Thursday, 14 January 2016

For Learning, Culture And Common Sense - Pope Jay

Ab initio, I have done my best to ensure that my pen is not a casualty in the Professor Y.K Yusuf matter but as it stands now I can no longer prevent the bloodshed of my thoughtful pen. I would like to firstly mention that I do not have any firsthand information as regards the issue and so some of the assertions I would be making in the course of this article may not be as precise but I believe some of the aftereffects of the rather unfortunate incident is apparent enough to reach some basic inferences.
 Almost every living soul in the walls of the Obafemi Awolowo University is familiar with the motto of the University. In fact you could almost hear the bats on campus sing it if you listen closely sometimes and now courtesy of the Professor Effiong Eyo Okon Golden Jubilee Garden, even an observant first time visitor should be able to correctly state the institution’s motto. I recall that as a fresh student of the University, a high number of lecturers emphasized the importance of both parts of the motto; Learning and Culture. However, I want to believe that there is a third part of the motto that is not entirely obvious. Merriam Webster defines it as the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and make good decisions, it is more commonly referred to as ‘Common Sense’ and it is indeed a trait so needed in the optimal functioning of a person both as an individual and as a part of society.
 The earlier part of this semester was quite eventful, apart from the school work, which in my own case was as tedious as usual, there were quite a number of occurrences that trended on the OAU campus. One of these events was that of the Language Scholar and our Student’s Union’s PRO. From reports, it was said that Prof Yusuf was teaching a class and the PRO, Immanuel Kant tried to make an announcement in the same class and was denied permission. Some of the decisions that followed evolved into a funnily serious brawl between the Students of the English department and the involved Union executives, the suspension of the Student’s Union and some very recent scary rumours. I don’t like to point accusing fingers but I strongly believe there is no need to in this case. You would also be tempted to again ask where the concept of “Common Sense” comes in to this topic; it is true that Common Sense is not as directly involved but the unfavouring effects of its unuse even for just a few moments can be deduced from this incident.

I hereby use this medium to preach once again the message of “Common Sense”. In as much as academic and moral instructions are primary to the education we so pursue, there is also the need to develop initiative and discretion: The ability to make the least parlous decisions at different points in time. I would also plead with the appropriate quarters that whilst they defend the sanity of the society with justice, they also tamper justice with mercy. Hopefully, more would come to appreciate the nonobvious part of our Institution’s motto because eventually it’s not just learning and culture, it’s For Learning, Culture and Common Sense
 Pope Jay
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