Awareness Times has decided to firmly apply the label of ‘student rebels’ to the group of rioters who have continued to misbehave over the past few days in name of ‘students unionism’. The rebel description which seems to have angered them is apt and will continue to be used against them over and over again because they are ‘student rebels’ studying how to become rebels in the future and not how to turn out as productive citizens.
I have read many views on the issue but the most appalling one was by my dear brother and former Students President now in the UK, Abu Komeh who postulated that since so much money had been spent on educating the students, they should not be rusticated. I have asked him what should then be done to someone who leaves university and goes on to murder or steal? Should the person be charged to court and imprisoned or should the person be made to walk off “because a lot of money has been spent on educating him”? My brother Abu says he is thinking up the response and would get back to me. I’m waiting on his response.
Few months back, the rusticated students’ plight was brought to my attention by Ismail Al-Sankoh Conteh and back then I had sympathized with them and helped to lobby on their behalf but the truth is that if we succumb to the past few days of violent blackmail of these student rebels, we are simply mass producing lawlessness from colleges into the society.
Let the rusticated students learn that gross lawlessness does not pay. They should have continued to show contrition over their lawless occupation of the hostels rather than open confrontation. Indeed, after their last few days of riots and yesterday’s rudeness especially over the Internet, I, and many of their previous sympathisers, now have absolutely no sympathy for them.
Since they are studying to be rebels, let us show them we have long since finished studying how to contain rebels in this land. We are now experts at handling rebels in our midst including student rebels studying to be rebels!
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.