By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
Resolving conflicts in Nigeria requires a paradigm shift. This is the submission of Monday Omohan, a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, in a lecture he delivered on the occasion of the 1st Professor Festus Iyayi Memorial Lecture held at the Main Auditorium of the University of Benin on Tuesday morning.
According to Omohan, “conflict is a natural, normal and inevitable part of a social system or society. What is important is not how to eliminate it but how to manage it.”
Going further, he asserted: “Simplistic suggestion or approach has been the major reason why Nigeria has not been able to manage the numerous conflicts confronting it.
“Our approach to conflict management have been too simplistic and unserious. We need a more rational, theoretical insight and pragmatic approach to the management of conflicts.
“We need to seriously examine the nature of the conflicts; what are the motivating factors of those involved in the conflicts directly or indirectly and what are the intervening factors that are influencing the intensification of such conflicts?”
“Arbitrating conflicts in Nigeria today requires the development of a new lens which is capable of identifying the interconnection of conflicts with the social process and social structure of the Nigerian state,” he concluded.
In his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancelor of the University of Benin, Professor Faraday Orumwense, who was represented, assured that the management of the university supports the lecture “as it is also coming as a contribution to sustain academic innovation in the university.”
Going further, he stated: “I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the staff of the Faculty of Management Sciences and Department of Business Administration in particular for coming up with this brilliant idea of a memorial lecture in honour of this luminous icon.”
The programme was spiced with award of recognition to some individuals most of whom are products of the University of Benin.