Lack of practising core religious values in public spheres bane of Nigeria - Don

By Ikechukwu Onyekwe
Prof. Godwin I. Akper presenting the Lecture


The Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Technology, Innovation, and Research (TIR) at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Godwin I. Akper, has identified the failure to practise the core values of religion and the hegemony of moral values in public spheres as the problem with Nigeria.

He stated that this was the "reason" behind the hindrance of development in public spheres and traditions and encouraged a balanced approach that respects the rights of all groups and promotes inclusivity.

Akper, a scholar of Systematic Theology, made the statement in his inaugural lecture at the NOUN headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.

In the lecture, titled, "Are We the Reason? (Christian) Religion in Nigerian Public Spheres," he delved into the profound influence of Christianity in Nigerian public spaces and its role in shaping society.

Leveraging his extensive research and theological expertise, he explored the relationship between religion and society, with a specific focus on the impact of Christianity in Nigeria.

The lecture, which was the 25th in the series at the institution, examined various facets of Christian religious values from the perspective of self rather than solely from the perspective of others in key public spheres such as the Church, the Nigerian society, and the academic community.

L-R: Prof. Akper officiallly presenting the 25th Inaugural booklet to the VC (R)


Highlighting the proliferation of churches, the influence of Christian values in politics and public places, and the perception of morality in Nigerian society, the professor analysed the historical roots of Christianity's prominence in the country and emphasised the need for a discerning evaluation of its pervasive presence in public life.

While recognising the positive aspects of Christianity's influence, he acknowledged its role in education, healthcare, and humanitarian efforts. 

He also stressed the importance of religious freedom and tolerance in Nigeria's diverse society.

Akper further suggested that Africans should seek identities that unite them rather than ones that divide their population.

The lecture sparked a lively debate among attendees, with scholars and religious leaders actively engaging with the thought-provoking ideas presented in it. 

The event showcased the intellectual rigor and diverse perspectives on the role religion plays in shaping the Nigerian society and within the academic community at the NOUN.

A notable event at the ceremony was Akper presenting copies of his lecture to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olufemi Peters.