… sues for government intervention in activities risking ecological disasters
By MUSBAUDEEN SHEKONI
Expert Microbiologist from the Covenant University (CU), Professor Louis Egwari, has urged man to desist from calculations and activities aimed at eradicating the microorganisms and dwell with them in harmony instead of fighting them antibiotics and other harmful agents. Furthermore, he said they have beneficial activities,their harmful aspects too can be regulated and harnessed to become beneficial.
Egwari, who is also the Director, Covenant University Centre for Research and Development, while delivering the 4th Inaugural Lecture titled: Microbial Life in the Presence of Carbon and Oxygen: Consequences for Man, examined the importance of oxygen and carbon to life and the roles of microbes to the sustenance of life on earth.
He argued that microorganisms (classified into bacteria and fungi) which constitute more than 90 per cent of recycling of matter on earth are very essential to life on earth “because all the processes that cover life on earth basically- photosynthesis, respiration, formation of atmospheric acids are all due to microbial activities.”
Egwari said it is only one component of photosynthesis, respiration, pathology, fermentation, corrosion etc. that is, Pathology- that is harmful or causes disease and spoilage of articles, as the others help to maintain the integrity of the earth, yet the economic, social and psychological burdens are unquantifiable.
Even so, the Director opined: “What we are saying is: how can we manage effectively the activities of these microorganisms? We can regulate the harmful aspects and harness those harmful aspects to become beneficial notwithstanding, this depends on our knowledge – our deep understanding of what microorganisms do in our lives; only then can we harness them effectively for photosynthesis, for biodegradation, for composition like acid manure, and also for bioremediation.”
Egwari said that one way of achieving this is “nutrient replacement technology (NRT)- the synthesis of organic nutrient (a placebo) with high affinity for microbial cells which he added will usher in the New Science of Nutrobiotics that is,the use of specific high affinity synthetic nutrients to satisfy microbial growth requirements in order for man to live happily in harmony with microorganisms.”
More so, he wanted government to facilitate how these microbes can be cultivated and to also make laws that will terminate the incessant killing of the two components of existence on earth – the plants that carry out photosynthesis and also the bacteria and algae that stay in aquatic environment and carry out photosynthesis as a result of daily jump in population and industrial revolution.
He noted: “We can also make governmental legislations, (and place global) restrictions that are going to be international treaties to help preserve these organisms.”
Continuing, Egwari said: “We are saying that we should reafforest wherever we have felled a tree. Also, we should try as much as possible to maintain some environment where there should be no vessels or marine activities so that we don’t pollute the aquatic environment just as we are not supposed to be degrading the terrestrial environment.
“So if we destroy these nature components as is happening presently as a result of industrial revolution, then obviously, temperature is increasing, rainfall pattern is changing, so you begin to see there would be increased ecological disasters and is as a result of perturbing the balance of nature because microorganisms play very significant roles.”
Speaking at the occasion, the Chancellor of CU, Dr. David Oyedepo, who maintained that the topic of the lecture was well captured, said: “God revealed it to me,” noting: “What our biologists are doing is research into the depth of nature and when the researchers learn to be creators, then they have an express access to the things that are hidden inside nature.” He believes that “the inaugural lecture will raise more researchers who will be more interested, get more committed to finding more and more benefits and values of this vast nature,” which he described as the “most vast platform in learning.”
Congratulating Egwari on the scholarly lecture, he said: “God takes the center stage in academics because those who know Him will far excel and because you cannot be working along with the Only-Wise God and not be wise and be working with the All-Knowing God and not be insightful, this I believe is an expression of the quality of your work with God.”