By Funmi Ogundare
A former Vice-Chancellor, Delta State University, Abraka, Professor Uvie Igun has stressed the need for the academia to imbibe in students the right values and culture that would prevent them from losing their identity.
Igun, who said this while delivering the third distinguished lecture of Edwin Clark University, Kiagbodo, Delta State, titled ‘Globalisation and the Coming Age of Legalised Lawlessness: A Focus on Societal Foundational Values and Ethics’, stressed the need to critically analyse the development coming from the west and adopt only the positive aspects of it.
“There are developments that come from the west, we need to critically analyses them just as the Indians did when they excelled in technology, but refused to take the cultural dimension.
“In our universities, our academics must ensure that we are not pushed to a direction where our students now become godless without any moral in the name of civilization as being practiced in the US. Most youths in the US lack moral foundation except that which they pick from social media. They are in a state of anomie. If we adopt that culture, we will ruin our youths. This is the way of the west which is very wrong.
“Our problem in Nigeria is that we want to take it in and copy anything that comes from the west without being critical or selective. As Africans, we have an identity and values. We cannot go below our moral foundation. Anything that pushes us below that, we are losing our humanity as Africans. We need to take the good ones.”
Igun, a Professor of Medical Sociology, stressed the need for Nigerian leaders to be proactive and sharpen strategies of adaptation without being overwhelmed like some African countries, saying, “Nigerian leaders must deliberately choose a response that filters the good out of globalisation for adoption (that is choose and adopt its technology), but reject its evil. The very recent pressure from the US for Nigeria to legalise same sex marriage or forgo US aid is a lesson to the point.”
The Vice-Chancellor of Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Delta State, Professor Ibiyinka Fuwape said there is need for Nigerians to begin to put value on what is African and Nigerian and reject the negative aspect of globalization.
“We tend to look down on our clothes, traditions and language. Young Nigerians believe that anything that comes from Europe or developed countries is good and everything that is African is bad. It is a lie. An ideology or policy that is anti-God is evil. Let us imbibe our culture for the betterment of our nation,” she stressed.
The Vice-Chancellor of University of Africa, Toru-Orua, Bayelsa State, Professor Valentine Aletor expressed concern that with technology, the country is losing its reading culture, adding that students no longer consult journals, but prefer to go on the internet for research.
“Globalization is good, but has its own negative tendencies that we must avoid. We need to embrace the good sides of it and the reading culture, as well as go back to our family values that we will be proud of.”
The Vice-Chancellor of Edwin Clark University, Professor Timothy Olagbemiro said the lecture was aimed at seeking the progress of the institution, community and the society at large, while appealing to the students to have an identity and be proud of who they are.
“We must maintain our culture. Our culture is efficiency and godliness. Let us go for it,” he said.