THE RISING SUN: A BIOGRAPHY OF PROFESSOR IKECHUKWU ANTHONY KANU, O.S.A

By

Ejikemeuwa J. O. NDUBISI, PhD
Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State, Nigeria
E-mail: ejikon4u@yahoo.com Tel.:+2348062912017



Outline
• Introductory Remarks
• Birth and Early Education
• Vocation to the Roman Catholic Priesthood
• Pastoral Responsibilities
• Further Studies
• Academic Responsibilities
• Academic Publications
• Editorial Responsibilities
• Membership of Learned Societies / Governing Boards
• Academic Foundations
• Award of Honours / Excellence
• Kanu: The Igwebuike Philosopher
• Concluding Remarks
• Selected Publications of Prof. I. A. Kanu


Introductory Remarks
Our knowledge of metaphysics shows that one of the transcendental properties of being is truth. It follows to say that whatever is insofar as it is, is true. This is a metaphysical reality. Without mincing words, one can say that Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu is true to his being. He has manifested his true nature in the pastoral field and more especially in the academic world. A professor at 35, there is no better way to describe him than the Rising Sun. It is characteristic and natural for the Sun to rise every morning. Experience has shown that no matter the darkness of the night the Sun has to rise in the morning. When the sun rises, it shines. But one thing to note is that the sun rises early in the morning and gradually begins to radiate its light. The few lines that follow is an attempt to bring to limelight some important features in the life of the philosopher-theologian, Prof. Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu. His life, so far, can be seen as the Rising Sun.

Birth and Early Education
Rev. Fr. Prof. Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu was born on 20th November, 1981 to the family of Sir Emmanuel Nwafor Kanu and Lady Cecilia Menwa Kanu of Arondizuogu in Ideato North Local Government Area, Imo State, Nigeria. He is the last childamong the six children of his parents. At a very tender age, Ikechukwu developed interest in education. He received his first formal education at the Command Children Nursery and Primary School, Jimeta – Yola, Adamawa State from 1984 – 1986. Between 1987 – 1992, he was at the Demonstration Primary School, Jimeta – Yola, Adamawa State for his primary school education.

Vocation to the Roman Catholic Priesthood
Having proved himself a genius and burning with the zeal to offer himself entirely to God, Ikechukwu decided to enroll for his secondary school education at St. Peter’s Minor Seminary, Jimeta – Yola, Adamawa State from 1995 – 1999. In 2001, he attended the Order of St. Augustine’s interview for admission into the senior seminary and came out very successful. That same year, he began his philosophical studies at St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary Makurdi (an affiliate of UrbanUniversity, Rome). At the end of his philosophical studies in 2004, Ikechukwu came out with First Class honours. What a show of rare intelligence! Between 2004 – 2005, he underwent Augustinian Novitiate experience where he spent one uninterrupted year of spiritual formation and development. At the end of the Novitiate, the Order of St. Augustine found him worthy for theological studies and so he was sent to St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos (an affiliate of the University of Jos, Plateau state). As a confirmation of his natural and unique intelligence, Ikechukwu completed his theological studies in 2009 with another First Class honours. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest by Late Bishop Christopher Abba on 4th July, 2009.

Pastoral Responsibilities
Shortly after his priestly ordination, Fr. Kanu was posted to Augustinian community Nkwo Nike, Enugu State. Among other things, he served as the procurator of the Augustinian community between 2010 – 2012. In 2012, Fr. Kanu ministered as the Parish Priest of Assumption Parish Nkwo Nike and later Parish Priest of Ibagwa-Nike both in Enugu state. His landmarks in both parishes within his short period speak for themselves. In 2012 also, the Order of St. Augustine, Province of Nigeria elected Fr. Kanu as the Province Secretary. This is an exalted and respected position. This is also a typical manifestation of the Rising Sun! He served in this capacity between 2012 – 2016. He also distinguished himself as the Procurator of St. Monica’s Priory, Rantya, Jos within the period of 2012 – 215 while residing at the Augustinian Provincial House. In 2015, he was transferred from Jos to St. Vincent Catholic Church, Olodi, Apapa Lagos to shepherd the people of God as the Parish Priest. Following his distinct qualities and track records, the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins appointed him his Censor Deputatis in 2016. The truth is that the golden fish has no hiding place. Fr. Kanu’s pastoral zeal and engagements as an Augustinian priest are very remarkable. It is pertinent to note here that from 2011 to date Fr. Kanu has served as the National Executive secretary, Conference of Major Superiors (Men) of Nigeria; member, National Missionary Council of Nigeria (A subsidiary of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja); and member pastoral agents (A subsidiary of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja). His pastoral experience and achievements as a young priest cut across the shores of Nigeria. Since 2014, he has served as a member of the International Commission for the Laity, Order of St. Augustine, Rome.

Further Studies
Despite his pastoral engagements and responsibilities, Fr. Kanu continued to add to his academic and intellectual development. He was not satisfied with having first degrees in philosophy and theology as it is customary for priestly formation; he wanted something more. And so, in 2010 he enrolled for a Master’s degree programme in the Department of Religion and Human Relations, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. Having specialized in African Traditional Religion, he completed his Master of Arts Degree in Religion and Human Relations in 2012 with distinction. As a man who is very studious and who knows how to do many things at the same time with ease and excellent results, he enrolled for another Master’s degree in Philosophy in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2010 specializing in metaphysics. The Rising Sun – Fr. Kanu – completed his Master of Arts Degree in philosophy from the University of Nigeria in 2015 with distinction. As a serious academic who will not accept to be a ‘second class citizen’, he aimed for the highest academic degree – PhD. Between 2012 – 2015, Fr. Kanu obtained his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Religion and Human Relations (with specialization in African Traditional Religion) from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Dr. Kanu believes that education is a continuous process and so his unquenchable thirst to add more feathers to his academic cap. The First Class brain – Dr. Kanu – obtained course certificates in Servant Leadership; Workforce Collaboration and Development; Understanding Climate Change; Community Organization for Action; and Understanding Human Rights; all from the Young African Leaders Initiative Network, U. S Department of State, USA in 2016. In 2017, he acquired another set of course certificates from the Young African Leaders Initiative Network, U. S Department of State, USA in Basics of Public-Private Partnership; Strategies for Personal Growth and Development; Management Strategies for People and Resources; Understanding Elections and Civic Responsibilities; and Understanding the Rights of Women and Girls. As at the time of writing this paper (22nd October, 2017), Dr. Kanu is a student of Postgraduate Diploma in Education at the National Open University of Nigeria. The sun is still rising!

Academic Responsibilities
Fr. Kanu’s interest is not only in pastoral activities but also in academic activities, hence his numerous academic responsibilities. As a senior seminarian, he served as a member of literary committee, Augustinian House of Philosophy, Makurdi; 2000 – 2004. Between 2008 – 2009, he was the Student’s Sub-Dean and also chairman Literary and Debating Committee, Augustinian House of Theology, Augustinian Monastery, Jos. A man of academic prowess, Kanu served as the group coordinator, Second International Conference of the Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2011. He took up a lecturing job in 2011 with the International Bio-Research Institute, Ugwogo Nike, Enugu state. While at the institute, Fr. Kanu served as the Dean of Studies in 2012. Also since 2012, he has lectured both at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos and Augustinian Institute of Philosophy, Makurdi.

Dr. Kanu has served in different capacities in the academic world. Since 2013, he has served as the General Secretary, Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars. He has also proved his worth and integrity as the treasurer of the Executive Board of African Congress on Philosophy and Religion since 2013. He was the Chairman, Augustinian publication commission, Province of Nigeria; 2014 -2015. Dr. Kanu received an appointment as a Senior Lecturer to the Department of Philosophy, Veritas University of Nigeria in 2016. Later in the same year, he was appointed a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State. Following his antecedents, Tansian University appraised him for professorial position and consequently, after all the rigorous assessments, Fr. Kanu was made a Professor at 35. His professorial position at such a young age shows that academic excellence and resilience can be very rewarding. Professor Kanu, for me, reached his climax in academic responsibilities so far, when he was appointed the Rector of Augustinian Institute, Makurdi. This is the apex of his academic responsibilities as of today (22nd October, 2017). Since it is in the nature of the sun to shine, Prof. Kanu was not deterred by his academic achievements. He continued to accept further academic responsibilities. He is currently the Chairman, Augustinian Commission on Tertiary Institution and also a member, Reviewer Committee, International Conference on Education, E-Governance, Law and Business, Universite du Quebec a Montréal. It is important to note here that since 2013 till date, Prof. Kanu has worked as a co-organizer of the annual international conferences of the Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars both within and outside Nigeria. In fact, the Rising Sun has continued to shine even at the moment of writing this paper.


Academic Publications
Prof. Kanu is a renowned and respected academic. He has created an indelible landmark in the history of philosophy and religion. He is a prolific writer. Some of his books include: African Bioethics: An Indigenous Humanistic Perspective for Integrative Global Bioethical Discourse (2016); African Philosophy: An Ontologico-Existential Hermeneutic Approach to Classical and Contemporary Issues (2015); A Hermeneutic Approach to African Traditional Religion, Theology and Philosophy (2015); Igbo-African Christology: A Cultural Christology Construct in Post-Missionary African (2016) among many others. As at today (22nd October, 2017), Prof. Kanu has published twenty books, more than 120 journal articles, over 30 chapters in books andmore than50 papers in referred books of proceedings. A cursory look at some of his publications may interest the reader.*His works are centered on African philosophy (with more emphasis on Igwebuike philosophy), Metaphysics, Religion, Spirituality and Public affairs.

