2015 Election: Dr. Oyedepo Calls For Peace
The Chancellor, Covenant University, Dr. David Oyedepo, has called for peace in the forth coming general elections in the Country.
He made the call on Friday, March 13, 2015, while speaking at the University’s 40th Public Lecture titled “The End of Politics? Reclaiming Humanity in the Age of Biopower and Necropolitics”, delivered by Professor Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, at the University campus.
Professor Peyi Soyinka-Airewele is a professor of International Relations and Comparative Studies and a Carnegie Fellow at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University.
The Chancellor advised that the citizens should not only pray for peace but also work at peace. “When you have opportunity to discuss with people, discuss peace and not violence. Please let’s be peace makers indeed at the grassroots and this election will be a most exciting and adventurous for us”, he appealed.
Dr. Oyedepo also noted that no meaningful development takes place in any nation in the midst of crisis. He added that the responsibility of every citizen was far beyond political differences but most importantly to secure peace.
The Chancellor, who is also the Chairman, Board of Regents of the University, also called for home grown solutions to Nigerian problems, noting that the Country has more than enough to solve its problem. “No nation is coming to solve our problems for us. Nigeria has more than enough to solve her problems. The future of a nation is not in the hands of the leaders, it is in the hands of responsible citizens. By the time we all take our citizenship as a responsibility, it will become easy for us to find solutions”, he advised.
He appreciated the Lecturer for exposing the problems of Nigeria and proffering solutions. He also congratulated the University for providing the platform for such a robust intellectual discuss.
Professor Soyinka-Airewele exposed in her lecture the depth at which Biopower and Necropolitics played out across the world, particularly in Nigeria, and how they affected the nation’s sociopolitical and religious wellbeing.
She referred to Biopower as the sovereign exercise of power to determine who may live and who must die. “It separate people into categories and sub categories, establishing boundaries between some and other, which is the condition for the acceptability of putting to death,” she said.
While borrowing from medical terms, she described Necropolitics as “that lethal festering political power spawned of colonialism and constituted as the construct of distinction between European State, and those ‘parts of the globe’ perceived to be available for European appropriation”.
She also spoke in some depth about religious politics, the Organization of Islamic Corporation and Sharia in Nigeria, because, according to her, “This is not merely about politics, it is a real and escalating dilemma that continues to destroy the lives and wellbeing of millions of Nigerians”.
Professor Soyinka-Airewele noted that the present day religious/political violence and insurgencies were as a result of unresolved decades of violence. “These violent religious mobilizations were not spontaneous expression of faith, or other grievances. Religious militancy has long been dependent on enabling systems of law, partisan politics and political patronage, which script the permissible space for the emergence and validation of religious zealots.
“No wonder Mbembe presents a reading of politics as the work of death concluding in his startling insistence that, ‘Politics is therefore death that lives a human life’,” she said.
Professor Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, however, proposed the end of Politics as reclaiming humanity and resisting Necrotizing decay.
“If politics is ‘death living a human life’ – perhaps there is nothing more optimistic than to speak about the end of politics, that is, the ‘end of death living a human life’,” she stated.
She also proposed what she called “Liberalism redefined”. She noted, “Our struggles for change are redundant if we lose our commitment to protect human dignity and human lives irrespective of race, ethic or religious specificity, to raise our voices for justice for others and seek to accomplish the common goal in our own communities.
“We need to develop our own capacity to live as practical visionaries. If building a new social order sounds impossible, start by examining each space you inhabit (home, work, School, community and nation) and think of how to transform those micro-systems to reclaim a shared humanity.
“Finally, we need courage and integrity: necropolitics create a framework that entices us to conformity and complicity. It causes many to lose faith in the process of resistance and its promises. The most difficult battle in a corrupting space is our personal struggle to sustain our own integrity, the courage of our convictions and commitment to stay the hard long course so we can achieve our dreams for a change.
“We have the capacity to excise necrotic tissues in our sociopolitical spaces and produce healthier social cells. I don’t know of any human ideology, system or individual capable of transforming our fate if we abandon these truths”, she submitted.
Other dignitaries at the lecture include Senate members of Covenant University, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Deputy Chairman of the National Conference, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi; Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka; Presidential candidate, KOWA Party, Professor (Mrs.) Sonaiya and the Lecturer’s family members and other well wishers.