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ANNUAL LECTURE – 2004 EDITION

INTRODUCTION

The 2004 edition of Ntum Oha Annual lecture took place at Erinma Hall on 25 December 2004. the Lecture was a huge success, thanks to the preparations made by the Organising committee chaired by Engr.Ejim Ijekpa over 4 thousand flyers were distributed, a total 100 interest groups were invited via posted mails. the chairman of the occasion was Dr. C. Eni. the special guest of honour was Prof. M. A. Mpka and the master of ceremony was —– Two resource persons Dr. Ezikpe Mma and Barrister Echeme Emole Delivered papers.

The program started by 12 noon prompt. Opening prayer was said by the Chairman of the occasion, after which the president Engr. Samuel Agwu Okoji read his opening speech. the first lecture mounted the podium by 1pm and by 2pm the second lecture delivered his paper. the Annual lecture program ended by 2:40pm after a concluding remark by the chairman.

below are details of the annual lecture program;

THEME:

EMERGING POLITICAL AND SOCIO ECONOMIC REALITIES:
REPOSITIONING ABIRIBA TO ADVANTAGE

Background: Nigeria as we may be aware is a melting pot of political, social and economic realities. A developing country where all aspects of human endeavor are at several stages of uncoordinated emancipation. Abiriba like most other communities in Nigeria is at cross roads, in a state of confusion. Caught by the quagmire that has enveloped the entire nation. Abiriba is right at the center of a cross road of traditional problems, socio-cultural changes, economic mess and political dilemma. Recent globalization of practically every sector of human enterprise have compounded the problem, putting the developing countries at disadvantage and communities like Abiriba at the receiving end. Hence such vices as youths restiveness, unemployment, moribund businesses, indiscipline, HIV/AIDS scourge and other health related problems, rural/urban migration, dilapidated educational and other public infrastructures, crime and insecurity, to mention a few are at all time high.

The woes of the community can be blamed on:

Inarticulate or mediocre leadership – a leadership class that needs urgent overhauling.

Fast pace of development and globalization

Unfavorable government policies

General break down of law and order

The questions are, do we:

  • Tighten our belt and try to weather the storm in our traditional “self help is the surest way to development”
  • Team up (Age grades, traditional Chambers of commerce – iyimoka etc, ACIU, Everybody) and protest or confront Government hoping to create an impact
  • Or study the situation, brainstorm, adjust structurally and/or reposition.

Ntum Oha, Like most stakeholders in the last edition of Ntum Oha Annual Lecture / Frank Talk is of the opinion that we the Abiriba people should undergo extensive structural adjustment especially in our businesses and relationship with the government of the day. In doing so we must consider the disposition of the incumbent Administration towards Abiriba, impact of globalization on our local economy and how to take advantage of it in our businesses and use of contemporary InfoTech tools and modern business methods to run our businesses. One may ask how to take advantage of an ugly situation. Take for instance the global HIV/AIDS scourge, taking up a proactive stance rather than being less concerned is a good example of repositioning. By acting quickly, creating awareness, discouraging the spread of the disease, we will reap the benefit in years to come when the Abiriba people will be healthy and take up appointments to the detriment of other communities who would have lost substantial human resources due to HIV/AIDS.

Aims: The lecture aims at enlightening the participants on:

Brief history of Abiriba’s political and socio economic life
Emergent political and socio economic realities.
Pros and cons of Repositioning Abiriba

Repositioning Abiriba to advantage

Target participants: Government officials of Abiriba origin, branch ACIU executives, Age Grade executives, Abiriba NGO executives, Abiriba Professionals, Intellectuals and Elites. Expected participants will total 400.

OPENING ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT.

Mr. Chairman Sir,

The Special Guest Speaker, Prof. M. A. Mkpa (The Commissioner for Education, Abia State)

Distinguished Ntum Oha Lecturers for 2004 Annual Lectures,

Participants and Other Invited Guests,

Fellow members of Ntum Oha here present. I greet you all.

