Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: A. A. Okafor

18 Nafion Nanofiber Mat in a Single Fuel Cell Test

Authors: Chijioke Okafor, Malik Maaza, Touhami Mokrani

Abstract:

Proton exchange membrane, PEM was developed and tested for potential application in fuel cell. Nafion was electrospun to nanofiber network with the aid of poly(ethylene oxide), PEO, as a carrier polymer. The matrix polymer was crosslinked with Norland Optical Adhesive 63 under UV after compacting and annealing. The welded nanofiber mat was characterized for morphology, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability, then tested in a single cell test station. The results of the fabricated nanofiber membrane showed a proton conductivity of 0.1 S/cm at 25 oC and higher fiber volume fraction; methanol permeability of 3.6x10^-6 cm2/s and power density of 96.1 and 81.2 mW/cm2 for 5M and 1M methanol concentration respectively.

Keywords: fuel cell, nafion, nanofiber, permeability

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17 Nafion Nanofiber Composite Membrane Fabrication for Fuel Cell Applications

Authors: C. N. Okafor, M. Maaza, T. A. E. Mokrani

Abstract:

A proton exchange membrane has been developed for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC). The nanofiber network composite membranes were prepared by interconnected network of Nafion (perfuorosulfonic acid) nanofibers that have been embedded in an uncharged and inert polymer matrix, by electro-spinning. The spinning solution of Nafion with a low concentration (1 wt. % compared to Nafion) of high molecular weight poly(ethylene oxide), as a carrier polymer. The interconnected network of Nafion nanofibers with average fiber diameter in the range of 160-700nm, were used to make the membranes, with the nanofiber occupying up to 85% of the membrane volume. The matrix polymer was cross-linked with Norland Optical Adhesive 63 under UV. The resulting membranes showed proton conductivity of 0.10 S/cm at 25°C and 80% RH; and methanol permeability of 3.6 x 10-6 cm2/s.

Keywords: composite membrane, electrospinning, fuel cell, nanofibers

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16 Effect of Manganese Doping Percentage on Optical Band Gap and Conductivity of Copper Sulphide Nano-Films Prepared by Electrodeposition Method

Authors: P. C. Okafor, A. J. Ekpunobi

Abstract:

Mn doped copper sulphide (CuS:Mn) nano-films were deposited on indiums coated tin oxide (ITO) glass substrates using electrodeposition method. Electrodeposition was carried out using bath of PH = 3 at room temperature. Other depositions parameters such as deposition time (DT) are kept constant while Mn doping was varied from 3% to 23%. Absorption spectra of CuS:Mn films was obtained by using JENWAY 6405 UV-VIS -spectrophotometer. Optical band gap (E_g ), optical conductivity (σo) and electrical conductivity (σe) of CuS:Mn films were determined using absorption spectra and appropriate formula. The effect of Mn doping % on these properties were investigated. Results show that film thickness (t) for the 13.27 nm to 18.49 nm; absorption coefficient (α) from 0.90 x 1011 to 1.50 x 1011 optical band gap from 2.29eV to 2.35 eV; optical conductivity from 1.70 x 1013 and electrical conductivity from 160 millions to 154 millions. Possible applications of such films for solar cells fabrication and optoelectronic devices applications were also discussed.

Keywords: copper sulphide (CuS), Manganese (Mn) doping, electrodeposition, optical band gap, optical conductivity, electrical conductivity

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15 Modeling and Optimization of Performance of Four Stroke Spark Ignition Injector Engine

Authors: A. A. Okafor, C. H. Achebe, J. L. Chukwuneke, C. G. Ozoegwu

Abstract:

The performance of an engine whose basic design parameters are known can be predicted with the assistance of simulation programs into the less time, cost and near value of actual. This paper presents a comprehensive mathematical model of the performance parameters of four stroke spark ignition engine. The essence of this research work is to develop a mathematical model for the analysis of engine performance parameters of four stroke spark ignition engine before embarking on full scale construction, this will ensure that only optimal parameters are in the design and development of an engine and also allow to check and develop the design of the engine and it’s operation alternatives in an inexpensive way and less time, instead of using experimental method which requires costly research test beds. To achieve this, equations were derived which describe the performance parameters (sfc, thermal efficiency, mep and A/F). The equations were used to simulate and optimize the engine performance of the model for various engine speeds. The optimal values obtained for the developed bivariate mathematical models are: sfc is 0.2833kg/kwh, efficiency is 28.77% and a/f is 20.75.

