Group Mandate and Social Contract Imperatives in Aku Politics: The Lawyers Advocacy Challenge.
On December 28, 2015, the AKUDIEWA Lawyers’ Forum (ADLAF) held her second Annual Dinner at Aku. Hon. Malachy O. Ugwu, a public policy analyst and administrator was the guest speaker on the occasion. The theme of the lecture bordered on the above caption. The lecture which was delivered in a 44-page pamphlet discusses the practice of group mandate and social contract in Aku Politics of yesteryears; names and fields of study of Aku professors; reconstruction of the Aku group mandate theorem and social contract imperatives; the task before Aku lawyers in the group mandate reconstruction efforts, transformational changes in Aku, among others. It is a researcher’s reference material for social change. See the link that follows for details.
GROUP MANDATE AND SOCIAL CONTRACT IMPERATIVES IN AKU POLITICS: THE LAWYER’S ADVOCACY CHALLENGE
Hon. Malachy O. Ugwu
I consider it a great honour for me to be asked to present this TALK as one of the major highlights marking the 2015 Annual Dinner of the Aku Diewa Lawyers’ Forum (ADLAF). I thank the organizers for the invitation, and I would not worry myself about the basis upon which the choice of the speaker in my unworthy self, was reached. I would rather face the challenges of today and the future rather than the dialectics of the past. My concern, as it were, within the limits of my ability, is, therefore, to discharge this responsibility which you as a highly treasured and respected critical mass of Aku community, the learned gentlemen, have trusted into my hand s. However, for fear that at the end of this encounter, the limits of my ability may not meet your expectations, I hereby plead in advance for your understanding and pardon.
Before delving into the subject-matter proper, I wish to pay my special tribute to the founding fathers and mothers of Aku Diewa nationalism; great men and women who bequeathed to us the present Aku Community of our pride: an egalitarian society, culturally cohesive; populated by a rare breed of human race who are characteristically industrious, team spirited, foresighted, educated, cosmopolitan, altruistic, confident, prosperous, and God-fearing. In this respect, I recall, with a deep sense of appreciation and honour, our heroes and heroines who had since paid the supreme price to join immortality – Late Bernard Oyigbo Edoga, F.A.M. Amadi, James Nnadi, Nwugbor Nwani, Elere Edoga, Aka Ogbobe, Fabian Edoga, O.C. Manu, Onokoro Nwoti, F.N. Ugwuoju, among others of such ilk. Right from the days lost in the eons of unrecorded history, these patriots related the normally unrelated; saw the rose while it was in the seed; the spark while it was still in the flint, and the rain while it was a mist rising from the seas as it was drawn by the rays of the sun. They streaked like a meteor across the pages of history to accomplish great feats for our dear Aku Community. May their gentle souls find repose in the bosom of the Lord, Amen!
For the great respect and love I have for Aku women, I wish to dedicate this paper to them: the great mothers of great people of Aku Community. In my reminiscence of Aku yesterday, today and tomorrow, the Aku women stand out. The outstanding achievements of Aku Community in all spheres of life cannot be complete without the special place of the women. In Aku yesteryears, the women competed with their husbands in long distant trading; Aku today’s reservoir of top flight manpower resources were built to a large extent by the women; Aku women were great farmers who ostensibly fed their homes; Aku women recorded the first Women Riot in Nigeria in 1924, five years before the much talked about Abba Women Riot of 1929. Aku women are morally sound, chaste, dignifying and Godly. Like Caesar’s wife, Aku women are beyond reproach. I celebrate them by dedicating this paper to them!
1.1 Structure of the Paper
I will not wrap up this introduction without providing the structure of this paper. First, I will briefly define the major concepts of the paper. Thereafter, I will review the practice of group mandate and social contract in Aku politics of the past. I will go further to expose the evils of unguided group mandate and social contract. A reconstruction of our group mandate and social contract vis-à-vis the advocacy challenge of lawyers will be undertaken. Furthermore, I will discuss the need to strengthen the Aku General Assembly (AGA), Aku Welfare Association Federated (AWAF) and the Forum of Ndiom Aku to be able to engineer the desired socio-economic reforms in Aku Community. Finally, the paper will draw conclusion with a clarion call for action.
