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Professor Dele Olowu, former university don at the Obafemi Awolowo University and presently the Coordinator, RCCG Europe Mainland Mission Office, has called on Christians to join politics in order to effect positive change that would lead to good governance and development in Nigeria.
He made this call while delivering a lecture at the College of Humanities Conference, Redeemer's University, tagged "CULRUN 2014:The Humanities, Conflict and Development in Africa. He identified conflict, corruption and weak institutional capacity as the major factors affecting many countries in Africa including Nigeria.
On institutionalized corruption, Prof. Olowu lamented that dishonesty has become part of Nigerian system. The man of God stated that corruption exists virtually in all parts of the world but quickly frowned at attempts to make it a normal trend in Nigeria.
He decried that corruption has become pandemic in the country to the extent that it is found virtually everywhere including homes. He also expressed concern over what he called weak and declining institutional capacity across the country. He said most of the facilities in government-owned schools are in pitiable state.
Professor Olowu maintained that to tackle corruption, state must, at all times, provide adequately for its citizens and maintain law and order in the land. "But as we speak, the sate has gone from bad to worse". He said despite the fact that Nigeria is the third fastest growing Christian country, the crisis in the country has deepened.
He added that these challenges had further worsened the socio-economic development of the continent. He noted that without peace, it would be difficult for any meaningful development to take place in the continent.
Prof. Olowu, said "When governance is good, it is transparent, responsive, equitable and accountable and the outcome is peace, both in its positive and negative forms. Other benefits include progress, security and prosperity and the building of sustainable human and system capacities. This might also explain why there is so much interest in these two concepts-peace and governance-today.
While speaking on Boko Haram menace, Prof. Olowu explained that extremism has to do with conflict with some categories of people that are not ready to reason or accept other people's ideas. According to him, this best describes the current Boko Haram group that is causing mayhem in Nigeria, in the quest of converting the entire citizens to Islamic religion.
Continuing his address, Olowu mentioned that the current suggested cures are either improbable or ineffective. He said a military option has also been touted. But he maintained that all the Islamic extremists in Nigeria are actually been funded, better resourced and determined than our own military.
The host Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debo Adeyewa, said the conference being the first of its kind was appropriate and timely, considering the volatile security situation in Nigeria. He stated that the College of Humanities has the resources and potential to address the security challenges.
He expressed that the outcome of the conference would move humanity forward and restore unity, tranquility and development to the country and Africa at large.
Chairman of the event, Professor Ayodeji Olukoju, who is the Vice-Chancellor, Caleb University, said that the challenges of security and development facing Nigeria were surmountable only if all hands are on deck to wage war against the beneficiaries of the problem.