Photo: Niger Republic military junta.
Coup: Varsity union cautions Nigeria against military intervention in Niger
Prof. Wahab Egbewole, the Secretary General, West African Universities Union (WAUU), has cautioned Nigeria against leading any war against Niger Republic in spite of any provocation.
The union advised Nigeria to explore non-violent means of resolving the crisis.
Egbewole, who is also the Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, gave the advice on Tuesday in Ilorin while declaring open the maiden conference of the Consortium of Eight Universities based in Kwara (KU8).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the eight universities include the University of Ilorin; Al-Hikma University, Ilorin; Summit University, Offa; and Landmark University, Omu’Aran.
Others are Kwara State University, Malete; Ahman Patigi University, Patigi; Thomas Adewumi University, Oko-Irese, Ilorin; and Ojaja Universiy, Ilorin.
Egbewole noted that while all efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger must be made, Nigeria should not, at this time, lead a war coalition against her neighbour, notwithstanding the provocation.
“Let me use this opportunity, as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Fellow of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice, to appeal to ECOWAS to explore non-violent means to resolve the issue of the Niger coupists.
“While all efforts to restore constitutional order must be made, Nigeria should not, at this time, lead a war coalition against her neighbour, in spite of provocations.
“War is not as straight-forward as Mathematics and things don’t always go as expected, a lesson some superpowers have learnt and are still learning through militarily confronting their presumed adversaries,” he said.
According to him, while Nigeria must accept the responsibility of leadership in ECOWAS, she should weigh carefully all the possible scenarios.
These, he said, include military industrial complexes using our region to flex their muscles and making life increasingly more miserable for our impoverished people.
He said: “Ultimately, we often realise that there is no alternative to dialogue and negotiation. And as the war-time Prime Minister of Britain and statesman, Winston Churchill, famously said ‘to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war.”
Egbewole explained that the KU8, which was established at the University of Ilorin on Jan. 11, 2023, was a response to the need to promote development through cooperation.
Speaking earlier, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), urged the nation’s universities to pay more attention to community service and development.
Oloyede, who is also a former Vice-chancellor of the University of Ilorin, spoke on the theme: “Transforming University Education in 21st Century: The Role of Stakeholders”.
He said: “You cannot design and build a university based on the local community as an outsider.
“We must become involved in their health, ecology, livelihood and, through that, add value to their existence.
“We cannot continue to go on strike incessantly without working on other areas of community needs that would enhance our relevance.”
Oloyede also stressed the need for universities to go back to being developmental universities rather than being leaches on society.
He solicited for partnership with local communities to take progress to greater heights and beyond the classrooms and the laboratory.
Prof. Musbau Akanji, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, said that Nigerian universities should embark on research in agriculture to enable Africans feed themselves rather than delving into researches that do not concern them.
He urged Nigerian universities to impact on their communities in areas that could make life meaningful rather than dissipating their energies on researches that do not benefit them.