Jennifer glanced around the lecture room she usually studied in and then at her wristwatch. It was 6.00pm,time to head home.
She looked up to see Kayode, a 300 level student she had a huge crush on.She smiled saying nothing.
She eagerly nodded and stood up.
They chatted for some minutes while he dropped his books with his friends and then they walked around the campus talking- Jennifer didn’t want the night to end. His phone beeped and while he answered it,she checked her wristwatch and gasped-10.00pm!
She never stayed out this late on campus…then she remembered Kevin was with her…
‘I’m so sorry. I have to go now, my cousin who stays on campus is really ill and I need to take him to the hospital immediately. The gate is not far from here,can you manage? I have to go back this way…’
Jennifer nodded and swallowed.
‘I am so sorry.I will call you later tonight okay?’ he hugged her and disappeared in the opposite direction.
She looked around her and then quickly began to walk towards the gate.A few steps and she began to hear sounds in the bush nearby and within seconds,two guys rushed out of the bush,grabbed her and pulled her in.There was even no time to scream as a hand covered her mouth!
Four months before that day, the Vice Chancellor(VC) had banned students from studying in their hostels at night.He said reading was for classrooms and so every night a matronly woman went round the hostels to make sure the lights were out and no one was studying in their rooms. The girls complained about the lack of safety in the school premises and asked the Student Union President to pressure the school authorities to light up the campus streets and tighten security but the president returned with all sorts of excuses- no money for street lights, it was not their responsibility,it was expensive…clearly, the Student Union Executives had more important issues to pursue as it became apparent they were enjoying huge compensations.
True to the female students’ fears, stories of female students being mugged on their way to or from the lecture rooms and library at night began to filter in and by the end of the second month,it became alarming. Then one night a girl was raped and that put a new twist on things. The female students started to grumble but not even the guys took notice; then a few of them decided to go to the VC with their complaints only to be told by his secretary that the new law had since been accepted by the students represented by the President.
That was when Jennifer’s best friend,Seyi and some other concerned roommates decided to take to the streets-they would protest. They decided they wanted the Union Executive team out of office and the VC had to reverse his new directive until they could provide adequate security for them.
Jennifer read in the library sometimes but she was home before 6.00pm so she didn’t feel threatened by the law… it was for those living on campus. She knew there was a students union government voted into office but wasn’t all that for those socially inept nerds?
A few days after, Jennifer watched from the side lines; granted, there was good reason for the protests but… sighing, she walked in the opposite direction of her marching friends…