CONFLICT AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES: A STUDY OF ROGER MAKANJUOLA’S ‘WATER MUST FLOW UPHILL: ADVENTURES IN UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION’

K. A. Bakare

Abstract


Conflict is a fact of life. The tongue-and-mouth dialectical discourse in Yoruba proverb typifies the inevitability of dissonance and dissension in a complex social system. Socialization, therefore, whether primary, anticipatory, professional or re-socialization, is fraught with conflicts. Ideological contestation over socioeconomic policies forms the basis of conflicts in the university in Nigeria. Conflicts in Nigeria has its antecedents in the colonial era (Bakare, K.A., 2021). A scenario of contest is ever constant, when the leadership is perceived as a comprador capitalist by the followership. At the basis of every trade union in Nigeria is the determination to rebuff exploitative capitalism. The university with its demographics, proxemics and vast municipal requirements is prone to conflict in an expansive proportion. Having noted that conflict is a constant variable, it is important to zero down on its management, its mismanagement and its resolution, situating it within a concrete context. In our attempt to show the nuances of conflict in the university estate, we have opted to study realistic episodes of conflicts as captured by a former Chief Medical Director cum Vice-Chancellor of a foremost university in Nigeria.
The book, ‘Water must flow uphill’ is an experiential rendition of the abecedarian precepts of leadership and management in two complex organizations. It is a fluid and transparent expose on ‘how to’ and ‘how not to’ manage conflicts in large organizations. Its turbulence, wisdom, severity and chicaneries exemplify the coarse nature of leadership in Nigerian universities and allied estates, as experienced by a viciously honest personality. Militancy, mismanagement, honesty of purpose, leadership botherations; all form the themes of a book which stands out in its attempt to capture unbiased facts. It is a definitive statement on the need for moral and ethical re-alignment in the Nigerian workspace, and the larger society.

 

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Keywords


conflict, dissonance, socialization, exploitative capitalism, proxemics, university estate

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v8i6.3765

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