Professor Matt Meyer
…says, ‘Africa is cradle of modern peace-making’
By Is’haq Babatunde
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.
Meyer, who is also the Senior Research Scholar, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, United States, made the recommendation last Tuesday (April 9, 2019) at the 2ndOccasional Distinguished Personality Public Lecture and Book Presentation organised by the CPSS.
The don, who was the Guest Speaker at the Public Lecture, themed “International Trendsin Peace Action and Peace Research: South to North and into the Future”, pledged to be the firstperson to sign up for a call to consider the University of Ilorin’s CPSS for the exalted NobelPeace Prize.
Prof. Meyer said it became imperative for the University of Ilorin to win the Nobel Prizein Peace following the groundbreaking academic contributions of its CPSS, saying that the centreis 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 butalso for providing the enabling environment for the centre to thrive.
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 everycorner of this vast continent, and over 70 countries on this fragile, resilient planet of ours. I donot say that rhetorically, because it will make you a happy audience or make for a goodheadline”., he said, “It is time for the world to pay greater attention and learn not from thetragedies of Africa, but from its staunch and growing initiatives for peace. It is time for the worldto understand that Africa is the cradle of modern peace-making.
“If we are to understand, as a global community, the important trends and futurepossibilities for peace action and peace research, South to North and back again, we must all beclear about the significance of African scholarship and grassroots resistance. We must take heedof 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.
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.
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 thepervasive conflicts in Africa is injustice and other socio-political conditions reinforcingstructural 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 beuprooted 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 Africantraditional values to eliminate structural tensions that will give birth to indigenous framework forbuilding peace in Africa.
Abdulkareem said that the CPSS was established to purposefully build upframeworks for contributing to Africa and World Peace.
Prof. Abdulkareem said, “Since its establishment, the Centre has made giant strides underdifferent leadership to reinforce and reinvent peacemaking and peace building within and beyondour immediate environment”, adding that “the Centre has been on the vanguard of preaching andentrenching 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 aNobel Prize in Peace not only through its scholarships but also essentially through value-basedservices 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.
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 andconflict 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.
Yusuf said that the theme for this year’s edition of the Public Lecture was carefully chosento address universal conflicts and crises, adding that the choice of the Guest Speaker, Prof.Meyer, was a step in a right direction.
Former Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Adigun Agbaje, who was the book reviewer, did justice to the book titled “Connecting Contemporary African-AsianPeace building and Non-Violence: From Satagaraha to Ujamaa”.
Other dignitaries in attendance included the 2018 National Merit Award winner, Prof. OluObafemi, 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. KayodeEgbetokun; 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.
Culled from University of Ilorin Bulettin (April 15, 2019)