The festering challenges of insecurity across the country could be nipped in the bud with the creation of a genetic database of all citizens, especially those of the youths.
That was part of submissions presented by Professor Kenneth Shelu Ordu, the Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medical Sciences, Rivers State University (RSU), Port Harcourt while delivering the 71st Inaugural lecture of the university on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.
According to him, the war against insecurity in the current conventional fashion, is not yielding the desired results because those in authority have been stereotypical in approach, rather than thinking out of the box.
The varsity don, whose lecture was titled ‘My Inheritance, My Calamity: An Avoidable Posthumous Catastrophe’ opined that a genetic data of all individuals in every community, could easily be used to detect those involved in crimes.
The 71st Inaugural lecturer, who is a professor of Genetics, Molecular/Reproductive Biology and Developmental Anatomy, reiterated that to give it the needed impetus, the proposal must be backed by relevant legislations.
He posited that social problems like crimes could be genetically induced as, according to him, genes are inherited and expressed as traits.
These ‘morphogenetic traits, as he called it, and further known as Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) are usually inherited and it’s analysis could prove the paternity or maternity or an individual.
Stressing that the crux of the discourse hinged on the calamity of inheritance, the erudite scholar, who has over ten books in his kitty, said he was inspired by the statement in Proverbs 13:22a which says, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children”.
“Inheritance is godly and desirable. But sadly today, Inheritance has brought a lot of calamities in homes, communities, states and nations.
“The concept of acquisition of ancestral heritage has actually brought hardships, caused inter and intra communal crisis leading to loss of lives and properties”, he said, regretting that in most cases, these occur after the demise of the original parents or ancestors.
He enumerated these problems to include, infighting and court cases as a result of disagreements on how inheritance are shared; abandonment of properties because of court injunctions and killing of one another in blood bath.
The professor also listed the deliberate abandonment of corpses for many years without burial.
Prof Ordu noted that the problems could have been avoided while parents or originators were still alive.
“To avoid this posthumous catastrophe, the results of my studies as a geneticist will help. The lecture therefore offers solutions on how to avoid the catastrophe”, he said.
Some recommendations made by Professor Ordu aside establishment of a legal frame work, are creation of awareness on inheritance pattern and DNA analysis to determine the genetic makeup of these traits.
“There should be more funding of central laboratories for multi-disciplinary and collaborative research as well as enactment of laws compelling all tiers of government to establish DNA testing centers in all accredited health institutions”, he posited.