By Obinna Onuorah
A professor of Religion, Society and Human Relations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Rev. Fr. Prof Boniface Anthony Obiefuna, has advocated rejuvenation of interpersonal relationships and true religious practice to solve the myriad of problems in society. He noted that human relations remain sacrosanct for any meaningful development.
Prof. Obiefuna made the call when he delivered the 46th inaugural lecture of the institution themed, “Religion and human relations in contemporary Nigeria: The wounds the healing”, at the university auditorium, last Thursday.
The clergyman regretted that people no longer have time for others, neither do they spend quality time with one another, stressing on the need to strengthen interpersonal relationship as a way to advance the society.
He further chided those he called religious bigots, who according to him, are only interested in condemning other religions, remarking that such practice was capable of instigating unending conflict and other negative outcome, stressing that the solution remains excellent human relationships.
He lamented the negative impact of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) gadgets such as smart phones on human relationship, regretting that people abuse the use of such privileges.
Describing human relation as a system of study aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of human interaction in all areas of human endeavour for the good of human society, Fr. Obiefuna added, that “human relations is the ability to work effectively through and with other people, including the desire to understand others, their needs and their weaknesses.
He said that having communication skills and building right attitudes would go a long way to improving human relations in the society, as well as building better networks of people.
Earlier in a remark, Prof. Charles Okechukwu Esimone, the vice chancellor of the institution, described the inaugural lecturer as a well-known figure in the university, noting that he sacrificed a lot to make sure the lecture eventually took place against all odds.
He said the inaugural lecture provided the university community a unique opportunity to listen to ‘their own’ on very important issue, such as “Religion and Human Relation”.
“Human relation is something that if it is abridged one way or the other, there is crisis, whether in the family, church or much more in the university, where you have people of diverse spells of knowledge.
“So, the topic is, indeed, something that is very interesting and cut across every profession. The topic concerns everybody, every institution, families, church, university, wherever we are working”, he said.