Renowned Professor of English and Dramatic Literature, Olu Obafemi, has asked those in charge of admissions into universities not to discriminate against candidates seeking to study courses in the Humanities in favour of those seeking courses in the sciences, stressing that both have vital roles to play in the development of society. Professor Obafemi said this when he delivered a public lecture organized by Faculty of Humanities in Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo. He admitted that while the sciences are important, it should not be elevated to the detriment of Humanities in admission quota. The comment came when he was responding to questions after his lecture titled;’ Nigeria, A Postcolonial State at the Fringe: Humanities to the rescue?’ In his paper, Obafemi looked at Nigeria’s postcolonial state, examining the events leading to the civil war and concluded that the nation was yet to get ‘…an alternative structure to the legacies that led to war in the first place’.
He posited that the humanities stand in good stead, not only to contribute to the economic growth as evidenced in the fast growing film industry , but to also foster unity in the land through subtle appeal to the mind of citizens. He said disciplines in the humanities, appeal to the mind and thus can be deployed as tools of illuminating, envisioning and enlightening the society on the way out of socioc-political doldrums. He recommended the revitalization of the humanities for cultural, political and economic restructuring which can be achieved through any of the arms of the discipline. He posited that the humanities must take, and be allowed, to take the lead, in the search for an alternative for national development in a knowledge economy and society. He lamented the current dearth of ideas, debates and argumentation along ideological lines is unhealthy and must be positively reversed. He told the universities to revert to the tradition of pointing to the society, where it should be.
In his own remarks the Vice Chancellor of the University Rt. Rev. Professor Dapo Asaju, who chaired the event, which held at the ultra-modern Modupe and Folurunsho Law Auditorium in the campus, said Professor Olu Obafemi was eminently qualified to deliver the lecture going by his antecedents as a social crusader and academic achievements. He said the county and the academia should listen to Obafemi because he spoke from a repository of experience spanning more than three decades. He said the lecture was the university’s way of igniting a national discourse on the contribution of the humanities in in charting a positive course for the nation.
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