Where Knowledge Is Being Murdered

By Abdulkadir Adamu
Consider this a hyperbole at your ignorance – Isn’t it your peril? – oh ye, Knowledge Advocate. Certainly, in this part of the world, Knowledge is right now at the abattoir, being slaughtered. Or, do you need any eye to see his blood forming a mighty tide there? No doubt, Knowledge is multi-faceted, multi-dimensional. But, Researcher’s chronicle here is by no means a feeble proof.

Researcher is at then-University-Main-Library-now-turned-Faculty-Library to continue with his data collection using national dailies, only to get his vigour and enthusiasm watered down by the padlocked gate. That is Wednesday 6 Sept., 2017. A workday. 12 o’ clock noon. The nationwide public holiday for the celebration of Eid-il-Fitr was over two days ago. Why the closure, then? Only three staff work here: one is an ASUU member, and you know what that means; the other two are on annual leave! My investigations found two versions, though; one, the second staff is on leave too; two, he isn’t on leave but just went to only-God-knows-where. Whatever, their colleagues at the Main Library assured Researcher that the ‘library’ isn’t going to be open until Monday, next week. Why or how could both staff be on whatever leave at the same time, or be absent for whatever reason? Or, why no staff at the Main Library is posted there? It’s sad that these remain answerless, though not rhetorical, questions.

Why not the Main Library? Worse. Researcher had, in vain, gone there several times looking for newspapers of 2016-17. The definitive explanation was that all 2016 and some of the 2017 papers have yet to be packed from the old library to the several-months-old new one. His galvanised efforts were disappointed when he was told that the key to the vacated library might be with the Security Office and even if you get the key and a volunteering staff, you can not access the papers because of DUST. It’s based on this that the concerned lady advised Researcher to go to the now closed ‘library’. Isn’t here worse then, and, now, is there any hope for Researcher who hopes to finish his task within the week?    

Yes. Since the ivory tower has failed, National Library is his last resort, thought Researcher. They have almost all papers of the said period. But, alas, all reference materials, books, shelves, chairs, desks – everything – belonging to the National Library have been jam-packed in a room and, obviously, no library business does and can take place! Not even a lady-staff’s concern and efforts to uncover the sardined papers to make them accessible to Researcher yielded any fruit.    

Why all this booboo? The National Library had been occupying the State Library building for years and the latter had been moved to a rented building. Meanwhile, the former has been, for years, constructing ‘a state of the art’ library elsewhere within the heart of the state capital. The arrangement was that the State Library would relocate to its original place when the National Library finishes its permanent site and moves there. Now, the dream seems a dream forever.  

At the other side of the coin, the State Library has failed to pay its rent and the landlord has asked it to pack. To avoid being a vagabond, it has seized its original place from the National Library and resumed business. A kind and respectful younger sister, though, it has allowed its elder sister to put everything it has in a room, for the meantime. This means two libraries, State and Federal, operate in one building. Fine. Researcher, shift target. The Serial Officer looks dumfounded when Researcher makes his mission clear. We haven’t bought any paper 2016-date! She responds as-a-matter-of-factly.

Until now, Researcher thought there was any hope for Knowledge to be sought and research done. But, his experience assures him there isn’t. (This is putting aside the 16th-century-ness of the duo). Isn’t all this clear evidence that this climate has made Knowledge the last item on its scale of preference? And, to add foolishness to madness, a few months ago, the Government held a Reading Awareness Event in this library-less Sahara. Anyway, doesn’t this madness-foolishness combo represent in microcosm what is happening in the larger geography? Now, who is to rescue not just Researcher but Knowledge from the hungry blade that has penetrated its skin and is a millisecond away from its throat? I?  S/he? You? They? We.

 Abdulkadir Adamu, Department of English, Gombe State University. He can be reached through adamuone86@gmail.com

Posted by on 11/09/2017. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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