The quality of contributions in the last week on Edo Nation’s forum was wonderful that I wish we continue to have such fruitful and high level discuss in the future.
The last time I commented on Prof Omoruyi’s posting was to ask him to stop singing old songs as such songs have not helped our cause over the years. That observation obviously did not endear me to the Prof. That looks like light years away, but Prof. are very intelligent people, quick to forgive and may be forget due to many research topics up their sleeves.
His last postings were very well balanced, stimulating and thought provoking and I join him to ask all those who think of the progress of the Edos to read all the postings for their information and criticism as well. Although the discussions at the London Round Table Conference have been reposted several times by different individuals, the comments on the issues raised have been scanty. Mr Evbayiro’s response posed several questions which to me are very important. These questions raised fundamental issues to the success of any organization or movement originating or that will originate in Edo Land.
While deliberating on what should be the Edo agenda which the Prof. is professing, and which organization should move that agenda forward, we should answer the question ‘How united are we? Prof Omoruyi clearly stated that correspondences from two icons in Edo politics did not acknowledge each other and both icons are supporting the same political party in their own ways and at different levels without interfering with each other. His essays carefully demonstrated at what levels both were playing. Whereas Brigade-General Ogbemudia has danced at home on several occasions with continuous forays into the national scene, Chief Enahoro has persistently danced at the national level. Prof Omoruyi went further to say that my most respected Chief will not win an election at Uromi his home town if he should contest with Chief Anenih but ‘Edo okpa ma khin’ is his brain child. Truthful as it seems there is no doubt that the Chief is a huge force in Nigerian politics. This lack of co-operation amongst our political icons is a dis-service to the Edos in general. It is for this reason the thorny issue of unity amongst the Edos must beresolved first before embarking on any agenda or else such
efforts will end in quicksands.
The name ‘Edo okpa ma khin’ is right, all embracing, original,
traditional, could be unifying but can the Edos unite under this
name when some of us are already humming it that ‘Edo okpa
mahia te khin’ As the Edo word ‘te’ has come into it, it foretells
it’s ultimate demise in the future and this may be a matter of
time. Note the word may be. As very traditional people, we Edos
respect our elders and lineage. In Prince Robson Momoh’s recent
interview, he stressed this brotherliness and common origin of
the Edos. He described the problem in the traditional council in
Edo State as a disagreement between brothers. If that is the
case, our sons and daughters everywhere including the political
icons amongst them should as matter of priority address this
issue critically and resolve it immediately so that the Edos can
move on as one indivisible people. History tells us that all the
Chiefs and Enogies in Edo land, some part of Delta state and even
Ondo state are of the same blood lineage as our inheritance laws
are based on the primogenitoral system as in the UK. If we
acknowledge this fact, then the Edos can easily solve this unity
problem. Do we see ourselves as brothers and sisters? The
answer is likely to be NO. It is for this reason one section of the
Edo community will not nurture what the other has started. There
are the problems of lack of trust and greed. We do not trust each
other as we believe there is always ulterior motive in any
conceptualisation by one section or the other in Edo land. The
problem of greed derives from poverty as the leader tries to
enrich him/herself before executing projects for the general good.
To progress and to become relevant in the context of the nations’
politics, we have to bury the hatchet and pull the same string.
This will be easy to achieve if all of us still believe the concept of
our ancestral origin as told in our history lessons.
Edo Unity should surpass all our differences. We should work
together as one though of many parts. There should be mutual
agreement , harmony or concord which will produce uniformity or
constancy in our demand for example from the federal
government for our need or meeting the need of our people.
According to Aristotle there should be unity of action, as there is
unity of place and in our own case in Edo land unity of origin.Edo unity should symbolize, that in spite of our differences, we
understand each other by overcoming prejudices, respect each
other by recognising the good in one another, actively care for
each other and ultimately work together towards a common goal
for the good of our people. If we try to establish a respectful,
caring relationship we shall be making giants strides towards the
goal of achieving the set objectives of empowering our people
economically and in addition realize our shared values and goals.
It is time to forgive and forget errors of yesteryears and move on
as that is the only means and way of actualising our desires in
the Nigerian nation of today. Digging too deep into the past to
understand the present and plan for the future sometimes can be
counterproductive and therefore should be avoided.
We may not accept it, ENA is a giant of a forum through which we
can actualize our unity. It has succeeded in the Americas and I
am sure if we globalize the concept it will succeed ultimately
everywhere. The only problem today is the leaders are sacred of
dragging ENA into politics hence we have not heard from the
President or Secretary in spite of prodding from members of this
forum this last week. Their action is understandable but for any
organization to succeed in leading a people like the Edos, it must
not be partisan i.e. It must not be seen as being part of a political
party or organization. The hierarchy should show probity and be
bold enough to talk without fear or favour, for or against any
individual or group trying to slow down the progress of all in Edo
land. The leaders should be those who have been true it all and
have demonstrably served our people in various capacities in the
past. During the creation of the Mid West Region Oba Akenzua
the 11 of Blessed memory played that role. It is for this reason
some think Omo n’ Oba Erediauwa should play that role like his
father did. Before accenting to such call we should remember the
events and actions of the penultimate government in Edo land vis
a vis our traditional ruler. It is for this reason and the fact that
times and attitude have changed that some of us should not
clamour for such a role for the custodian of our culture. In view of
this let him who the cap fits take up the mantle of leadership. Let
there be a new born without blemish or adverse history under
whose leadership the Edos, these various organizations in
Diaspora and those in Nigeria will unite for a common purpose of
creating an Edo land that will be a paradise on earth throughguiding and assisting the government of the day in Edo land. It will not be enough to unite and sit on the fence, there must be total commitment to the Edo cause by all.
I shall be back. Stephen Ogbonmwan.
If we are only for ourselves, what are lives for? Make a difference, make the world a better place.