Keywords: bivariate models, engine performance, injector engine, optimization, performance parameters, simulation, spark ignition

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14 Educating Farmers and Fishermen in Rural Areas in Nigeria on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation for Global Sustainability

Authors: Benjamin Anabaraonye, Okafor Joachim Chukwuma, Olamire James

Abstract:

The impacts of climate change are greatly felt on Nigeria’s agricultural sector which in turn affects the economy of the nation. There is an urgent need to educate farmers and fishermen in rural areas in Nigeria on climate change adaptation and mitigation for sustainable development. Through our literature and participant observation, it has been discovered that many farmers and fishermen in rural areas in Nigeria have little or no knowledge about climate change adaptation and mitigation. This paper seeks to draw the attention of policy makers in government, private sectors, non-governmental organizations and interested individuals to the need to seek for innovative ways of educating farmers and fishermen in rural areas about climate change adaptation and mitigation for global sustainability. This study also explores the effective methods of bridging the communication gaps through efficient information dissemination, intensive awareness outreach, use of climate change poems and blogs, innovative loan scheme to farmers and fishermen, etc. to help ensure that farmers and fishermen in rural areas in Nigeria are adequately educated about climate change adaptation and mitigation for global sustainability.

Keywords: agriculture, climate change, farmers, fishermen

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13 Plasma Lipid Profiles and Atherogenic Indices of Rats Fed Raw and Processed Jack Fruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) Seeds Diets at Different Concentrations

Authors: O. E. Okafor, L. U. S. Ezeanyika, C. G. Nkwonta, C. J. Okonkwo

Abstract:

The effect of processing on plasma lipid profile and atherogenic indices of rats fed Artocarpus heterophyllus seed diets at different concentrations were investigated. Fifty five rats were used for this study, they were divided into eleven groups of five rats each (one control group and ten test groups), the test groups were fed raw, boiled, roasted, fermented, and soaked diets at 10 % and 40% concentrations. The study lasted for thirty five days. The diets led to significant decrease (p < 0.05) in plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol of rats fed 10% and 40% concentrations of the diets, and a significant increase (p < 0.05) in high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels at 40% concentrations of the test diets. The diets also produced decrease in low density lipoprotein (LDL), very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), cardiac risk ratio (CRR), atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) and atherogenic coefficient (AC) at 40% concentrations except the soaked group that showed slight elevation of LDL, CRR, AC and AIP at 40% concentration. Artocarpus heterophyllus seeds could be beneficial to health because of its ability to increase plasma HDL and reduce plasma LDL, VLDL, cholesterol, triglycerides and atherogenic indices at higher diet concentration.

Keywords: artocarpus heterophyllus, atherogenic indices, concentrations, lipid profile

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12 Repair Workshop Queue System Modification Using Priority Scheme

Authors: C. Okonkwo Ugochukwu, E. Sinebe Jude, N. Odoh Blessing, E. Okafor Christian

Abstract:

In this paper, a modification on repair workshop queuing system using multi priority scheme was carried out. Chi square goodness of fit test was used to determine the random distribution of the inter arrival time and service time of crankshafts that come for maintenance in the workshop. The chi square values obtained for all the prioritized classes show that the distribution conforms to Poisson distribution. The mean waiting time in queue results of non-preemptive priority for 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes show 0.066, 0.09, and 0.224 day respectively, while preemptive priority show 0.007, 0.036 and 0.258 day. However, when non priority is used, which obviously has no class distinction it amounts to 0.17 days. From the results, one can observe that the preemptive priority system provides a very dramatic improvement over the non preemptive priority as it concerns arrivals that are of higher priority. However, the improvement has a detrimental effect on the low priority class. The trend of the results is similar to the mean waiting time in the system as a result of addition of the actual service time. Even though the mean waiting time for the queue and that of the system for no priority takes the least time when compared with the least priority, urgent and semi-urgent jobs will terribly suffer which will most likely result in reneging or balking of many urgent jobs. Hence, the adoption of priority scheme in this type of scenario will result in huge profit to the Company and more customer satisfaction.

