THE FAMILY AND NATION-BUILDING BY GODSWILL IYOHA IYOKE ESQ.
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 60TH BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY OF LUCKY ONYEMA EGEDE
It is my desire herein to draw our attention to and in a manner that we can all relate with, the place of the family as microcosm of the nation-state, in its functional and dysfunctional context. This is not intended to be an exhaustive intellectual enterprise, as yours sincerely is neither a certificated social/political professional or a tested statesman nor an accomplished intellectual on the subject in discourse. So, I do not intend that the subject letters be absorbed as authority for the subject of discourse.
All I wish to do, is to stir up our minds to think. The best I could possibly do, is follow the divine pattern of the only wise God, who says; “Come, let us reason together”. That’s precisely what we are about to do just NOW.
Let’s begin from the roots, from where we came, belong or wish to be;
We are each familiar with a father, mother, and siblings, relatives or other household members. This is the family, the traditional or conventional basic biological human social unit. It is the first social organization through which we all encountered the world. A person comes into the family, either naturally by birth or other circumstances, extraneous to the individual.
The family is the social organization or environment beyond a person’s control. It is the social environment and first external social organization into which a person is born, raised, and controlled. It is the first governmental authority beyond the self.
It is where we first discover ourselves, besides our names. It is where we learn relationships; learn about our environment; learn to communicate and to build relationship with others. Here, we were groomed to relate to the world around us. Here we learned firsthand, how to grow to become valuable members of the immediate community and the society.
The family is where we learnt to express ourselves, acquire self-mastery or governance (independence) in certain aspect of our lives.
The family is the first external governmental authority, after ourselves; where we were tutored and refined to express ourselves. The family is therefore akin to a quarry site or mines, from where national development or nation-building potentials are sourced.
A Nation is a group or groups of people that are bound or united by a common factor, which could be culture, language, ancestry, or justice system.
A nation could be located within a defined territory with systems that provide, guarantee, protect or facilitate the process for self-actualization. The nation breeds a strong sense of belonging, commitment, or bonding to a people within or beyond defined territory.
The remarkable distinction about the Nation is in its continual quest for self-preservation, self-elevation beyond current circumstances and influence beyond current limits. The realization of these objectives is a function of the concerted efforts of the people, which are constituted by-products of the family.
The Family, State and Nation
The family is the basic social organization or unit that makes up a community or society. It is the place where we are tutored to manage our minds and emotions to discipline our will to overcome present temptations that could hinder our individual or self-actualization goals.
The family is where individual excesses or negative tendencies are curtailed, or moderated and individual vision and worldview defined. It is the place where the ultimate authority in our lives is identified and defined. It is indeed the most powerful and important and social organization in humanity. It is where to find or locate love at any time. It is therefore the place to find God.
As a spiritual resource-base, the family is the place to get inspiration to dream and the motivation to dare. Therefore, the place where the foundation for personal success is laid. The family is where the enablement for social ascension is created and the confidence to overcome self or family limitations is generated.
The State is a political realm of ascertained or ascertainable people (population), within a given or defined territory (space) and a sovereign authority (government) to which the people submit voluntarily or are compelled to do so. The State shares these similarities in common with a dysfunctional family, where the only definition of authority is in the expression of coercive authority or the exercise of coercive power.
A nation is a group or groups of tribes or ethnicities that are bound by a common factor, of culture or language; or committed to a common goal.
While the distinguishing factor of a state is in the presence or existence of sovereign authority or coercive power, the family is microcosm of the Nation-state.
While families emerge naturally, the state could emerge otherwise. Nations emerge by deliberate, conscious process or consistent commitment to the pursuit of certain ideals, which is known as nation-Building.
From the perspective of divinity every family is a prospective nation or a nation in the making. To fit into this order, every family must seek to look beyond itself and work beyond domestic survival.
