By Chinyere Nwachukwu
Lagos – A university don, Prof. Dele Layiwola, has called for genuine mental decolonization to remove inferiority complex deeply ingrained in the psyche of the African people.
Layiwola, of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, made the call on Friday at the 19th Convocation Lecture of the Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) at the University of Lagos.
The theme of the lecture is Patriotism; The Patriot and the Nationalist in an Emergent Democracy.
According to him, there is the need to take confident, definitive and bold steps to resolve the conflict between indigenous values and the foreign values that modernity has foisted on Africans.
“There must also be a transformational process of cultural education and re-orientation so that the teaching of our indigenous languages, traditional African medicine, our flora, fauna and ecosphere take pre-eminence in our value and material formations.
“We must as matters of urgency too, imbibe a pan-African orientation which believes in the integral transformation of our public and institutional moral order.
“We must now passionately invest in our formal and informal educational and research institutions for without these parameters, no nation on earth would expect to take any significant developmental strides, no matter her demographic or geographical value,’’ the don said.
He noted that the crisis of nationalism and the nation state in Nigeria and in much of Africa emerged as conflicts, disputations and fratricidal wars, sometimes over material resources.
“These are palpable and empirical and continue to enjoy broad media attention but in actual fact, they are virulent symptoms of profound elite decadence and identity deficiency.
“The purpose of this nationalism is not to fit persons of the same language and culture into a nation state, but to fit persons of identical cultural backgrounds from diverse geographical locations into one ideological fold,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that about 50 new members were admitted while five distinguished scholars were inducted as fellows of the Academy.
The new fellows included Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) and Prof. Siyan Oyeweso, Osun State University, Osogbo.
Others were Prof. Unionmwan Edebiri, Prof. Joseph Inikori, and Prof. Mabel Osakwe
Among the dignitaries at the convocation were Kano State Deputy Governor, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, Vice Chancellor Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Muhammed Bello, The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and the Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Lawal. (NAN)