Former Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday warned Nigerian students to stay away from conducting research into embryonic stem cells, saying the sanctity of humanity must be preserved.
At the graduation ceremony of the first set of graduating students at Baze University, Abuja, Mr. Jonathan said scholars can make human activities become more efficient without necessarily altering the essence of man.
“It appears our classrooms have started creating individuals who function like robots, which is not good for humanity,” Mr. Jonathan said. “Training should not be about efficiency and precision alone; it should also be about character and human dignity.”
The former president said the school had come a long way from the 17 students that were admitted at its opening that year.
While reading from a prepared speech, Mr. Jonathan was lighthearted, yet, serious in urging the younger generation to channel their energy into resolving Nigeria’s multi-faceted challenges.
“The kind and quality of education we offer today will determine how our country will be governed, and how prosperous it will become tomorrow,” Mr. Jonathan said. “This is because as young people, many of you sitting in the classrooms today, will sit in various Government offices and boardrooms tomorrow, to govern our country.”
He warned the students to refrain from scientific endeavours that could put their moral or religious strength into question.
“We are in an age when the talk of artificial intelligence evokes boundless passions, to the extent that our scientists are already tinkering with the idea of modifying human genes to create super humans.