Nation-building or progressive development is the systemic establishment or the commitment to the fundamental ideals or goals to which individuals voluntarily commit themselves by the deployment of their time, talents, and other valuables. Nation-building is a simultaneous process that entails the following.
i. Ideas, creativity and innovation.
ii. Production or value addition.
iii. Distribution and
Like the family, nation-building is the existence of systems that ensures the presence of the above activities and their sustenance. Nation-building is the commitment of the State towards all of these processes. It is therefore an eternal or continuous process.
Nation-building entails policies, plans and programs that sustain the above activities for individual empowerment, community sustenance, national prosperity, and self-reliance. Nation-building is a process that ensures that sustenance of those activities, the extent of which is the extent to which citizens fit into or are made to engage in one or several of the above activities.
The integrity of the nation-building process is a function of patriotic citizenship, which is dependent on the extent of the commitment of leadership to the above development ideals.
The Family, Nation-building & Leadership
The family is the basic unit of the society. It is where the natural person is formed or gains access to the world, feels the very nature and essence of humanity. This is where the culture of relationship is learnt or cultivated.
The family is the place where the first level of governance beyond personal government is experienced. This is the social unit where leadership and relationship skills are developed, and authority is first experienced and exercised. Leadership, relationship, and authority are indispensable factors in governance, whether at the personal, family, corporate or in public realms.
Much more than any other place, the family is the sphere where human personalities are born, and characters are formed. This is consistent with the divine order and the natural human development process.
In the divine order man was formed, from the dust of the earth (a common process) and cultivated with the Spirit of the God, to become a spiritual personality, whom God can depend on to preserve His creation. Thus, God first formed man, then breathed into him, to gain capacity to live independently or self-sustainably. Thus, man is able to invent and produce the kind of things as God did at creation. Like God, man has been able to invent airplanes in likeness of birds, ships, and submarines like aquatic creature, etc.
In our natural human development process, children are born into families and through family discipline and other peculiar cultural virtues, they are cultivated to develop or grow with peculiar values and behavioural patterns into responsible adults that stand out independent of and in support of their first or immediate families.
It need be said that the fact that a political entity exists and so recognised does not ipso facto imply the existence of a nation. Just as with responsible family members who are cultivated to become, citizens are transformed into patriotic citizens, as they feel or experience the warmth of the State or nation as they feel a sense of accommodation within the said developmental activities of, ideas, creativity, innovation; production; distribution, services; and consumption. It is the extent that citizens are accommodated in these activities that they willingly volunteer themselves in the nation-building process.
While the personal, self-governance or leadership is a function of the mental state (head) of the individual, governance, or leadership, in other spheres, whether family, corporate, social, or political entities is corporate. In families, it is a function of husband-wife cooperation and willing submission of the subjects of the family through acts of love. These family relationship principles apply in other spheres, whether, social, corporate, or political.
Just as with the divine order, where God purposes that man exercise his will by personal election, the unwritten code of every family is that the products can independently make wise choices. The same code applies to States or political entities, where the measure of nationhood is the extent to which the citizens willingly offer and apply themselves in any or several of the nation-building activities. This is how they feel loved by the state, being motivated, thereby motivated to contribute to the economic well-being and over-all development of the organization, community, or state, to which they belong. This is propelled by relationship.
Relationship factor in family & Nation-building
In traditional family’s relationships are set naturally, defined, and recognized. As children are born, they grow to recognize, and respect their seniors, who they depend on in sundry ways and for various things.
As the children grow, they learn to take instructions from the seniors and undertake certain chores depending on the level of their abilities. From getting water, dish washing to running errands within the neighbourhood, these are some of the communal enterprises that create family bonding and stimulate nostalgic memories, even years into the future and independent lives of family members.
Family bonding is usually the extent to which love is felt or experienced that they experience care or feel loved by their elders. No child, no matter how impressionably docile accepts, or expresses respect for an elderly family member who is abusive or oppressive. In fact, children are known to openly resent such persons in diverse ways.