Editorial Responsibilities
As an ardent researcher and an erudite scholar, Prof. Kanu has served in various capacities for the growth and development of research within and outside Nigeria. He is the Editor-in-Chief, IGWEBUIKEPEDIA: Internet Encyclopedia of African Philosophy (2015 – date); the Editor-in-Chief, Igwebuike: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities (2015 – date); Editor-in-Chief, Journal of African Studies and Sustainable Development (2017 -).The Rising Sun – Prof. Kanu – is an Editorial Consultant to varied reputable journals, namely, Oracle of Wisdom Journal of Philosophy and Public Affairs (A publication of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Tansian University Umunya); Journal of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy; Journal of Moral Education in Africa (A publication of the Association of Moral Education in Africa); Nnadiebube Journal of Philosophy (A publication of Nnadiebube Pan-African Academy of Philosophy, Religion and Cultural Research – NPAAPRCR); Nnadiebube Journal of African Culture (A publication of NPAAPRCR); Nnadiebube Journal of Humanities (A publication of NPAAPRCR); and Nnadiebube Journal of Education in Africa (A publication of NPAAPRCR).

More so, Prof. Kanu has served as an editorial member to so many local and international journals. He is an editorial member of The Catholic Voyage (A publication of the conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria, 2012 - ); FilosofiaTheoretica(Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religion, University of Calabar, 2013 - ); Augustinian Publications, (2014 - ); API Journal of Applied Research, India, (2015 - ); Pyrex Journal of African Studies and Development, (2016 - ); Pyrex Journal of History and Culture, (2016 - ); Professor BasseyAndah Journal of Cultrual Studies, University of Calabar, (2016 - ); International Journal of Theology and Reformed Tradition, University of Nigeria Nsukka, (2016 - ); International Journal of Research in Arts and Social Sciences, University of Nigeria Nsukka, (2016 - ); Integrity Journal of Education and Training (2017 - ); Journal of Advances in Social Science Humanities (2017 - ); and Innovative Journal of Social Sciences and Education, (2017 - ). Prof. Kanu’s impact in the academic world has earned him constant admirations from colleagues and friends. His is a case of the Rising Sun!

Membership of Learned Societies / Governing Boards
It is an existential fact that the human person is a being-with-others. In this regard, Prof. Kanu is not a loner in the academic field; he belongs to so many reputable and learned societies. He is a member of Igbo Studies Association, USA; Philosophers Association of Nigeria (formerly known as Nigerian Philosophical Association); Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars (AATREPS); Society for Research and Academic Excellence (SRAE), University of Nigeria; International Research and Development Institute (IRDI), Uyo; International Society for Development and Sustainability, Japan;Association for Promoting Nigerian Languages and Culture (APNILAC); Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria (CATHAN); International Centre for Economics, Humanities and Management (ICEHM), Canada. He is also a member of the following learned groups: Alternative Perspectives and Global Concerns (APGC), United States of America; Emirates Association of Arts and Management Professionals (EAAMP), Canada; Young African Leaders Initiative Network, U.S.A; Universal Researchers, UAE; International Association of Humanities, Social Sciences and Management Researchers (HSSMR); Honour Society, Washington D. C.; Association for Development of Teaching, Education and Learning (ADTEL), India; Global Psychology and Language Research Association (GPLRA) India; and Global Association of Humanities and Social Science Research (GAHSSR) India.

Prof. Kanu is also a governing board member of International Bio-Research Institute (IBI), Ugwogo Nike, Enugu State, (2011 - ); APURIMAC ONLUS (NGO), Jos- Plateau State, (2012-2015); Member, Board of Trustee, Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars (2012 - ); Member, Board of Trustee, African Congress on Philosophy and Religion (2012-2013); Member, Governing Board, St Monica’s Academy (SMA), Jos, Rantya, (2012-2015); Member, Board of Trustee, Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria (Men), (2011 - ); Member, Board of Trustee, Order of Saint Augustine, Province of Nigeria (2013); Scientific Board of Arts, Literature and Social Sciences (2015) and International Advisory Board, Alternative Perspectives and Global Concern (2015).

Academic Foundations
The special interest of Prof. Kanu in bringing about academic growth and development prompted him to think of establishing a channel through which researchers and scholars can develop themselves and contribute to human knowledge. In 2015, The Rising Sun founded Igwebuike: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities. This international journal has proved its worth with enormous impact factor. Imbued with the zeal of academic development, he founded IGWEBUIKEPEDIA: Internet Encyclopedia of African Philosophy in 2016. This internet encyclopedia has been a source of help to so many who desire to deepen their knowledge on issues relating to African studies. In 2017, our revered professor founded the Association for the Promotion of African Studies (APAS) and the Journal of African Studies and Sustainable Development. These foundations manifest Prof. Kanu’s ingenuity and also his concern for academic excellence.

Award of Honours / Excellence
Prof. Kanu received some awards in recognition for his contribution to knowledge and human development. In 2013, he received the Best Paper Award for American Journals of Contemporary Research (A publication of the Centre for Promoting Ideas, Louisville, USA). The Lagos Archdiocesan Council of the Catholic Women Organization, Apapa Deanery honoured him in 2016 with an Award of Excellence. He received another Award of Excellence in 2017 from St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, OlodiApapa Lagos. In recognition of his contribution towards religious research, the African Watch Orator honoured him with the 2017 Gold Merit Award. There are other numerous awards and accolades but the above can suffice for now.

nu: The Igwebuike Philosopher
One thing that is remarkable about Prof. Kanu is his originality and ability to make novel contributions to human knowledge. Today, the name Kanu is identified with Igwebuike philosophy. Igwebuike philosophy captures his philosophical and theological enterprise. In his understanding, Igwebuike, as an ideology, is anchored on “African principles of solidarity and complementarity”. For him, Igwebuike is the “underlying principle and unity of African Traditional Religious and Philosophical experience”. Kanu has presented papers in both local and international conferences to buttress his arguments on Igwebuike philosophy. He has also written volumes on Igwebuike as an ideology. Some of his works on Igwebuike philosophy include; Igwebuike as an Igbo-African Hermeneutic of Globalization; Igwebuike as a Trend in African Philosophy; Igwebuike as the Consummate Foundation of African Bioethical Principles; Igwebuikecracy: The Igbo-African Participatory Socio-political system of Governance; Igwebuike as the Expressive Modality of Being in Igbo Ontology; Igwebuike and the Question of Superiority in the Scientific Community of Knowledge; Igwebuike and the Logic (Nka) of African Philosophy; Igwebuike as a Complementary Approach to the Issue of Girl-Child Education; Igwebuike as an Igbo-African Philosophy for the Protection of the Environment; Igwebuike as a Wholistic Response to the Problem of Evil and Human Suffering; Igwebuike as an Igbo-African Ethic of Reciprocity; Igwebuike as an Igbo-African Philosophy for Christian – Muslim Relations in Northern Nigeria; etc. One important thing to note is that Igwebuike philosophy is all-embracing. It cuts across logical, metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, socio-political and religious bents. Igwebuike philosophy, in the nature of the Rising Sun, is gradually making waves in global discourses in philosophy, religion and public affairs.


Concluding Remarks
On 20th November this year (2017), Prof. Kanu will celebrate his 36th birthday. This is to say that now is the early morning of his life. In short, the sun is still rising. As it is at the moment, who knows what will happen when the day breaks very well? The life of Fr. Kanu stands as an inspiration to many. I earnestly admire his zeal, courage, resilience and approach to issues of life. Rev. Fr. Prof. Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu has touched many lives. I pray God to continue to keep him in His love so that through him our society may become a better place.

*Selected Publications of Prof. Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu, OSA
a. Books
1. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). African Bioethics:An Indigenous Humanistic Perspective for Integrative Global Bioethical Discourse. (Germany: Lambert Publications)

2. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (Ed.) (2016). The Consecrated Life and the Jubilee Year of Mercy: Contexts and Perspectives. Nigeria: Altograde.

3. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (Ed.) (2016). Complementary Ontology: Provocative Essays on Innocent Asouzu’s African Philosophy of Integration for Progressive Transformation. Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

4. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (Ed.) (2016). Ibuanyidanda: A Complementary Systematic Inquiry. Reflections on Innocent Asouzu’s African Philosophy. Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

5. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). Igbo-African Christology: A Cultural Christological Construct in Post-Missionary Africa. (Germany: Lambert Publications)

6. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (Ed.) (2015). Consecrated Life: The Past, the Present, the Future and the Constant Demand for Renewal. St Paul’s Publications: Ibadan.

7. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2015). African Philosophy: An Ontologico-Existential Hermeneutic Approach to Classical and Contemporary Issues (Nigeria: Augustinian Publications).

8. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2015). A Hermeneutic Approach to African Traditional Religion, Theology and Philosophy (Nigeria: Augustinian Publications).

9. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (Ed.) (2014). The Augustinians in Nigeria (1938-2014): Our History, Charism and Spirituality. Plateau: Ilobiz Ventures.

10. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (Ed.) (2014). Augustine through the Ages: Passionate Reflections of His African Spiritual Sons at Their 75. Augustinian Publications, Nigeria.

11. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (Ed.) (2013). Faith and Life for Africa’s Commitment to Christ: Reflections on the Christian Creed. Published by the Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria, Abuja.

12. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (Ed.) (2013). Echoes of Hope: The Stand of the Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria on Issues of Faith and Life. Published by the Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria, Abuja.
13. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (Ed.) (2012). Issues in African Traditional Religion and Philosophy”, Augustinian Publication, Jos, 2012.

14. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2011). The Quotations of St Augustine: An Anthology for Preachers and Teachers (Enugu: El’ Demak Publishers).


b. Chapters in Referred Books
1. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). Igwebuike as an Igbo-African Philosophy for Christian-Muslim Relations in Northern Nigeria. In Mahmoud Misaeli (Ed.). Spirituality and Global Ethics (pp. 300-310). United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

2. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). Sacred Trees in Igbo-African Eco-Bio-Communitarian Theology.Ejezie L. E, S. Audu and A. I. Acha (Eds.). Theology and Ecological Issues (pp. 280-287). Nigeria: CATHAN Publications.

3. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). The culture of political corruption and the emergence of terrorism in Nigeria. In Mahmoud Misaeli and Rico Sneller (Eds.). The Root Causes of Terrorism: A Religious Studies Perspective (pp. 280-291). United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

4. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). African Traditional Religion: Between Traditionalism and the Facade of Modernism. In Elizabeth Ezenweke (Ed.). African Ideologies and Philosophy in a Globalized World (pp. 45-52). Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

5. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). African Philosophy: Between Literarity and Orality. In Elizabeth Ezenweke (Ed.). African Ideologies and Philosophy in a Globalized World (pp. 211-218). Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

6. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. And B. A. C. Obiefuna (2015). “The theology of the family in Africae Munus”. The family in the new evangelization (pp.172-187). In L. E. Ijezie, S. Audu and A. I. Acha (Eds.). Nigeria: Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria (CATHAN).

7. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2015). “A History of the Consecrated Life”. In I. A., Kanu (Ed.). Consecrated Life: The past, the present, the future and the constant demand for renewal (pp. 15-26). St Paul’s Publications: Ibadan.

8. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2015). “Consecrated persons and collaborative ministry”. In I. A., Kanu (Ed.). Consecrated Life: The past, the present, the future and the constant demand for renewal (209-220). St Paul’s Publications: Ibadan.

9. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2014). “Globalisation, Globalism and African Philosophy”. In C. Umezinwa (Ed.). African Philosophy: A Pragmatic Approach to African Problems. Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

10. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2014). “The Historical Development of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy”. In African Traditional Religion, Philosophy and Development (pp. 81-103). Nigeria: Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars.

11. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2014). “African Traditional Religion and National Development”. In African Traditional Religion, Philosophy and Development (pp. 104-121). Nigeria: Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars.

12. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2014). “God within the Parameters of Divine Thanatology and Agnosticism”. In Whose God is God (pp. 17-28). Elizabeth EzenwekeOnyedinma (Ed.). Adonis and Abbey, London.

13. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2014). “God-Talk in Theistic Perspective”. In Whose God is God (pp. 87-108). Elizabeth EzenwekeOnyedinma (Ed.). Adonis and Abbey, London.

14. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2014). “Chi N’eyeNdu: God in Igbo-African Category. In Whose God is God (pp. 5-16). Elizabeth EzenwekeOnyedinma (Ed.). Adonis and Abbey, London.

15. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. and B. A. C Obiefuna (2014). “Church and Politics in Nigeria: Towards a Philosophy of Collaboration”. In Religious Faith and Public service in Nigeria: Ambiguities and Paradoxes (pp. 268-379). Nigeria: Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria (CATHAN).

16. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2014). “Augustine on Grace”. In Augustine Through the Ages: Passionate Reflections of His African Spiritual Sons at Their 75 (pp. 193-202). Augustinian Publications, Nigeria.

17. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2014). “On Augustine’s Theodicy”. In Augustine Through the Ages: Passionate Reflections of His African Spiritual Sons at Their 75 (pp. 287-298). Augustinian Publications, Nigeria.

18. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “Ujamaa and the Quest for a Community-Based Identity: A Historical Perspective”. In The Humanities and National Identity (pp. 90-96). Awka: Faculty of Arts.

19. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “Personal Identity in John Locke”. In Identity and Multiculturalism (pp. 205-232). A publication of the Department of Philosophy, Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu (Affiliate of University of Ibadan).

20. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “I Believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord”. In Faith and Life for Africa’s Commitment to Christ: Reflections on the Christian Creed (pp. 41-50). A publication of the Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria.

21. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary”. In Faith and Life for Africa’s Commitment to Christ: Reflections on the Christian Creed (pp. 51-60). A publication of the Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria.

22. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. and B. A. C Obiefuna (2013). “Inculturation as the Reconciliation of Cultures: Implications from Africae Munus”. In The Church in Africa: Witness to Justice, Peace and Reconciliation, A Post-Synodal Reflection and reception (pp. 213-236). A publication of the Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria (CATHAN).

23. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “The Dynamics and Functionality of Being in Pantaleon’s Operative Metaphysics vis-a-vis the Quest for Gender Equality”. In Philosophical Essays on Human Problem (pp. 172-191). A publication of the Department of Philosophy, Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu (Affiliate of University of Ibadan).

24. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Concept of Life and Person in African Anthropology”. In Issues in African Traditional Religion and Philosophy (pp. 61-74). A publication of the Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars.

25. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “Towards an Igbo Christology”. In Issues in African Traditional Religion and Philosophy (pp. 75-103). A publication of the Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars.

26. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “A Metaphysical and Epistemological Study of African Medical Practitioners”. In Issues in African Traditional Religion and Philosophy (pp. 227-240). A publication of the Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars.

27. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “Time in African Ontology: A Philosophical Analysis”. In Issues in African Traditional Religion and Philosophy (pp. 241-252). A publication of the Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars.


c. Articles in Referred Journals
1. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2010). “The Political Philosophy of NnamdiAzikiwe as an Ideology for Political Regeneration for Nigeria”. Professor BasseyAndah Journal of Cultural Studies. Volume 3, pp. 146-155. A publication of the Professor BasseyAndah Centre for cultural Studies, University of Calabar.

2. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2010). “Towards an African Cultural Renaissance”. Professor BasseyAndah Journal of Cultural Studies. Volume 3, pp. 146-155. A publication of the Professor BasseyAndah Centre for cultural Studies, University of Calabar.

3. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2010). “A Discourse on the Romance between Philosophy and Christian Theology”. Published in the International Journal of Theology and Reformed Tradition, Vol. 2. pp. 185-198. A publication of the Society for Research and Academic Excellence, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu, Nigeria.

4. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. & Elizabeth Ezenweke O. (2010). “The Dynamics of Human Suffering in Operative Theology”. Published in the InternationalJournal of Theology and Reformed Tradition, Vol. 2. pp. 168-182. A publication of the Society for Research and Academic Excellence, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu, Nigeria.

5. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2010). “On the Problem of Religious Language”. Professor BasseyAndah Journal of Cultural Studies. Volume 4, pp. 56-66. A publication of the Professor BasseyAndah Centre for cultural Studies, University of Calabar.

6. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2011). “The Philosophy of Reciprocity and the Experience of Widows in Nigeria”. Published in the Journal of Nigerian Languages and Culture, Vol. 13. No. 1. pp. 195-202. A publication of the Association for Promoting Nigerian Languages and Culture.

7. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2011). “African Traditional Religion and Christianity: A Comparative analysis of Values”. Published in the Journal of Nigerian Languages and Culture, Vol. 13. No. 2. pp. 177-188. A publication of the Association for Promoting Nigerian Languages and Culture.

8. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2011). “Women Experience of Violence and the Resurrection Faith”. Published in African Journal of Contextual Theology. A publication of the Spiritan International School of Theology, Attakwu- Enugu State. Vol. 3. June. pp.125-138.

9. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2011). “Corruption in Africa and its Challenges for the Enterprise of Christian Theology”. Published in the International Journal of Research in Arts and Social Sciences, Vol.4. pp. 492-500. A publication of the Society for Research and Academic Excellence, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu, Nigeria.

10. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2011). “Consecrated: A Vision of the Religious Life from the Viewpoint of the Sacred”. Published in African Journal of Contextual Theology. A publication of the Spiritan International School of Theology, Attakwu- Enugu State. Vol. 3. June. pp. 161-163.

11. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2011). “Empiricists and Causation in Law”. Published in Uche: Journal of the Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Vol. 17. December, pp. 119-123.

12. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. & Paul Haaga (2012). “H. L. A. Hart’s Foundations of Rights Vis-a-vis the African Experience”. Published in the Annals of Humanities and Development Studies. Vol. 3. No. 2. pp. 40-52. A publication of the Universal Academic Services, Beijing, Fengtai district, China.

13. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “On the Possibility of Miracles”. Published in the InternationalJournal of Theology and Reformed Tradition, Vol. 4. pp. 81-89. A publication of the Society for Research and Academic Excellence, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu, Nigeria.

14. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Functionality of Being in Pantaleon's Operative Metaphysics vis-a-vis the Niger Delta conflict”. Published in African Research Review: An International Multi-Disciplinary Journal.Vol.6. No.1. January. pp. 212-222. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

15. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. & Paul T. Haaga (2012). “The Implications of Hubert Hart’s Concept of Political Obligation for the Nigeria Public Service”. Published in The International Journal of Arts and Humanities (AFRREV IJAH), February 2012, Vol.1. No.1. pp.110-122. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

16. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Colonial Legacy: The Hidden History of Africa’s Present Crisis”. Published in The International Journal of Arts and Humanities (AFRREV IJAH), February 2012, Vol.1. No.1. pp.123-131. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

17. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Problem of Substance in John Locke”. Published in the American Journal of Social Issues and Humanities. May. Vol. 2. No. 3, pp. 133-141. Hughmont, Dr. Pflugerville, United States of America.

18. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “John Locke’s Polemic against Innate Ideas”. Published in the American Journal of Social Issues and Humanities. May. Vol. 2. No. 3, pp. 142-147. Hughmont, Dr. Pflugerville, United States of America.

19. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Equality of Sexes in J. S. Mill vis-a-vis the Participation of Women in the Nigerian Labour and Economy”. Published in The International Journal of Language, Literature and Gender Studies (AFRREV LALIGENS). Vol. 1. No.1. March 2012. pp. 18-29. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

20. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Problem of Substance in Metaphysics”. Published in Internet Afrrev: An International Online Multi-disciplinary Journal. January, 2012. Vol.1. No.1, pp.24-29. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

21. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Contribution of Igbo Ontology to Pantaleon’s Concept of Being”. Published in Internet Afrrev: An International Online Multi-disciplinary Journal. January. Vol.1. No.1, pp.36-40. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

22. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “From ‘onye’ to ‘ife’ hypothesis: The Contribution of Edeh to the Development of the Concept of Being”. Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research. Vol. 9. No. 3. December 2012. pp 227-235.A publication of the Universal Academic Services, Beijing, Fengtai district, China.

23. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Problem of Being in Metaphysics”. Published in African Research Review: An International Multi-Disciplinary Journal.Vol.6. No.2. April. pp. 113-122. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

24. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Church and National Development: Towards a Philosophy of Collaboration”. Published in African Research Review: An International Multi-Disciplinary Journal.Vol.6. No.2. April. pp. 113-122. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

25. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Role of Language in the Socio-Political Philosophy of John Locke”. Published in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Vol. 2. No. 14, July, pp.126-131. A publication of the Centre for Promoting Ideas, Louisville, United States of America.

26. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Problem of Personal Identity in Metaphysics”. International Journal of Arts and Humanities (AFRREV IJAH), May 2012, Vol.1. No.2. pp.1-13. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

27. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The family, Justice and the Culture of Life: Afro-Christian Perspectives”. International Journal of Arts and Humanities (AFRREV IJAH), May 2012, Vol.1. No.2. pp.28-40. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

28. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “Gender and Good Governance in John Locke”. Published in the American Journal of Social Issues and Humanities. July. Vol. 2. No. 4, pp. 252-257. Hughmont, Dr. Pflugerville, United States of America.

29. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “An Enquiry Concerning the Religio-Cultural Experience of Women in Nigeria: Towards a Philosophy of Reciprocity”. International Journal of Language, Literature and Gender Studies (AFRREV LALIGENS). Vol. 1. No.2. June 2012. pp. 50-60. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

30. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Genders in Christian Anthropology Vis-A-Vis the Experience of Violence by Women in Nigeria”. International Journal of Language, Literature and Gender Studies (AFRREV LALIGENS). Vol. 1. No.2. June 2012. pp. 1-14. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

31. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. and Jonathan Okeke (2012). “The Woes of Scientific Realism”. Published in An International Journal of Science and Technology. Vol. 1. No.2. April – July, pp. 32-44. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

32. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Africanity and Philosophicality of African Philosophy”. Published in Internet Afrrev: An International Online Multi-disciplinary Journal. 2012. Vol.1. No.2, pp. 52-55. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

33. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “The Secularity of the Sacredness of the Priestly Office in African Traditional Societies”. Published in The Journal of Integrative Humanism.Vol. 2. No. 1, pp. 219-226. May.A publication of the Department of Classics and Philosophy, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

34. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. and Jonathan Okeke (2012). “Empiricism verses Rationalism: Matters Arising in Medical Practice”. Published in An International Journal of Science and Technology. Vol. 1. No.3. July, pp. 186-201. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

35. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “Genetic Engineering and the Quest for a Perfect Society”. Published in An International Journal of Science and Technology. Vol. 1. No.3. July, pp. 92-99. A publication of the International Association of African Researchers and Reviewers, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

36. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “Being Qua Belongingness: The Provenance and Implications of Pantaleon’s Redefinition of Being”. Published in Uche: Journal of the Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Vol. 17. December, pp. 57-58.

37. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2012). “Inculturation and Christianity in Africa”. Published in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Vol. 2. No. 17, September, pp. 236-244. A publication of the Centre for Promoting Ideas, Louisville, United States of America.

38. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. &Chimakonam, J. Okeke (2012). “An Assessment of the New Wave Epistemological Theories”. Published in the European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 15. No. 1. pp. 756-772. Journals Bank Publishing Inc. London, United Kingdom.

39. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. & Paul Haaga (2012). “Philosophy and Good Governance: The Nigerian experience”. Published in the European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 16. No. 1. pp. 773-783. Journals Bank Publishing Inc. London, United Kingdom.

40. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. & Elizabeth Ezenweke (2012). “Perspectives of Syncretism and its Modern Trends: A Case of Christian and African Traditions”. Published in the UJAH: Unizik Journal of Arts and Humanities. Vol. 13. No. 2. pp. 71-84. A Publication of NnamdiAzikiwe University, Faculty of Arts.

41. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. & B. A. C. Obiefuna (2013). “The Value of Life in African Ontology and Global Bio-ethical Discourse”. Published in the Nigerian Journal of Theology. June, Vol. 27. pp. 126-146. A publication of Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria.

42. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “African Identity and the Emergence of Globalization”. Published in the American International Journal of Contemporary Research. Vol. 3. No. 6. pp. 34-42. Centre for Promoting Ideas, Dr. Irving, United States of America.

43. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “Nkrumah and the Quest for African Unity”. Published in the American International Journal of Contemporary Research. Vol. 3. No. 6. pp. 111-114. Centre for Promoting Ideas, Dr. Irving, United States of America.

44. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “Trends in African Philosophy: A case for Eclectism”. Published in FilosofiaTheoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religion. Vol. 2. No. 1. pp. 275-287. Published by the Calabar School of Philosophy, University of Calabar.

45. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “On the Sources of African Philosophy”. FilosofiaTheoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religion, Vol. 2. No. 1. pp. 337-356. Published by the Calabar School of Philosophy, University of Calabar.

46. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “The Quest for the Nature of Being in African Philosophy”. FilosofiaTheoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religion, Vol. 2. No. 2. pp. 391-407. Published by the Calabar School of Philosophy, University of Calabar.

47. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “The Dimensions of African Cosmology”. FilosofiaTheoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religion, Vol. 2. No. 2. pp. 533-555. Published by the Calabar School of Philosophy, University of Calabar.

48. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “The Role of Governments in the Actualization of the Millennium Development Goals: The Experience of Governments in Africa”. Journal of Integrative Humanism, 3. 1. Department of Classics and Philosophy, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, pp. 85-100.

49. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. & Paul Haaga (2012). “A Philosophical Approach to Education for the Transformation and Humanization of Africa”. Journal of Integrative Humanism, 3. 1. Department of Classics and Philosophy, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, pp. 29-37.

50. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “The Compatibilism of Freedom and Necessity in David Hume”. Published in The Leajon: An Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies. 4. 2. pp. 16-23. Department of Philosophy, University of Calabar.

51. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2013). “An Analytic Search for the Elements of Naturalized Epistemology in John Locke”. Published in theLwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research. Vol. 10. No. 3. pp. 134-147. A publication of the Universal Academic Services, Beijing, Fengtai district, China.

52. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2013). “The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: A Historico-Philosophical Analysis”. Published in theLwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research. Vol. 10. No. 4. pp. 131-143. A publication of the Universal Academic Services, Beijing, Fengtai district, China.

53. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. &B. A. C. Obiefuna(2013). “African Culture as a Basis for Ecumenism”. Published in Professor BasseyAndah Journal of Cultural Studies. Vol. 6. pp. 1-11. A Publication of the Professor BasseyAndah Centre for Cultural Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar.

54. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2014). “Freedom and Determinism in African Ontology”. Published in the Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 2. No. 1. pp. 47-53. India.

55. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2014). “Causality in African Ontology”. Published in the Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 2. No. 1. pp. 54-60. India.

56. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Igbo Proverbs as depositum of Igbo-African philosophy”. Published in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 4. No. 1. pp. 164-168. Centre for Promoting Ideas, Dr. Irving, United States of America.

57. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “The Place of Igbo Myths in Igbo-African Philosophy”. Published in the American Journal of Contemporary Research. Vol. 4. No. 2. Centre for Promoting Ideas, Dr. Irving, United States of America. pp. 98-102.

58. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Death in Igbo-African Ontology”. Published in the Asian Academic Research Journal of Multidisciplinary. A publication of Asian Academic Research Associates, India. Vol. 1. No. 18. pp. 475-489.

59. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “African Philosophy and the Problem of Language”. Published in the Asian Academic Research Journal of Social Science and Humanities. A publication of Asian Academic Research Associates, India. Vol. 1. No. 21. pp. 248-258.

60. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Suicide in Igbo-African Ontology”. Developing Countries Studies. Vol. 4. No. 5. A publication of the International Institute for Science, Technology and Education. USA. pp. 27-38.

61. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Suffering in Igbo-African Ontology”. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 4. No. 5. A publication of the International Institute for Science, Technology and Education. USA. pp. 8-13.

62. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Igwebuikology as an Igbo-African Philosophy for Catholic-Pentecostal Relations”. Jos Studies. Volume. 22. pp. 87-98. A publication of Saint Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos. An affiliate of the University of Jos.

63. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. and B. A. C. Obiefuna (2014). “Africa and the Word: Implications from the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Verbum Domini. The Nigerian Journal of Theology. Volume 28. pp. 145-158. A publication of the Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria (CATHAN).

64. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Being and the Categories of Being in Igbo Philosophy”. African Journal of Humanities. Volume 1. Issue 1. pp. 144-159. A Publication of the Faculty of Arts, Kaduna State University, Kaduna.

65. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “African Philosophy and the Problem of Methodology”. Published in the International Journal of Scientific Research. Volume. 3. Issue. 7. pp. 66-68. A Publication of the Global Journals, India.

66. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “African Philosophy and the Issue of Development”. Paripex: Indian Journal of Research. Volume.3. Issue. 7. pp. 1-5. A Publication of the Global Journals, India.

67. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “The Nature and Meaning of African Philosophy in a Globalizing World”. Published in the International Journal of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education. Volume. 1. Issue. 7. pp. 86-94. A publication of the Academicians Research Centre, India.

68. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Negritude and the Quest for an African Identity”. Published in the Indian Journal of Applied Research. Volume. 4. Issue. 8. pp. 523-525. A Publication of the Global Journals, India.

69. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Kenneth Kaunda and the Quest for an African Humanist Philosophy”. Published in the International Journal of Scientific Research. Volume. 3. Issue. 8. pp. 375-377. A Publication of the Global Journals, India.

70. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “African Traditional Religion in a Globalizing World”. Published in the International Journal of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education. Volume. 1. Issue. 8. pp. 4-12. A publication of the Academicians Research Centre, India.

71. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “The Interplay of Language, Violence, Revolution and Liberation in Franz Fanon’s African Political Philosophy”. Published in theParipex: Indian Journal of Research. Volume.3. Issue. 8. pp. 148-150. A Publication of the Global Journals, India.

72. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “A Historiography of African Philosophy”. Published in the Global Journal for Research Analysis. Volume.3. Issue. 8. pp. 188-190. A Publication of the Global Journals, India.

73. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Kinship in African Philosophy and the Issue of Development”. Published in the International Journal of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education. Volume. 1. Issue. 9. pp. 1-6. A publication of the Academicians Research Centre, India.

74. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Symbols in African Philosophy and the Issue of Nation Building”. Published in the International Journal of Scientific Research. Volume. 3. Issue. 9. pp. 35-37. A Publication of the Global Journals, India.

75. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Masquerades in African Philosophy and the Issue of Nation Building”. Published in the Indian Journal of Applied Research. Volume. 4. Issue. 9. pp. 4-7. A Publication of the Global Journals, India.

76. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Igbo-African Traditional Rational Proofs of the Existence of God”. Published in the Journal of Nigeria Languages and Culture. 15. 1. pp. 13-26. A publication of Association for the Promotion of Nigerian Languages and Culture.

77. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2014). “Reincarnation in Igbo-African Philosophy”. Published in the Journal of Nigeria Languages and Culture. 15. 2. pp. 19-26. A publication of Association for the Promotion of Nigerian Languages and Culture.

78. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2015). “Africae Munus and Consecrated Persons”. Published in theThe Catholic Voyage.11. pp. 3-14. A publication of the Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria.

79. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2015). “Quitte Ton Pays: On Consecrated Persons and the Challenges of Family Obligations in Contemporary Africa”. Published in the Jos Studies. Volume. 23. pp. 45-57. A publication of Saint Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos. An affiliate of the University of Jos.

80. Kanu, Ikechukwu, A. (2015). “Consecrated Persons as Agents of Pastoral Care of the Family”. Published in the JORAS: Nigerian Journal of Religion and Society. Volume 5. pp. 74-84. A Publication of Good Shepherd Major Seminary, Kaduna.

81. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2015). “The Philosophy of Anton Wilhelm Amo as a Case Against the 17th Century Ideological Race Classification of Africa”. Published in the Journal of Humanities and social Science. University of Ghana, Legon. pp. 139-145.

82. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2015). “African Traditional Democracy with Particular Reference to the Yoruba and Igbo Political Systems”. Published in International Journal of Philosophy and Public Affairs. Vol. 2. No. 3. pp. 147-160.Augustinian Institute of Philosophy, Makurdi.

83. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2015). “African Philosophy as an Ontologico-Existential Hermeneutics”. Published in IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities. Vol. 1. No. 1. June, pp. 17-24. Augustinian Institute of Philosophy, Makurdi.

84. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2015). “The Life, Times and Works of Aurelius Augustine”. Published in IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities. Vol. 1. No. 2. September, pp. 1-6. Augustinian Institute of Philosophy, Makurdi.

85. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2015). “The Augustinian Mission in Nigeria: From 2001-2014”. Published in IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities. Vol. 1. No. 2. September, pp. 12-14. Augustinian Institute of Philosophy, Makurdi.

86. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “Obedience and Discernment in the Life of Consecrated Persons”. Published in Vincentian Pastoral Journal. 27. 2. pp. 49-53.

87. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “The Concept of Family as the Contribution of Africa to the Consecrated Life”. Published in The Catholic Voyage. Vol. 12. January. pp. 31-40. A publication of the Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria.

88. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “Igwebuike as an Igbo-African Hermeneutic of Globalization”. Published in IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities. Vol. 1. No. 3. March, pp. 1-7. Augustinian Institute of Philosophy, Makurdi.

89. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “Igwebuike as a Trend in African Philosophy”. Published in IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities. Vol. 1. No. 3. March, pp. 97-101. Augustinian Institute of Philosophy, Makurdi.

90. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “Corruption in Nigeria as a Socio-Cultural Context for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy”. Published in the Journal of Management Sciences and Entrepreneurship. Vol. 3. No. 5. University of Malta, Malta.

91. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “Christian-Muslim Relations in Nigeria as a Religio-Political Locus Theologicus for MisericordiaVultus”. Published in the Journal of Humanities and Social sciences. Vol. 3. No. 4. pp. 117-128. University of Morobone Province, New Guinea.

92. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Igwebuike as the Consummate Foundation of African Bioethical Principles”. Published in Nnadiebube Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 1. No. 1. Nnadiebube Pan-African Academy of Philosophy, Religion and Cultural Research (NPAAPRCR).

93. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “Divination in Post-Missionary African Christianity: Globalization and the Resilience of Traditional Paradigms”.Published in the Hummingbird Journal of Humanities and Social sciences. Vol. 3. No. 4. pp. 117-128. University of Morobone Province, New Guinea.

94. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “The Culture of Political Corruption and the Emergence of Terrorism in Nigeria”. Sub-Saharan Journal of African Sustainable Development. 3. 7. pp. 127-149. A publication of Sub-Sahara African Academic Research Publications, Centre for African Studies, University of Ibadan.

95. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “African Traditional Folktales as an Integrated Classroom”. Published in the Sub-Saharan African Journal of Contemporary Education Research. Vol.3 No. 6. pp. 107-118. A publication of Sub-Sahara African Academic Research Publications, Centre for African Studies, University of Ibadan.

96. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “The Supreme Being in Igbo-African Ontology: A Borrowed or Indigenous Concept?” Published in the Sub-Saharan African Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 3. No. 4. pp. 97-107.A publication of Sub-Sahara African Academic Research Publications, Centre for African Studies, University of Ibadan.

97. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “Igbo Classical and Contemporary Poets as African Philosophical Sages”. Published in the Sub-Saharan African Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 3. No. 4. pp. 202-214.Centre for African Studies, University of Ibadan.

98. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “African Traditional Folk Songs as Dialogue Between Education and Entertainment”. Published in the Cambridge International Journal of Contemporary Education Research. 6. 6. Pp. 53-64. A publication of Cambridge Research and Publications International, Abuja.

99. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “The Fundamentals of African Traditional Ethics”. Published in the Cambridge International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. 6. 4. pp. 55-65.A publication ofCambridge Research and Publications International, Abuja.

100. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “Igwebuikecracy: The Igbo-African Participatory Socio-Political System of Governance”. Published in the Hummingbird Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. 6. 4. pp. 1-12.A publication of the Hummingbird Publication and Research International.

101. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. &B. A. C. Obiefuna(2016). “A Discourse on Globalization and Conflict in African Values”. Published in IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities. Vol. 2. No. 3. August, pp. 52-61. Augustinian Institute of Philosophy, Makurdi.

102. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “Igwebuike as the Expressive Modality of Being in Igbo Ontology”. Published in the Journal of Environmental and Construction Management. 6. 3. pp.59-69. A publication of the Hummingbird Publication and Research International.

103. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “MisericordiaVultus and the Contexts for the Jubilee Year of Mercy”. International Journal of Management Science and Entrepreneurship. Vol. 7. No. 5. pp. 114-123.

104. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2016). “MiserandoAtqueEligendo: The Consecrated Life as a Mission of Mercy”. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 7. No. 5. pp. 92-100.

105. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Igwebuike and the Question of Superiority in the Scientific Community of Knowledge”. Published in IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities. Vol. 3. No. 1. pp. 103-110. Augustinian Institute of Philosophy, Makurdi.

106. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Igwebuike and the Logic (Nka) of African Philosophy”. Published in IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities. Vol. 3. No. 1. pp. 9-18. Augustinian Institute of Philosophy, Makurdi.

107. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “The African Family as a Context for the Jubilee Year of Mercy”. The Catholic Voyage. Vol. 13. pp. 32-42. A publication of the Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria.

108. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Igwebuike as a Complementary Approach to the Issue of Girl-Child Education”. Published in Nightingale International Journal of Contemporary Education and Research. pp. 11-17. Centre for African Development Studies, Abuja.

109. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Igwebuike as an Igbo-African Philosophy for the Protection of the Environment”. pp. 28-38. Published in Nightingale International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Centre for African Development Studies, Abuja.

110. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Igwebuike as a Wholistic Response to the Problem of Evil and Human Suffering”. Published in Berkeley International Journal of Contemporary Education Research. pp. 56-72. Berkeley Research and Publications International, Bayero University, Kano.

111. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Igwebuike as an Igbo-African Ethic of Reciprocity”. pp. 115-124. Published in Berkeley Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Berkeley Research and Publications International, Bayero University, Kano.

112. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Information Revolution and the Future of Humanity”. Vol. 4. No. 4. Pp. 101-117. Published in Berkeley: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Berkeley Research and Publications International, Bayero University, Kano.

113. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “African Life Circle Rituals as a Socio-Cultural Context for Education”. Published by African Scholars: Journal of African Sustainable Development. Vol.7 No. 7. pp. 72-83. Centre for African Studies, University of Ibadan.

114. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “The Philosophical Canons of Africa Indigenous Education”. Published by Hummingbird: Journal of African Sustainable Development. pp. 78-90. Vol. 9. No. 8. Centre for Trans-Sahara Studies, University of Maiduguri.

115. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Questioning Heidegger’s Question Concerning Technology”. Vol. 9. No. 4. Pp. 47-53. Published by Hummingbird: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Centre for Trans-Sahara Studies, University of Maiduguri.

116. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). Skepticism and the Emergence of Modern Epistemology”. Published by African Scholar: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 7. No. 4. pp. 121-135. Centre for African Studies, University of Ibadan.

117. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “A Critical Analysis of the Provisions of Human Rights in the 1999 Nigeria Constitution”. Sub-Sahara Africa: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 5. No. 4. pp. 1-35. Centre for African Studies, University of Ibadan.

118. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Augustine as the Thought-Current of the Church’s Doctrinal Tradition: Reflection on AugustinumHipponsensem”. Vol. 7. No. 6. pp. 69-81. Published by African Scholar: Journal of Contemporary Education. Centre for African Studies, University of Ibadan.

119. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Augustine as a Luminary Among Ecclesiastical Teachers: Reflection on Ad Salutem”. Published in Berkeley: Journal of Contemporary Education Research. Vol. 4. No. 6. Pp. 105-116. Berkeley Research and Publications International, Bayero University, Kano.

120. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “African Philosophy, Globalization and the Priority of ‘Otherness’”. Published in Igwebuike: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities. Vol. 3. No.5. July, pp. 92-109. Augustinian Institute, Makurdi.

d. Chapters in Referred Books of Proceedings
1. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. & Paul T. Haaga (2011). “The Implications of Hubert Hart’s Concept of Political Obligation for the Nigeria Public Service”. In the Proceedings of the Annual Conference of IRDI Research and Development. Vol. 6. No. 3. pp. 13-19. Uyo: International Research and development Institute.

2. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. & Paul T. Haaga (2011). “The Foundations of Right in H. L. A. Hart and the African Experience”. In the Proceedings of the Annual Conference of IRDI Research and Development. Vol. 6. No. 2. pp. 50-57. Uyo: International Research and development Institute.

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49. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Igwebuike as an Igbo-African Philosophy for the Protection of the Environment”. In the Proceedings of the Nightingale Academic Conference. pp. 79-91. Abuja: Nightingale Publications and Research International.

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51. Kanu, Ikechukwu A. (2017). “Igwebuike as a Wholistic Response to the Problem of Evil and Human Suffering”. In the Proceedings of the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Academic Conference. pp. 16-23. Abuja: Berkeley Research and Publications International.

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IGWEBUIKE AS A HERMENEUTIC OF PERSONAL AUTONOMY IN AFRICAN ONTOLOGY















Prof. KANU Ikechukwu Anthony, O.S.A.
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Tansian University, Umunya
Anambra State
ikee_maio@yahoo.com









A paper presented at the 2017 Pan African Conference on Inter-Disciplinary Studies on 20-25 September, Auditorium, Holy Trinity Basilica Onitsha

Abstract
Autonomy is derived from the Greek word “autos”, which means self, and “nomos”, which means rule, governance or law. Generally, it means the power or right of self-government. However, in relation to persons, it means freedom from interference by others and limitations that prevent meaningful choices. The autonomous individual acts freely in accordance with a self-chosen plan, analogous to the way an independent government manages its territories and establishes its policies. A person of diminished autonomy, by contrast is in some respect controlled by others or incapable of deliberating or acting on the basis of his or her desires and plans. One of the cases against the structure of African societies is that the African individual has a diminished autonomy. This perspective is based on the misinterpretation of the African universe which is characterized by common origin, common world-view, common language, shared culture, shared race, colour and habits, common historical experience and a common destiny, the sense of community, etc. Contrary to this perspective, this work argues that the individual African has autonomy, and the argument is built on the Igbo-African concept of the self. While remaining within the scope of autonomy in African ontology, the hermeneutic and phenomenological methods of inquiry would be employed for this research.

Keywords: Hermeneutic, Autonomy, Freedom, ontology, African, Community, Destiny.

Introduction
The human person is a highly dynamic reality. Although Mondin (1998) observes that a certain dynamism is evident everywhere in the universe, the moon, the sky, animate realities, lower animals, etc., the human person’s dynamism in the midst of these dynamisms is superlative and enormously superior. And one discovers this as soon as a person steps into the mysterious profoundness of the being of the human person. He is distinguished on various fronts: knowledge, self-consciousness and objectivity, language, work, culture, etc. And these are prerogatives of the human person, therefore, common to human beings everywhere, no matter their race or color.
Another prerogative of the human person, a title of human excellence and nobility, which reveals the mysterious profoundness of his being, with which he distinguishes himself from animals and other creatures is freedom. This goes beyond the sensitive and instinctive inclinations of the human person and resides at the cognitive level, the intellectual level, where he commands an unlimited parameter for action. Related to this is the appetitive level, where the will resides and which gives the human person the space to choose and thus, be responsible for his or her actions. Notwithstanding the glaring autonomy of the human person, is has constituted a very serious issue in the development of African philosophy. Many scholars argue that the external spaces of social and cultural intricacies do not correspond to this prerogative of the human person. In the African worldview, the African is denied autonomy as a result of three factors: his relationships in the community, the African concept of destiny, and the interactive nature of the African universe. This work argues that in the midst of these factors in the African society, that the African has autonomy. This work connects his autonomy to his humanness, and to deny him of his autonomy would have diminishing consequences on his humanity. However, before entering into a discussion of this perpetual problem, it would be useful to agree first on the meaning of autonomy.
Understanding Human Autonomy
Autonomy is derived from the Greek word autos which means self and nomos which means rule, governance or law. Generally, it means the power or right of self-government, in relation to persons, it means freedom from interference by others and limitations that prevent meaningful choices. In medical law and ethics, Chima (2008) writes that it refers to “self-determination or freedom of choice” (p. 1). According to Beauchamp and Childress (1977):
The autonomous individual acts freely in accordance with a self-chosen plan, analogous to the way an independent government manages its territories and establishes its policies. A person of diminished autonomy, by contrast is in some respect controlled by others or incapable of deliberating or acting on the basis of his or her desires and plans. (p. 99).
Ngari (2008) articulates the principle of autonomy thus:
The principle states simply “allow rational individual to make free informed choices”. Always ensure freedom and self-determination to enable the client to choose his/her own direction in life, namely, create a conducive environment, encourage growth and development and always avoid dependent medical practice relationships. (p. 77).
The UNESCO Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights (2006) affirms the autonomy of individuals and calls for its protection:
The autonomy of persons to make decisions, while taking responsibility for those decisions and respecting the autonomy of others, is to be respected. For persons who are not capable of exercising autonomy, special measures are to be taken to protect their rights and interests. (Art.5).
Shannon (1993) defined autonomy as "form of personal liberty of action in which the individual determines his or her course of action in accordance with a plan of his or her own choosing" (p. 5). From the foregoing, it can be concluded that autonomy involves the capacity to deliberate about a plan of action. This involves examining of alternatives and distinguishing between them, and the possession of the resources to put such a plan into action.
Stating the problem of Human Autonomy
The denial of autonomy to the African is based on three arguments that have been advanced. These arguments are based on the African sense of community, the idea of the universe which is interactive and the concept of destiny. These different perspectives that have constituted a problem to human autonomy would be discussed as first, second and third arguments.
1. The First Argument
The first argument against human autonomy in African social structure is based on the African idea of community. Mbiti (1970) classically proverbializes the community determining role of the individual when he writes, “I am because we are and since we are, therefore I am” (p. 108). Tempels (1952) expresses the African strong sense of community thus:
Bantu psychology cannot conceive of man as an individual, as a force existing by itself and apart from its ontological relationships with other living beings and from it connects with animals or inanimate forces around it. The Bantu cannot be a lone being… He knows himself to be a vital force, even now influencing some forces and being influenced by others. (p. 49-50).
Iroegbu (1995) describes the African worldview as one characterized by a common origin, common world-view, common language, shared culture, shared race, colour and habits, common historical experience and a common destiny. The community rejoices and welcomes his arrival, finds out whose reincarnation he is, gives the person a name and interprets that arrival within the circumstance of the birth. When the time comes for him to get married, the community determines where he marries from; even when the lady is married, she is married by the entire community. With his birth, man also realizes the necessity of making his own contribution to the group (Uchendu, 1965). As a result of this strong relationship between a person and the community, it has been argued that the African lacks autonomy.
2. The Second Argument
A second argument advanced for the denial of human autonomy is based on the interactive nature of the African universe. Nnamdi (2009) observes that there are basically three worlds in the African universe. The first is the earth which is the visible world, Uwa, in which human beings, and other material things reside. The second is the land of the spirits, Ani muo, which is the invisible world. There is a third world called Igwe, the sky. It is quite up and only Chukwu and the deities live there. And from there he cares for and directs things in Uwa and Ani muo. These three worlds for the African are interconnected. It is believed that the finger of God is manifested in the most rudimentary element of nature. Thus, Idowu (1962) avers that God is the absolute controller of the universe. The Igbo would refer to him as Osebuluwa (the sustainer of the universe). He did not just create the world but actively sustains it. It is in this regard that Edeh (2007) inquires:
If God has a knowing plan for all creatures and directs them to this end, does it mean that he has already determined his creatures to follow his plan? If so, how could any creature be said to be free in their actions? In other words, if God’s activity embraces the height, depth and breadth of created reality, is there any place for a finite activity which belongs to the being from which it comes? Or is it God rather than man, in the case of human activity, who acts as the centre of man’s being? (p. 163).
As God exerts his power on all beings, there are divinities that also exert power on the universe. In the spiritual world, there are benevolent and malevolent spirits. They also determine failure and success in the world. Sometimes they possess people and act through them. With all the powers that exert their forces on the universe, scholars have argued that the African has no autonomy.
3. The Third Argument
The third argument against human autonomy in the African world is based on the African concept of destiny. Gyekye (1987) defines destiny as “that which determines the uniqueness and individuality of a person. Thus it is your destiny ... that makes you you, and my destiny that makes me me” (p. 107). Although human experience provides the setting for the belief in human destiny, general, the belief in destiny is based on the belief that human beings were created by God. Thus, in the African world, it is believed that the destiny of people as regards success and failure has been apportioned to them by God even before birth. The Yoruba have a divinity called Ifa or Orunmila. They believe that after God had made the human soul and sealed its destiny, Orunmila was present and knows its secrets, that it why he is always consulted before undertaking an action. This implies that the life course of human beings have been charted and fixed by God. Thus, when something happens in a person’s life, especially among the Igbo, Gregory (2009) observes that it is traced to his Akala aka: his destined lot. When a person dies among the Hausa speaking people, you would hear those who have come to condole with the bereaved say: Haka Allah ya kadara (that is how God ordained it) or haka Allah ya nufa (that is how God intended it). This implies that God intended it to happen the way it has happened.
The Igbos belief in what is called the Chi, which each human being derives from the great Chukwu, who is the creator of all. At the point of creation, Chukwu gives the human person the Chi, which is a part of his divine nature. From this perspective, Ilogu (1974) argues that whatever abilities, good or bad fortune, success, failure, weakness etc., possessed by a person is attributed to the person’s Chi. Every individual in a family has his or her own Chi, explaining why there are differences among people. A lucky person is said to be onye chi oma and an unlucky person is said to be onye chi ojoo (Kanu, 2012). With this understanding, Gregory (2009) avers that the African has sold his freedom to act to supernatural forces.
Locating Human Autonomy in Igbo-African Anthropology
The word which the Igbo uses to speak of the self is onwe, and so the Igbo can talk of onwe gi ‘yourself’, onwe ha ‘Themselves’, onwe m, ‘Myself’, onwe ya ‘Himself or herself’.
Okere (2015) describes the onwe- the self as the:
Core subject of identity, perduring and enduring all human experience. It is not describable and has no name and no function except as the ultimate author of all the functions of the individual, the carrier of all experiences. It is the link between the experiences of yesterday and today, the basis of that proprietorship by which these fleeting multitudes are one and are mine. (p. 164).
The original root of the word onwe can be traced back to nwe that means ‘to own’. Thus, onwe gi, would mean he that owns himself, onwe ya, would mean he or she that owns himself or herself. The idea of ownership over the self introduces the idea of independence from the other and stamps the strong sense of autonomy. The onwe, therefore, introduces not just the idea of identity of the individual, but also the autonomy of each individual. To own oneself would imply that a person knows, is in control of and is responsible for all the action that the person is performing. Thus, in Igbo ontology, autonomy is conceived as ownership of the self, and, therefore, a free person is said to own himself.
The Universality of Autonomy
Human autonomy is an all-inclusive enterprise. It is not cultural or time bound. Autonomy points to the human person as a rational entity. As a universal experience, it is not limited to whites or blacks. What may be called into question is the degree of autonomy, which can be limited by a retinue of factors. If Africans are agreed to be human persons of a rational nature, it follows that they do and are capable of autonomy. The denial of autonomy to the African cannot really be accepted. The reason is that freedom, as an intellectual activity, is universal; it cannot be assumed to be confined to the peoples of the West and the East. In other words, although the people of the world live in different cultural environments, there is nevertheless a common ground of shared human experiences, and hence there certainly are some basic questions relating to their existence on this planet that might commonly be asked by them, questions that are bound to exercise their minds as humans. Such questions, I believe, may be universal, transcending, cultural and historical frontiers.
Conclusion
With God, the deities and spirits exerting their power on human beings and the African universe, is the human person really free. This work has argued that the African human person is free. When God or the divinities punish or reward a man for performing an action, they are reacting to an action that was performed freely and conscientiously, and that is why there is reward and punishment. The presence of God, the divinities and spirits in the world of human beings does not take away human freedom. If God has a power that is unlimited, as the African believes, this unlimited power does not exclude the possibility of God creating human beings who can cause free activities. According to Edeh (2007), the divine causality and human freedom are not contradictory, but rather meet in a paradox of cause and effect.

