Showing posts with label UNILORIN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UNILORIN. Show all posts

Adekola of UNILORIN makes case for cleaner, safer environment

A Professor of Environment and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Ilorin, Folahan Amao Adekola, has underscored the need to preserve the environment and shun environmental pollution in order to avoid ozone layer depletion, global warming and climate change because the environment is key to a sustainable future.

University of Ilorin

Prof. Adekola stated this penultimate Wednesday (July 12, 2017), while delivering the maiden lecture of the Association of Students of Peace and Strategic Studies (ASPASS), Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS), University of Ilorin.

The Lecture, organised to celebrate the World Environment Day, was themed “Connecting People to Nature; Protecting the World We Share”.

The celebration was aimed at creating awareness on the importance of preserving biodiversity, identifying environmental related problems, proffering solutions to these environmental issues, as well as encouraging people to keep their surroundings safe in order to enjoy a more prosperous future.

In his lecture, entitled “The Earth, Our Common Heritage”, the Guest Lecturer noted that pollution, climate change and over-exploitation are threats to nature, stressing that because environmental components are interconnected with each other in order to maintain a balanced ecosystem, any form of pollution in the environment causes the ozone layer meant to protect the earth from solar radiation depletion.

Prof. Adekola added that the ozone layer depletion poses a threat to human and animal health, terrestrial plants, aquatic ecosystems, and air quality,

In his address, the Director of the CPSS, Dr M. A. Adedimeji, stated that environmental security has been an issue of global concern, adding that “the environment is so important as a component of security that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) identified environmental security as one of the seven forms of human security because when the environment is not secure, we are also not secure.”

Dr Adedimeji noted that because of the changes and dynamics of the constantly evolving environment, a way forward, especially for those in the Niger Delta, should be established so as to enable people maximise the use of the environment  in such a way that oil spillage will not disturb the ecosystem that people's survival and livelihood are dependent on.

Emphasizing the importance of the environment, the CPSS Director said, “Without the environment, there is nothing we can hang on to”.

On his part, the President of ASPASS, Mr. AbdulFathi Arabi, disclosed that one of the mandates of the Association is to create awareness on the importance of peace and development in the environment in order to reduce the danger done to the environment because “the environment is the most precious asset given to mankind”.

 The Director of the School of Preliminary Studies, University of Ilorin, Prof. M. M. Akanbi, urged the participants to be mindful of their activities in the environment by looking out for one another in order to have a sustainable environment.

Also in her remarks, the pioneer President of ASPASS, Sister Josephine Olagunju, stated that the Association has been able to achieve its aim of making students see what the Centre stands for. She submitted that a rally to the Government House should be organised in order to attract the government's attention to the environmental pollution on the roads.

AcademicsNG Team.

UNILORIN: Violence, bane of Africa's development – Gambian Envoy

The Gambian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs. Fatou Njie, has urged African countries to address the problem of rising violence across the continent if they are to make any meaningful development and improve the quality of lives of their people.

Gambian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs. Fatou Njie,

Mrs. Njie stated this last Friday (July 7, 2017) in her address at the African Youth Action Network (AYAN) Lecture held at the University of Ilorin Auditorium themed “African Youth Say No to Violence”.

The Ambassador, who identified some of the forms of violence ravaging the continent as political, regional, xenophobic, domestic and terrorism, called for a concerted effort towards peace on the continent, saying, “This is non-negotiable if the continent is to attain development”.

While suggesting ways of ridding the continent of violence, Mrs. Njie said that the youths must have access to education and skill acquisition, while advocating for the use of technology to promote peace.

She urged African leaders to shun violence and called for a refocus on family value, stressing that youths are prone to violence when the family fabric is broken.

“I challenge you all to think big, think positive and aim high”, the Ambassador charged the participants.

While declaring the programme open, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), commended the organisers for raising the awareness of the youth on such important issue.

Prof. Ambali, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya, observed that the organisers of the programme have demonstrated that education is not about acquiring certificate alone but promoting critical thinking.

He said that Africa must rise against violence and not allow the menace to define her people, stressing that political agitations, which have the potential of metamorphosing into violence, must be nipped in the bud.

The Vice-Chancellor submitted that the pursuance of peace must be the business of every citizen, admitting that there is no single advantage in violence.

He thanked the Gambian Ambassador to Nigeria for gracing the programme, describing her attendance as a reflection of the commitment of the continent to peace.

The Kwara State First Lady, Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed, who was a Special Guest of Honour at the lecture, said in her goodwill message that the programme was unique because it seeks an end to violence, noting that parents have a role to play in curtailing violence by raising their children in the fear of God.

Speaking through her representative, Mr. Lanre Bello, the Governor's wife called for self-restraint on the part of those prone to violence as she also added her voice to the need for permanent and uninterrupted peace in order for development to thrive in the country.

The founder of AYAN, Miss Tida Ndure, in her opening address, explained that the purpose of the gathering was to strategise on how to eliminate the growing culture of violence in the homes, communities, and the nation at large.

Miss Ndure stated that AYAN is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation set up by a group of young people from across Africa.

She said, “AYAN creates platforms to connect African youths to one another on matters that are of direct concern to us and the nation, and to openly express our views on such important issues with the main objective of finding effective and practical solutions to such challenges”.

The AYAN founder condemned the activities of terrorists who are motivated by religious intolerance and those who commit heartless murders all in the name of politics.

In his goodwill message, the Senor Special Assistant to the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Saka Babatunde, said that the theme of the programme is apt considering the fact that it would enable us to focus on the salient issue of violence that has been affecting the quantity and quality of lives of youths.

