risk-vs-uncertaintyAs preparations for the 2015 elections in Nigeria are at fever pitch with frantic preparations being made towards them one way or another, it is apposite that more political education is required towards the peaceful and successful conduct of the process. This is especially important because this year, the stakes appear to be high, the stakeholders are keen to hold the ace, the situation is tense and nothing is as certain as uncertainty itself.

But when uncertainty is certain, the only thing to do is to make the best preparations and expect both the expected and the unexpected. Part of expecting the unexpected itself requires making adequate preparations the same way serious students study thoroughly when they don’t know the areas where the examiners may opt to set the questions from. They prepare and get ready, like the Boys Scout.

As Nigeria gets ready for the much-anticipated 2015 elections, the University of Ilorin is not standing akimbo. As part of its intervention, the better by far University, through the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, is organising a Special Public Lecture on “Towards Peaceful Elections in 2015: The Roles of Stakeholders in Nigeria” tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at the University Auditorium beginning from 10a.m.

The Special Public Lecture holds under the chairmanship of the revered and venerated former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Hon. Justice Mustapha Akanbi (rtd.). The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdul Ganiyu Ambali (OON) and Man of Peace par excellence is the Chief Host while the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede (OFR) and Fellow of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (fspsp) is the Special Guest of Honour.

Part of the unexpected is that the lecture promises to be a bang as all critical stakeholders, from the students the media, from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to the politicians, from religious leaders to the security agencies, are invited. Members of the university community are not left out.

The choice of the lecturer itself is thoughtful, if the open truth is not immodest to say. Few people can be as competent as Prof. Danny McCain of the Department of Religion and Philosophy, University of Jos, to deliver the lecture because of his ethno-political neutrality and vast insights into the Nigerian socio-political terrain for at least 26 years. In a politically charged atmosphere like ours, who says what matters more than what is said on some occasions.

Given the Guest Lecturer’s background, the lecture will draw from the American experience in electioneering and draw out implications for Nigeria. It is a lecture that no one can afford to miss because it promises to contain timeless lessons for everyone, the politicians, the political parties, the people or the electorate, the judiciary and the security forces. As part of the contributions, it is not going to even be a bad idea for everyone to obtain copies of the lecture and highlight the relevant areas and present as gifts to the stakeholders concerned. We are all involved because peace is everybody’s business.

When uncertainty is certain, I repeat, the best thing to do is to prepare one’s best and expect both the expected and the unexpected. As part of preparing the public for the elections, the lecture is aimed at contributing nuggets of peace education on one hand and political education on the other as part of the requirements for peaceful and successful elections this month and beyond. From the checks with the organisers of the event, there will even be surprise gifts for those who attend the Lecture.

 

It’s gonna be a lot of fun! Can you afford to miss it?

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