Introduction
Ntum Oha is an interest group based in Port Harcourt. Her members are indigenes of Abiriba, who are, at least, graduates of Universities or other Institutions of Learning of equivalent standard. In Ntum Oha, we focus on three major aspects of developments in Abiriba, which are; Education, Health and Politics.

Our mode of operation is; Investigative Interview Technique. We ask questions to identify problem areas in those three aspects of community development. The problems so identified are then highlighted and showcased. We also proffer solutions to those problems and then alert appropriate agencies for implementation of the solutions proffered.

Annual Lectures/Frank Talk
In the annual lectures, as you will soon witness, eminent sons and/or daughters of Abiriba will talk on a chosen topic. The topic for this 2004 Edition is “Emerging Political and Socio-Economic Realities: Repositioning Abiriba to Advantage”. Questions will be raised to reawaken our consciousness to our proud heritage, Abiriba, and also remind us of our developmental shortcomings.

After the lectures, we will have the Frank Talk session. This is a discussion (Audience Participation) session. Most of the questions raised during the lectures will be answered during the frank talk. Please jot down your questions or comments as the lectures progress.

Expectations

At the end of this discussion, we all would be better informed on the current happenings in our community, Abiriba, as it concerns Education, Health and Politics. Also we would know the contributions we need to make, either as individuals or as a group, towards the betterment of Abiriba.

Long Live Ntum Oha!

Long Live Abiriba!!

Long Live Nigeria!!!

“Emerging Political and Socio-Economic Realities: Repositioning Abiriba to an Advantageous Position”

By Chijioke Echeme Emole

I appreciate the invitation by Ntum Oha to participate in this dialogue – the 4th Ntum Oha Annual Lecture/Frank Talk.
I appreciate the enormous job Ntum Oha is and has been doing to sensitize Abiriba people on evolving political and socio-economic realities.
I Intend to provoke a dialogue and not necessarily deliver a lecture, with a view to arriving at the path forward to re-achieve political and socio-economic prominence for Abiriba.
Although I wrote down the points of discussion in English, l will present the points of discussion in Abiriba language.
What are the emerging political realities in Nigeria and in Abia State?
a) Igbo national political marginalization;

b) 2007 presidential alignment;

c) Growing demands for de-centralization and self-autonomy by constituent parts of the federation;

d) 2007 Abia Governorship – Abia South Factor; other options;

e) 2007 Senatorial election;

f) Alliances with other groups;

What are the emerging socio-economic realities in Nigeria and globally?
a) Globalization – free movement of persons, goods, services, capital, information, infectious diseases, and destructive weapons across international borders.

b) Nationally – liberalization; deregulation; privatization;

c) Increased and increasing criticality of knowledge industries and economies;

d) Entry of women into the workforce in increased and increasing numbers; and impact on income and savings’ patterns;

e) Unsustainability of imports as a trading niche following government policies regarding serial import bans on various goods and items.

Where are we situated in these emerging realities?
a) Politically fragmented and divided and ineffective;

b) Economically devastated, following downturn in import business;

c) Confidence negatively impacted;

d) Amorphous, visionless, self-centered economic and political leadership;

How do we reposition Abiriba to an advantageous position?
a) Politically: re-group; aim to capture state-wide political office in 2007; and national representation. Erect social and political mobilization structures. Think radically about age-grades; think outside the box regarding their functionality.

b) Re-invent the “Abiriba mind”;

b) Create data base of professionals;

c) Direct youth towards education; knowledge industries;

d) Invest in Agriculture in Abiriba and environs to create youth employment;

e) Engage in active HIV-AIDS activism to drastically reduce infection rates and treat economically disadvantaged victims;

d) Create business cluster groups; shift to manufacturing and agro-based industries;

e) Diversify trade focus to sustainable goods and materials, especially for energy industry;

e) Leverage the business and economic facilities around the zone – Calabar Export Processing Zone; Onne Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone; NLNG; Aluminium Smelter Plant, Ikot Abasi

Skills

Posted on

October 31, 2019