Just as humans are sourced and nurtured into responsible members, through the family systems, citizens are cultivated into patriots by the deliberate or conscious policies, plans and programs of the government, for which public institutions and agencies are established and exist. It is the extent to which they serve or meet the needs or interest of the people that the citizens are endeared to the State and a nation develops.
I do not wish to delve into the subjective, albeit controversial matter of how the Nigerian State institutions have fared in this respect. That I leave as a teaser to all.
Family values & Nation-building
Nation-building proceeds on the same divine order, as it is in the physical ecosystem and a in socially organized functional family systems. It is a system of mutual dependency designed to follow the natural order of creation.
Thus far and as a constitutionally organized and cognizable sovereign entity, Nigeria is a State, with constitutional framework to evolve into a nation, as provided for in section 14(1) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution. By these provisions, the Nigerian State is established on the principles of democracy and social justice; and defines security and welfare as the purpose of government is not so.
While politicians mislead us and misdirect us to believe that democracy is all about periodic elections and the right to exercise associated rights, democracy entails participation. This transcends periodic or seasonal political engagements, in the exercise of electoral rights.
True democracy is the extent to which citizens are part of the State and their interests accommodated in the plans and programs of the government and their lives are thus positively imparted. Social justice is all about unhindered access to economic, political, and social opportunities. Democracy is the process by which this is achieved or attained within any given State or polity.
It is the inordinate dependence of government in view of the common misconception about politics or democracy that has caused the level of economic retardation, stagnation in development and social disorientation. As people wait in hope at every election circle for messianic intervention, the socio-economic landscape is abandoned to diverse deviant activities that leave the landscape desolate. Consequently, the people get frustrated and despondent, while the circle of misery continues.
It is time to turn away from the government to engage in deep introspection on how to make a difference. That’s where the subject of today’s event stands out. Thus, his business is a training school, which he leads, not as a headmaster or with the “oga at the top” mentality, but as a family head. This is a common misunderstanding.
Retreat to the Tents
As socio-economic situation gets harsher, people get more desperate, while the society become more unsafe and unhealthier, as wicked survivalist schemes dominate the thoughts of the desperate. Even schools, where young and impressionable ones are left aren’t immune.
Consequently, the way out is “to your tents, Oh Israel”. It’s a call for retreat; and resort to most assured or secured havens. It is the family tents.
It is not a tent to increase the family size. It is a tent to reason together, look within and seek to find the redemptive family assets that can be harnessed, developed, and deployed to meet the needs of others. And this is what the subject of today’s event seeks to do. He seeks to raise a family of solution providers, in people who though, of diverse kindred are imparted as solution providers to think and work out solutions.
Lest I will be accused of plagiarism, I wish to acknowledge the source of this material. It is a coded tablet, in the person of today’s celebrant. Except for those who know him from afar, engaging with him you’ll find in him the Code that disproves today as a fool’s day.
Lucky Egede establishes a business whose employees are envisioned as family members and in an environment where the spirit of friendship is the relationship code, in addition to being a branch of a value-adding entrepreneurial family tree. As a result, customers can always expect to speak with happy and enthusiastic employees. He sees business not as a means of amassing wealth for showy displays, but as a means of imparting and social re-engineering in the lives of others, no matter how far away. As a result, his business, like the natural family, is a place for self-discovery. He is the quintessential personality that epitomises the essence of humanity. Faithful and transparent, he is a book, open to be read by anyone that is keen on making enduring gains, beyond the trifling fancies that often dominate our sights and passion. He is an impactful personality, who positively impacts lives of those he comes across. Intellectually and spiritually balanced, he is akin to the kidneys and liver to anybody or bodies to which he is connected; as he is endowed with rare grace to seek only what is good, lovely, pure, just, and praiseworthy in everyone and in everything.
I therefore consider it a prized privilege to be given the key to open this coded Scroll, whom I am sure the only wise God caused to be part of this nation-State just in between Nigeria’s independence and her republican status.