A professor at the Department of Languages and General Studies, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Prof. Innocent Chiluwa, has said the words of lecturers are powerful to make either positive or negative impact on learners.
Chiluwa who was the lecturer at the 23rd inaugural lecture of the university spoke on, ‘Language in Conflict and Peace: Representations of Identities and Interests in the Media and the Internet.’
He maintained that society could be transformed by consciously and deliberately engaging in the discourse of peace, adding that the positive use of the media and the Internet should also be promoted for peaceful co-existence
“Studies have proved that every human being has the capacity to influence at least 70 people for good or bad throughout their lifetime. This is where the onus lies on us – teachers and mentors in a university with a mission of raising a new generation of leaders.
“We are dealing with the knowledge-driven industry with enormous power to impact lives and destinies of potential future leaders through our discursive practices. What we say or write and how we say them in our classrooms, laboratories, departments and colleges will prove whether we are driving the vision of Covenant University or not.
“What we say to our students, supervisees and trainees can build in them the power to become the leaders we envisage; and transform even the weak ones to change agents in our nation and the global stage.
“Conversely, our words can indeed destroy their initiatives and potentials, corrupt their minds and jeopardise their destiny which in turn will mean that we have jeopardised the future of the nation and Africa as a whole.
“Let us embrace and support the discursive practices of peace by engaging the transformative power of language to build the future that we desire.”
“The future of our society is in our hands. I recommend, therefore, that every one of us, armed with the power of words should adopt an approach that positions us as builders at the workplace, in our homes, or in our relationships by the words we speak,” Chiluwa said.