2.0 Operational definition of concepts
2.1 Group Mandate
Group mandate is taken here to mean a collectivized authority of a people freely given to a representative to hold on trust under conditions precedent. The conditions under which the authority is given approximate to cause-values which must be clearly defined and repeatedly redefined to accord it synchronization with the society’s aspirations. The essence is to bring about critical consciousness in a people to express their political motive which in turn bestows political force on the mandate holder. This factor is inextricably forceful as a political transformative agent and, as such, its absence begets a flippant political constituency lacking in direction.
Undoubtedly, a lackadaisical attitude to political transactions leads to the proverbial philistine laissez fair approach to politics. This is ostensibly an open invitation to political self-aggrandizing rooks, who take advantage of the political inertia or lethargy of the society to seize people’s mandate and appropriate it as a personal estate. Aku Community cannot afford to fall into this façade of representative democracy.
2.2 Social Contract
This is taken here to mean an implicit agreement between the people and the elected or appointed political representative of the people to whom the people surrender their sovereign power in return for protection and actions that correspond to the wishes of the people. Great philosophers such as Gratius (1583-1645); Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679); John Locke (1632-1704), Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1788), and more recently John Rawls of the second half of the 20th century, pioneered revolutionary thoughts on the social contract theory.
The whole idea behind this concept is that in the governed, for example, the good people of Aku Community, resides sovereignty. Okoth-Ogendo (1991) brought out the message clearer when he explained that in social contract, every member (an Aku man or woman for example) surrenders his/her natural power with free will explicitly or implicitly, and resigns it to the hands of the community in exchange for the discharge of functions to the people. Accordingly, a political society is equipped with power to preserve property and punish offences. The society in this context is the community, signifying the government of the people by the people and for the people. Thus, from the People’s Common Will emerges a representative, which can be a President, Governor, Senator, National Assembly member, House of Assembly member, Local Government Chairman, Commissioner, Councillor, Supervisor, Chairman of Aku General Assembly, President of AWAF, Chairperson of Ndiom Aku, etcetera, who governs or runs the affairs of government with the Will of the people and in synchronization with their yearnings and aspirations. It is true that the political constituency of an Aku man or woman elected or appointed “representative” as Governor, Commissioner, Local Government Chairman among others, is beyond the boundaries of Aku Community, the fact remains that an Aku man or woman “representative” of the people has a duty to acquit him/herself creditably to Aku Community in the context of fulfilling his/her over all mandate to his/her general constituency. This is because Aku as a community has endowed so much in her people by virtue of being born Aku man or woman, and such, Aku “representative” has an irrevocable duty to respond to Aku social contract.
To “advocate”, as a verb, means to recommend, to urge for attention or plead for a cause. Bar advocacy is an exclusive reserve of lawyers. It is a professional duty the lawyer owes to his client; to represent him/her in the court as an advocate “on behalf of either party to a suit; it also means to maintain cases in court” (Oputa, 1987:2). The term “advocacy” is however used in this lecture to represent its generic usage which lays emphasis on promotion, mobilization, sensitization, indoctrination, persuasion etc. Beyond Bar advocacy, nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, for-profit, nonprofit and mixed sector organizations are today’s public policy advocates. At present, we have the network societies who participate in governance without government. The growth and development of democracy worldwide has made possible the blurring of the boundaries among the public, the private and the mixed sectors of the society to the extent that any organized pressure group operating within the ambit of the law, can contribute to the formulation and implementation of public policy through advocacy programmes, Aku Diewa Lawyers’ Forum inclusive.
In summary, the practical application of these concepts: Group Mandate, Social Contract and Advocacy, is that the good people of Aku Community hold the sovereign power of government (as the repository of such power) which they willingly surrender to a chosen or elected representative to hold such power on trust on behalf of the people under some cause-value conditions (Group mandate); the representative in turn becomes a surrogate or servant of the people whose discretion to act must be in sync with the yearnings, aspirations or cause-value imperatives of the people (social contract). And within this praxis, the Aku Diewa Lawyers’ Forum is being called upon to be in the vanguard of advocating and domesticating these implicit conventions and protocols presumably entered into between the people of Aku Community and their elected or appointed representatives, so that due benefits arising from our political transactions, are maximally achieved.