Keywords: queue, priority class, preemptive, non-preemptive, mean waiting time

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11 Food and Feeding Habit of Clarias anguillaris in Tagwai Reservoir, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria

Authors: B. U. Ibrahim, A. Okafor

Abstract:

Sixty-two (62) samples of Clarias anguillaris were collected from Tagwai Reservoir and used for the study. 29 male and 33 female samples were obtained for the study. Body measurement indicated that different sizes were collected for the study. Males, females and combined sexes had standard length and total length means of 26.56±4.99 and 31.13±6.43, 27.17±5.21 and 30.62±5.43, 26.88±5.08 and 30.86±5.88 cm, respectively. The weights of males, females and combined sexes have mean weights of 241.10±96.27, 225.75±78.66 and 232.93±86.95 gm, respectively. Eight items; fish, insects, plant materials, sand grains, crustaceans, algae, detritus and unidentified items were eaten as food by Clarias anguilarias in Tagwai Reservoir. Frequency of occurrence and numerical methods used in stomach contents analysis indicated that fish was the highest, followed by insect, while the lowest was the algae. Frequency of stomach fullness of Clarias anguillaris showed low percentage of empty stomachs or stomachs without food (21.00%) and high percentage of stomachs with food (79.00%), which showed high abundance of food and high feeding intensity during the period of study. Classification of fish based on feeding habits showed that Clarias anguillaris in this study is an omnivore because it consumed both plant and animal materials.

Keywords: stomach content, feeding habit, Clarias anguillaris, Tagwai Reservoir

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10 Effect of Different Processing Methods on the Proximate, Functional, Sensory, and Nutritional Properties of Weaning Foods Formulated from Maize (Zea mays) and Soybean (Glycine max) Flour Blends

Authors: C. O. Agu, C. C. Okafor

Abstract:

Maize and soybean flours were produced using different methods of processing which include fermentation (FWF), roasting (RWF) and malting (MWF). Products from the different methods were mixed in the ratio 60:40 maize/soybean, respectively. These composites mixed with other ingredients such as sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla flavour and vitamin mix were analyzed for proximate composition, physical/functional, sensory and nutritional properties. The results for the protein content ranged between 6.25% and 16.65% with sample RWF having the highest value. Crude fibre values ranged from 3.72 to 10.0%, carbohydrate from 58.98% to 64.2%, ash from 1.27 to 2.45%. Physical and functional properties such as bulk density, wettability, gelation capacity have values between 0.74 and 0.76g/ml, 20.33 and 46.33 min and 0.73 to 0.93g/ml, respectively. On the sensory quality colour, flavour, taste, texture and general acceptability were determined. In terms of colour and flavour there was no significant difference (P < 0.05) while the values for taste ranged between 4.89 and 7.1 l, texture 5.50 to 8.38 and general acceptability 6.09 and 7.89. Nutritionally there is no significant difference (P < 0.05) between sample RWF and the control in all parameters considered. Samples FWF and MWF showed significantly (P < 0.5) lower values in all parameters determined. In the light of the above findings, roasting method is highly recommend in the production of weaning foods.

