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University education and absolute religions

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letterSIR: University, as an academic institution, was established to promote scientific objectivity rather than subjective values. Quite on the contrary, absolute religions promote sentiment, subjectivism, and division in human societies. That explains why the developed countries of the Western world adopted state secularity, to protect their societies against clerical shenanigans and religious upheavals.

Sadly in Nigeria, religious sentiment is the order of the day at all levels, from the federal to the ward level, in flagrant violation of the secularity status enshrined in Section 10 of Nigeria’s constitution. The worse aspect is the extent to which adherents of absolute religions position themselves in Nigeria’s universities, to promote subjective values crafted prior to the modern democratic age.

”Yes, I heard some adherents of absolute religions attacking relativism. They forgot that only God is supreme and absolute. Are many things in life not relative? Even the Holy Communion does not have the same meaning for Catholics and Protestants. Muslims cherish hijabs while Christians protest against it in their schools. Ditto the issue of polygamy and monogamy are viewed differently by the Church and Mosque, so to say.”

 

Yes, I heard some adherents of absolute religions attacking relativism. They forgot that only God is supreme and absolute. Are many things in life not relative? Even the Holy Communion does not have the same meaning for Catholics and Protestants. Muslims cherish hijabs while Christians protest against it in their schools. Ditto the issue of polygamy and monogamy are viewed differently by the Church and Mosque, so to say.

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) professes to be a Christian. He claimed that he was not informed that the election date would be shifted. Yet, it was the Nigerian Army that purportedly shifted the date, and GEJ is the Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria’s Armed Forces. Has the Army become anarchical? Most Nigerians profess to be Christians and Muslims, and they don’t want to swear in Ògún’s name. They dodge reality and effectiveness for theoretical sweet talks.

Yes, traditional Africans recognise relativity. That is why the Yoruba say that life is like a talking drum with two faces; one toward front and the other backward, and a person sees only the face of the drum towards him or her.

We are hearing that the new dates for Nigeria’s election are sacrosanct, and that interim government is an anathema/treason. But Boko Haram is killing with suicide bombs and promising to bomb the election. What is the hope and assurance? Don’t ask me; ask GEJ and his think-tank

• Pius Abioje, University of Ilorin.



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