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Our Funny Days In UNIBEN ~Omonaijablog


By: Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.

When you enter into the University of Benin, from the main gate, driving about 200 metres, you are either bending to the left or to the right, if you are not careful as a student, your life will bend along side the bend.

In our days in the University of Benin, it was fun, but wait for it... if you were not very careful, it will not be funny. You have to be careful how you handle people, even in the most inflammable circumstances, else they will print your posters with "Gone too Soon". So, if you want to be popular and still last, discretion is the better part of valour.

The Halls of Residences.

In our days, we had Hall One, Hall Two, Hall Three and Hall Four. Hall One girls can "form". In local  parlance it means, pretending to be what you are not, just like Hall Four Boys. Hall Three Boys are the "Aro" boys. Always noisy and boisterous. I remember vividly when an "ugly" girl showed up in Hall Three, they sang the "Wowo" national anthem for her, using the melody of the Nigerian National Anthem as Follows ."wowo, wowo, wowo, wowo  wowo wowo, wowo  wowo wowo, wowo wowo woo .."

A busty girl passes by Hall 3 Boys and they shout " Cowbell, our milk". The funny thing is that the girl laughs. 

Another boy holds a girl by the shoulder and they shout at the boy 'Assistant Boy Friend'.

Off Campus (Off K).

There were 6 major places off Campus. Adolor, Uwasota, Osasogie, BDPA, Isihor  and Ekosodin. If you were not strong, you don't live in Ekosodin. A boy thought he was in boarding school in Ekosodin, he went to look for trouble, when they started looking for him he ran and till today he never came back to school. Ekosodin was always the centre of cult clashes. What caused the cult clashes? Girls

It was so funny that many girls joined cults because they wanted to have the power to struggle for guys. Many of them are dead and the girls have since moved on.

The Lecturers

The University of Benin had its own fair share of the good, the bad and the ugly, when it came Lecturers. However, ever each faculty had its star. The Faculty of Engineering was Professor Salami, Law - Prof. Richard Idubor (Bob Allan ) and  Social Science - Marx Wagbafor. Some Lecturers will say:

"A" is for God ,"B" is for me and "C" is for you . Those were some of the sadists. Lecturers in UNIBEN are still treated with utmost respect and reverence. The discipline there is unparalleled.

The Fellowships during the Day and those at night

The most popular slogan in UNIBEN back in our days was "Who Cares " and we would answer, " NCSF does,". This was the slogan of the Nigerian Catholic Students Fellowship. There were too many fellowshipsv - CU, NIFES later: CU-NIFEST, CASOR, BLW, DLSF, Winners, etc. We always looked forward to the Christian Union Drama Unit (CUDU's) drama . There was also.the fellowship at night. Hmmn! I cannot comment much on that. 

The University is a complex place.  You have to go through it with sense.Things are not always the way they seem. The higher your class, the deeper it becomes. 

The Fashion Trends / Shows.

Some of Nigeria's biggest broadcasters and comedians come from UNIBEN. We had some Campus celebrities. Sulai  (Sulayman ) Aledeh was born a celebrity, together with Chris Ellems of Channels Television. Both were class mates of Linus Idahosa, the husband of the Nigerian Thespian - Shephenie Okereke and Jude Imagbeghian, who later became my call mate in the Nigerian Law School. He was one of the major presenters of Campus Life with the late Samson Ohimokhai, who was a nephew to High Chief Raymond Dokpesi. Chris Ellems, Osasumwen Asowata, Mary Ajayi, Tracy Osadolor, who incidentally is a staff of the Public Relations Department of UNIBEN were all well known in the institution. I also did my thing at the Popular Radio Programme "Can you Guess ",with some UNIBEN Greats like Okenwa Christopher, Ibrahim Momoh, Agbons Omoregbe, Agbons Erhuwense, Fredrick Omo-Izobo, Osazuwa Osahon Daniels, Osazuwa Nosayaba Peters, etc.

Basketmouth, godfather, Gandoki, Efex the Entertainer all started from UNIBEN. They were the spice of the show. Miss Skomit, Pick a Brain Award. Miss Skomit was hosted by one of my Classmates Angela Joma Imude, a zany personality, who was very intelligent and very playful. Sadly, she is died, but her memory lingers on. I also mourn my other class mates, Nana Okumah, who wrote the book, *Obaseki*, Mary Ugowe, Malachy Idehen,  Mr Okosun, who died recently etc.The last I saw most of my Class mates was either in the Nigerian Law School or Peemos Place in Sapele, before we graduated.

The SUG Presidents/ Campaigns.

You don't just start speaking English that you want to be the SUG President. You must consult with all the stakeholders during the day and at night, or you will go missing and resurface after the campaigns. Complex plots of deep things are what plays out before you see a UNIBEN SUG President. Before I entered UNIBEN, I was fascinated by the exploits of the likes of the irrepressible Ogaga Ifowedo, who led the SAP Riots of 1989  William Ubong, Charles Titiloye, Brother Seyi,  Ken Saro Wiwa. In our time, we had the likes of the irrepressible Obey Razaq, Chris Ekiyor, Eduvie Efekhoda. Once they start singing ... this one, this one, gentle man no dey o the spirit of death is hovering about. If you are not careful, some body will die !

NANS Conventions

This is a complex place, where grammar does not matter. What matters is the number of guns and bullets you have. NANS Conventions was not for the faint hearted. NANS was politicized after the death of Moses oisekede on the way to Markurdi. NANS died with him. What we have thereafter were self-serving charlatans, giving awards from State to State. What a shame!

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in UNIBEN, with the 36001 Students. We used to ask "Who is that 1?
 
About the Author :
Douglas Ogbankwa Esq., @ douglasogbankwa@gmail.com, a Benin Based Lawyer is the Convener of the Benin Writers' Society and the National Movement for the Actualisation of Good Governance (,NAMAGG).

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