Keywords: fermentation, malting, ratio, roasting, wettability

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9 Effect of Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) Leaves on Wheat Offal Replacement for Chicks Feed Production

Authors: C. C. Okafor, T. M. Ezeh

Abstract:

The effect of addition of sweet potato leaves in replacement of wheat offal in the production of broiler chicks feed was studied. 72 day-old marshal strain chicks were used and brooded for two weeks with a normal commercial feed in Nigeria called top feed and weighed separately at the end of the two weeks, complete randomized design (CRD) was used. The weighed broiler chicks were randomly allocated to four dietary treatments. Each treatment was replicated to twice with eighteen birds per replicate. The four dietary treatment identified as T1, T2, T3 and T4. T1 served as control diet with 21% crude protein content, while T2 was prepared with Enzyme and in T3 and T4, wheat offal was replaced with sweet potato leaves and in T4 with inclusion of enzyme. Growth performance was studied using the following daily feed intake, daily weight gain and feed efficiency. The result in daily weight gain showed that chicks fed with T2 feed had the highest weight gain (93.75) while chicks fed with T3 had the least weight gain of (34.5 gm). In daily feed intake chicks fed with T4 fed more (53.06 gm) than chicks fed with T2 (51.08 gm). In feed efficiency T3 had the highest value of 30% while the T2 had the least efficiency of 22%. There was no significant difference (P≥ 0.05) in all the three parameter tested. Sweet potato leaves can replace wheat offal in broiler feed production without any adverse effect on the growth performance.

Keywords: broiler, diet, dietary, potato leaves, wheat offal

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8 Comparative Growth Rates of Treculia africana Decne: Embryo in Varied Strengths of Murashige and Skoog Basal Medium

Authors: Okafor C. Uche, Agbo P. Ejiofor, Okezie C. Eziuche

Abstract:

This study provides a regeneration protocol for Treculia africana Decne (an endangered plant) through embryo culture. Mature zygotic embryos of T. africana were excised from the seeds aseptically and cultured on varied strengths (full, half and quarter) of Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium supplemented. All treatments experienced 100±0.00 percent sprouting except for half and quarter strengths. Plantlets in MS full strength had the highest fresh weight, leaf area, and longest shoot length when compared to other treatments. All explants in full, half, quarter strengths and control had the same number of leaves and sprout rate. Between the treatments, there was a significant difference (P>0.05) in their effect on the length of shoot and root, number of adventitious root, leaf area, and fresh weight. Full strength had the highest mean value in all the above-mentioned parameters and differed significantly (P>0.05) from others except in shoot length, number of adventitious roots, and root length where it did not differ (P<0.05) from half strength. The result of this study indicates that full strength MS basal medium offers a better option for the optimum growth for Treculia africana regeneration in vitro.

Keywords: medium strengths, Murashige and Skoog, Treculia africana, zygotic embryos

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7 Plantlet Regeneration from Zygotic Embryos of Securidaca longepedunculata Fresen

Authors: Uche C. Okafor, Nwanneka M. Okpokwu, Felix Nwafor, Carl E. A. Okezie

Abstract:

Securidaca longepedunculata Fresen (Violet tree) belongs to the family Polygalaceae characterised by papillionaceous purplish flowers. This medicinally valued plant disappears at an alarming rate due to intensified anthropopressure particularly the unregulated manner of subterranean plant parts' collection from natural stands. Some indiscriminately harvested plants bear seeds containing both mature and immature zygotic embryos that are often discarded. Here, such seeds are collected for this experiment. Seeds were collected, washed, de-coated, and dipped in 70 % (v/v) ethanol for 30 s followed by rising in 5 % solution sodium hypochlorite, containing two drops of tween 20, for another 25 min. Mature zygotic embryos (MZEs) were excised from seeds and cultured in two basal media (MS and B5), three carbon sources (sucrose, glucose and fructose) at five concentrations (0-40 g/L) while immature zygotic embryos (iMZEs) were composed on similar basal media and carbon source supplemented with 0-2 mg/L Benzylaminopurine (BAP) and 0-2 mg/L Indole acetic acid (IAA). MZEs cultured on MS + 30g/L sucrose differed significantly from other treatments at p≤0.05 with maximum percent sprouting (85.24± 5.67 %) and shoot length (7.53±0.67 cm). MZEs culture had the maximum percent sprouting (85.24± 5.67 %) and shoot length (7.53±0.67 cm) in medium containing MS+ 30g L-1 sucrose. iMZEs on the other hand had maximum growth on MS + 40g/L sucrose supplemented with 1.5 mg/L IAA+ 1.0 mg/L BAP. This study is a geared towards creating an alternative path for the maximum production of plants in vitro, thereby, preventing the plants from disappearing.

