Students Express Divergent Views on Colonialism at Independence Parley
The import of British engagement in pre and post independent Nigeria was brought under the microscope by students of Covenant University, as they dissected the myriad of the nation’s problems, during a parley organised by the Covenant University Literary and Debating Society to commemorate the country’s 56th Independence Day Celebration.
The programme, anchored by Madu Onyinye, Secretary of the Students’ Council, and Theophilus Abba, Student Chaplain, saw students trading plethora of ideas and opinions, as they x-rayed the effects of colonialism before and after Nigeria’s Independence on October 1, 1960.
The main thrust of the discourse, as championed by a team of students supporting the motion that ‘This House Regrets the Colonisation of Nigeria’, was that after years of subjugating the will of Nigerians and eventual departure of the colonial masters, there was no conceivable value derived by the citizenry, since the colonialist came just to harness available human and material resources they could get to drive their country’s developmental process, leaving the people with little or nothing.
The opposing team was of the opinion that the country, despite the unapproved method of administration the colonialists vested the nation with, still got a measure of growth and development owing to the fact that there was cross fertilisation of ideas, opportunity availed our leaders the privilege of learning a thing or two and the eventual trade routes that evolved from their incursion into the polity.
The stimulating debate was well supervised and moderated by Mrs. Excellence Oluye and Mrs. Yartey Ajayi from the Department of Political Science and International Relations, and Miss Bolanle Motilewa from the Department of Business Administration.
At the end of the engagement, Kachi Nwani won the debating competition for supporting the motion, while Iyie Obiechima came second.
Similarly, there was a public speaking contest with ‘Liberation’ being the focus of the dialogue by Oluoba Omoruyi, Olobio Tamara Ebi and Paul Ameh, while a platform for a talk on the burden and challenges of leadership was availed another group of students.
However, it was not all about discourse alone as there were performances by the Covenant University Choir and a documentary on the journey so far by Nigeria. The Department of Political Science and International Relations capped it all with a video presentation on the poser, ‘What do you think about the celebration of Nigeria’s Independence Day in these trying times?’, which elicited various responses from students, staff and faculty at the event.
The annual Independence Day Parley of Covenant University has become a platform for helping the millennial generation to understand the age long challenges bedeviling the nation and also challenge them to become vanguards of democratic practices in Nigeria.