For some days now, videos on the engagement of Governor Ajimobi and the LAUTECH students have been trending on the internet. The videos which has been categorised into three sides- their side, our (government) side and the truth have given some individuals the audacity to turn themselves to overnight commentators and critics. However, the third side which is the complete video that put what happened in prosper perspective never got the attention of marauders who are hell bent on destroying the image of Governor Abiola Ajimobi and distracting him.
The Ajimobi’s lautech conversations have further put to fore the danger of digital media. The sender of a message in digital media has the liberty to tell the recipients what he wants them to know and the angle he wants them to view the conversations from.
In Hebrew 12: 6-11 says that for whom the Lord loves he chastens and scourges, every son whom he receives… in chapter 9, the Bible made us to understand that we have earthly fathers who discipline us and we respect them. In my own view, the words of the Bible are what the governor followed. At a particular time during the governor’s engagement with the students, he told them that he was in a position to be their father.
The LAUTECH issue has led to many discourse which have thrown up many truths. It is true that the event happened and the governor was harsh on the students. It is also true that the governor was able to calm the frayed nerves and provided solution to the students’ grouse. Another truth is that the three minutes and one minute video from Sahara reporter which was the genesis of the scenario was posted for malicious purposes because the whole video which captures the real scenario was also available on the same site and it never generated unnecessary heat unlike the distorted ones.
Another truth is that the issue was misrepresented as another video on the internet showed a calmed atmosphere after the unruly behaviour from students which necessitated the governor’s action. Even, the video showed the governor in a jocular atmosphere with the students. An extra truth is that the LAUTECH videos have been viewed from many perspectives ranging from the governor being a tyrant, the unruly behavior of the students, culture being eroded among others.
A different truth that may not have been considered is that the discourse have been blown out of proportion by overnight human rights critics, social media activists and opportunist citizens’ journalists. With all sense of responsibility, majority of these people wouldn’t have condoned the actions of the Lautech students as their comments, posts and views reflect the kind of people they are and the attitude they are likely to portend.
The governor scolding them for their unruly behavior should have been viewed by taking some factors into consideration. The Governor, according to media reports, few days to the protest announced that the school would resume before February 1 when he met some of the students’ leaders, this should have put a stop to the planned protest as what the protest was meant for had been addressed. Secondly, the protest could have been hijacked by unscrupulous elements and turned into violent protests, arson which would have made the police to act accordingly by using force. Moreover, the security agents could have prevented the students from holding the protest amongst others.
The governor never allowed any of these to happen. His action portrays him as a father, a listening leader and individual with human face. He could have feigned ignorance of their protest and ask the security agencies to dislodge them as the Chief Security Officer of the state. But for leaving the state executive council meeting to attend to them, he should be applauded. His reassurances about the action they (Oyo and Osun govts) have taken show that he is concerned about the plights of the students.
No matter what, facts are sacred and no one can make it subjective. The facts are that the students were unruly, the governor chastised them and embraced them as a father he is (the complete video shows this). We should not abuse the opportunity we have as citizens’ journalists to suppress facts and embrace distorted information from the likes of Sahara Reporter, the overnight human right critics and social media activists.
Without doubt, the actions and reactions of these individuals confirmed that our cultural values have been eroded and people tend to support unruly behaviour, thuggery et al. Issues have been put in proper perspective by some school of thoughts who have added further explanations to it. They critically examined the videos and concluded we should not view these videos from an emotional state but rather allow reasoning to prevail. It is only in an insane society that unruly behaviour is used to resolve crisis. The videos showed the unruly behaviour of the students and the harsh words by the governor and how he was able to douse the tension. We all should not forget that we disagree to agree and the most important thing is how the crisis was resolved.
The corrective measure made by the governor should rather be commended than condemned. It is a pity that those who have turned themselves to overnight critics and rights activist will not allow their children/ brothers/ sisters/ family members to thread the unruly, thuggery, rascal et al paths in their endeavours.
Mariam Muhammad wrote from Kwara State.