Keywords: Gamborg's medium, Murashige and Skoog medium, Securidaca longepedunculata, zygotic embryos

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6 Developing Stability Monitoring Parameters for NIPRIMAL®: A Monoherbal Formulation for the Treatment of Uncomplicated Malaria

Authors: Ekere E. Kokonne, Isimi C. Yetunde, Okoh E. Judith, Okafor E. Ijeoma, Ajeh J. Isaac, Olobayo O. Kunle, Emeje O. Martins

Abstract:

NIPRIMAL® is a mono herbal formulation of Nauclea latifolia used in the treatment of malaria. The stability of extracts made from plant material is essential to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of the finished product. This study assessed the stability of the formulation under three different storage conditions; normal room temperature, infrared and under refrigeration. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) were used to monitor the formulations. The DSC analysis was done from 0oC to 350oC under the three storage conditions. Results obtained indicate that NIPRIMAL® was stable at all the storage conditions investigated. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) after 6 months showed there was no significant difference between retention factor (RF) values for the various storage conditions. The reference sample had four spots with RF values of 0.47, 0.68, 0.76, 0.82 respectively and these spots were retained in the test formulations with corresponding RF values were after 6 months at room temperature and refrigerated temperature been 0.56, 0.73, 0.80, 0.92 and 0.47, 0.68, 0.76, 0.82 respectively. On the other hand, the RF values (0.55, 0.74, 0.77, 0.93) obtained under infrared after 1 month varied slightly from the reference. The sample exposed to infrared had a lower heat capacity compared to that stored under room temperature or refrigeration. A combination of TLC and DSC measurements has been applied for assessing the stability of NIPRIMAL®. Both methods were found to be rapid, sensitive and reliable in determining its stability. It is concluded that NIPRIMAL® can be stored under any of the tested conditions without degradation. This study is a major contribution towards developing appropriate stability monitoring parameters for herbal products.

Keywords: differential scanning calorimetry, formulation, NIPRIMAL®, stability, thin layer hromatography

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5 Extraction, Synthesis, Characterization and Antioxidant Properties of Oxidized Starch from an Abundant Source in Nigeria

Authors: Okafor E. Ijeoma, Isimi C. Yetunde, Okoh E. Judith, Kunle O. Olobayo, Emeje O. Martins

Abstract:

Starch has gained interest as a renewable and environmentally compatible polymer due to the increase in its use. However, starch by itself could not be satisfactorily applied in industrial processes due to some inherent disadvantages such as its hydrophilic character, poor mechanical properties, its inability to withstand processing conditions such as extreme temperatures, diverse pH, high shear rate, freeze-thaw variation and dimensional stability. The range of physical properties of parent starch can be enlarged by chemical modification which invariably enhances their use in a number of applications found in industrial processes and food manufacture. In this study, Manihot esculentus starch was subjected to modification by oxidation. Fourier Transmittance Infra- Red (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopies were used to confirm the synthesis while Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X- Ray Diffraction (XRD) were used to characterize the new polymer. DPPH (2, 2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl-hydrate) free radical assay was used to determine the antioxidant property of the oxidized starch. Our results show that the modification had no significant effect on the foaming capacity as well as on the emulsion capacity. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that oxidation did not alter the predominantly circular-shaped starch granules, while the X-ray pattern of both starch, native and modified were similar. FTIR results revealed a new band at 3007 and 3283cm-1. Differential scanning calorimetry returned two new endothermic peaks in the oxidized starch with an improved gelation capacity and increased enthalpy of gelatinization. The IC50 of oxidized starch was notably higher than that of the reference standard, ascorbic acid.

