Stephen Olufemi Oni
A Professor of Law, University of Ilorin, Abdulmumini Adebayo Oba, has stressed the need for restructuring of Nigeria in a manner that not everything would depend on the centre as it is presently. He said: “We need to decentralise in many ways so that the current urge and struggle to control the centre will never be a do or die affair again for our various religious, ethnic, political and sectional groups.” Oba, who spoke at the university’s 189th Inaugural Lecture on Thursday, said rather than pursuing an elusive unity conceptualised as uniformity of values, the nation needs to urgently reclaim the idea of unity in diversity, which, according to him, simply means, learning ‘to live and let live’.
The lecturer, who warned against the pitfall of the secularisation of the state in a manner that is hostile to religion, said he was in support of a “de jure official recognition of the special status of Islam and Christianity in Nigeria without impugning on the freedom of religion of adherents of other religions.” “We should avoid religious animosity and prejudice; we should respect the religious rights of all persons.
“For the sake of national unity and inclusiveness, every state in the federation should provide facilities and arrangements for the teaching of Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Religious Knowledge in secondary schools even where adherents of one of those religions constitute a minority,” he said.