THE PEN AND THE BAYONET: A Comprehensive Study of Academia/Military Relationship in Nigeria, 1966-1999
Since time immemorial there has always been an uneasy relationship between the intelligentsia and wielders of political power. A few examples underscore this point. Socrates (469-399B.C.) was a victim of the restored democracy in the fifth century B. C. Athens, because he was considered a political nuisance, especially as his practice of philosophy required a critical evaluation of the received knowledge used in justifying not only personal beliefs, but also beliefs about government, its authority, and power. Second, the philosopher, Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (born: circa 4757 C.E., died: 526? C.E.), died in prison because his loyalty to Emperor Theoderic, an Ostrogoth, was allegedly doubtful. Similarly, Antonio Gramsci died in 1937 after an excruciating condition in Mussolinis prison, because of sharp ideological differences between him and the strongman.
Normally, the military is an institution traditionally and even constitutionally charged with protecting the territorial integrity of the country, warding off external aggression, or rescuing victims during emergencies as directed by bona fide political leader(s), from time to time. It is, therefore, an aberration for the military to venture into political governance.
In fact, the architectonic philosopher, Plato, in his ideal state reserved rulership for intellectuals. By its unique calling, therefore, academia traditionally enjoys academic freedom, and autonomous niche in all enlightened societies. By training, orientation, and temperament, timidity, opportunism and careerism have no place within the confines of academia.
In 1966, the Nigerian military violated its traditional and constitutional role by violently venturing into the political arena with what eventually turned out to become empty claims of Messianism. In its so-called Social Engineering project, the Military rode rough shod over the Nigerian Socio political space, destroying in the process vital values of National growth and sustainable development, notwithstanding modicum legacies of development it left behind.
This research project is an attempt to document the relationship between academia and the Military in Nigeria from1966 to 1999 when the Military was forced to hand over power to a civilian regime. It is true that the impact of Military rule for the period under review affected the entire Nigerian firmament; this research focuses on academia given the level of destruction the latter suffered with its ripple effects being experienced till today. Apparently, in realization of the aphorism that the Pen is Mightier than the Sword, the Military mobilized all the resources at its disposal to psychologically weaken, physically humiliate, economically impoverish, systematically frighten, continually incarcerate, brutally torture, and socially malign academics, while at the same time starving Education and educational institutions of statutory funds and avenues for curricula and career development.
Consequently, academia in Nigeria having been cowed, suffered loss of morale and robust ego, as many academics became prey to the carrot and stick politics of the Praetorian order to the extent that jobs meant for lower cadre people were hankered after by some otherwise renowned academics. Simultaneously, many patriotic and well- meaning academics were forced into exile by unfavorable circumstances thrown up by the Military in the society at large, and the Educational Institutions in particular, yielding to the brain-drain phenomenon.
In documenting the Military/Academia interface in Nigeria, the following but not limited to the under listed themes/issues are guidelines for possible research:
Conceptualizing the Military
The Nigeria Military and its counterparts elsewhere
History of the Nigerian Military
The Military and Politics in Nigeria
History of Education in Nigeria
Philosophy of Education in Nigeria
The Role of Education in National Development
Military Governments and Education in Nigeria
Academics in Government under Military Regimes
Autonomy, Academic Freedom, and Budgetary Allocations
Trade unionism in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria under the Military Regimes
Socio-Economic Policies of Military Regimes in Nigeria
The Brain Drain Phenomenon
Students Unionism under Military Regimes
Labor/Academia Relationship Under Military Regimes
Town/Gown Relationship under Military Regimes
Knowledge Production and Dissemination under Military Regimes
Campus Religious Activism under Military Regimes
The Emergence of Campus Cultism and Terrorism under the Military
Women Academics Under the Military
Academic Culture, Orientation, Practice and Ethics under Military Regimes
Military Decrees on Education
Undermining Roles of Academics under Military Regimes
Students and Staff Welfare under Military Regimes
Campus Sports, Leisure and Recreation under Military Regimes
Military Tribunals and Court Proceedings on Educational Matters
Morale of Staff and Self Perception under Military Regimes
Members of the public, the Civil Society, academics, professionals, and researchers are therefore invited to submit well- researched papers on their chosen theme(s), to reach any of the undersigned, on or before 31st. August, 2009.
Style Sheet: The preferred style for the preparation of the final paper for publication is APA, internet sources inclusive. Submitted papers will not be more than 20 pages, double space, font 12 in Times New Roman.
Publication: The Editors intend to publish peer- reviewed and accepted papers in a book in accordance with the best international academic practice.
Editorial Correspondence: Manuscripts and correspondence should be sent to this E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Or any of the following:
Chijioke Uwasomba email@example.com
Victor S. Alumona firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor- in- Chief: Professor Dipo Salami
Department of English
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife
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