In relation to the argument based on the structure of the African community, the idea of community in the African world does not take away the place of individual freedom. Although the community gives the human person a name, the name spells his individuality; he makes his own contribution to the kin as an individual. Although his community name defines him, his successes and failure based on the use of his freedom hugely defines him. While the community has rules and regulations, the individual has a right to keep them or not to. Thus, Kanu (2012) maintains that while the community has great influence over a person, it does not take away the freedom of individuals. He believes that African ontology strikes a balance between the individual and the community.

As regards the argument based on the African concept of human destiny, it can be argued that the life of the African is not completely predetermined by his destiny. A human being can better the conditions of life through prayers and sacrifices. In this case, a person is not changing his or her destiny but trying to do something about human condition. In fact even when a man has a good destiny and he does not work hard, there is no guarantee of good fortune coming his way. The Igbo would say: onye kwe chi ya ekwe: if one says yes, his personal god will say yes too. The African would also say that if the hand is not soiled, it never brings about a mouth smeared with oil. From these sayings, it means that an individual’s freedom is guaranteed, since a person’s success or failure depends on the degree of the person’s cooperation with nature’s endowment. It is not just enough to offer sacrifices, prayers and to work hard, Abanuka (2004) argues that a person also has to make proper use of his God-given theoretical and practical knowledge ako na uche. The angle from which man is adequately morally responsible was spelt by Ginsberg (1957) who wrote,
The freedom that is required as a minimum condition of moral accountability is the ability to make an impertial estimate of the relative worth of the alternatives open to me and of acting accordingly. If I am not capable of any measure of impartiality, If I am unable to know what I am doing, or whether what I am doing is wright or wrong; or again if having such knowledge I have not the emotional or cognitive energy to act in accordance with it, then I am neither free nor responsible. (pp. 81-82).
Since the African has the minimum condition of moral accountability and the ability to make an impertial estimate of the relative worth of the alternatives open to him and to act accordingly, then he is free and responsible.
Gyekye (1987) writes further:
Determination therefore does not negate the effectiveness of human beings as causal and therefore moral agents. The spirit of a person is held to be developable: a weal power or capacity can be improved or strengthened, moral failures then, which are in fact spiritual defects, can be rectified. Therefore, neither, the Akan deterministic conception of the world nor Akan moral psychology is fatal to human free will and responsibility. (p. 121).
From the foregoing, human character is reformable. Thus, if a person does the wrong thing, he should be held responsible because he or she had the capacity to do the right thing.
At the question of determinism and human freedom, the African is faced with two options, either to deny the existence of human freedom or to accept its existence and work towards solving the paradox therein. Having conducted this study, putting into consideration the interplay of the elements of community, destiny and the interactive nature of the African universe, this piece asserts that the African world is one in which there is both freedom and determinism; and the both co-exist in such a way that they do not contradict themselves, but work together as counterparts towards the making of a human person. For only the man who is free truly arrives at the land of his destiny. It is in this regard that Buber (1970) writes:
Destiny and freedom are solemnly promised to one another. Only the man who makes freedom real to himself meets destiny... destiny confronts him as the counterpart of his freedom. It is not his boundary, but his fulfilment; freedom and destiny are linked together in menaing. (p. 53).
Thus, in the Africa universe, autonomy and the African concept of destiny, community and the universe, are linked together in meaning.
References
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SOURCES OF IGWEBUIKE PHILOSOPHY: TOWARDS A SOCIO-CULTURAL FOUNDATION










Prof. KANU, Ikechukwu Anthony, O.S.A.
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Tansian University, Umunya
Anambra State
ikee_mario@yahoo.com












A paper presented at the 5th International Annual Conference of the Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars, held on 28th June, at the PG School Auditorium.

Abstract
Igwebuike is at the heart of African philosophy, and in fact, the inner or underlying principle of African philosophy. It is the manner of being in African ontology. Its nearest equivalents in English include complementarity, harmony, communality, etc., however, the preferred concept is complementarity. This paper responds to the question of the sources of Igwebuike philosophy, that is, the raw materials from which Igwebuike philosophy is gotten. Being an African philosophy, there would be no better place to look for its sources except from the African socio-cultural background. It discovered that the sources of Igwebuike philosophy include the works of professional African philosophers, African proverbs, African folktales, African myths, African symbols, African songs, African names. This piece, therefore, studied these sources to see how much they uniquely contribute towards the development of Igwebuike philosophy. In the course of this research, the phenomenological and hermeneutical methods of inquiry were employed. The paper submits that Igwebuike philosophy is based on the Igbo socio-cultural foundation.

Keywords: Igwebuike, Philosophy, African, Socio-Cultural, Foundation.

Introduction
Igwebuike philosophy is based on the Igbo-African worldview of complementarity, that is, the manner of being in African ontology. It is a worldview in which individuating differences must work towards a corporate existence where the ‘I’ does not stand as the ‘I’ but as a ‘We’, where life and living makes meaning. In a scenario of this kind, difference does not divide neither does it constitute a threat, but rather unites and gives hope that future existence would have meaning. In a cosmogony of this kind, while the ontology of the person is founded on the particularity of the individual, implying that it is the metaphysics of the particular that founds identity, it is the community that gives meaning to such an existence and grounds such an identity.
This notwithstanding, the basic question looming at the horizon of this paper is: “What are the sources of Igwebuike Philosophy?” It focuses on the raw materials from which Igwebuike philosophy is gotten. A cursory glance at the African socio-cultural background reveals that the sources of Igwebuike philosophy include the works of professional African philosophers, African proverbs, African folk tales, African myths, African symbols, African names and African songs.



