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In Defense Of Private Universities And Their Outrageous Rules.

The rules in some private universities in Nigeria leave a sour taste in the mouth. For some people it's just plain ridiculous. Why should adults be treated like that; no phones, no gadgets, no make up, no trousers, no heavy jewelry, limited freedom of movement, limited freedom of association with members of the opposite sex, inability to come and go as you please, compulsion to attend religious gatherings on and on and on it goes. It's outrageous really. How's the individual supposed to grow under such circumstances? After all the University is really where one learns life's lessons. It's where most of us develop ourselves and our characters.  How is an individual supposed to grow in an extension of high school. Actually, some high schools don't even have that many rules. We think about it and we scream "Never!". "I could never have attended a school like that". The picture above is for new rules in Covenant University, a school unpopular for it's very rigid rules. 

You see I attended a federal university, where I had the freedom to do everything and anything I wanted. The ONLY thing the school required of me as a student of its institution was to pay my school fees. I could come and go as I pleased, attend lectures if and when I wanted to, have an orgy right in front of my hostel if I so pleased.... In my early years in school I remember how men came from outside and picked up girls for the night as though our hostel was a brothel. Generally university life was exciting. 

But then to who's detriment? In an environment where you are given complete freedom there's the likelihood that you would abuse it. So is it any wonder that through most of my second year I attended lectures once or twice a week? Nobody questioned me and I was answerable to no one. Naturally when time to write my examinations came, I chewed my pen in the exam hall and more often than not submitted blank sheets. The school did not care. All that mattered was that I'd payed the fees, I was free to do whatever I wanted; my failure or success was of no consequence to them. 

Fortunately I "gave myself brain" and sat up but fast forward to a few years later time came to graduate. The smart ones started visiting the Registry to ensure that all was in order (because you could not depend on the registry who's job it was to do that.). I followed suit and guess what I found out... I HAD NO FILE! None whatsoever. Fortunately we had three files; in the Registry, Exams and Records and Faculty. So I ran to Exams and Records to look for my file there; evidence that I was a student of the University of Nigeria, evidence that the last 5 years of my life had not been a joke. There I found my file but guess what? IT WAS EMPTY! Jehovah! Then I ran to the faculty and looked for my file, all I found was a few useless papers. Guess what people, the school that had admitted me and had collected my money yearly had failed me. I had to run from pillar to post. I had to go to JAMB office to get my result. I had to get copies of my WAEC result. I had to look for my admission letter in places I never knew existed. And I'm sure you know that each step of the way some serious money was spent. 

Papers sorted... But remember I said my file was empty. My file was to have all my results from my 1st year to final year and it was empty! I ran to the faculty and started looking for results, paying whoever could help me. I'll have you know that this took about a year; to find my results. Some were not even found at all and I had to RE-TAKE THE EXAMS. Computer Science was a second year course and I had to go back and write it when some of my mates were already doing their registration in Law School. I also found that I had NO results for Natural Sciences, a first year course. I remembered clearly that I saw my results for that course in my first year. I made an A in the first semester and a B in the second. But in my faculty and in the lecturer's records what I saw in place of my result for the first semester was a blank space. They said I had no result and I had not taken the examination. It turned out that because I had not bought the lecturer's text book or something silly like that, regardless of the fact that I had made an A in the course, the lecturer gave me a blank space. I found this out over 5 years later.

Just when I thought the nightmare was over I realized that my Criminal Law result was missing. I was back to square 1. Thankfully after spending several thousands, praying and fasting, I was free. 

Or was it those nights when I was walking peacefully and one cult boy or the other would stop me and harass me? I remember that night that one idiot I had never seen before started screaming my name and told his friends to "bring that stupid girl here" then he pulled out his belt and said he was going to flog me till he saw blood. The most memorable thing about that night was how everyone quietly moved away, pretending not to notice what was going on, leaving me in the hands of cult boys who threatened to strip me naked and flog me till they saw blood, right there in front to lady Ibiam Hostel as I was trying to buy fries. Eventually one of them begged for me to be let go. I ran to my hostel and broke down in tears when I got to my other room. 

Or was it when *Steve and I went for a stroll at night and some mean looking cultists said "stop or we shoot" and asked him to leave me and go, them asked to me to get on my knees and crawl to Chitis with only words of "don't worry, we won't rape you" to console me. After a couple of hours and many threats they finally let us go. 

Or when some cult boys put that girl inside a dustbin and covered it.... Or when they threatened to pour shit on my friend ... So many stories. Some people's stories are far worse. 

I have friends that were admitted into my university years before me, a very close friend that was years ahead of me (2001) and is till today, 13 years later, still trying to graduate from that University. 

So really, some private universities have some overly rigid, seemingly unnecessary rules that make some of us shudder. But I would give anything to have attended Covenant, Babcock etc and spent very boring and uneventful few years as opposed to the near hell I experienced in my extended stay in my lawless Federal Univerisity. 

If abiding to those rules is what it takes to get into schools, make good grades, leave at the right time, not experience strikes, live in conditions decent for human beings, bathe in bathrooms that don't give you nightmares at night, poo in toilets and not daily be subjected to " shot put", study in conducive environments, have the necessary amenities, have all your records readily accessible.... all without constant harassment from blood thirsty young men, then I think it's a very small price to pay. 


