THE COORDINATOR’S CANDOUR. By: Olaniyi Aderuku.

“Whenever you are frustrated or angry, you should be mindful of the things you are tempted to say.”
“You shouldn’t be saying that to me because I haven’t made any statement out of anger or frustration😒. I’m just hungry. Even with the hunger pangs, I still haven’t said anything.”
“I didn’t mean you, exactly. I’m speaking in general terms. Sometimes you should care to listen.”
“Okay, you have my full attention. What’s the problem😏?”
“Did you not hear about what happened during the last morning devotion?”
”No. I wasn’t there. I was relishing the comfort of my bed at the time and I wasn’t informed about anything😯. I knew there was some kind of uproar when people came back but I felt it was because of the blessings. What happened?”
“I’ll tell you. The coordinator was apparently angry; she lashed out vehemently at the male students. She said they come there to constitute nuisance. She made statements that meant that they were irresponsible and unfit to be husbands.”
“Such strong words were said early in the morning? That’s clearly not a great way to start the day. What happened to the preaching?”
“The preaching was abandoned. From what I observed, her displeasure at the behaviours of the male students had reached its peak and had become unbearable for her. Her candour was shocking. Interestingly, female students were exempted from the share of virulence. ”
That’s not surprising at all. You know males are generally regarded as being stubborn while ladies are tractable. But I must also say that she was brave💪💪. For her to stand before male students in their tens and make such scathing remarks? That is bravery. Commendable,👏👏👏 yet she could have exercised some restraint. What did she say their offence was?”
“It wasn’t clear. But from her remarks, she said male students disturb during the devotion and also…”
“I have a problem with you. You assume that religious people shouldn’t have emotions and it is forbidden for them to get angry when their patience is being tested. Should you wait to be told that the sanctity of a religious gathering shouldn’t be defied?”
“Would you be kind enough to let me finish, please? It didn’t end there. She also complained that male students weren’t around for the 5am FYB prayer whereas, the ladies, as expected, were present in their numbers.
That shouldn’t anger her. It was supposed to be voluntary. More so, 5am is rather early. I have a problem with Nigerians and their attitudes towards prayers😏😏. We act as though, prayer is the solution to every of life’s problems. If the answer had always been prayers, this country should be one of the most prosperous nations in the world.”
You have a problem with too many things. Just allow me finish first. Her comments incited mixed reactions: people stormed out, some were patient till the end. The boys were visibly offended. I hear that some vowed never to attend again.”
Ah ahn. On top wetin?”
“You wouldn’t blame them. For one to get such searing attack in a gathering that I can say majority of people grudgingly attend, you shouldn’t expect less. Although, I heard she already apologised.”
“That, again, is my problem😒😒. Speaking should be controlled, especially when you occupy a leadership position. Some words are best unsaid because of the possibility of a misinterpretation. Our emotions as well shouldn’t be allowed to becloud our actions. No amount of apology can erase the rant. Apologies may not be enough to heal the bruises caused. Words, when said, are indelible. They would be remembered for life!
“You see why I said you should be mindful of things you say when you’re angry or frustrated and even when you’re excited.”
Thank you for the advise. Come to think of it. I feel that there’s a fundamental problem with this year’s FYB and it needs some urgent attention. There is restiveness everywhere. It’s one group against another. What is going on?
“You are not wrong. I even got reliably informed that a girl had earlier used the same gathering to brazenly say that boys only know how to masturbate.”
Chisos Kraist🙉🙉! She wagged her tongue freely, much too freely in fact. She took an undue advantage of the moment. Did she remember to say she was going to help satisfy the wanton desires of those within that category?”
“You joke too much. These are damning words that subject a group to ridicule. People should be able to manage the euphoria when they get an opportunity to address a crowd. That’s why our leaders, most times, use a prepared speech to address their subjects and that speech passes through so many tables first, to be sure that it is good for public consumption. Ad-libbing can be dangerous. Every individual carries an element of see-me-as-relevant. When it appears that our relevance has been ridiculed, we tend to flare up. People like to be pampered with the most soothing words possible. The other week, people went hysterical on social media because of the loose comments of some persons.”
“Really, speaking is serious business. That’s why I properly rehearse the things I would say to a lady I’m interested in. I wouldn’t want to ruin the relationship before it even starts😏😏😏. Now that all of these have happened and it obviously cannot be reverted. What then do we do?”
“We pray. We must pray for God’s intervention; that He should teach us how and when to speak. Most importantly, when you have nothing to say, say nothing😯😯. You must have been in gatherings where someone who is called to speak would say, Well, I don’t know what to say again. My colleague has said it all. Eventually, the person still goes ahead to say something, perhaps for the desire to be heard. The speech runs long and most times, it is laced with platitudes.”

Written by: Olaniyi Aderuku (@olaniyiaderuku) a 400 level student of Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU).

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