He described as unfortunate groups and individuals who believe that violence is necessary in order to achieve their political objectives.

“Political violence is preventable but when a government is openly corrupt, abusive and criminal in its conduct and activities, then political assassinations and political agitations to gain power by foul means become the order of the day”, he concluded.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali, in his brief remarks at the programme, commended the initiator of the programme, noting that the way to secure the future of any nation is by securing the youths.

He said that the youth must be educated to imbibe good values and character, adding that we must work collectively to eradicate all forms of violence.

The legal luminary identified the use of hard drugs as a major factor responsible for the rise of violence across the world, appealing to the youth to shun the use of illicit drugs.

AcademicsNG Team.

UNILORIN: Mosquitoes are our friends, stop killing them – Ande

Although the mosquito is undeniably one of the world's most despised insects that has long been blamed for spreading malaria that kills millions of people each year, a Professor of Entomology at the University of Ilorin, Adeolu Taiwo Ande, has said that killing mosquitoes is bad, because “they are 'friends' that “deserve to be properly managed”.

Prof. Ande made this submission last Thursday (June 1, 2017) while delivering the 169th Inaugural Lecture of the University, entitled “Consider the ways of 'Ants' and be Wise.”

The Entomologist, who described insects as the “most successful and influential group of organisms in the biosphere”, noted that humans have a lot to learn from them in order “to get wise.”

Mosquitoes are our friends, stop killing them – Ande

Dwelling extensively on three of such insects- Mọ̀nímọ̀ní (Cirinaforda), mosquitoes and the honey bees, the Inaugural Lecturer observed that “human life is beset with inevitable associations with insects that have over the years influenced human destiny positively and negatively”.

According to him, “negative influences, such as disease transmission, crop losses, food spoilage, economic losses and nuisance value caused by less than 5% of insect species have been exaggerated by man, while the more extensive positive influences of insects which include pollination of flowers, waste recycling, ecosystem sustenance activities, use as source of silk, shellac, cochineal, therapeutic agents, aesthetics, biological control agents and food source are however unappreciated and down-played”.

Prof. Ande opined that man “deliberately misconstrues mosquitoes' role and frequently describes them as causing the diseases they transmit: a case of calling a dog a bad name to nail it, when in the actual sense, the mosquitoes are equally sick but inadvertently and unwillingly convey pathogens that are the real causal agents of these diseases.”

According to the don, the female mosquito could be “described as an example of a true mother (Abiamo tooto)” who “is forced to undertake a 'suicide mission' in its bid to provide for its unborn children.” He explained that “adult female mosquitoes have exceptional value for child raising hence the level of commitment and risk they take on the mission that entails a decision between life and death.”

“The after effect of this commitment is a well thought-out plan that forestalls most of the factors may stand in the way of raising good children. I am sure most human females will not take comparable decision in the face of similar attendant risks. It is however certain that children born after well thought out and risky conditions are better posited for quality living than those produced carelessly.”

“For the human race to improve, our dear ladies must view child bearing as a serious business that requires fortified planning aimed at providing and ensuring quality living and survival of our offspring. This will drastically reduce the incidences of unwanted pregnancies, street children and will surely checkmate population explosion constructively” he said.

Prof. Ande explained that “mosquitoes have proved to us over the years that they are our friends and allies and whether we like them or not they will exist and continue to source blood from us”, adding that “unfortunately, our lack of understanding and intolerance has been largely responsible for the use of ungodly methods to handle them”.

According to him, the wise way out is to get more friendly with them and use ecologically compatible methods against them. “My advice is stop killing mosquitoes; they are friends and they deserve to be properly managed”, he added.

The Entomologist pointed out that the honey bees “sting as a last resort because it has a cost that is ultimate, i.e. the demise of the stinger; thus it is a suicidal mission but for a good purpose which is the survival or protection of the colony thereafter”.

Noting that “humans, having discovered the goodness of honey, have resorted to the use of smoke and fire (arson) to prosecute forceful harvest, hence committing an action comparable to an armed robbery exercise”, Prof. Ande stated that “this practice over the decades has affected the quality and quantity of honey available and the life system of the ecosystem adversely, as the bee's role in pollination has been heavily compromised.

The don suggested that to forestall these drawbacks, honey bee farming (Apiculture) should be encouraged”, “as it will improve honey quality and production, provide job opportunities, enhance bee presence in the ecosystem, enhance pollination, and improve crop production: all of which are highly desirable and required qualities for our ailing ecosystem.”

Blaming Zoologists for the relegation of the discipline in contemporary times, a situation which he said, had affected “the quality of students, young lecturers and the entire educational system of our nation”, the scholar called for the establishment of an insect museum in Unilorin “to curate insect species in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria.”

According to him, “As Africans and indeed Nigerian Biologists and Naturalists, it is an unpardonable disservice to be oblivious of the identity and record of our animals, only to fall back on our colonial masters 50 years after independence. At the very least and as a matter of urgency we need to establish a Nigerian museum that correctly identifies and stocks Nigerian insects. Biologists should also note that strange specimens should never be assumed to be new until after confirming with international museums.”

Prof. Ande called for the improvement of the Zoology curriculum to ensure better focus on organisms that feature prominently around us, as well as the promotion of practical classes that 'enable the demonstration of zoological techniques, diagrammatic expression which Zoology is renowned for…'

The don, who also commended the University management for establishing the Unilorin Zoo, however remarked that, “Zoologists are expected to be the foster 'parents' of the animals in the Zoo and should be familiar with their needs and their health status. Committing the Zoo to veterinary doctors is like a parent (Zoologist) yielding over his children to family doctor for their welfare.”

AcademicsNG Team.

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