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Monthly Archives: November 2015

DOES GOD EXIST?

  
Does God exist? Yes, He exists to me (and that is a personal thing). 

Does God exist scientifically (and academically)? That’s a different ball game. 

Science (in the academe) operates on what’s empirical; whereas belief in God is a matter of faith – you can’t see God (though some claimed to have seen God, and that too is a matter of faith).

I made this clarification because of an encounter last week. 

An individual told me some believe I’m an atheist. Their conclusion emanated from academic encounters (I still lecture, part-time) where I have always concluded that the existence of God is a matter of faith and that His existence is, at times, difficult to prove.

Interestingly, I’m a product of the two dominant religions in Nigeria. My father is a head in a Christian denomination, and my mother was a Muslim until her death in March last year. 

I’m a Christian today but I went to Quranic school and I have Islamic name (just like every other children in my polygamous background).

One of my similar conclusions, which equally make some to conclude that I don’t believe in God, is that the many hydra-headed socio-economic and political quagmires Nigeria is in today is a function of us claiming to be Catholic than the Pope. I believed our litany of woes is further compounded by religiosity.

It is easy to accept nonsense when you are blinded by religion, and when you conclude that you must not fight for yourself and that only God can fight for you. We genuflect to thieving politicians when they build mere culvert with public money, and pay obeisance to Pastors and Imams when all they care about is our money.

The advocates of excessive meekness forget that Prophet Muhammad fought for survival and that Israelites fought many wars to survive. And they forget that original owners of Islam and Christianity (Arabs and the West) don’t allow religion to blind them to what is an abnormality.

Femi Olabisi is on Twitter: @Femiolas

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2015 in Opinion

 

MY EPIPHANY: TRUE STORY!

I dreamt overnight. 

In my dream a secondary school friend learnt of the death of one of my former secondary school principals and wanted me to write to his family, detailing how he maltreated me. (NOTE: I attended 4 secondary schools and 4 primary schools. Reason is I was expelled so many times because I was a certified truant, even in primary schools).

In my dream, the friend wanted me to apprise the whole world how the former principal maltreated’ and expelled me. I agreed in my dream. 
But when I woke up, I reminisced about my primary and secondary school days. Then it dawned on me that I couldn’t have attended all these schools if I was a good student.

This dream got me thinking further that I could have been a roadside mechanic, tailor or doing any other menial job today if not for the grace of God. Only few did what I did and still went on to be where I am today.

I thank all my teachers who bear with my youthful restlessness. I wish I could see them all today to beg them for my wrongdoings and appreciate them all – I’ve made peace with a few in the last few years.

I especially appreciate my late mother who never gave up on me. Everybody gave up at a point, but she never gave up. She cried so much because of me, and she was always willing to pay for another school (she even paid multiple times for a single school term at different times – I was in the habit of spending my school fees and I won’t go to school if the money was paid directly).

She refused to abandon me. She kept fate. 

Her troubles eased when I got admitted to Obafemi Awolowo University in year 2000. Brothers, uncles, and families came back. They all saw a transformed me. They all ensured I didn’t lack anything in the university. 

Only one person believed I cannot change. He never believed I was in the university until I graduated. I can’t blame him; I was really bad.

I am most grateful to God for my eventual transformation and the knowledge. While I was always absent or under suspension, my position was never beyond 3rd in all examinations. Everybody knew me for two things in all primary and secondary schools I went to – I was always in trouble, and I was good academically.

(But my ungainly early years had negative effect in my university days. While I wasn’t a pullover, my mismanaged academic prowess in early years didn’t recover.)

My dream was wrong, but it opened my eyes to my youthful restlessness. I will one day write a book about my younger days. Many will find it very unreal.

I am indebted to God, my late mother and family. And the principal in my dreams actually deserves a ‘thank you, sir’.

NOTE: This is not a fiction.

I am on Twitter: @Femiolas

 

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2015 in Opinion

 

SEVEN-YEAR MEDICAL TRAINING: A POLICY IN CONTRADICTION 

  
  
The National Universities Commission (NUC), through its Executive Secretary Professor Julius Okojie, on Monday presented a policy document for the extension of the years for training of medical doctors in Nigerian universities to seven years. The document was presented to stakeholders at the opening of a three-day Capacity Development Programme for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) Academic Staff in Nigerian Universities in Abuja. 

In the same forum, the Chairman of Association of Colleges of Medicine of Nigeria, Prof (Mrs) Folashade Ogunsola, lamented that Nigeria need about 237,000 medical doctors and that we currently have about 35,000 working in the country today. 

In summary, there exists a humongous lacuna in the number of the medical doctors we need and the number we have.

But, do we actually need to extend the years of training for medical doctors, when what is actually lacking is application of technology and modern facilities in our universities and medical schools?

Complaints of inadequate medical doctors and the proposed extension of years of training are contradictory.

While it is a given that would-be medical doctors require extensive and intensive training as they would be dealing with human lives, I don’t think the prolongation of the years of training would achieve much without providing necessary facilities to train them.

As of now, only a minute number students can survive the rigour of medical school. Many of those admitted would eventually leave: either through voluntary withdrawal or change of course, or by being sent packing because of failure to meet up with the envisaged standard.

It is incumbent upon NUC and other regulatory agencies to set high standard for universities and medical schools in the country. It is germane that they are forced to acquire and apply modern technologies, facilities and techniques to meet up with the current advancement in medicine.

Extending the years of training to seven will only further drive many more away from the profession. And we also need to consider the fact that strike and closure of school will add additional years to their years of training. Eventually, they may end up spending close to ten years in medical school.

It is important that all these are considered before the implementation of the policy. 

Besides, one can actually spend one million years learning NOTHING if the learning environment is bereft of learning facilities.
Femi Olabisi is on Twitter: @Femiolas

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in Opinion

 
 
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