(For UNILAG LAW CLASS OF 2016)
How can I, prognosticator of your success,
Extol your dénouement?
An epilogue denuded in the very prologue!
But necessity impels me to this paean
For to leave unacknowledged
The strides you have trodden
Shall be the ultimate perfidy…
In hard times I have known you
When malefic courses threatened your progress
In eras of change I have known you
When new policies redefined your studentship,
When many took to routes obscure,
When, drilled beyond bearing, others fell
Victims of the inevitable –
But you Los Vencedores
Fed fat even in the dearth of grasses
And can I, your advocate
Fail to cantillate your triumphs?
It was not a road untrodden
The familiar glade of legal education
Has lost novelty before your investiture
For you no rule was changed
It was – same irksome lectures
Same vexatious catalogue of cases
Same monochromatic garb begrudged by the uninitiates;
But what greater miracle than this:
Your transmutation of the mundane into the transcendent?
How transient seems the yesteryears of your sojourn
At this moment of parting!
Bitter is this farewell, O ye beloved of the faculty –
And yet parting it must be
That you, whose light have long been veiled
May freely shine to the world…
Let this be my succour:
That I your acolyte, watching from a distance,
May say unto spectators:
‘I too walked among the winners.’
Can one choose from among the stars? It is not out of choice that I name these for whom we are indebted: Ijeoma Efobi, our adept Class Governor; Alade Omotosho who ensured that materials were timely available; Michael Isochukwu, selfless provider of class note in all formats, deliverer of lazy students; Aishat Okesola, Barakat Mustapha, Teri Wellington and other stenographers who ensured accurate transcriptions of incoherent classes; Rilwan Shittu whose tutorial demystified and made wadable the numerous materials and classes; the Adebos, the Bidemis, the Ifes, the Joneses, the Ubakas, the Vivians , the Yinkas who saw to it that we are winners outside the confines of the class – these representative few inuncted the rough road that we have trodden. And for those whose timeous Whatsapp information, villainy, jests and mischiefs made pleasant the tedious life of the law students…