3.0 The practice of Group Mandate and Social Contract in Aku Politics of Yesteryears
Right from the 18th century, Aku was organized into a unified administration. The Aku General Assembly (AGA) as it is called today had always existed in such a way that every Aku Village (65 in number) is represented. The central administration metamorphosed from Oha-Aku of the late 19th century, to Aku Town Council of 1942, through Aku Community Council of 1970, to the Aku General Meeting of 1970-71, and finally the Aku General Assembly of 1971-todate. Fabian Edoga was the founding President of Nsukka Divisional Union (NDU) and even established the Foreign Chapters of the Association; B.O.M. Edoga and O.C. Manu in 1954-1955 and 1955-1958 respectively represented Igbo-Etiti County Council in the Eastern House of Assembly; JaphetUgwuogor served as elected Chairman of Nsukka District Council in 1950; F.A.M. Amadi and James Nnadi were elected into the House of Representatives in 1952/53 respectively. F.N. Ugwuoju served as the pioneer Chairman of Igbo-Etiti LGA in 1976; Aka Ogbobe was elected member, House of Representatives 1979-1983 etcetera.
This was the era when group mandate and social contract imperatives in Aku politics were at its best. There was a synergy between the leaders of the town council or general assembly and the elected or appointed government officials. Concertedly, by-laws were made for the orderly governance and development of the town. AGA was the melting point of Aku peace, order and development where values of patriotism, loyalty and solidarity to Aku were espoused and imbibed. “Iye Aku” (Aku thing), “Nwa Aku d’nokwu” (Aku child is sacred), “Ogazi OnyeEgede” (one for all; all for one) etc. were the core underpinnings of Aku fellow-feelings and love. In this wise, a “we consciousness” was promoted as Aku mantra.
During this period under review, it was unheard of for any Aku man or woman to be an island unto him/herself. Even though everybody is a child of the universe, but an Aku indigene is first and foremost a child of Aku Community from where he/she finds a measure of value to life in relation to the larger society. Let me mention in an abridged version some of the lofty achievements of Aku leaders of that era through group mandate and social contract imperatives in Aku politics:
- Between 1930s and 40s, Schools and Churches were built through self-help at the advent of western education.
- In 1940, AWAF was formed to coordinate the contributions of our people outside Aku, for development.
- In 1942, the protracted Oha-Aku factions were settled at Onuigba to bring enduring peace in the land.
- In 1943, Aku Town Hall built through self-help was commissioned.
- In 1944, Free Primary Education Scheme that lasted for 8 years was established, some 11 years before Awolowo’s Free Primary Education Scheme of 1955; some whopping 13 years before Zik of Africa introduced similar programme in Eastern Region in 1957; and some donkey 32 years before the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Free Primary Education Scheme of 1976! Today, Aku’s stellar performance and achievements in education is second to none in Nigeria when compared with any other single community with the status of Aku as a fraction of a local government. A breath-taking 26 academic professors, outstanding number of Ph.D holders, and a great reservoir of high profile engineers, medical doctors, architects, lawyers, teachers and a host of other professionals in various fields of human endeavours. For avoidance of doubt, the list of the professors is hereby produced for ease of reference:
|SN||Name||Field of Study|
|1||Professor Ogbonna S. Alaku||Animal Science|
|2||Professor AloyAttah||Aeronautical Engineering|
|3||Professor L. O. Ocho||Education Foundation|
|4||Professor Vincent Ozor||Theology|
|5||Professor C. A. Attah||Surgery|
|6||Professor Simeon Ochi||Mechanical Engineering|
|7||Professor Clement Anekwe||Aerospace Engineering|
|8||Professor Rose Osuji||Physics and Astronomy|
|9||Professor Augustine O. Ogbobe||Polymer Technology|
|10||Professor Moses Edoga (Late)||Medicine and Fine Arts|
|11||Professor Lawrence Ugwu||Fish Nutrition|
|12||Professor Reuben Ani||Adult Education|
|13||Professor Fred Okwor||Education System Tech.|
|14||Professor John Edoga||Medicine and Surgery|
|15||Professor Cyprain Onyeji||Pharmaceutical Chemistry|
|16||Professor Emmanuel Egbe (late)||Curriculum Education|
|17||Professor G. C. E. Mbah||Mathematics|
|18||Professor DimpnaUgwuoju||Mass Communication|
|19||Professor Dan OsyOkanya||Political Science|
|20||Professor Samuel Obetta||Agric Engineering|
|21||Professor Matthew Edoga||Chemical Engineering|
|22||Professor Lawrence Eneje||Applied Microbiology|
|23||Professor Cornelius Awara(Late)||Geology|
|25||Professor Mellitus Ezeamaenyi||Science Education|
|26||Professor Joe Nwonu||Veterinary Medicine|
- In 1945, Adada Bridge was reconstructed through self-help.