  1. Thelma, I really wish you are here so I could give you a big bear hug.You did justice to this topic,am happy to say am a proud graduate of Covenant University.Yes I have heard it all from those that say I went to a glorified secondary school to the 'You never experienced University life' and then some. But I have always been more concerned with the benefits, the fact that I did a 4years course and was out in 4years,was mobilized for NYSC almost immediately,a lecturer could not harrass me sexually or otherwise(how now?does he want to lose his job?) And I didn't have to contend with cultism or its look-alikes.See I could go on and on and on but I don't want to sound like a broken record.YES, I will be the first to admit that certain private Universities have some stringent rules that could be relaxed.I remembered been suspended for 4weeks(which I served as community service in the school Cafeteria)for leaving the school premises without exeat permit.It didn't make a difference that my destination was Experience Lagos @TBS.Despite all these,given a choice, I would still choose a private University anytime anyday!

  2. I totally disagree. Do u know that those private uni kids are as bad as those in federal uni's? Scroll thru twitter and u wld be amazed.
    If fed uni's were properly structured and maintained their past standards,this post wldnt be so. And Btw,private uni's also have coded cultists (who prolly don't meet within the school premises). And the last i checked cultists with guts in broad daylight/public eye don't really show themselves like that anymore.
    If ur old enough to vote for the president of ur country,then you shld be able to use a device in ur uni in this century

  3. Hmmm Thelma, true your experiences were sad, but I'd still choose Unilorin over and over again compared to any of these private Universities. We had the freedom yeah, phones, movement, when to attend classes etc, except dress code which was all in a bit to instill some level of decency and I appreciate that as a person. I stayed in the same hostel throughout, though different flats yearly, flat of six girls to a toilet, bathroom, kitchen and courtyard with constant water and light supply. And there were cleaners to clean the environment everyday. Though, there were less affordable hostels where more girls share a toilet, yet girls scrambled to get this particular hostel because it's closer to the school's mini market, car park and it's usually bubbly at night. Being a student of any of these private Universities would have been hell for me. I hate people infringing on my rights and I started feeling like an adult since I was sixteen, so these rules would have meant hell for me.

  4. Yes am a proud graduate of Covenant University, the school has taken part in moulding me. The fact that you can graduate on time without stress is great too. Yes there are rules bt they make us more disciplined and focused. And yeah we do have fun too ;) Go C.U #Sussy

  5. for education, thumbs up to private Universities, for building character, i give them zero. Ask people from different NYSC camps about majority of graduates from these schools and you will weep. God saw it fit to give us the freewill to choose between good and bad ,and we all know that God is wisdom. Now these pastors take that freedom away thinking they are building the morals of these adults but in fact they are no. Once they taste freedom they go overboard. The unfortunate thing is that the time they are making these mistakes their mates have already gone through those mistakes and learnt their lessons. Imagine having your year one mentality about guys and relationship at this age.

  6. They both have their good and bad sides but I'll never trade my federal uni experience for a private uni. I think the worst thing that happened to the morals of the young nigerian girl is the private uni. U know how it is when you cage your dog all day then.let it out at night, it goes crazy, the freedom is intoxicating. Same applies with some of these girls. When the come out of school on weekends they really go crazy, some sleep with different guys every weekend provided the guy can house them and take them clubbing. Fine these schools provide a better study environment but the restrictions have a very bad effect. I once went to visit a girl in redeemers uni, then she told me to drive around so we'll gist. That's how she directed me to a secluded area and begged to see my dick, after plenty pleading I agreed then she begged to give me bj...
    I'll end the story here but this was just the beginning

  7. Bowen much for being a private uni!

  8. In as much as i applaud ur opinion,but i wld say,pls dnt use a part to justify the whole,i can tell u categorically that wat u must av faced in school,was partly as a result of ur lackadasical wt ur studies for almost 5 years u were non chalant abt it,,nd all of a sudden u came to ur senses,nd u tink u wnt face any issue,common even a year 1 student shld knw ds,it is presumed that once u are in d university,u re matured, nd shld be able to distinguish between right frm wrong, if to u skipping lectures cos u dnt av any strict rules to order u around,then its a pity that u were nt ripe for d univerity as a whole,am a Graduate of d premier university,i paid my dues academically,i didnt av any issues,i also studied a 5 year course nd i did nt a spend a day more than i shld,despite the strikes,the School authorities always had a way of making up for d lost times,,most students in private uni,are there as a result of circumstance,cos they cldnt meet d. Strict admisson requirement of federal nd state uni,
    Like d general saying,you can force the horse to d river,but u cant force it to drink water,no matter d rules,it dosent deter an indv frm doing whats he or she wants to do,or change dem,infact by d law of nature such an indv wld develp resistant to any force that tries to restrict its freedom.
    Madam thelma i humbly object totally to ur opinion on dis matter.

  9. Thelma I love ur article, I am a proud student of Redeemer's University, currently in my second year, true private University may not be fun but in the real sense am not there for fun at least my school fees is no fun, they are making me a better person one way or the other, am in a school in which am sure to graduate at a particular date and that can and will never change, am in a school in which am not scared cultists trouble I don't even know what that is, I am in a school in which we don't dress waywardly , am in a school in which no matter hw broke financially I can be I still have my coupon ticket to eat, am in a school in which I am given scholarship because of academic excellence, I am in a school in which I can be given counseling if I think I need help in any area of life, am in a school In which I am being thought about leadership development, these and many more are not being offered in federal University. Ooh there was an issue that private uni students are bad In quote,you all have the mentally that wen they let a cat out of its cage it starts to misbehaves, true but not in all cases am a true example, REDEEMER'S UNIVERSITY gives ZERO TOLERANCE FOR IN DISCIPLINE, SO MY DEAR STEELE, you were so lucky u were not caught.
    In conclusion, we all go to the university to acquire knowledge, wisdom, understanding, in a particular discipline or profession, the various experience we get there don't really matter, they are their to actually make us what we ought to be in future, so weather federal/public or private uni, we need not to discriminate or bad mouth each other both has their weakness and strength.


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