Ozo Dr. F. Anikwe Book Launch : A Call For Cultural Democracy In Nigeria
Ozo Dr. Anikwe, DG Centre For Black African Arts And Civilization (CBAAC) made the call on his book launched and titled, ” Leadership, Culture and Ethics in Nigeria” yesterday in Abuja.
The Director General of Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Ozo Dr. CeFerdinard Anikwe, a renowned cultural enthusiast, in his book called on, Nigeria scholars and cultural ehnthusiastics to build a system that will cultivate the practice of Nigeria cultural orientation, which will aggregate around Nigeria cultural heritages, traditions and customs, to build cultural democratic ethics based on Nigeria cultural principles and values.
The Author noted that Nigeria political problem is inability of the people to look inward and develop Nigeria indigenous political system, customized from established historical and cultural principles on ground, that the present borrowed democratic system is not in line with Nigeria cultural way of life. He advised, Nigeria should seek cultural kingdom before political and economical kingdom as was done in places like China, Singapore, Malaysia and other Asia nations, who created cultural democracy now working side by side with the western democracy.
According to him, “The failure of democracy in African continent stemmed from the fact that we copied and adopted the Western democracy, and neglected to build upon our own democratic traditions, and before we can achieve political democracy or economical democracy success in Nigeria, we should endeavor to look inward and reactivate our indigenous cultural democracy, a democracy rooted on african culture and history like China, Malaysia and some other Asian countries. A cultural democracy consonant with African heritage,” Dr. Anikwe remarked.
Meanwhile, it is of note that all these nations mentioned were heavily influenced by Confucianism cultural belief system, whose cultural values are rooted on duty, loyalty, honour, filial piety, respect for age and seniority, and sincerity- sort of cultural democracy, Dr. Anikwe is proffering.
Ozo Dr. Anikwe went further to emphasized during an interview, that before the advent of the British and colonialism, Nigeria, has a cultural democracy of leadership governing them which has, an established framework of the traditional African institutions of consensus building, elder mediation and conciliation-a leadership with self-governing principles ; tribal democracy based on rotational representation, division of labour, embedded within rational coordination of community interests and views.
A leadership characterized by concepts of communalism, solidarity, consensus, extended family system, popular participation or representation against the diverged, imposed and inherited western political system with its woes, Nigeria have now.
“Nigeria had democracy before western democracy. We have pre-colonial tribal political system working for us before they came. Fulani/ Hausa leadership of caliphatism, Yoruba’s monarchialism- monarchical system which its power was bounded by the constitution or laws of the land. Igbo’s consentualism, similar to modern republic system-people governed by their consent, where decisions were taken on the basis of consensus.” He noted.
According to DG CBAAC, Dr. Ozo Anikwe- Western- style democracy is unworkable, Alien and inappropriate to African because the necessary preconditions for such system are not present. He advised Nigeria scholars to look inward, study and learn relevant elements of pre-colonial, neo-colonial and post-colonial models and other cultures to construct orthodox democracy model capable of solving Nigeria problems.
“Nigeria curriculum planners and cultural enthusiastic scholars’ have to put head together and draft educational contents that will foster development and re-cultivations of core african cultural values and ethics. To build an indigenous customized leadership styles, starting from primary school level in order to y reinstall cultural principle of administration fitted for us. These can be done by putting together all the experiences from pre-colonial, neo-colonial, pos-colonial and outcome of interactions with other cultures and come up with structural programs drawn from our cultural values and history to enable us achieve our own cultural kingdom (cultural democracy) like some Asia countries and that’s what we need, not borrowed one that is even not functioning.”
Ozo Dr. Ozo Anikwe also emphasized the need to each tribes to learn how to speak each other languages. He threw the ball to the court of political leaders and curriculum planners, to draft and include it into school curriculum subjects, in order to create unified communication channel that will put an end to divers ethnic strives in Nigeria.
” Looking at America with worst racial discrimination in the world, but due to power of uniform communication (language) if you ask any of them, where he is from,? he will be proud to introduce himself as ” I am an American” but Nigeria will answer you, ” I am an Igbo” ” I am Hausa or Fulani” ” I am Yoruba” instead of “I am a Nigerian”, remove language barrier none will do so.”
Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of the occasion, Retired Army colonel, three-time Senator, Medical Doctor, former former Federal Commissioner of Education, former PDP National Chairman, Dr. Ahmadu Ali congratulated Ozo Dr. Anikwe for stimulating debate on adoption of our own indigenous democracy to foster unity and development in Nigeria.
“We owe Dr. Anikwe a great debt of gratitude for coming forward and stimulating (this) debate in the public square,” said Alhaji Ali.
It was, he added, ” a brave step in a linger process of democratic dialogue.”
He described the book as the subject as an irresistible questions, how to make our democracy to be more realistic to our needs.
In an interview chat, Alhaji Ali urged Nigerian parents to start from infancy to teach their children the culture of the land, by making sure they learn to speak their local dialects fluently.
” Nigerian parents producing children who can’t speak our languages is killing our culture. Each child must learn how to speak his or her own mother tongue, only then can we sustain our cultural heritage and foster advancement .” He said.
The presentation of the book, which took place at Cyprian Ekewensi Arts and Cultural Centre Abuja, was well attended by prominent traditional rulers, politicians, as well as members of national and international community.
The book “Leadership, Culture and Ethics in Nigeria ” was written by Ozo Dr. Ferdinard Anikwe. Director General of Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization ( CBAAC).
Reporting- by Pamela James- Abuja.