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Scholars Chide Nigeria’s Leaders, Offer Pathways To Understanding Nigeria Better

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The state of Nigeria’s socio-political development was the subject of discussion at the maiden edition of the Dean’s Forum of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos which was held at the Faculty Boardroom II on Friday, August 11, 2023.

The hybrid event themed ‘’Understanding Nigeria’’ featured two prominent academics of international repute: Professor of History and African Studies, Toyin Falola and Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Babafemi Badejo as Panelists.

Other participants included a former member of the Faculty and Executive Director, Centre for Advanced Social Science (CASS), Port Harcourt, Professor Adele Jinadu; Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical) Akoka, Dr. Wahab Ademola Azeez; current Dean.

School of Postgraduate Studies, Professor Abraham Osinubi; Head, Department of Political Science, Professor Derin Ologbenla; former Dean, Student Affairs Division, Professor Ademola Adeleke and former Dean School of Postgraduate Studies in the University, Professor Solomon Akinboye amongst many others.

Moderated by Professor Tunde Babawale of the Department of Political Science, the discourse is the first to be organized under the Professor Laja Odukoya leadership of the Faculty of Social Sciences. It afforded participants a platform to gain deep insights into the intricacies of Nigeria’s societal dynamics, culture, and challenges.

Delivering his welcome remarks, the newly elected Dean, Faculty of Social Science, Professor Laja Odukoya appreciated the participants for being part of the inaugural forum, and set the tone for the discourse.

He stressed that the event is expected to serve as an active springboard of ideas to help analyse issues as it affects the Nigerian people.

While x-raying the theme, Prof. Odukoya described Nigeria as a complex and pluralistic society with the conglomerate of people laced with multiple languages, cultures, education, and divergent orientations. He decried Nigeria’s structural and institutional challenges as well as several irregularities which are now seen as normal in Nigeria.

In his presentation, Professor Toyin Falola of the University of Texas, Austin, United States of America attributed Nigeria’s vast challenges to selfish and greedy politicians. He posited that the country has suffered more from the uncalculated and emotional decisions of its leaders.

Professor Falola also identified ethnicity as one of the most serious issues that emerged in the closing decades of the colonial period, and which has played a very huge role in the political tragedy that befell Nigeria post-independence.

He analysed the terms: ethnicity, democracy, and development, to make sense of how to “understand” how Nigeria reached its peculiar state of global concern.

On his part, Professor Babafemi Badejo of Chrisland University, Abeokuta expressed sadness at the state of the nation especially with its wobbly security architecture amongst others.

He opined that Nigeria has long teetered on the precipice of failure, with its inability to keep its citizens safe and secured. According to him, “The failure of Nigeria matters because the peace and prosperity of Africa and prevention of the spread of disorderliness and militancy around the globe depend on a stronger Nigeria.”

He provided a historical context to understanding Nigeria from its colonial phase, which was marked by zealous nationalism and introduction of regionalism to the independent phase that triggered one of the most brutal civil wars in the mid-20th century, a post-civil war phase that grounded military dictatorship upon the country, and then a post-military civilian phase since 1999, which left some distressing imprint on the country.

Professor Badejo who recently delivered the first Inaugural Lecturer at Chrisland University emphasized the need for Nigeria to retrace its steps to reclaim its stature as the giant of Africa.

Education

AAU announces resumption date — after shutdown over fee hike protest

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The senate of Ambrose Alli University (AAU) has directed the resumption of full academic activities in the state-owned institution “with immediate effect”.

AAU earlier suspended activities due to the protest occasioned by the upward review of its fees.

The university management, in an emergency meeting on Friday, reviewed its earlier directive suspending academic activities.

Otunba Aladenika, the university’s head of communications, in a statement, said the AAU senate has now revised the academic calendar for the 2022/2023 academic session and approved October 3 for resumption.

“The senate therefore directs that students return to the halls of residence on Sunday 1st October 2023, while lectures are scheduled to commence on Tuesday, 3rd of October, 2023,” he said.

Public universities in Nigeria have been raising their fees since the dawn of the Bola Tinubu administration.

This has resulted in campus protests seeking a reversal of the hikes.

At AAU, the protest led to a shutdown of activities and the dissolution of the varsity’s student union government.

Among the federal universities that have raised their fees are the University of Lagos (UNILAG), the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), and the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Edo.

Others are Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) in Bauchi and the Usmanu Danfodiyo University (UDUS).

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Education

Isa Mustapha Agwai I Polytechnic, Lafia bans students from celebrating after exams

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Isa Mustapha Agwai I Polytechnic, Lafia, Nasarawa State, has officially banned after-exam sign-out celebrations for graduating students, both within the campus and outside the polytechnic’s main gate.

The decision, disclosed through a circular signed by the school’s Public Relations Officer, Ali Hassan Mohammed, takes effect immediately and will remain in force until further notice. Stringent security measures have been put in place to ensure strict adherence to the ban.

This resolution stemmed from a crucial emergency management meeting at the institution. Management expressed deep concerns about the disruptive conduct exhibited by students during after-exam sign-out celebrations, both on and off-campus premises.

In a stern warning, the management stated that any student found violating this ban would face expulsion from the institution.

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Education

Two LAUTECH students, driver burnt to death in road crash

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Two people traveling in a bus conveying some final year students of Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, returning from a picnic, along Osogbo/Ifon/Oyo Boundary road, have been burnt to death in an accident late Wednesday evening.

Five other occupants were rescued by the operatives of Osun Ambulance Scheme that responded to the distress call from the scene of the accident which happened near Ojutu Bridge, Ilobu.

A resident of Okinni, identified as Adeyanju, who spoke to newsmen on Thursday, said the driver of the bus conveying the victims, had hit a commercial motorcyclist in the town, and was trying to escape the rage of some angry residents chasing after him.

“Few meters from Ojutu Bridge, the driver lost control of the vehicle and the bus somersaulted and caught fire.

Some people were rescued before the fire could spread, but three people were burnt to death. Operatives of O’Ambulance Scheme came around to rescue some of the victims,” Adeyanju said.

During an interview with newsmen, the Head of Operations, Elizabeth Arowosafe, said the organisation received the distress call around 9:50pm on Wednesday that a bus conveying some final year students of LAUTECH, returning from a picnic was involved in the accident.

She said, “We responded around 9:53pm. I was told the driver had hit someone in Okinni and was speeding to avoid some people around the area chasing after him, when the incident happened.

“The driver alongside a lady and a male student were burnt to death. We were able to rescue 5 people. We rushed them to UNIOSUN Teaching Hospital in Osogbo.

The hospital did well. In fact, there was no enough space to accommodate the injured people and we had to leave one of our stretchers for them to use.

“We could not recognise the dead victims. They were travelling inside a bus. I learnt that the occupants of the bus are final year students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, who went to Erin-Ijesa waterfall for an excursion.

“One of the injured students confirmed to us that they were coming from an excursion. She gave us names of victims, but she didn’t have the strength to name the others.”

Also commenting on the crash, the Public Relations Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Agnes Ogungbemi, said the accident was caused by violation of speed limit which led to loss of control.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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