By Eric Elezuo
The umbrella body of all psychology related endeavours, the Nigeria Psychological Association(NPA) has held its 2018 Congress and Scientific Conference with the theme Psychology, Culture and Diversity Management.
The highly rated event, which was held at the Ade Ajayi Audirium of the University of Lagos, was another convocation of intellectuals, bigwigs and great minds cutting across various strata of human endeavours. Most of them include Nigeria’s only Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and frontline journalist and Chairman, Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh.
The gathering which escapitulates the diverse cultures of the Nigerian setting, set out psychological standards to tackle every shortcoming inherent in the society, with special perculiarity to Nigeria.
The nearly weeklong conference, which also drew together students from various campuses of Nigerian universities kicked started on Sunday November 4 with arrivals of participants from across the country.
The conference started proper the next day with a comprehensive opening ceremony where classical papers were delivered as well as inductions conducted after the associations executive committee has paid a desired courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, in his office.
Delivering his welcome address, the President of the Association, Professor Michael Ezenwa, traced the origin of the association, highlighting the achievements over the years. His address was followed by the declaration of the conference open by the Pro Chancellor of the university, Prof Wale Balalakin.
Making his speech, Prof. Babalakin took time to explain the challenges facing the education sector, as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) just embarked on yet another strike. He noted that until the nation joins to implement the 25 percent budget allocation to education as prescribed by the United Nations, the sector may still remain in comatose. He also informed that for a hitchfree academic pursuit, the sector needs not less than N2 trillion yearly.
He therefore, declared proceedings of the 2018 conference open, paving the way for Mr. John Momoh, who was the Keynote speaker, to present his paper.
In his speech, Momoh, who is also an alumnus of UNILAG, called for assistance from the NPA in using their psychological prowess to tame the tide of culture as well as economic mismanagement.
Shortly after Mr. Momoh’s speech, the grand induction of one Nigeria’s greatest achievers in the academic field, the Nobel Laureate in Literature, Prof. Wole Soyinka, was held. He was inducted as honorary Fellow of the Nigeria Psychological Association, and he was decorated by a body of egg heads present led by Prof Babalakin, and accomplished poet, Prof John Pepper Clark.
Soyinka agreed to be robed, but refused to be capped, saying “sorry, I can’t take your cap: I already have a cap on my head.”
In his response, Soyinka was only full of appreciation, acknowledging the fact that he who was meant to speak, has already spoken.
“Thank you thank you and thank you very much indeed,” he said.
The President, Pan African Psychology Union, Professor Seths Cooper, who came in with a team of professionals from different African countries including Monde Kote from Botswana, Jane Kagaari from Uganda, Asefat H. Reta from Ethiopia, Debra Mochando from Zimbabwe and Andrew Zamani from Nigeria, also delivered his speech as the guest speaker.
Afterwards, new members, among whom was Professor Uche Mbamadu, were inducted into the Nigeria Psychological Association, with fanfare and much applause.
In her appreciation, the Head, Department of Psychology, University of Lagos, who is also the Head of Developmental Psychology Division, Professor Foluke Akinsola, appreciated all for coming, espcially the special invitees, who despite their tight schedule, made themselves available for the epoch occasion.
The day was rounded up with special quiz competition and reports on various funded researches.