Udoidem Advocates Peaceful Co-existence among Humans

By Humphrey Ogu


Engendering the culture of unity and peaceful co-existence among humans was the thrust of 22nd Valedictory Lecture, delivered by Professor Sylvanus Udoidem of the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium on Tuesday, December 7,2021.

Udoidem whose Lecture was entitled: "Towards a Unified Theory of a Common Humanity: The Way Forward for the University" noted that "the greatest tragedy of human existence is the illusion of separateness, when in actual fact, we are closer and more related to each other than we are conscious of. "The invitation in this Valedictory Lecture, to direct our compassion towards the contemplation of a unified theory of humanity, which will engender a sense of shared values, shared responsibility and reciprocity. The aim of the presentation is to unveil the foundation of our shared humanity," he explained.

"The contemplation of a unified theory of a common humanity is a certain recipe, which I have appropriated, for the liberation of human person from self-imprisonment and the illusion of human separateness," he said, recalling that he developed the idea of a unified theory of common humanity in 1984, when he was trying to originate a topic for his doctoral dissertation.

Udoidem who is a former Dean, Faculty of Humanities, observed that Covid-19 had redefined humanity with a new sense of common humanity. "With the use of face mask, the old image of humanity with individual cultural identities has been replaced with a common identity that is defined by mask wearing. The new distinguishing identity is the colour of the mask. The new common humanity is faceless," he said, disclosing that the situation inspired him to come up with a theory of common humanity that is faceless.

Udoidem, who composed the UniPort Anthem, said: "it is my conviction that for there to be peaceful co-existence in the world and in our community, there is need to re-invent a consciousness of a common humanity that is based on shared values, reciprocity and shared responsibility... there is need to evolve a theory of culture (a way of life) interaction that would allow for peaceful co-existence and sustainable development."

In his remarks, Vice Chancellor, Professor Owunari Georgewill, who commended Professor Udoidem for his services to the country and for proposing a way forward for the University community through a theory, noted that the Lecture was quite significant as it was delivered by not just a seasoned academic, but also one of the founding fathers of the University and a Priest.

Speaking through the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Clifford °forum, the Vice Chancellor said: "Our Valedictory Lecturer today has made remarkable contributions towards the growth of this University as one of its founder fathers. He has mentored many scholars and provided quality leadership in his Faculty and beyond. We wish to express our gratitude to him for his services, especially for composing the University anthem. 

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