Keywords: antioxidant activity, DPPH, M. esculentus, oxidation, starch

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4 Analysis of the Demographic Variable Associated with Common Pregnancy Related Illnesses among Pregnant Mothers in Anambra

Authors: Nkiru Nnaemezie, J. O. Okafor

Abstract:

The high mortality as a result of pregnancy related illnesses is a global public health problem and a source of concern to most countries including Nigeria. This study was therefore designed to determine the Demographic Variables associated with common pregnancy related illnesses among pregnant mothers in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State. The design of the study was an expost-facto research design. All the folders of the pregnant mothers that were studied from 2010-2014 formed the population of the study which included 10,250 folders. Based on the content of the folders, a researcher developed pro-forma (RDP) was used for data collection. Five research questions and five hypotheses were postulated for the study. Research questions postulated were answered using simple percentage. Hypotheses stated were analyzed at 0.05 level of significance using chi-square (X²) statistics. The result among others showed that pregnant mothers within 15-29 years had the most pregnancy related illnesses than mothers on other age brackets. Pregnant mothers with 0-1 parity level experienced the most pregnancy related illnesses than mothers on other parity levels. Public servants experienced the most pregnancy related illnesses than mothers in other occupations. Married pregnant mothers experienced the most pregnancy related illnesses than single mothers. Pregnant mothers with secondary education had the most pregnancy related illnesses than mothers in other education levels. There were significant differences in the common pregnancy related illnesses among the pregnant mothers of the study in relation to the demographic variables of the study which included age, parity, occupation, marital status and educational level. Based on the findings, conclusions were drawn, and the following recommendations among others were made: there is need for health education in terms of educating those pregnant mothers during antenatal clinics; single mothers should be advised to register for antenatal early enough.

Keywords: analysis, demographic variables, pregnancy related illnesses, pregnant mothers

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3 Effect of Variety and Fibre Type on Functional and organoleptic Properties of Plantain Flour Intended for Food "Fufu"

Authors: C. C. Okafor

Abstract:

The effect of different varieties of plantain (Horn, false horn and French) and fibre types (soy bean residue, cassava sievette and rice bran) on functional and organoleptic properties of plantain-based flour was assessed. Horn, false horn french were processed by washing, peeling with knife, slicing into 3mm thickness and steam blanched at 80℃ for 5minutes, oven dried at 65℃ for 48 hours and milled into flours with attrition mill, sieved with 60 mesh sieve, separately. Fibre sources were processed, milled and fractionated into 60, 40 & 20 mesh sizes. Both flours were blended as 80:20, 70:30 and 60:40. Results obtained indicated that water absorption capacity is highest (2.68) in French plantain variety irrespective of the fibre type used. And in all variety tested the swelling capacity is highest (2.93) when the plantain flour is blended with soy residue (SR) and lowest (1.25) when blended with rice brain (RB). The results show that there is significant variety and fibre type interaction effect at (P < : 0.05). Again the results showed that texture mold ability and overall acceptability were best (7.00) when soy residue was used where as addition of rice bran into plantain flour resulted in fufu with poor texture. This trend was observed in all the verities of plantain tested and in all of the particle size of flour. Using cassava serviette also yield fufu similar to that produced with soy residue in all the parameter tested (mold ability, texture and overall acceptability. Generally, plantain flours from french and false horn yielded better quality fufu in terms of texture mold ability, overall acceptability, irrespective of the fibre type used.

Keywords: functional, organoleptic, particle size, sieve mesh, variety

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2 Nectariferous Plant Genetic Resources for Apicultural Entrepreneurship in Nigeria: Prerequisite for Conservation, Sustainable Management and Policy

Authors: C. V. Nnamani, O. L. Adedeji

Abstract:

The contemporary global economic meltdown has devastating effect on the Nigerian’s economy and its frantic search for alternative source of national revenue aside from oil and gas has become imperative for economic emancipation for Nigerians. Apicultural entrepreneurship could provide a source of livelihood if the basic knowledge of those plant genetic resources needed by bees is made available. A palynological evaluation of those palynotaxa which honey bees forage for pollen and nectar was carried out after standard acetolysis method. Results showed that the honey samples were highly diversified and rich in honey plants. A total of 9544.3 honey pollen, consisting of 39 honey plants belonging to 21 plant families and distributed within 38 genera were identified excluding 238 unidentified pollen grains. Data from the analysis equally revealed that Elaeis guineensis Jacq, Anacardium occidentale L, Diospyros mespiliformis Hochist xe ADC, Alchornea cordifolia Muell, Arg, Daniella oliveri (Rolfe) Hutch & Dalz, Irvingia wombolu Okafor ex Baill, Treculia africana Decne, Nauclea latifolia Smith and Crossopteryx febrifuga Afzil ex Benth were the predominant honey plants. It provided a guide to the optimal utilization of floral resources by honeybees in these regions, showing the opportunity and amazing potentials for apiculture entrepreneurship of these palytaxa. Most of these plants are rare, threatened and endangered. It calls for urgent conservation techniques and step by all players. Critical awareness creation to ensure farmers knowledge of these palynotaxa to ensure proper understanding and attendance boost from them as economic empowerment is needed.

Keywords: palynotaxa, acetolysis, enterprise, livelihood, Nigeria

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1 Discourse Functions of Rhetorical Devices in Selected Roman Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letters in the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha, Nigeria

Authors: Virginia Chika Okafor

Abstract:

The pastoral letter, an open letter addressed by a bishop to members of his diocese for the purpose of promoting faith and good Christian living, constitutes a persuasive religious discourse characterized by numerous rhetorical devices. Previous studies on Christian religious language have concentrated mainly on sermons, liturgy, prayers, theology, scriptures, hymns, and songs to the exclusion of the persuasive power of pastoral letters. This study, therefore, examined major rhetorical devices in selected Roman Catholic bishops’ Lenten pastoral letters in the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha, with a view to determining their persuasive discourse functions. Aristotelian Rhetoric was adopted as the framework because of its emphasis on persuasion through three main rhetorical appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. Data were drawn from 10 pastoral letters of five Roman Catholic bishops in five dioceses (two letters from each) out of the seven in the Ecclesiastical of Onitsha. The five dioceses (Onitsha arch-diocese, Nnewi, Awka, Enugu, and Awgu dioceses) were chosen because pastoral letters are regularly published there. The 10 pastoral letters were published between 2000 and 2010 and range between 20 and 104 pages. They were selected, through purposive sampling, based on consistency in the publication and rhetorical content. Data were subjected to discourse analysis. Three categories of rhetorical devices were identified: those relating to logos (logical devices), those relating to pathos (pathetical devices), and those relating to ethos (ethical devices). Major logical devices deployed were: testimonial reference functioning as authority to validate messages; logical arguments appealing to the rationality of the audience; nominalization and passivation objectifying the validity of ideas; and modals of obligation/necessity appealing to the audience’s sense of responsibility and moral duty. Prominent among the pathetical devices deployed were: use of Igbo language to express solidarity with the audience; inclusive pronoun (we) to create a feeling of belonging, collectivism and oneness with them; prayers to inspire them; and positive emotion-laden words to refer to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) to keep the audience emotionally attached to it. Finally, major ethical devices deployed were: use of first-person singular pronoun (I) and imperatives to invoke the authority of the bishops’ office; Latinisms to show learnedness; greetings and appreciation to express goodwill; and exemplary Biblical characters as models of faith, repentance, and love. The rhetorical devices were used in relation to the bishops’ messages of faith, repentance, love and loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholic bishops’ pastoral letters in the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha are thus characterized by logos-, pathos-, and ethos-related rhetorical devices designed to persuade the audience to live according to the bishops’ messages of faith, love, repentance, and loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church. The rhetorical devices, therefore, establish the pastoral letters as a significant form of persuasive religious discourse.

Keywords: ecclesiastical province of Onitsha, pastoral letters, persuasive discourse functions, rhetorical devices, Roman Catholic bishops

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