As the Redeemer’s University, Mowe, Ogun State, Nigeria recently organised an international conference on intercultural conflicts to discuss salient issues on African Identity, Oral Culture, Aesthetics, Diplomacy, Religion, Women and Leadership, academic staff of the Training School, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), rose up to the occasion by making valuable contributions to the discussions, workshops and paper presentations of the gathering of theatre and culture scholars.
The 2-day conference, tagged, CULRUN 2014,an initiative of the College of Humanities, Redeemer’s University, Redemption City, Mowe, Ogun State,sought to proffer solutions in academic publications to the prevailing insecurity in the continent and has as theme, “The Humanities, Conflict and Development in Africa,” and held from Tuesday, May 27th to Wednesday, May 28th, 2014, the first of its kind in Africa.
Mr. Ikay Ezeh Jr., Lecturer, NICO Training School, presented a paper, titled, “Impact of Pentecostalism on Culture Law,” on Wednesday, May 28th, 2014, under Parallel Session I: Pentecostalism, Conflict and Development, chaired by Professor L. B. Kolawale; while Mr. Pat Obi Nwagbo, a staff of the Office of the Executive Secretary who is currently on the postgraduate programme of the Training School, also presented a paper, titled, “Cultural Aesthetics of Proverbs in Nigerian Drama: A Focus on Barclays Ayakoroma’s Dance on His Grave.”
Earlier at the formal opening ceremony, the Chairman of the occasion, Professor Ayodeji Olukoju, Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Letters, Vice-Chancellor, Caleb University had stated that, the threat of insurgency in Nigeria cannot be tackled by military strategy or political quick-fixes alone, but required deep contextual understanding of the reasons for the violence experienced by the country in this times and clime.
He decried the situation, where theliberal arts and cultural education,which have the natural edge to provide direction for good governance, “have been pushed to the margins and especially so in this country, where values have been corroded and it appears that whatever cannot make or translate to quick money does not deserve respect and attention.”
The distinguished scholar applauded the noble efforts of the College of Humanities, Redeemer’s University, for initiating such an importantconference,reminding self-serving leaders who have made it an official policy to dominate our national discourse only to give mere cameo appearances to real scholars during national celebrations that there can be no killing of the Humanities because of its indispensability to development.
In his Keynote Address,titled, “Why (Islamic) Terrorism Waxes Strong in Nigeria,” Dele Olowu, a Professor of Administration and Local Government in Nigeria, identified Africa’s three most serious development challenges as conflicts, corruption and weak and declining institutional capacity to sustain peaceful governance, positing that these challenges have inevitably led to the current ‘Boko Haram’ insurgency in Nigeria and other degradations of governance in the biggest countries of Africa.
According to him, the transformation of Africa must begin with the reformation in the media, government, education, economy, religion, culture (arts, music, sports, fashion, and entertainment) and family; and that conscientious citizens must be politically engaged in the economic and social arena in order to bring about positive change in society.
Professor Olowu said politics might be dirty but let all be mindful of the dictum that, “all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing,” concluding that the reform of any state comes as a result of pressures from external or domestic sources through persistence and coordinated advocacy for change.
Members of staff of NICO Training School that participated in CULRUN 2014 Conference included Mrs. Jane Ofili, Mr. Nurudeen Olayiwola, Miss Chinenemma Ume-Okafor, Mr. Kingsley Ubanwa, and Mr. Taiwo Olajide.
Corporate Affairs Unit
NICO Training School