…says, 'Africa is cradle of modern peace-making’

The Secretary General, International Peace Research Association, Prof. Matt Meyer, has recommended the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS), University of Ilorin, for a Nobel Prize in Peace Making and Peace Building.

Prof. Meyer, who is also the Senior Research Scholar, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, United States, made the recommendation last Tuesday (April 9, 2019) at the 2nd Occasional Distinguished Personality Public Lecture and Book Presentation organised by the CPSS.

The don, who was the Guest Speaker at the Public Lecture, themed “International Trends in Peace Action and Peace Research: South to North and into the Future”, pledged to be the first person to sign up for a call to consider the University of Ilorin's CPSS for the exalted Nobel Peace Prize.  

            Prof. Meyer said it became imperative for the University of Ilorin to win the Nobel Prize in Peace following the groundbreaking academic contributions of its CPSS, saying that the centre is fortunate to have been run by peace building researchers of international standard.

He commended the management of the University for not only establishing the CPSS but also for providing the enabling environment for the centre to thrive.

Describing Africa as the cradle of  modern peace-making, the Guest Speaker said, "I do not say that because I am on African soil; I have been blessed to travel and spend time in every corner of this vast continent, and over 70 countries on this fragile, resilient planet of ours. I do not say that rhetorically, because it will make you a happy audience or make for a good headline”.

Rather, he said, "It is time for the world to pay greater attention and learn not from the tragedies of Africa, but from its staunch and growing initiatives for peace. It is time for the world to understand that Africa is the cradle of modern peace-making.

“If we are to understand, as a global community, the important trends and future possibilities for peace action and peace research, South to North and back again, we must all be clear about the significance of African scholarship and grassroots resistance. We must take heed of this innovative work if we are to build effective global movements for lasting social change".

The Guest Speaker identified mass mobilisation and shared understanding as potent tools for the attainment of peace and development in Africa.

In his address, the Royal Father at the programme, the Olomu of Omu-Aran, Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti, called on members of the academia to continue to engage in peace-oriented research endeavours in order to engender a more peaceful and united society.

Declaring the event open earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, ascribed the growing rate of violence in African societies to injustice, poverty and inequality.

The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented on the occasion by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. B. F Sule, said, "There is no doubt that the root of the pervasive conflicts in Africa is injustice and other socio-political conditions reinforcing structural violence. Ironically, such conditions are totally contradictory to our cherished African values essentially built on justice, fairness, and equity".

Prof. Abdulkareem said that the root of the pervasive conflicts in Africa can only be uprooted if the African values that are built on justice, fairness, and equity are imbibed.

The Vice-Chancellor called on Africans to retrace their steps and adopt African traditional values to eliminate structural tensions that will give birth to indigenous framework for building peace in Africa.

Prof. Abdulkareem said that the CPSS was established to purposefully build up frameworks for contributing to Africa and World Peace.

Prof. Abdulkareem said, "Since its establishment, the Centre has made giant strides under different leadership to reinforce and reinvent peacemaking and peace building within and beyond our immediate environment”, adding that "the Centre has been on the vanguard of preaching and entrenching peace in the communities in our vicinity that are prone to conflicts”.

He said, "I have just recently put a challenge to the Centre to win for the University a Nobel Prize in Peace not only through its scholarships but also essentially through value-based services that can bring lasting peace to many of our warring communities"

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director of CPSS, Prof. Noah Yusuf, said that the event was in two folds, personality lecture and book presentation.

Prof. Yusuf said that the CPSS was established in the 2008/2009 academic session with the mandate of engaging in human capacity training in the field of peace and security studies and conflict management.

The Director added that the Centre was also saddled with the task of providing practical exposure to peace scholars and practitioners within the limit of available resources.

Prof. Yusuf said that the theme for this year’s edition of the Public Lecture was carefully chosen to address universal conflicts and crises, adding that the choice of the Guest Speaker, Prof. Meyer, was a step in a right direction.

The former Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Adigun Agbaje, who was the book reviewer, did justice to the book titled "Connecting Contemporary African-Asian Peace building and Non-Violence: From Satagaraha to Ujamaa"

Other dignitaries in attendance included the 2018 National Merit Award winner, Prof. Olu Obafemi, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Musbau Akanji; former Directors of the Centre, Prof. John Fayeye, Prof. Felicia Olasehinde-Williams, and Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji; the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun; the Ag. National President of Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), Alhaji Yahya O. Ahmed; the President of the Igbomina/Ekiti Muslim Forum (IEMF), Alhaji Abdulazeez Kola Olawuyi, and top members of the Forum; as well as top military and paramilitary officers, among others.