From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Prof Peter-Jazzy Ezeh of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) has described culture as the greatest invention of human being which continues where nature stops.
Eze said this in Nsukka on Thursday while presenting the 168th Inaugural Lecture of UNN entitled “Which Tribe? Facts and Fallacies Concerning Anthropology.”
He said that culture is designed by human group in a reaction to its need and as an aggregation of special institution that react to those needs, adding that anthropology studies human culture and societies.
“Culture is tailor-made for each human group, and it takes into account the peculiarities of such a group in all they do as well as their need to survive in a particular environment and time. It is left for those in charge in Africa contemporary settings to learn the act of employing it in public affairs,” he said.
The don said that anthropology has always been on the side of the group that has been unfairly treated.
“Those who are not close enough to the discipline has seen it as acting in concert with the aggressor.
“Early missionaries in Africa changed tactics and did a 419 of sorts, with their style of education in our traditional systems, but anthropology is always on the side of the victim in all such cases,” he said.
Eze noted that Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria, was the country’s first anthropologist.
“He had declared in 1957 as the Premier of Eastern Nigeria that contact with church which experience predated colonization itself has affected our thoughts and behaviour.
“People like Zik used anthropology to control colonial masters influence that brought Africa under their physical and ideological control through their foreign education and religion,” he said.
Eze expressed appreciation to UNN for giving him the opportunity to work with the institution and to present the168th inaugural lecture.
Earlier in his remarks, Vice chancellor of the University, Prof Charles Igwe had noted that the UNN inaugural lecture had the objective to educate the university community and the public on issues that are vital to the society with their wealth of knowledge as professors.
Igwe who was represented by the Deputy VC Academic, Prof Johnson Urama described Eze as an intellectual giant that has contributed immensely to education as well as to humanity in his field of specialisation.