- In 1945 again, Aku abolished the bethrothal of ladies to Ojiyi deity and set free those already bethrothed. This took place some 5 decades before the abolition of EFURU Deity in Ukehe through government intervention. Today, Aku is probably the only community in Igbo land where the practice of caste system is nonexistent. This is only but a measure of Aku man’s foresight.
- In 1946, Aku Maternity Home built through self-help was commissioned.
- In 1947, Ase pipe borne water was commissioned.
- In 1948, Aku Postal Agency was commissioned.
- In 1949, St. Gregory’s School was built through self-help.
- In 1951, Aku became a parish of Onitsha Diocese of the Roman Catholic Mission
- 1952-62 witnessed massive building, through self-help, of village Schools and Halls.
- In 1963, Aku built her first Community Library, the first of its kind in Eastern Nigeria.
- 1967-1970, Aku through self-help rehabilitated Schools, Post Office, Health Centres, water borne holes etc soon after the devastation of the Civil War
- In 1976, Boys’ Secondary School, Aku was built.
- In 1977, bride price in Aku and other associated costs of marrying a wife were drastically reduced.
- In 1978, Girls’ Secondary School, Aku was built.
- In 1979, Ejuona Community Secondary School, Aku was built in an attempt to balance the tripod on which Aku stands, among other laudable and lofty achievements.
4.0 The Evils of Unguided Group Mandate and Social Contract
Aku society, just like any other society exposed to the dynamics of life, has passed through several stages of development. Our ethos which were expressed in treasured schemes of welfare, rule of law, democracy, humanism and justice as solid and irrevocable frameworks for social construction are daily collapsing like the Berlin Wall. The culture of “Aku thing”, “Eha Nnanyi K’anyi Ji Aga”, “OgaziOnyeEgede” etc are now being lost to bare faced material conquest. It is not for nothing that our social environment at present is notoriously crime-ridden and security of life and property has been replaced by a bizarre incendiary hanging over all of us. Mentorship is no more taken seriously. Bizarre life styles are no more frowned at. Rape, drug addiction, cultism, homosexuality, and such related vices have become commonplace. As I speak, the NYSC authority in Enugu has just sent an S.O.S. message to Aku leaders complaining that their corps members were being robbed and raped in their quarters at Aku, and requesting for remedial intervention. In fact, ordinary level perception shows that such a setting portends woe that can easily defy easy combativeness for the socio-political system in place.
The implication is that a way out of the wood, therefore, entails a vigorous cause-value reconstruction to ingest in our system a group mandate and social contract focus. Those who hold offices, at community or governmental level must be the people’s servant in words and actions. And in this case, all of us must be involved in achieving this goal. By all of us, I mean the officials of the Aku Diewa Lawyers’ Forum, and indeed each and every one of us who have had the opportunity of reasonable education. We have a duty to translate that education to have value in public-cum-community service. The concept of RECALL CLAUSE incorporated into Nigerian Constitution is an eloquent testimony that those who gave power should at will withdraw their power if such power is not being used to advance the cause of the people. All of us must take full responsibility for the decay in our society because evils thrive in an environment where good men and women do nothing to checkmate them. It is important that Group Mandate and Social Contract imperatives are understood in this broad sense as a wake-up call to all “Akuans” to serve the community with whatever talent, calling, vocation, profession, appointment, or position you find yourself.
