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Coup, illegal seizure of power not solution to Nigeria’s problem – Prof Olupona

By Paul Michael

Professor Jacob Olupona, a Nigerian-American Professor of African Religious Traditions and American Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, has said coup d’état and illegal seizure of power will not address the current problem of Nigeria.

Prof Olupona spoke at the 16th annual Faculty of Dentistry conference, held at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, with the theme ‘Dentistry without borders.’

The professor expressed worry over the unemployment rate of graduates in Nigeria, saying it is a major crisis facing the country.

He advocated for cultural revolution as a way forward to address problems of transparency, accountability and bad governance facing the country.

“We have a crisis in Nigeria, we have people carrying certificates all around, they have no job, it is not their fault it is the system that has failed them. So, those of us who are responsible for this learning process must begin to think about how best we can help these students.

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“The kind of social revolution we need is not using coups or using guns but cultural revolution so that we begin to believe in ourselves, we begin to know when people are deceiving us and telling us stories and lies,” he said.

Also speaking during a discussion session, Professor of Archaeology, Adisa Ogunfolakan lamented the lack of record keeping of teeth that has been removed by dentists in Nigeria so as to proffer solutions to problems associated with teeth.

He said, “No record keeping on teeth that have been removed by dentists in the past generations to see the nutritional changes. Dentists must work with historians, this will help to generate data for action plans.”

Earlier, the host, Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, Professor Morenike Ukpong disclosed that the conference started with six pre-conferences and had nine national and international resource persons with 690 participants from multiple locations in and outside the country.

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