July 17, 2014 | 3:39 p.m.
By Lauren Pareigat, Communications Specialist for College of Arts & Sciences
Bethel's Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Reconciliation Studies faculty member Samuel Zalanga recently spoke at his alma mater, the University of Jos in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, as part of the Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series.
Nigeria has been in the international spotlight recently because of the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, who abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in north-eastern Nigeria in April. In light of these current events, Zalanga’s presentation was titled, “The Fragile Dignity of Humanity and the Disappearance of the Human: Neoliberalism and the Suspension of the Ethical in the Struggle for National Development.” During his lecture, Zalanga challenged the decline of morals and ethics within the government of Nigeria. Zalanga says of the climate, “the people feel neglected and irrelevant. Changes must begin with governing justly and fairly.” The University of Jos President attended Zalanga’s talk and presented him with a souvenir. Several local and national media outlets covered the event, including the Daily Trust and the Plateau Radio Television Corporation.
The primary reason for Zalanga’s trip to Nigeria was to attend the funeral of one of his brothers. His brother was murdered as part of a religious ritual killing, just one of the indicators causing social tensions in Nigeria today. The Bethel community continues to pray for Zalanga and his family as they grieve the loss of his brother and as safety concerns rise for other family members who still reside in Nigeria.