Unless we rise to the occasion of stemming the ugly tide of unprotected Group Mandate and Social Contract theorems, the worst stage of its ugly influence is at our door step in Aku – the era of ferocious pauperization through mobilization of the people’s political and economic energies as well as heightened expectation in order to gain political advantage and ascend to political position, only to dump or jettison the people at the time of accountability. Having ascended into political power, these political rooks could refuse to consult with the people. They would personalize all opportunities that come from the office to safeguard themselves and their relations and cronies against poverty. Instead of cultivating people’s fellowship through engagement and investment in them so as to have their support to get back to power, they would rather accumulate enough wealth to intimidate their way back to power. In fact, they believe that the more the voters are poor, the more they can be commoditized during elections. And having crossed the poverty rubicon and joined the ruling kleptocratic class, the factor of wealth as their staying power in positions of authority would always be at the detriment of the masses, the poor and the helpless majority. Of course, they would forget the eternal words on marble which Bennett (1964) credited to Martin Luther King jnr: “the richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers” (p. 54). We also tend to forget that the pains of the poor diminish the rich, and the joy of the poor should be the soothing balm of the rich. Unless something urgent is done to forestall full blown growth of this social contract misapplication, Aku Community is in for real trouble!
5.0 Reconstructing Group Mandate and Social Contract imperatives – The Advocacy Challenge of Aku Lawyers
- i) Developing the Qualities of an Advocate
There is no research-based list of qualities exclusively reserved for advocates. However, advocacy has special characteristics and identifiable art. A review of sterling characteristics of successful leaders, politicians, policy influencers, renowned preachers, statesmen, orators etc reveal a lot about basic personality requirements of people cut out for such art. The operational definition of “Advocacy” has been provided in 2.3 above, however, it suffices to say that advocacy, just like leadership, is a focus of group process, a set of personality characteristics, the act of inducing compliance, the exercise of influence, an act or a behaviour, a form of persuasion, an instrument of goal achievement, an effect of interaction, a differential role, and the initiation of structure (Bass, 1990:41). Qualities ascribable to advocates and leaders, according to Terry (1968) include energy, emotional stability, knowledge of human relations, empathy, objectivity, personal motivation, communication ability, teaching skills, social skills, and technical competence. (pp 461-463). Achebe (1980) also added that such qualities should include integrity, fairness, hardwork, intellect, ability to work with people, and the possession of basic common sense.
To further emphasize the distinction required of the personality of an advocate, Oputa (1987) states that it is not what the advocate says that is important: it is who is the advocate that said it. According to him, the character of the advocate breaths through the sentences he makes. To advocate for social change in Aku Community, therefore, members of ADLAF should fit into the big shoe of advocacy by equipping themselves roundly to achieve the desired goal.
- ii) Ethical Rebirth and Realism
We need to go back to the roots without sacrificing the progressive and fine elements of the present. Most youths of Aku below the age of 30 years hardly can say what are the character quotients of an Aku man or woman. What are our “Dos and Don’ts”. In this connection, I challenge ADLAF to commission a publication of an Aku Handbook, a portable, corporate Diary-like AKU AT A GLANCE book that would contain our brief history, major features, manpower resource base, values we cherish etc. Such publication can be updated every five years. The book should be an instrument of moral rearmament, and would be made available to every workaday Aku indigene, including special visitors. It is a rebranding strategy.
iii) Aku National Anthem
I have preached elsewhere, precisely in a paper on “Politics and the Political Economy of Aku Community: Recommendations for a Positive Quantum Jump” which I presented to Aku stakeholders at an occasion jointly organized by the Aku General Assembly and Diewa Writers’ Club on February 27, 2010. I harped on the need for a responsive Aku National Anthem. What we have at the moment do not serve the purpose (“ofu onye najum eshe obodo be nnam….” And “unu abu ndiebee, ehee….”). In order to come up with an anthem that promotes the healthy ethical content of Aku as well as our basic cosmogony, I requested and received up to three submissions from our illustrious and well meaning Akuans. One that stood out, among others, was the one composed by Mr. Edwin Iyidobu of Useh, and it is hereby presented to ADLAF for further evaluation. If considered ok, I recommend that through advocacy, ADLAF should pursue its endorsement by the AGA for our use. Rendered both in English and Igbo, the anthem goes thus:
“Diewa our father land.
