By Michael James Igiri
Foremost Professor of Sociology, Tade Aina has revealed that the conscious effort towards reclaiming the national civic public, as well as the demystification of governance are sure ways to evolving a stronger Nigerian condition, and bringing about national development in the nation.
He said this during the presentation of a distinguish lecture which held on Thursday, 16th March, 2017 at Afe Babalola lecture theatre of the University of Lagos, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Department of Sociology.
Professor Aina, who is Executive Director, Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR), Kenya; and Guest Lecturer, at the event, spoke of a glorious past in the life of the nation.
In his submission, Prof. Aina postulated that the problem with Nigeria began on January 15, 1966 when the military decided to intervene in the affairs of the state.
“The militarization of our social values began in 1966. Today, we hear bosses tell their subordinates to do something ‘with immediate effect- a phrase which originated in the military’. We need to go back to that very point in 1966 when things took a turn because what transpired then made us shift our focus from developing our nation; and instead provided a base for a more divisive tendency,” he said.
The former lecturer in the Department of Sociology gave a long sociological background in order to detail the nation’s historical and anthropological ties. As a nation with diverse linguistic codes, Nigeria, began to suffer more from an absence of socio-cultural values after the events that culminated the civil war; and the effects of this, according to him, is self-evident as, “we continue to carry the wounds of the civil war up till this day. As it is now, the effect of the military takeover, the distortion of a young democratic process, the resultant sectional insurrection, and the militarization of our social values have led to a significant shift in the nation’s value system. Thus, if you want to kill or destroy anything in Nigeria, just call it public; because Nigerians couldn’t care less since they no longer have a sense of patriotism.”
Professor Aina, who is also an alumnus of the University of Lagos, however, said that there was hope reflected in the newly emerging set of cultural codes exemplified by our music, media, and film.
“Corruption is not unique to Nigeria alone, and neither is poverty unique to us. There is nothing genetic about it. The hope lies in the freedom and emancipation current which we all as Nigerians carry today.
“All we need do is to evolve a new national mythology in Nigeria. It is mythology that holds any society together. But to do this, you have to know where you are going, in order to know how you will get there. All we need is to develop a nation of vision,” he concluded.
Earlier, the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Rahamon Bello represented by the Deputy Vice- Chancellor (Academics and Research), Prof. Toyin Ogundipe in his address, congratulated staff and students of the department of sociology for the milestone reached so far, adding that sociology as a course has a great deal to offer the nation. He charged them to be more dedicated to research, as nothing tangible could be achieved nationally without a great deal of investment in research.