Religion and the Nigerian Commonwealth
Department of Religious Studies
Faculty of Humanities
Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo
Modupe Alakija Hall
Faculty of Law
AjayiCrowther University (ACU), Oyo, Oyo State
24th to 28th September, 2018
The peace and unity of the Nigerian nation since Independence have probably never been more threatened than they are at the moment. It is not just a section of the country that is being threatened like during the events that led to the civil war of 1967 to 1970 but several sections are. Democratic dispensations appear to have failed the task of nation building just like military dictatorship. The political class seems inept and extremely corrupt. The military cited ethnic jingoism and political ineptitude of the political class before 1966 as the lapses that made them to seize power and they promised to right those wrongs. They were, however, worse than the political class in deepening both ethnic chauvinism and abysmal naivety in governance. Indeed, the military introduced into the polity a more dangerous and devastating menace in the form of corruption. Politicians of the pre-military era were known and are still remembered for their simplicity and dedication to the service of the people. But when the military came into power, an unmitigated scale of stealing public funds by the military leaders and their civilian cohorts began. This was to reach a dangerous dimension during the military dictatorship of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (1985–1993). A combination of ethnic politics, administrative ineptitude and a high level of corruption has been in the last 12 years of the current democratic governance.
The end result is that the essence of governance, which is to better the lives of the majority of the citizenry, has been completely missing from the Nigerian society. A few people who have constituted the political class and their counterparts in the military have cornered the wealth of the nation to enrich their individual families while a large proportion of the populace has continued to wallow in abject hunger and poverty. It would appear that the enormity of hunger and poverty in Nigeria coupled with maladministration by successive regimes has come to heighten ethnic rivalry among the various ethnic groups. In fact, the present fear of domination by one or some ethnic group(s) over the others has not been paralleled in the annals of Nigerian history. The ship of the Nigerian nation appears to be heading towards a catastrophic wreck.
Pragmatic signs or features of a failed state are apparent everywhere in the Nigerian nation. Religious intolerance has metamorphosed into extremism and insurgency such as the Boko Haram terrorists. Ethnic jingoism has given birth to youth restiveness with the ultimate aim of vandalizing state facilities such as to cripple the nation like the various armed militia in the Niger-Delta of the South-south region of Nigeria. Other ethnic-based militia organizations such as the Odua People’s Congress among the Yoruba of the Southwest, the Arewa Youth Movement among the Hausa/Fulani Northwest and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) among the Igbo of the Southeast among others have continued to threaten the unity of the country.
Politics seems to have failed woefully to unite Nigeria. Neither does the educational sector that has continued to nose-dive promise any hope. Music in all its genres does not pretend to have what it takes to bring a state of social and economic equilibrium into the country’s political space. So also, trade, commerce and economics appear too theoretical and thus incapable of pacifying the aggrieved populace. In the same vein, science and technology appear too mundane to unite Nigerians. Laws and/ or statutes of the Nigerian Constitution and the criminal codes are far from being able to sanitize the Nigerian milieu. There seems to be hopelessness in the vista. But the Nigerian Association for the Study of Religions (NASR) has hope, that religion, which looks like one of the factors causing disharmony in the polity has the propensity of turning around and making alive the Nigerian common well-being, otherwise known as the Nigerian commonwealth or commonwealth
Hence, this year’s NASR Conference has come up with a theme that seeks to hypothesize that religion, if practiced in the right mode and perspective, is capable of guiding Nigerians in harnessing the nation’s resources for the country’s commonweal. The natural resources of the nation belong to all Nigerians. They ought to be put into use for the betterment of the people, irrespective of where they come from, the religion they profess or the sex they belong to. This is the goal of the Nigerian nation as envisioned by the Nigerian founding fathers.It is indeed the goal of any nation in this civilized world. It is the objective of the Nigerian project. But this has largely not been sincerely pursued by the vast majority of the political class, be it among the civilians or in the military. How can religion positively affect or influence the Nigerian commonwealth? In other words, how is religion- Christianity, Islamic, African Traditional Religion and any other religion being practiced in Nigeria–able to upgrade the general wellbeing of the Nigerian nation? To upgrade the Nigerian nation is to upgrade her citizenry. Is religion capable of being utilized to deliver the public welfare or general good of the Nigerian masses? Can religion not play a pivotal role in the building or rebuilding of Nigeria as a country of our dreams? Can’t religion be utilized in re-engineering the whole drapery of the Nigerian nation and thus prevent it from possible disintegration? Are there no lessons and teachings of the various religions that can be appropriated by Nigerians in the quest to fix our collapsed and ramshackle infrastructures for the development of the nation and the betterment of the citizenry? Are there no religious principles that could be borrowed to delete some common impairments to development in the country such as bribery, corruption, economic exploitation, religious extremism, immorality, ethnic chauvinism, economic sabotage, terrorism in all its various forms, favourism, prostitution, materialism and a host of other features of inept, corrupt and oppressive governments in Nigeria?
This year’s NASR’s theme thus seeks to find out and provide the road-map drawn from the various religions practised in Nigeria and beyond for the use of the Nigerian political elite and their followers in the quest to make Nigeria work like the nations of the West and America. It is hoped that scholars and the adherents of African Traditional Religion, Islam, Christianity and other world religions professed in Nigeria will produce robust discussions and come up with plausible suggestions and lee- ways for the reordering of our priorities as a people and thus get to business to build a virile, progressive, prosperous and just Nigerian commonwealth that all of us will be proud of.
African Traditional Religion
- Pathways for nation building in the Odu Ifa
- The Tolerance of Yoruba Religion as a recipe for Peaceful Co-existence among Religious Adherents in Yorubaland.
