A Professor of Political Science in the Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, Prof. Atare Otite, has urged Nigerian politicians to develop a democracy based on Nigerian culture to solve its problems.
Otite who is the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences of DELSU, stated this on Monday at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo state, at the 2nd national regional conference of the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), South-South regional conference, which he chaired.
He noted that the numerous challenges of the country require solutions based on policies formulated locally, including restructuring.
“We have to develop policies that can help us to integrate better. In the course of this conference, we are going to come out hard and interrogate some of these issues and come up with solutions that can help us solve some of these problems that we have in this country today.
“We have to begin to look at restructuring of this country. We have to as much as possible understand our culture and value, and marry them with the theory we have today. Those theories we learn from outside cannot function very well here.
“We prepare to copy foreign cosmology, but it’s not going to function very well in our system. To marry our socio-culture, our values with whatever theory we are copying now, it is not going to function well in our environment,” Otite said.
Also speaking, Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), who delivered the keynote speech, said that Nigeria was currently on the path to rupture.
Ikelegbe who spoke on the theme, “The emerging ruptures of the state: A perspective on the Nigerian crisis”, noted that Nigeria’s return to democratic rule which was supposed to be a rebirth and a solution to its numerous crisis, failed the expectations of the common man.
“After so much struggles and sacrifices, what we regard as the second independence took place, that was the achievement of democracy on May 29, 1999. It was supposed to signal a total rebirth, an El-dorado. It signaled huge expectations on the part of citizens.
“But the situation, as we currently found it, does not show that expectations and the aspirations of the ordinary people have been met.
“Nigeria as a country is at the crossroads. There is a crisis of statehood, it manifests in the disagreements over the structure of the Nigerian state. There is a crisis of national identity, which manifest in the weak contact between citizens and the state, between groups and the state, which manifests in the growing sub national identities and solidarity”, he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of IUO, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, underscored the importance of the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA) in Nigeria, as one directly connected with issues relating to lives and properties of all citizens, including their existence as a nation.