By Tope Sunday, Bureau Chief, North Central
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin,Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali, has identified wrong interpretation of religion as one of the factors that gave birth to insurgency in the country.
Ambali, who spoke at the 3rd Biennial National Conference of the University’s Centre for Ilorin Studies (CILS), held at the institution on Tuesday, however, asked the Federal Government to make the study of History and Religious Studies of both Islam and Christianity compulsory in the Nigerian school system.
The theme the conference was “The Socio-Economic Development of Ilorin Emirate Since The 20th Century”.
“”Our country has paid a high price for not learning from history,which is undermined in our school curriculum now;our country has paid dearly for the wrong knowledge and interpretation of religion as evident in the liberated communities in the North East.
“I want to use this medium to enjoin the Federal Government to make the study of History and Religious Studies of both Islam and Christianity compulsory in our school system.
“We need to understand our past and know where we are at every point in time. We need to always acknowledge our past heroes so that we would be in position to appreciate their sacrifices and values. Such knowledge will help us to overcome some of the contemporary challenges we are facing and live better together as a people.
“Now that both Islamic and Christian Religious Studies are merged as components of an omnibus subject, Religion and National Value (RNV) ,the amount of time devoted to the study of two subjects is drastically reduced.
” Given the centrality of religion in our day-to-day activities in Ilorin Emirate and Nigeria at large,not knowing what we proclaim and purportedly practice is a disaster”, the VC said.
In his Key note address titled “The Socio-Economic Development of Ilorin Emirate Since The 20th Century” ,Alhaji Aminu Adisa Logun,an industrialist,decried the socio-economic state of Ilorin emirate in the 20th century.
Going down the memory lane ,the industrialists regretted that areas such as Yidi Road Ilorin, Coca cola area Ilorin and Federal government -Okolowo axis that were designated as industrial parks in the past today have nothing to show than filling stations.
” It is a pity today Ilorin has no single industrial estate despite that Industrialization started in Ilorin as early as 1924 where product from clay were exported to England”,he said.
To revive the economic activity of the emirate, he recommended that the Emir must have his own economic council made of people from those he described as” silent minority” .
The proposed economic council, he added, should” transmit proposal to local and state government for implementation.
Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Saka Saadu, who is also a former pro-chancellor of the university,stressed the need for people of the emirate to embrace entrepreneurship especially at this time when Nigeria is craving for diversification of the economy.
Earlier, the Director of the centre, Professor Zakariyau Oseni, said, “The centre has the mandate to collect catalogue and preserve digital copies of manuscript on Arabic ,religious ,historical and cultural heritage of Ilorin Emirate among others”.
He said over 40 papers were presented at the conference, nothing that the centre had received over 100 manuscripts written on various subjects on Ilorin.