Academia Challenged On Solutions To Challenges Limiting Growth Of Nigeria

The academia has been challenged to proffer solutions to the challenges that have continued to limit the growth of Nigeria.

This challenge was thrown during a public presentation of a collection of books authored by an academic, Dr. Angela Ajodo-Adebanjoko, which held on Thursday (November 4, 2021) in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

Making comments on the critical role academics like the author have to play in the development of a nation, Professor Raphael Uji, who himself is an academic, commended Dr. Angela Ajodo-Adebanjoko for putting in the time and effort to write on vital issues affecting the country such as conflict and drug abuse.

Professor Raphael Uji, who chaired the event, said, “At no other time in the history of Nigeria were we so battered with crises and conflicts, that managing crises and conflicts has become a top priority in this country.

“Yesterday, I was going through the history of Somalia and it occurred to me that all of the things that happened in Somalia are beginning to happen in Nigeria.

“We know where Somalia is; a failed state completely, where law and order has broken down and where militant groups have taken over the landscape and government has collapsed completely. We need some kind of conflict management situation in this country. These books will offer insight into that.”

He then called on universities in Nigeria and in Africa at large, to enter into a partnership so as to ensure that whatever effort is made by the academics in form of research, will be brought to bear in the nations in a way that will be relevant to the society.

Professor Uji added that the academia in Nigeria is filled with brilliant minds like Dr. Angela Ajodo-Adebanjoko and the government only has to listen to them to get solutions to the problems being faced by the country.

In his remarks, Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Lafia, Professor Shehu Abdulrahaman, who was represented by the university’s Director of Academic Planning, Professor Moses Ekom, congratulated the celebrant, Dr. Angela Ajodo-Adebanjoko.

Describing the author as the embodiment of academics in the Federal University of Lafia, who despite all the challenges, strive to contribute their quota to expanding the frontiers of knowledge in Nigeria, the Vice Chancellor assured that he will continue to do all within his power to support such ventures.

Professor Moses Ekom who said the Vice Chancellor also asked him to represent Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, appreciated all those who honoured the invitation, saying it is an honour not only to the celebrant but to the university as a whole.

Also speaking at the event, HRH Alhaji Mohammed Shuaibu Abubakar IV, the Sarkin Tunga described the books being presented as very dear not just to Nasarawa State but to Nigeria as a whole.

He said the books will serve as very valuable tools for governance for government and non-governmental institutions such as traditional and religious leaders.

He added that he was happy that people such as the author are thinking ahead and trying to make things work in Nigeria. He prayed that God will reward her efforts.

The books that were presented to the public

There was a total of twelve books in the collection that was presented to the public. They include: Conflict in the Niger Delta, Conflict in the Niger Delta & Nigeria’s External Relations, Conflict Resolution & Management Efforts in the Niger Delta and Understanding Conflict & Conflict Resolution.

Others are: Gender, Women & Conflict Resolution, Guide to Successful Conflict Resolution, Redeeming Grace, Secret Tears, Wasted Years and Peace at the Cross.

The last two in the collection are: Research Methods in Political Science and Mercy Says No.

The books were reviewed at the event by Professor Okpeh O. Okpeh and Dr. Alegho Thomas.

In his review of the books on conflict, Professor Okpeh Okpeh described them as a veritable tool for teaching conflict resolution as well as resolving the various kinds of conflicts that exist in our society.

He then recommended the books to teachers, students, professionals as well as policy makers in the society.

Speaking particularly about the book Gender, Women and Conflict Resolution, Professor Okpeh commended Dr. Angela Ajodo-Adebanjoko for bringing to fore the efforts that have been made by women in resolving conflicts over the years, especially in Africa that is characteristically a patriarchal society.

Dr. Alegho Thomas who reviewed the books Redeeming Grace, Secret Tears, Wasted Years, Peace at the Cross and Mercy Says No, described them as story books that address societal challenges especially as they concern young adults.

He said the books not only identify the problems, but they also proffer possible solutions.

He urged parents and young adults will do well to grab copies of the books.

The books were then officially presented to the public by the Accountant-General of Nasarawa State, Dr. Zakka Ledkwi Yakubu.

The books being presented to the public by the representative of Dr Zakka Ledkwi Yakubu

The Author of all the 12 books, Dr. Angela Ajodo-Adebanjoko is an Associate Professor of International Relations in the Federal University of Lafia.

She was the pioneer Head of the Department of Political Science in the university and is currently a facilitator and external examiner with the National Open University of Nigeria.

Amongst her many scholarly activities are 33 published articles, 15 of which are in reputable international journals.

Speaking to journalists on the side-line of the event, Dr. Angela Ajodo-Adebanjoko expressed joy that she has lived to see her labour bear fruits.

The Author, Dr. Angela Ajodo-Adebanjoko standing before her books

On her source of inspiration, Dr. Ajodo-Adebanjoko said her books on conflict are the result of the thesis she did on the conflict in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.

She said: “I did my thesis on the Niger Delta between 2006 and 2012. After that, I was looking for a grant and it was expedient for me to convert the thesis into a book and I had to start writing. I had to convert the thesis on the Niger Delta into a book and the book was so voluminous. When I took a second look at the book, I discovered that these books can be in different titles.”

Dr. Angela Ajodo-Adebanjoko said she also got inspired by her desire to do something about some of the vices that were affecting the society.

One of such vices which she addressed in one of the books is drug abuse. She said the problem of drugs in Nigeria is a pandemic and there is need for more research and publications on the matter to salvage the situation.

Guests at the event include family and friends of the author as well as her colleagues from the Federal University of Lafia.

There were also representatives of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and also from the Isa Mustapha Agwai I Polytechnic Lafia.

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