Neglect of foundational values messed up Africa, says SGF at Achebe summit
Speaking at the fourth Professor Chinua Achebe International Conference at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Enugu State, yesterday, Mustapha said Achebe’s literary works continued to impact the entire human race, even in his death.
Represented by the Enugu Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Ben Nwoye, the SGF stated that Achebe’s works were indeed a pathway to the restoration of African values.
Stressing that he was pleased to be part of the gathering to celebrate “a man who left indelible marks in the development of African history and literature,” he added: “Chinua Achebe devoted his life and works to issues bordering on the development of African societies in the face of daunting challenges occasioned by colonialism.
“His epic novel, Things Fall Apart, aptly predicted the lingering impact such a phenomenon would have, not only on the psyche of the people but on the culture and trajectory of African development. Achebe’s other major writings – No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of the People and The Trouble with Nigeria – all continued his treatise on the ills of the African societies due to the erosion of African values and system of leadership.”
Citing The Trouble with Nigeria, the SGF said that Achebe succinctly placed Nigeria’s developmental challenges squarely on the failure of effective and transformational leadership.
“Indeed, the theme of this conference, ‘Re-evaluation of African Values and Culture in the Face of the Crises of the 21st Century’, provides a good opportunity to reflect on the values, culture, leadership and developmental systems that paved the way for African solidarity and stability.
“The jettisoning of these foundational values by Africans, Nigerians in particular, has left our communities, nation and continent in economic, political and social disarray. Today, our society is bedevilled by all forms of social vices, which, before now, were strange to our worldview, especially among the youth, who seem to be at loss, perhaps because they have little or no knowledge of their African roots and values.”
The Federal Government, Mustapha noted, had initiated numerous projects and programmes for the betterment of the society, including youth empowerment through the N-power programme, revitalisation of the agriculture sector through diverse funding arrangements, and improvement of social infrastructure.
He was confident that with the calibre of persons who gather each year for the Achebe conference, “in synergy with the government, we will overcome every perennial challenge that hitherto hindered our nation from realising its full potential.”
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