The land of peace and prosperity,
Guided by the words of our ancestors.
Our father’s name is our passport.
Industriousness is our delight
In Almighty God we shelter
Reveling in our rich culture
Our father’s name is our passport
Through thick or thin
In truth we stand
In justice, honour and dignity
The principles by which we are known
Our father’s name is our passport
Okwu Nna anyigwaraanyin’eduanyi
Eha Nna anyikaanyijiaga”
Note: When duly adopted, it will be mandated that all formal occasions involving Aku people must be preceded by a rendition of the Anthem. It will help to elevate our true citizenship, patriotism and selfless service to Aku Community.
- iv) Develop a formula for zoning/sharing political offices in Aku
Aku Community, culturally speaking, stands on a tripod of Akibute, Akutara and Ejuona. This has accordingly guided our sharing pattern especially cultural objects such as kolanut, among others. In the days gone by, sharing of political positions was never a problem because people were apathetic to politics. Consequently, anybody could be supported to vie for any political office irrespective of the quarter of Aku he/she hailed from. Presently, the situation is different. Contesting for political positions including offices in the AGA is today a do or die affair. The constitution of Nigeria and the by-laws of Enugu State have helped matters in respect of councillorship positions, political party executives, and traditional rulership, all of which come from various wards and autonomous communities. However, for other political positions which Aku does not own exclusively, and which have wider constituencies, what zoning/sharing arrangement should best serve the interest of Aku: Is it the three quarter arrangement; six-ward delimitations, or six autonomous community arrangement? Not having Aku policy decision on this, rubs off on so many things including willingness of villages to pay levies for developmental purposes.
In particular, the problem of sharing formula is not unconnected with the growing disaffection among politicians. This is also corellationally related to abuse of group mandate and social contract. Where does equity lie in this respect? Do we move from equality to equalities; equity to equities; or dwell on john Rawls’ (1971) theory of justice that guides the distribution of rights, duties, and advantages in a just society. Do we agree that treating unequal parties equally is considered inequitable, especially in political calculation where population density, polling booths, electoral wards, etc. are core indices of concern? Where do we locate the unity of Aku in the over all calculation? Since most developments in social equity have their genesis in law, the ADLAF is called upon to come up with a policy framework for Aku in this regard. It is a challenge!
- Strengthening the AGA/AWAF/Ndiom Aku Forum to be able to Engineer Desired Reforms
For ADLAF to really implement a reform programme in our community, it needs to strengthen the highest level of government in the community – the Aku General Assembly (AGA) and by extension the Aku Welfare Association Federated (AWAF), and the Forum of Ndiom Aku. Public policy cannot be implemented without a formal adoption and approval by the appropriate authority. At the national level, the National Assembly passes a bill into law and the relevant agency of the Federal Government sees to its implementation. At the State Government level, the State Assembly does the same. At the Local Communities, the Town Unions such as AGA handles local administration for the maintenance of law, order and development via by-laws. ADLAF cannot on its own approve and implement a reform policy for the whole of Aku without the AGA/AWAF/Forum of Ndiom Aku. Therefore, ADLAF needs a vibrant, functional and surefooted AGA to give relevant backing to its reform programmes.
A starting point for the ADLAF in their bid to function as a positive agent of social change for Aku Community, therefore, is to equip AGA/AWAF/Forum for Ndiom Aku to stand firmly on the ground. Up till today, AGA is still suffering from lethargy. It suffered a ban from Chimaroke administration of Enugu State in 2006 which was orchestrated by political misadventure by some Aku sons and daughters. It was unbanned in 2008, and ever since, there has been so much of heat without light. Attendance to AGA meetings has fallen so low and payment of development levies by villages is now a matter of choice and not of duty. ADLAF should reinvent the AGA so as to partner with the body in advancing Aku cause.
