AKAMA OGWUGWU EBENEBE: A STUDY IN PATRIOTISM

We have been watching and monitoring the ongoing efforts to bring succour to our people at home, arising from the challenges of the current coronavirus pandemic, and the patriotic response by many of our indigenes both at home and in the diaspora.

Thanks to the power of technology, the exercise has helped to unite many Akama people, both in Nigeria and overseas, and made us to see so many names we have not seen for long, names which seem to have been forgotten. We commend the initiators of the programme and pray that the exercise will continue to bear more fruitful results.

We were not surprised by the huge response so far, because throughout history, Akama people had never lacked in patriotism. In the past, each time Akama was faced with an external enemy, they would all rise in unison – men, women, and children, forgot their differences, and faced the common enemy.

It had happened in the wars between Akama and her neighbours – Nsude, Amaozalla Affa, Egede, Amansiodo, Neke, etc., and Akama had always came out victorious. That was why we are called “Akama Ogwugwu Ebenebe”, to mark us out from other Akamas – Akama Eke, Akama Abor, Akama Ngwo, Akama Otugha in Olo, Akama Ugwu in Arondizogu, Akama N’Ito in Nteje, etc. Coronavirus is a common enemy, and we must all defeat it.

We were not taken aback by some “distractions” in the exercise here and there, because these are part of the ingredients of life. Any house without opposition can never stand. Hegel popularized dialectics, or the conflict of opposites, because it is thesis that will brings forth synthesis, which will call for antithesis to resolve the crisis. That is how society progresses.

If the Scribes and the Pharisees did not challenge Jesus Christ we would not have learned so many things through Christ’s responses. So let us not crucify anybody, provided we keep our eye on the ball.

Now, that we are rounding off the first phase of the programme, let us pause and reflect how we can advance the exercise further. When Jesus Christ fed 5,000 men, it was because He was deeply touched about their physical needs. But He did not see that as the ultimate. He wanted something more permanent, something more enduring, something to leave behind for His remembrance. That was why He instituted the Holy Eucharist, His body, and charged His disciples to “do this in memory of me”.

One day, coronavirus will go, and we would have distributed yams, rice, money, etc., to our people, which is commendable, but then, how do we tell the story tomorrow, to our children’s children? What are we keeping behind as a monument, to let them know what their parents did in the year of coronavirus?

In the past, our age grades used to choose their names by historical events – Ogba Olanagu, Ogba Abariba, Ogba Ishiagu, Ogba Ikpa, Ogba Oyogho, Ogba Independence, etc. Will the incoming age grade answer “Ogba Coronavirus”? God forbid.

Now that the ovation is still very laud, let us advert our minds to what we could do to leave a permanent edifice in our community, to mark this noble ideal. My humble view.

DR. DONS EZE

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