not that I expected students to attend chapel service but inhaling of cigarettes all over the campus did give me some concern.
After catching up with Casmir and Gboyega my former school mates, I was taken to the point of registration and lo and behold there was a que, and then I started to laugh I said to myself “you see even this people they que can’t they have a faster system” to my surprise I did not spend more than five minutes on that que and in 30 minutes I had in my hands an ID card of Coventry University (this would probably take two weeks in my previous school). And instantly I remembered a similar que in Covenant where members of the student council were given preference over fellow students and my juvenility made me raise my voice in anger at such a cruel behaviour, that single action threatened the possibility of graduating.
It was September so the weather was quite cold and this in turn affected my urinary frequency, the toilet was a complete difference from what I had experienced in Covenant University where a plastic kettle and a bucket were placed in the toilet for the needful to be done in this toilet there was toilet rolls, hand driers and flowing water it was as if I was in Sheraton.
At the end of the week in the normal Nigerian custom it was time to go to church on Sunday, I could see Nigerians in the regular African regalia looking very majestic, however the white folks that I saw were either taking a walk or jogging to keep fit.
My journey to the U.K has in no doubt been a complete learning experience for me, I have been able to learn that the quality of life that people live is not exactly tied to religion or belief, rather its tied to being willing and able to do what is right.
Throughout my undergraduate days we were continuously reminded of how Covenant University was a world class institution and sometimes I bought that statement, but today I can stand on any platform to say that the school is far from being in a class talk less of being world class, we were also constantly reminded of how wealthy the school was and how the students school fees were being used to mow the lawn, but today that statement makes me laugh because I have learnt that it is not in the volume of wealth that one has that determines the quality of ones choices or life but rather it is being able and willing to do what is right, and what is needed.
While I grew up in Nigeria we were taught to have high moral standards and values, we were taught about God, we were taught to be good citizens of the country and to love our country, but now I have realised that love for nation can never be taught in theory, the lesson of love only sink in when it is taught in practical.
I have not written this to condemn my Alma-Mata, however with the current university ranking of universities in Nigeria Covenant University ranked 8th despite the tremendous lack of quality, then the question is what goes on in the school ranked 50.
My heart bleeds to see that the older generation in Nigeria have gambled with our future, it saddens my heart to realise that the love they teach is indeed far from their hearts, it gives me great pain to realise that the most important worlds to them are SELF, ME, I and my immediate family, to the detriment of our future.
Arise; O compatriots the youths of Nigeria calls please rescue us.