The Vice Chancellor Federal University Otuoke, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko has proposed for a dialectical discussion among different ethnic nationalities that will de-emphasize their hegemony but serve as a binding force towards creating a united Nigeria.
Prof. Aluko made this assertion at a 2-day colloquium on Ijaw Genesis, Culture and Inter Group Relations in the Niger Delta organized by the University in collaboration with Onyoma research, Port harcourt at Federal University Otuoke which just ended.
The Vice Chancellor noted that Nigeria should focus more on common features in the languages to build a united front rather than that which can divide the nation.
“Different ethnic groups feel their language is superior to others, when the Ijaws talk about their history, it almost looks as if they are superior to others, when the Yorubas talk about their history, it almost looks as if they are superior to others, and therefore, there is national resistance by their hearers” the VC said.
The keynote speaker at the occasion, Dr. Atei Okorobia who said the genesis of Ijaw existence is still contentious identified three main categories of Ijaw origin and migration
Raising various areas of research questions, Dr. Okorobia expressed confidence in the paper presenters to find answers on the issues during course of the colloquium.
In her paper presentation, Dean Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. Philomena Ejele drew attention of the audience to the hypothesis about the origins of language, languages and language varieties.
The paper which reviewed likely factors that led to interactions among the people of Ijaw also pointed to some linguistic evidence that indicate ancestral linguistic cum socio-historical link among the people of Nigeria especially between the Ijaws and their neighbours.
Prof. Ejele concluded her paper by positing that the features in languages indicate some commonness in history, philosophy and character, maintaining that Nigeria should focus on what unites its people.
Presenting a paper on “The Delta: Geographical and Socio-political perspective” the Dean Faculty of Science, Prof. Bio Nyananyo holistically defined Niger Delta by its geography, hydrology and history to be that part of South-South Nigeria, where approximate northern boundaries are located close to the bifurcation of the River Niger at Samabiri/ Onya
Explaining further, Prof. Nyananayo noted that the Niger Delta in the Western and Eastern boundaries are around the Samabriri to Warri River.
Speaker after speaker agreed on the oneness of human race positing that efforts should be made to advance on features that will unify the people.
The colloquium on “Ijaw Genesis, Culture and Inter-group Relations in the Niger Delta” sparked off a rich intellectual exchange between paper presenters, lecturers, students and other attendees.