Varsity Teachers Recommend Traditional Religion For Nigeria
Varsity Teachers Recommend Traditional Religion For Nigeria – Scholars have advocated the use of African traditional religion to build a better Nigeria. It was at the International Conference and second Home Coming organised by the Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu State, where the school’s famous ‘Den of Lions and Lionesses’ brainstormed on the fate of the country.
Presenting one of the key papers, the vice chancellor of Coal City University, Enugu, Prof. Malachy Okwueze, declared that African traditional religion, with its ethos of communality and good human relations, could restore peace and respect to Nigeria.
“The indigenous African religion and culture is not only a caring stepmother but also a kind that caters for all visitors and strangers in the land,” he added. He lamented that the foreign religions had failed to unite peoples of all cultures, classes and ideologies.
“I endorse the centrality of the religious factor in any future progressive re-organisation of Nigeria – and I do not mean the inclusion of any of the major foreign religions like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. I mean that the African traditional religion is the only one that can nurture the needed peace. It is the religion that respects the freedom of worship and does not impose itself on anyone,” he added.
The conference, themed ‘Religion, Pluralism and Political Restructuring in Nigeria, attracted scholars, philanthropists, custodians of culture, politicians and clerics, with speaker after speaker fingering the 1914 amalgamation of Nigeria and the influence of major imported religions as the root of the nation’s problems.
According to the keynote speaker, Rev. (Dr.) Owen Nwokolo, the Anglican Bishop of the Niger, if an ordinary moral person is entrusted with political authority, he or she would not betray the trust because he is bound, not only by the oath of office but also by his belief. Thus, he said, swearing at Okija Shrine, for instance, has a more binding effect on the politicians than the oath of office with Bible or Qu’ran.
Awards were presented to prominent Nigerians, including Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the Best Governor in Nigeria, and Dr. Ramas Asuzu, the Ezeoba Akajiofor Ndigbo Gburugburu, who received the Custodian of Igbo Culture award.