TAI-SOLARIN UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, OGUN STATE 2019.
The TASUED conference was the second to be held under FAHSANU platform. The maiden conference which held from April 9-13, 2018, was hosted by the Faculty of Arts, University of Calabar, which is the national administrative headquarters of the Association. This second conference is significant because this was the first conference hosted by FAHSANU standing on its own as an independent Body. The decision to host this conference was taken by the EXCO at the meeting held at the University of Calabar in October 2018. Immediately thereafter, the planning process began in earnest with Dr. Idowu Kojusotito, the internal auditor of the Association as the anchor man at the host institution (Tai-Solarin University of Education) with the unflinching support of the Dean of College of Humanities, Professor Abdulrasheed Ajetunmobi.
Professor Abdulrasheed Ajetunmobi and Dr Idowu Kojusotito swung into action by setting up the local organizing committee (LOC). Conference posters, fliers, banners, which were used for the publicity of the conference across the country, were produced and distributed. The LOC prepared the ground before the arrival of the other EXCO members as facilities such as conference hall, guest house for the accommodation of conferees, refreshments and exhibitions, public address system and the welcoming dance troupe were secured.
The FAHSANU conference with its central theme as ‘Re-Humanizing Humanity’ commenced on the 8th of April, 2019 and closed on the 12th of April, 2019. The conference started by 9am and ended by 4pm daily.
The Ijebu-Ode conference 2019, was informed by the fact that the hallowed values associated with humanity such as benevolence, compassion, kindness and fellow feelings are fast being eroded as manifest in ethnic cleansing, genocide, xenophobia, human trafficking for assorted purposes, rape, proliferation of light weapons and corruption in its variegated forms. The conference aimed at interrogating these social ills and the concomitant social crises confronting humanity with the view of using Humanities education as an antidote. The conference sought a multidisciplinary intersection of conference papers to address the critical role of Arts and Humanities in Re-humanising Humanity as a way of contributing to human progress. The conference was well attended by Arts and Humanities scholars from various Universities.
The keynote presenter, Professor Yakubu Aboki Ochefu of Benue State University, presented a paper whose crux was about the tremendous and dynamic contributions of science and technology to the development of the world; tracing it from different epochs. He made the point that knowledge is borne out of experience as old knowledge changes because of new experience and the dynamic nature of the environment. Given that human nature is flawed and tainted with errors and mistakes does not in any way reduce the dignity and respect for the human person. In a subtle and penetrating manner, Professor Ochefu juxtaposed the relevance and contributions of the Arts/Humanities with that of technology, emphasizing the need for more synergy between the Arts and Science for sustainable development.
A round table discussion commenced immediately after the keynote presentation. Discussants examined and analyzed the issues raised by the keynote speaker leading to new perspectives, arguments, counter-arguments and the upholding of some positions articulated in the paper.
Professor Yemisi Obilade, the lead speaker presenter observed that the existential conditions surrounding persons in the Nigerian nation are dehumanizing. For her the dignity of the human person has suffered monumental diminution in the way human lives are being wasted through acts of terrorism and the negligence of socio-economic conditions that make life worth living. Further, she made the point that scholars in the Humanities have a significant role to play in the emerging scientific and technological upheavals that characterize the contemporary society; having identified Humanities scholars as deep thinkers, societal barometers, guiding light and town criers. She further made the point that the negligence of the African cultural values and the imposition of western thought and civilization on Africans have reduced the ontological relevance of the dignity of the human person in which the African values constitute a vital ingredient for integral development. Furthermore, she gave various instances of how the quest for re-humanizing humanity can be achieved in the various fields in the Arts/Humanities.
The conference also featured a capacity building workshop on Research in the Humanities. This was facilitated by Dr. Osakue Omoera, an associate professor at Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa.
Paper presentations took place at various panels with inputs from participants. The FAHSANU paper assessment method is in two phases; firstly, the authors take corrections and contributions from their panel chairman/members and rework their papers which are sent to the FAHSANU Board of Assessors for review. Secondly, the peer- reviews stage; after which quality papers will then be taken for possible publication in the FAHSANU journal with ISSN: 26952041.
At the end of the presentations, a communiqué was arrived at. The conference witnessed media presence (please see The Nigerian Punch of April 16, 2019, Vol 43 No. 21,917, p. 36).