By Amaka Olua
The former Dean of Faculty of Arts and also a Professor of Religion and Human Relations, Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Rev Fr Prof B.A.C. Obiefuna, was the central figure at the 46th inaugural lecture of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Fr Obiefuna’s lecture, tagged, ”Religion and Human Relations: The Wounds the Healing”, was in memory of his late brother, Julius, even as it also served as an avenue to discuss many crises associated with religion in Nigeria.
He expressed his joy as the first inaugural presenter in the reign of the new Vice Chancellor, Prof Charles Esimone, even as he also commended the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, and all the deans, lecturers and dignitaries, who made it to the 46th inaugural lecture of the institution.
He stated that Nigerians were living in fear due to some groups of terrorists attacking the citizens, especially Christians. He recalled the 2008 Jos crisis which claimed many lives, noting that Nigeria suffered from a serious wound that needed healing.
He maintained that the economy of Nigeria was in a mess and had lured many young men into fake prophets as a way of extorting money from members of the public. He added that money that would have been used for the benefit of Nigeria was being used to purchase arms and ammunitions for Boko Haram, herdsmen and other groups.
He said the wounds signified the dirty politics witnessed in the Nigerian political terrain. He further stated that there was need for massive voter awareness through writing, seminars and visual media, noting that through that, the society would be well guided.
This was even as he explained the need for them to know that every religion had its own way of worship and advised all to respect sacred places. Fr Obiefuna maintained that they could use symbols to build bridges, noting that there were things they had not explored about the Nigerian flag which, he said, had great symbols. He urged them to respect human life, which, he said, was worth more than thousands of animals.
During the book launch, the chairman of the occasion, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, gubernatorial candidate for the 2017 election, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, commended Rev Fr Obiefuna on his lecture, describing his topic and lecture as great and capable of standing the test of time.
Noting that they were celebrating the celebrant, he commended those who had made impact in his life.
Also speaking, Sir Ikenna Okafor, commended Prof Obiefuna for his performance at the inaugural lecture, and expressed his great respect for the celebrant whom he described as an intelligent man.