A Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Jos, Jeff Doki has asked the Federal Government to expand the academic curriculum for conflict management and peace studies in Universities and tertiary institutions While encouraging Universities to initiate academic prizes for excellence at the departmental and faculty levels to encourage students to read, he said Nigeria had been retarded because of poor reading culture.

According to him, the failure of the United Nations and the global community to effectively respond to war and genocide have made it apparent that the existing mechanisms for preventing war and conflict are inadequate or non-existent.

Doki, who is Head, the Department of English in UNIJOS, stated these while delivering the institution’s 107 inaugural lecture titled, ‘Poetry and global peace.’

He said, “The curriculum for conflict management and peace studies should be expanded to include other attributes like love, mercy, and forgiveness.

“It is not enough to teach university students the principles and traditional approaches like mediation, negotiation, arbitration, and international law. It is also inadequate to lay emphasis only on 21st century approaches like humanitarian intervention, preventive diplomacy and peace-keeping.”

“In schools, colleges, and our communities, citizens should be encouraged to know that today the whole concept of security

and peace has been expanded to mean the individual and his community as well as his environment. In other words, we can create a peaceful environment for ourselves.”

“We should encourage our students and children to develop a reading culture. Our growth as a nation is retarded and stagnated because we don’t have a reading culture. What we have in Nigeria is a television and football-watching culture. It is only when we read that we shall discover the beauty of poetry as a perennial source of joy and a viable instrument for the resolution of conflicts in society.”

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