Nigeria to launch peace studies initiative - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
April 13, 2004

Nigeria to launch peace studies initiative

-13/4/04

The Federal Government has directed all tertiary institutions in Nigeria to start the teaching of peace studies as part of courses for their students commencing from the next academic session.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayodele Falase dropped this hint at the closing of the first foundation course in peace practice organised by the peace and conflict studies programme of the university reports Vanguard a daily newspaper published in Lagos.

The Vice-Chancellor in an address read on his behalf by one of his deputies, Prof. Olusoji Offi stated that violent conflicts rank amongst the most potent factors stifling the objectives of sustainable development in Nigeria today. He stressed, "this ugly situation can be reversed through both formal and informal peace education."

Religious violence is also a major problem in Nigeria. Violence that erupted in the Nigerian state of Plateau a few weeks ago has expanded and resulted in the deaths of eight pastors and 1,500 Christian believers, and the destruction of 173 churches, according to a bulletin released by Open Doors USA last week.

According to Olusoji Offi, with the spate of violent conflicts in the country, it is very important to professionalise peace practice in Nigeria. "In the conflict-ridden world in which we live, we need as many peace practitioners as peace scholars."

He said; "a few months ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria directed all institutions of higher learning to start teaching peace studies as part of their General Studies programme, starting from the next academic session."

"Being the only university in Nigeria that offers peace studies, the burden will rest on us heavily within the next few years to train or retrain the lecturers needed for teaching this new programme in our universities, polytechnics and colleges of education."

Prof. Falase appealed to USAID, IDASA and other international agencies involved in development work in Nigeria not to relent in their support for Ibadan Peace and Conflict Studies.

Nigeria to launch peace studies initiative

-13/4/04

The Federal Government has directed all tertiary institutions in Nigeria to start the teaching of peace studies as part of courses for their students commencing from the next academic session.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayodele Falase dropped this hint at the closing of the first foundation course in peace practice organised by the peace and conflict studies programme of the university reports Vanguard a daily newspaper published in Lagos.

The Vice-Chancellor in an address read on his behalf by one of his deputies, Prof. Olusoji Offi stated that violent conflicts rank amongst the most potent factors stifling the objectives of sustainable development in Nigeria today. He stressed, "this ugly situation can be reversed through both formal and informal peace education."

Religious violence is also a major problem in Nigeria. Violence that erupted in the Nigerian state of Plateau a few weeks ago has expanded and resulted in the deaths of eight pastors and 1,500 Christian believers, and the destruction of 173 churches, according to a bulletin released by Open Doors USA last week.

According to Olusoji Offi, with the spate of violent conflicts in the country, it is very important to professionalise peace practice in Nigeria. "In the conflict-ridden world in which we live, we need as many peace practitioners as peace scholars."

He said; "a few months ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria directed all institutions of higher learning to start teaching peace studies as part of their General Studies programme, starting from the next academic session."

"Being the only university in Nigeria that offers peace studies, the burden will rest on us heavily within the next few years to train or retrain the lecturers needed for teaching this new programme in our universities, polytechnics and colleges of education."

Prof. Falase appealed to USAID, IDASA and other international agencies involved in development work in Nigeria not to relent in their support for Ibadan Peace and Conflict Studies.

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