Academics and the affairs of Nigeria

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Associate Professor of Communication and Language  Arts, University of Ibadan, Dr Wale Folarin, in  sedating students discussing the Nigerian project often  veered towards the epicurean, that man, being gratification seeking and loss avoiding will always appreciate factors that meet his needs. In any case by the expectancy value mass communication sub-theory, everyone orients himself in the society according to his expectation and needs. Everyone wants a comfort zone.

The earlier philosophers, Locke, Spinoza, Durant, Machiavelli, etc predicated life’s essential is on the speculative metaphysics of self-targeted hedonism that arrogated opportunities without consideration for environmental nuclear and peripheral facilities.

These romantic philosophers believe that the sensory qualities, self-love, enjoyment and correctly understood personal interest are the basis of all morality and that the natural equality of human intelligences, the unity of progress of reason and progress of industry, the natural goodness of man and the omnipotence of education are the main features of the system that will promote an all-embracing society, a clear world eldorado, where rnan lives in accord with his environment, and the environment with man.

The epicurean philosophers, of the 17th century, including Thomas Hobbes, thought they would not worry about battles, they fought wars, predicted they would not undergo recessions, they encountered economic downturns, which drove many of them under. Their natural science counterparts such as Isaac Newton simulated before kings and princes their final arrest of  inclement weather. Apart from the 1917 to 1919 bird flu that killed over one hundred million people world wide, when Hurricane ‘Katrina’ came, the twenty first century scientist took to his heels.

The social scientist today will affirm there will be no civilization without industrialization, production and/or of course, gaseous emission. Yet, the progressive consequences of gradual depletion of the ozone layer has continued to stare the world in the face.

The physiocrats of the sixteenth century believe in large-scale farming by whatever means. The International Agriculture Consultative Research Group (CGIAR) and the Land Grant Colleges as creations of the earlier philosophers dominated agricultural practices, in many countries. By end of the last century, starvation stared many parts of the world in the face.

Science has continued to defy its own logic.

Swelled by the universal appliCability of democracy in  the present times, politicians and/or political scientists have begun to postulate that civil wars, terrorism, drought diseases etc are minor disruptions in the general order of things. Yet, the United Nations yearly-expends $5.0 billion in peace-keeping operations world-wide.

The misanthropy of materialism came to the fore when labour translated from product appropriation to monetary appropriation. “The Holy Family” in “Dialectical Materialism” exposed that the· antiquity of money as solution to overall societal problems was polarized, disguised, in fact a farce during the first initiative in ancient Rome when wealth was arrogated within politicians in government and the Army that kept government in power. The 1897 Revolution in France and the 1917 October Revolution in Russia are all the consequences of pluralistic ignorance and/or of the speculative metaphysics in medieval self-effacement. In one word, no single generation, government or group has ever been able to proffer solution to any world problem.

Paraphrasing a popular rendition now lost to anomy, academics, i.e. University Lecturers are expected to study, teach and research. Usually accommodated or employed in serene, well-maintained environments, they unlike their counterparts in private companies or Banks, enjoy regular salaries, sponsorship, tenure, respect and/or pension. In Nigeria, the Academic Staff Union (ASUU) is the umbrella organization canvassing better emoluments for members of the Academic Union. The recent elongation of retirement age for Lecturers from the initial age of fifty-five years now to seventy is one of the several pay backs for academic unionism. To be factual, however, the Nigerian academic community like many other occupational groups, have suffered hardships In the hands of various Nigerian governments.

One does not need to search too far today to discover the misanthropy of materialism or the sabotage of education, mediated habit, acquired or developed experience in the Nigerian environment. Amongst other disturbing statistics, within the over seventy per cent·

Nigerians who live on less than two dollars per day are over 40 million graduates turned out from the various universities.

Nominalism was the medieval accentuation of individual interest in metaphysical self-fulfillment. In the third edition of the Clarendon Law Series of 1985, it was revealed that the 1929-31 world-wide economic depression was caused by the constant penchant of Trade Unions to agitate for welfare of their members only while relegating or ignoring other issues.

That depression also promoted anti-semitic movements that eventually led to the second world war led by Hitler.

The “Arab Spring” was provoked ‘last year by an  unemployed Tunisian graduate who set himself ablaze after a Policeman had seized the oranges he was selling by the roadside to earn a living.

Apart from training of manpower, the Nigerian academics, like their counterparts in different parts of the world, have been devolved with social responsibilities contingent upon their location. Since inception of democracy in 1999, and particu larly considering Nigeria’s various problems, ASUU in each zone ought to have passed a bill, through the National Assembly, for. a visitation panel of its members to partner with Federal, State and Local Governments on infrastructural development, education; youth employment, industrialization, security, financial management, health, etc.

In “The Man Died”, Professor Wole Soyinka wondered at the oddity of being and nothingness, the arrant absurdity in a former student having to drive broomstick through the Mr Johnnie of his former Lecturer.

Indeed, if members of ASUU do not begin to take more interest in the affairs affecting this country, especially if the current rate of unemployment rate amongst university graduates is not checkmated, the unfulfilled assignment by a former student against his former lecturer in the Bauchi prisons may become real afterall, this time, perhaps, on the open field.


In : Education

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