On June 30th, 2019, Intervention carried a story titled Is UI’s Prof. Nwolise Talking Nonsense or Igniting Epistemic Fire in His Spiritual Intelligence Argument? Three months after that, the Nigerian Army appears to be answering the question in the positive by staging a Spiritual Warfare Seminar around the theme of ‘Countering Insurgency and Violent Extremism in Nigeria Through Spiritual Warfare”
In other words, Intervention can claim that the first question has been answered. That is to say that Prof Nwolise is not talking nonsense but has been igniting epistemic fire. That should be good for the soon to retire Professor of Political Science at Nigeria’s University of Ibadan.
The question that is still hanging is that of the relationship between his spiritual warfare thesis and this turn in the Nigerian Army. That is whether this is coincidence or convergence of positions between academia and the military, which is what it should be if the comparative experience is anything to go by. The answer to the question would be very interesting.
There is absolutely nothing unscientific in the claims of a spiritual dimension to warfare. Absolutely nothing and the Nigerian military should have no hesitation in digging deep. The mixture of the spiritual, cultural and normative in strategic studies, now more popularly called Security Studies is a great area to explore. Nobody can say what might can be found and how great it would be if the Nigerian military is a pioneer in doing that. If it discovers something great, the greater national glory it is. If nothing new or unique is discovered, nothing would have been fundamentally lost. The military is not going to have any problems with tactical withdrawal in such case. Either way, it would have lost nothing but gained everything.
The hope is that the Army will gather the intellectual resources to push farthest and quickly in this before some smarter interests outplays it. And that the list of such resource persons will be truly trans-disciplinary rather than the sort of strict compacting of knowledge in Nigeria.It should stretch from Philosophy to Cultural Studies to Anthropology, History, International Relations, Geography and the relevant sciences. That is provided that the concepts, theories and methods involved are properly domesticated rather than regurgitated. Otherwise, originality would be put at risk and the entire thing could become a waste of everybody’s time, of national resources and frittering of an opportunity for a contribution to civilisation through discovery!