- Recipes in Igbo Religion for the Nigerian Commonwealth.
- Realizing the Nigerian Commonwealth within the Urhobo Religious Experience.
- The Tiv Traditional Religious Ethics for the Nigerian Commonwealth.
- The Ijaw Traditional Religious Belief Systems as a Catalyst for the Nigerian Commonwealth.
- The Quest for the Nigerian Commonweal: Itsekiri Traditional Religion as a Case Study.
- Towards Building the Nigerian Commonwealth: Examples from African Traditional Religion.
- African Indigenous Religions and Natural Resource.
- African Indigenous Religions and Political Structure
- African Indigenous Religions and Animal Husbandry
- African Indigenous Religions and Social Welfare
- African Indigenous Religions and Electoral Processes
- African indigenous Religions and Refugee Management
- African Indigenous Religions and Boundary Delineation.
- QuranicInjunctions for Evolving the Nigerian Commonwealth.
- The Ideals of the Islamic Hadiths for the Nigerian Common Well-being.
- Building the Nigerian Commonwealth through the lenses of the Umayyad Caliphs.
- The Resilience of the First Generation of Muslims as a Recipe for Evolving the Nigerian Well-being.
- The Sharia as a Pathway for Achieving the Nigerian Commonweal.
- The Yoruba Muslims, Religious Tolerance and the Nigerian Common Well-being.
- Islam as a Religion of Peace: A Recipe for Building the Nigerian Commonwealth.
- The Islamic Perspectives for Evolving a Viable Nigerian Commonwealth.
- Islamic Philosophy, Perspective and Concept of Human Commonwealth and Co-existence
- Islamic Theories and Practices and the Nigerian Commonwealth
- Islamic law (Sharia) and the sustainability of Nigerian Commonwealth.
- Islamic Injunctions and the Consolidation Nigeria Political Commonwealth.
- Islamic Finance and the Advancement of Nigeria Economic Commonwealth.
- Islamic teaching and the Unity/Integration of Nigeria
- African Indigenous Religions and Leadership /Governance
Christian Religious Studies
- The Strength of Unity in the Era of the Judges as a Recipe for the Nigerian Commonwealth.
- Old Testaments Perspectives for Building the Nigerian Commonwealth.
- Proper sharing of the Commonwealth: Panacea to Poverty; Joshua 1:
- The Parable of the Prodigal Son: Its Lessons for Nation Building
- Repentance according to II Chronicles 7:14, a way out for the healing of Nigeria Land
- Payment for destruction done by flocks to farmers, biblical references for the Fulani Herdsmen and the Farmers for Nigerian Commonwealth.
- The Parable of the rich fool: Lesson for Nigerian leaders; case study of Luke 12:13-21 for Nigerian Commonwealth.
- Building the Nigerian Commonwealth through Hints from the Gospels.
- Utilizing Pauline Ethics for Evolving a Sustainable Nigerian Commonwealth.
- James’ Warning to Rich Oppressors in James 5: 1-6: A Recipe for the Nigerian Well-being.
- Building the Nigerian Commonwealth through the Lenses of Philosophy of Religion.
- The Quest for a Virile Nigerian Commonwealth: The Viewpoint of a Church Historian.
- Ineptitudes of Nigerian Leaders: major cause of underdevelopment
- Turning a new leave: study of II Cor.5:17
- Guide against Avarice: Examination of Matt 6:11
Other World Religions
- Building the Nigerian Commonwealth from the Perspectives of Hinduism.
- Appropriating the Ethos of Confucius for the Nigerian Commonwealth.
- Utilizing Christian Religious Ethics for the Development of the Nigerian Well-being.
- Achieving the Goal of the Nigerian Commonwealth within the Ambit of Religious Interaction since Independence.
- Perspectives from Philosophy in Building the Nigerian Commonwealth.
- The Quest for a Virile Nigerian Commonwealth from the Example of Shintoism.
- Evolving a Stable Nigerian Commonwealth from the Perspectives of Asian Religions.
- The Law of Karma and the Evolution of the Nigerian Commonwealth.
Note: Related topics to the theme of the Conference will certainly be allowed to be read at the conference. But topics not related will not be accepted for presentation.
Abstract: Abstract should not be more than 250 words and should be sent to the LOC on or before 30th July, 2018 through the following emails:
Rt Rev. Prof. Dapo E. Asaju Vice Chancellor, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo,
- Prof. Muslih Tayo Yahya, University of Jos, Nigeria
- Prof –Wellington O. Wetogbe-Weneka, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Date: Mon 24 – Thursday 28th Sept 2018
Venue: Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo Oyo State, Nigeria
Total Registration dues:
- a) New members N15,000 for old members
- b) New Members = N17,000
this includes - Conference fee N10,000
- Annual dues – old - N3,000
- Annual dues - new - N5,000
- Student - N7,000
- Paper Assessment fee - - N3,000
Accommodation – Free for all Participants
Pre –registration = Pay the specified amount into NASR account:
Skye Bank Account Number 1140071667
Mrs. G.N. Ayantayo Ven. Dr. Ayodeji Ogidiolu Dr. J.A. Ampitan
L.O.C. Welfare L.O.C. Secretary 07060454126 L.O.C. P.R.O. 08035380238
Ven. Prof. Taiye Aluko Prof. J.O. Ayodabo The Rt. Prof. Dapo F. Asaju
L.O.C. Chairman 08033841662 Dean, Faculty of Humanities The Vice Chancellor, ACU, Oyo
Contact LOC for accommodation and other information
Ven. Dr. Israel Ndu. Johnson Prof. Olu E. Alana Prof. S.O. Adeniyi
NASR Secretary 0803338795 NASR Vice Chairman08033740081 NASRPresident08033588105