In the years gone by, AGA banned Night Disco parties due to its social and security threats to the town, and it was implemented by bodies like ADLAF; AGA reduced bride prices, and it was implemented; AGA banned the betrothal of women to Ojiyi deity, and it was implemented, AGA set up a functional vigilante group, and it was implemented. The same AGA can approve policy programmes for ADLAF to fast track their implementation. A starting point should be that members of ADLAF should of necessity attend AGA meetings, set agenda for discussions and influence significant policy matters for promulgation and implementation. ADLAF should push to see that every elected or appointed government officials pays a percentage of his/her income to the coffers of AGA for running the apex town union. Major Aku stakeholders should be mobilized to attend AGA meetings and be ready to serve in relevant strategic committees of the body. The point being made here is that a system-responsive ADLAF requires a functional and formidable town union for it to make meaningful impact in our polity.
Retooling the AGA and its sister bodies such as AWAF and the Forum of Ndiom Aku is of a crying need and the ADLAF should rise to the occasion NOW!
Aku community has come a long way in human history. We as a people face a big challenge in this 21st century. Unless we maintain the pace of development as well as the peace and tranquility which our forebears bequeathed to us, we risk being surpassed by emerging economies and communities. The whole world is watching us. Youths of today are looking up to us to save them from unemployment, moral decadence, bleak future and human debasement. In the same vain, the future generation is fervently praying that we do not bungle their future. The God of creation has blessed Aku Diewa abundantly. To sustain our premier position as a leading community in Nigeria economically, socially and educationally, we must run at the speed of 200 kilometres per hour, while the runner’s up runs at 150 kilometers per hour. Only then can we sustain the momentum. Value-rebirth and realism is critical to our success and a group mandate and social contract imperative in our socio-political transactions is an antidote for sustained peace and development. Much is expected of the members of Aku Diewa Lawyers’ Forum, to use the instrument of ordered community advocacy to put Aku Community on the pedestal of growth and development.
Consequently, both individually and collectively, members of the Aku Diewa Lawyers’ Forum and their agency ADLAF, stand accused and have been sued in the Court of His Lordship, Justice Aku Diewa, Justice of the Supreme Court of Aku Community!
(Aku citizens): My Lord, members of the Aku Diewa Lawyers’ Forum and their agency ADLAF abdicated their responsibilities of championing advocacy programmes for group mandate and social contract imperatives for a greater Aku…..
and Members): Objection my Lord, the complainants have no locus standi to bring up this case.
Judge (Aku Diewa): Complainants, can you show reason why I should not sustain the objection?
(Aku Citizens): Yes my Lord. We are bonafide citizens of Aku. Here assembled are Akibute, Akutara and Ejuona, including members of ADLAF and ADLAF itself. All of us belong to one Aku ancestral parentage. We invested so much in training thesecoteries of professional lawyers for the purpose of touching our lives in special ways. Our father’s name is their passport. Our sons and daughters are getting socially bankrupt. The lawyers are supposed to advocate for a better Aku society and a better citizenry. They have abdicated their responsibilities. We are therefore claiming damages in form of reparation for our battered ethos to the tune of five trillion naira!
and members): My Lord, we now understand their grouse. We are not indifferent to Aku community problems. The fact is that ADLAF as a body is new in conception and operation. As individuals, we belong to other development associations where we contribute to the welfare of Aku. Now that we have come together under the auspices of ADLAF, we assure you of our commitment to fast rack advocacy for Aku peace and development.
Judge (Aku Diewa):Having listened to the complainants and the accused, my judgment is as follows: ruling on five trillion naira reparation is reserved till the next adjourned date. However, in view of the convincing expression of commitment to champion Aku cause, ADLAF and its members are hereby directed to henceforth rise to the challenge of sustained advocacy for a well ordered and developed Aku Community. You cannot be safe in a society where dysfunctional ethos have set in. Given your professional calling, no group can do this onerous task better than you. A three-year probationary period is hereby given to you to make your mark. Case is adjourned till December 26, 2018 for stock-taking and further necessary action. I so rule!
Court Clerk: C-o-u-r-t!
I thank you for your reasoned attention.
Malachy O. Ugwu
December 26, 2015