“Njikokamma” Translates “To Integrate Is Better Than To Disintegrate As Seen In The Character Of Chief Maurice Emeka Akueme
~ By Amb Chris Ike Enemoh
Njikoka is the African-Igbo philosophy of integrative humanism.
Integrative humanism is the philosophical orientation that sees reality as having both physical and spiritual dimensions, past and present; as well as harmonized framework in which seemingly opposed variables unite without contradiction to achieve progress and epistemic wholeness.
Being part of a community affects our daily life, attitude and character and greatly increases our power to act.
Njikoka is the act of coming together and integrating ourselves into a whole. It is having a place in one’s heart where every other persons dwell, for when you are in that place in me, and I am in that place in you, we are knitted by a strong bond into a whole. In like manner you share my pain and I share yours.
Igwebuike and Njikoka conform to the philosophy of “Ubuntu” (I am because we are). The Igbos express it by seeing yourself in me and I seeing myself in you.
Because I see myself in you, In Njikoka, the community is placed first before the self and the interest of others before one’s personal interest. All these are clearly evident in the lifestyle of Chief Maurice Emeka Akueme.
In Igwebuike, all the communal actions are participatory actions.
The essence of integrative humanism is to show
that through insights we can provide answers to most of the questions that confront us in our daily lives by means of collective responsibility.
Integrative humanism is grounded on the Igbo cultural injunction “Njikokamma” which translates “To integrate is better than to disintegrate”. It is a human centered theory which derives its insights from the Igbo culture.
This is expressed in the Igbo axiom of “Anyûkô nmamîrî ônû ô gbaa ûfûfû” which is
translated as “Unity is strength” bearing in mind that a tree cannot make a forest
(Otu osisi adîghî emebe ofîa).
We need other human beings in order to be human. An Igbo man will always convey by his words and actions the
philosophy of “Somadina” translated as “May I never be alone” approving that loneliness is undesirable, but collectivity is the greatest.
Now, relating The title Njikokamma with the bearer Chief Maurice Emeka Akueme; this title came amidst lots of controversy, however he scaled through not because he’s in town to flaunt cash nor to bribe for it but because he had met the criteria spelt out so his followers and well wishers had to call out those involved in collating the list to do the needful. It was indeed a loud cry.
This cry showed “Njikota”; togetherness, oneness, unity, love.
The act of reviewing the list of inductees as a result of the outcry is one act which has proven that “Njikokamma”; togetherness, oneness, unity is best when you have gathered and sustained, maintained, managed and preserved your people and placing them first.
This title is well deserving to a man who have sketched out three ways in which he can reach the whole world, touch lives and uplift humanity through his Maurice Akueme Foundation (MAF).
The three focal points includes; to alleviate, to palliate, to empower.
Analysing the three focal points and how they have affected all aspects of life;
To alleviate means to reduce the pain or trouble of something/someone; to make something less painful, difficult, or severe, maybe to reduce poverty rate, etc.
Other synonyms for alleviate are; lighten, diminish, abate, relieve, assuage.
To palliate means to lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of something by providing physical relief.
Other Synonyms for palliate are; extenuate, mitigate.
To empower someone means to give them the means to achieve something or livelihood, for example to become stronger or more successful.
Empowering someone makes him/her stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
Other synonyms for empower are; equip, authorize, permit, warrant, commission.
Haven analysed on the three focal points, we take a shift into MAF’s effects on lives drawn from its three focal points.
MAF have since its birth have seen to the welfare of Nigerians, and Enugu mostly.
MAF have provided health care services to many without any mutual relationship with the beneficiaries.
MAF have provided scholarship to students through its scholarship scheme.
MAF have been active on poverty alleviation.
MAF have provided palliatives, this is evident in MAF’s visit to Mpigi province in Uganda, donation of IDP centers, donation of wheel chairs to the physically challenged.
In the wake of the ravaging pandemic, MAF donated health care equipments, contributed in curbing the spread and reducing hunger virus in cash and food stuffs, the most of all is erecting a food bank in his country home to serve his people, of which as it stands at the moment; this food bank is currently taking care of the poorest of the poor, the vulnerable in Udi local government area.
Njikokamma through his MAF have empowered both the youth and the old, he has taken hundreds of youths off the street by creating better alternatives and providing start up funds for the poor. This have gone a long way to reduce crime and other social vices in our society.
This and many more that are not mentioned here and more yet to come have clearly shown the love of Sir Maurice Emeka Akueme for the people over himself.
The title Njikokamma perfectly suits this man.
His definition as a person created by God falls in line with the title, his character, and personality all intertwined.
Here comes the Njikokamma 1 of Enugu State, aka ji obodo, ôbata obie, Dike eji eje mba, Omeruôra, Odoziobodo, Njikota Chief Sir Maurice Emeka Akueme.
Keep doing good, greater heights you shall go….