As part of its Mandates to bring to light boiling and current issues that impinges on Nigeria and the globe at large, the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) yesterday featured Prof. Babafemi Badejo on its Guest Seminar Series, whose presentation pivoted on: ‘Utmost Freedom: The Real Essence of National Interest.

The well-attended event which took place at the NIIA’s Lecture Theater, could be described as fireworks of expository intellectual brainstorming.

In recognition of Prof. Badejo’s tremendous erudition, NIIA’s Director-General, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, said freedom, which was the main crux of the issues under discourse, was a critical interest of all humans irrespective of creed, time and place.

In his unprecedented lecture, the Guest Lecturer, Prof. Babafemi Badejo opined that The state of utmost freedom: “is an idyllic perfect state. It would be the realisation of the conception of paradise on earth rather than waiting for it in heaven. However, in spite of this state being utopic, it could be approximated as the summation of all essential freedoms needed for the good life with most of these being pulled together under the UDHR and the SDGs. “.

Prof. Badejo said Nigeria must reexamine her approach to friendship in the international community, eschew corruption, review her foreign policy to suit present-day realities, develop its domestic front and maximize external opportunities in order to promote and safeguard utmost freedom for the citizens as a fundamental part of her national interest.

He also charged NIIA to intensify efforts on bringing to bare, the full impact of external dynamics.

In his remarks, the chairman of the event, Prof. Adele Jinadu, disclosed that the question of national interest and freedom is complicated. He added that the fulfilment of basic tenets as stipulated in Chapter 2 of 1999 Constitution, would embolden the sense of freedom amongst Nigerians.

In his reaction, Prof. Femi Otubanjo argued that the idea of utmost freedom was unrealistic as Africa societies subsumed individual freedom to community freedom. He urged Africans to emulate Asians’ ‘fantastically sacrificial’ spirit.

A seasoned diplomat, Amb. Ayo Olukanni, who was part of the discussants advocated for thorough amendments of Nigeria Constitution to capture the nation’s diverse interests and concretize abstractions.

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