Understanding monotony of natural agency and human evolution as diaspora discourse
DR Senayon Olaoluwa of the Institute of African Studies (IAS), University of Ibadan, specialises in diaspora and transnational issues, which, if well analysed, can solve the challenges facing the country today, especially when one wants to understand the motives for the clash of survival between herdsmen and farmers, or between the Fulani and minorities in the North over land and other natural resources.
Dr Senayon recently delivered the fourth lecture in the IAS-CODESRIA staff seminar series, where he delved into the subject of natural agency, human evolution and diaspora discourse.
With the topic, The Monotony of Natural Agency: Human Evolution as Diaspora Discourse, Dr Senayon, who is the coordinator of the institute’s Diaspora and Transnational Studies programme, first took participants on a journey to the cosmic evolution of the planetary system, which came into being several billion years ago.
Dr Senayon explained that from the cosmic evolutions, humans were the late arrivals, and they came into existence just 7,000 years ago, after the billions of years the cosmic evolution began.
However, despite the fact that humans were the late arrival, they have been able to dominate the planetary system, and this goes down to the problems we are having in some parts of the country on the real owners of the land and settlers, which has resulted into violence, claiming several lives.
Dr Senayon explained that people migrate for power, both political and economic, while he also described a mother’s womb as an intermediate ‘diaspora,’ as the baby is created to be independent of his mother, and thus, after nine months, he ‘migrates’ from the womb to the physical realm.
Therefore, late arrivals, due to certain circumstances, often dominate the early arrivals, as they (late arrivals) assume superior aggression, which comes as a result of complacency on the part of the early arrivals.
“The late arrivals take over power because they act on the previous actions of the early arrivals, but we should not forget that the late arrivals don’t just take over, as ‘taking over’ is a thing of the mind; it is the consciousness of life.
“The late arrivals shatter the ceiling by taking certain steps. While the psychology of the early arrivals is built on durability, that of the late arrivals is about survival.
“The same goes for the natural agency, which evolved several billion years ago, but man, who is the late arrival, has been able to dominate the system, and after humans succeeded in defeating the nature of powers, they appropriated them.
“And that is why we have humans who have appropriated the strength of nature to themselves, like Chinua Achebe called himself the ‘Eagle on the Iroko,’ or even Jesus Christ, who is the ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah,’ among others.”
Dr Senayon, however, explained that when the early arrivals are not complacent, then there will be revolt.
He noted that earthquakes, tsunami, floodings, among other natural disasters, are as a result of revolt by nature against the domination of man.
However, between humans, one is bound to experience civil wars, xenophobia, genocide, among others, when the early arrivals fight back because of the domination of the late arrivals.
The xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the genocide in Rwanda, civil wars, and even the fight for land in Nigeria between herdsmen and farmers, all come as a result of a revolt by early arrivals against late arrivals, and according to Dr Senayon, envy and desire are the roots of aggression and revolts.
It should be noted though that the cycle of what class a group of people belongs to keeps changing, as late arrivals can become early arrivals after a while, and the cycle continues.
The diaspora expert, however, believes man will not be the last arrival in the cosmic sphere, as either the Armageddon or rapture promised in the Bible, or the introduction of artificial intelligence, which will make superhumans, will bring about superior forces that will conquer humans.
Earlier, the director of the institute, Dr Ishmael Jimoh, said the staff seminar series, supported by CODESRIA, provided staff, students and scholars the opportunity to engage in high-level intellectual discourse in the humanities and social sciences.
While also speaking, the chairman on the occasion, Professor Dan Izevbaye, commended Dr Senayon for the delivery, while stating that his research interests could help in finding solutions to the struggle for space and environmental resources among different co-existing human groups, especially in Nigeria and Africa.