This piece would, therefore, study these sources of Igwebuike philosophy to see how much they uniquely contribute towards the development of philosophy. However, since some of these sources concern culture, it would be appropriate to do a study first on the relationship between philosophy and culture. This would help explain how they transit from culture, non-philosophy to philosophy.
African Philosophy and African Culture
Africans like other people in the world, are shaped by their culture and they contribute in the shaping and transmission of this culture. The African,s therefore, is a homo culturalis. By African culture, it is meant those things which go to the refining and developing of the African’s diverse mental and psychological endowments (Gaudium et Spes, 1965). The African culture would consist of the patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired by the African and transmitted by symbols. It includes the embodiments in African artifacts, the historically derived and selected traditional ideas and values. It is a way of life that is particularly African. The word culture is so rich and all encompassing that both sociologists and anthropologists have defined it in multifarious ways. Adamson (1972) describes cultures as the integral system of learned behavior patterns which are the characteristic of the members of a society and which are not the result of biological inheritance. In other words, culture does not come from human genes, but rather it is learnt and taught. This bears with the etymology of the word culture as colere, which means “to cultivate” or “to practice”. It was first employed by Samuel Von Pufendorf in contradistinction to nature; while nature existed of its own and is innate, culture is that which man of his own freewill and competence has created. The human person is, therefore, the author and architect of culture. He does not participate passively in the shaping and transmitting of culture, it is an active participation (Kanu 2010).
The major concern here is the relationship between African philosophy and culture as it concerns Igwebuike philosophy. This is very significant as Igwebuike is the underlining principle of African philosophy, which is based on the African worldview. A very important part of our African culture include: proverbs, folktales, myths, rites, songs, ceremonies, festivals, symbols, etc. While these are part of our African culture they do not qualify to be referred to as African philosophy simply because they belong to a world that was taken for granted, a world of dogmatism and conservatism. They have rarely received the light of reason and thus, their inner meanings or philosophical underpinnings are yet to be interpreted or grasped. However, although they are not philosophies, they qualify as spring boards from which philosophy can emerge, through a hermeneutical interpretation of these cultural elements can bring about the emergence of African philosophy. It is within this understanding, that this work studies African names, African proverbs, folktales, songs, myths, symbols as sources of Igwebuike philosophy; not as philosophy in themselves, but as sources of Igwebuike philosophy.
1. African Names
Names among the African people is not just an identification tag for differentiating ‘A’ from ‘B’ but carries with it meanings that are rich and profound. There are times when such names are monumental, in the sense that they tell a history of an event that has occurred. For instance, the Igbo name Onwudinjo which means “death is bad” is usually given to a child to tell the story of, may be, the death of the mother at the birth of the child or the death of an important relation at the time of the birth of the child. There are times when such names are prophetic, like Ogadinma, which means, “it would be good”, could be given to a child to speak of the anticipation of a bright future. This notwithstanding, the basic concern here is to see how African names are a source of Igwebuike philosophy. Igwebuike being a complementary philosophy that echoes the spirit of harmony and community, the concern is to see how African names echo this philosophy of complementarity. In this study, three categories of names would be studied from the Igbo perspective: the names given to human beings, titles given to people, which qualify as names, and the names given to God.
a. Names for Human Beings
The list below encompasses names given to human beings at birth. These fifteen names are only a few among others.
NO NAMES MEANINGS
1 Obinwanne The heart of a brother
2 Ekwutosinammadibegi Don't condemn your neigbour
3 Ifunaya Love
4 Kesandu Increase and multiply
5 Chinuanumogu May God fight my battle
6 Somadina May I never be alone
7 Lotanna Remember the father
8 Adaeze Daughter of a king
9 Nnamdi My father lives
10 Obiageli A visitor must partake in its goodness
11 Adaobi Daughter of the Obi
12 Adaora Daughter of the people.
13 Nneka Mother is great
14 Nnedinma Mother is good
15 Nneoma Good mother
TABLE 1
b. Titles Given to Human beings
These names are titles given to people who have achieved some heights in the society. It is given in commemoration or to express what the title holder is capable of. These fifteen titles are only a few among others.
NO NAMES MEANINGS
1 Uba zuo oke Let wealth go round
2 Onwa na etiri ora Man of the people, a philanthropist
3 Ochiri ozuo A helper, especially the less privileged
4 Ada oha The community's famous daughter
5 Nneoha The community's mother of substance
6 Aka ji mba The people's livewire
7 Udo ka mma Peace is supreme
8 Ome Udo The peacemaker
9 Okwaruzo The road maker
10 Omeru ora One who does good things for people
11 Ebube Dike Glorious Hero for the community
12 Ikemba The power (strength) of a nation (place)
13 Uba zuo oke A wealthy person who is philanthropic
14 Ochi agha War leader
15 Omego A wealthy person who is philanthropic
TABLE 2

c. African Names for God
These are the names that the Igbo give to God based on what He has done for him or her or on the basis of what is expected from God. These fifteen names are only a few among others,
NO NAMES MEANINGS
1 Onwa na etiri ora The moon that shines for all
2 Okosisi na eche ndu The mighty tree that gives protection
3 Echeta obi esike The giver of confidence
4 Agbataobi nwa ogbenye The friend of the poor
5 Agbataobi onye ajuru aju The friend of the rejected
6 Olilianya nde ogbenye The hope of the poor
7 Udunmiri na okochi Raining season during dry season
8 Obata obie It ends whenever he comes
9 Onye na aza ekpere He that answers prayer
10 Onye nzoputa The savior
11 Chukwu na’kpu nwa The God that moulds children
12 Okwere nkwa meya He that fulfills his promise
13 Ochiri ozuo Helper
14 Odi mma na eme mma He that is good that shows goodness
15 Dike nji eje ogu The warrior with whom I go for battle
TABLE 3
The names listed in the three tables are names that relate the individual to the other or others, signifying what an individual accomplishes or can accomplish in the life of the other. These names indicate that life is a relationship.
2. African Proverbs
Proverbs occupy a very important place in Africa’s economy of communication. They have been described variously, by the Igbo as vegetables for eating speech; the palm oil with which words are eaten; it is so important that the Zulu of South Africa would say that without proverbs, language would be but a skeleton without flesh, a body without a soul. The Yoruba of Western Nigeria would say that proverbs are horses for chasing missing words (Kanu 2013a). It carries within it, the wisdom and experience of the African people, usually of several ages gathered and summed up in one expression. They spring from the people and represent the voice of the people and express the interpretation of their belief, principles of life and conduct. It also expresses the moral attitudes of a given culture, and reflects the hopes, achievements and failings of a people (Kanu 2015a). Thus, Mbiti (1970) avers that “It is in proverbs that we find the remains of the oldest forms of African religious and philosophical wisdom” (p. 86). The major concern for reflecting on African proverbs is to see how it is the source of Igwebuike philosophy, that is, how it reveals the elements of complementarity and community.
1. Aka nri kwo aka ekpe, aka ekpe akwo aka nri: If the right hand washes the left hand, the left ahnd would wash the right hand
2. A nyuko mamiri onu ogba ofufu: If people urinate in the same spot it foams
3. Ngwere gharu ukwu osisi aka akparu ya: When a lizard goes far from the tree, it would be caught
4. Ugo beru egbe eberu: Let the kite peck and let the eagle peck
5. Gidi gidi bu ugwu eze: Unity is strength
6. Onye ayana nwanne ya: No one should leave his brother behind
7. Otu onye tuo izu, o gbue ochu: Knowledge is never complete: two heads are better than one
8. Ihere adịghị eme onye ara ka ọ na-eme ụmụ-nna ya: Relations are concerned most with a person’s behaviour.
9. Otu nkpụrụ aka rụta mmanụ o zue ọha ọnụ: No one is an Island
10. Ehi enweghi odu, chi ya na churu ya ijiji: A cow without tail, its god chases flies away for it.
11. Eze mbe si na olu oha di mma: The tortoise said that many hands at work is enjoyable
12. Onye bi n’ulo ugegbe anaghi atu okwute: He who lives in a glass house doesn’t throw stone
13. Ezigbo oyi kariri ezi nwanne: A good friend is better than a brother/sister
14. Onye ndi iro gbara gburugburu n’eche ndu ya nche mgbe nile: He who is surrounded by enemies, guards his life always
15. ọha na azụ nwa: childrearing is an affair of the community

These Igbo proverbs express the Igbo philosophy of complementary and the part which the other plays in the life of the other for the realization of the self. Thus, from them, one gets the echo of Igwebuike philosophy.

3. African Folktales
Africans are parable and story telling people, (Zani 1972) and their stories according to Rattray (1930) mirror more or less accurately the African idea life, conduct and morals. Apart from the African system of education which is tied to roles such as farming, hunting, firewood gathering etc., the African got much more instruction through tales (Brosnan 1976). This was in the main moral instruction given at night after the evening meal, on the way to farms or the stream, in the village square or at moonlight nights. These traditional tales were preserved orally, and are characteristically anonymous, timeless and placeless. There were times that Elders employed folktales in judging cases in village courts (Shorter 1973). They tell them in such a way that people are able to pick up their meanings without any explanation (Kanu 2015b). An example of an African folktale that beautifully expresses Igwebuike philosophy is that of the choosy princess.
There was once a choosy princess who turned down the requests of those who asked for her hand in marriage. Her father was disturbed because of her choosy attitude and thus made public that any man who would win the love of his daughter would have half of his kingdom given to him. This was heard by a python that lived in the river and immediately it went about borrowing the parts of the human body and when it looked fully human, physically, it stormed the palace of the king in a grand style. Immediately the princess saw the human python, she was attracted to him, fell in love and decided to marry him. The human python departed with her and owned half of the wealth of the kingdom as the king had promised. When the python was returning with her to his home, just before the river, it turned into a python and went into the river with the princess. Those who witnessed this brought word back to the king that his son-in-law is not a human being but a python.
This bordered the king who assembled the wise men in his kingdom for a way forward towards rescuing the princess. They came to the decision that to rescue her extraordinary talents would be required for the mission. This included professionals like: a boat rider, a thief, a carpenter, a diviner, a hunter and a swimmer. When they got to the river, and did not know where to begin to find her, the diviner did some incantations and found out where the princess was hidden by the python. Having discovered her, the thief went into the river and stole the princess from where she was hidden. He handed her over to the skillful swimmer who immediately moved with her behind him. At this point, the python woke up from its slumber and angrily went after the swimmer. This was when the hunter came in and fired at the python. While the boat rider was heading to the shore with her, the anger of the python was stirred and it hid hard on the boat damaging a good part of it; and to save the boat from sinking the carpenter came in and mended the damaged part of the boat that they may continue on their journey. With a combined effort, the team was able to take the princess back to the king. This was realized through the complementary effort of the different members of the rescue team.
In the new dispensation, the question of who was to marry the princess came up. Every member of the team insisted that the part he played at the rescue of the princess was indispensable. When what looked like a quarrel was beginning to erupt among the members of the team who all laid claim to playing an important role, the king declared that his daughter would not be married again.
From this story, it is obvious that when they worked together as a group they were able to get the princess, but now that they lay claim to her privately, they all lost her. From the foregoing, we learn that the differences in us attract the other person as a complement. My difference enriches the uniqueness of the other.
4. African Songs
Africans are a people of songs. They sing in their farms during work, in their shrines during worship, at home while cooking, in the evening during storytelling, at war fronts to give themselves courage, on their way while on a journey, etc., thus, Quarcoopome (1987) avers that among Africans:
Singing generates the avenue for expressing certain sentiments or truths, and in the context of rituals they demonstrate the faith of the worshipper from the heart- faith in God, belief in and about divinities, assurance and hope about the present and with reference to the hearafter. (p. 37).
How are these songs a source of Igwebuike philosophy? So many African songs point to the relatedness of reality. One among many of such songs is:
Onye Kugbulu Nwankelu?: who killed the rabin?
Kerere Nwankelu (reframe)
Ukwa dagbulu Nwankelu: the bread fruit killed nwankelu
Kerere Nwankelu
Gini mere ukwa ahu?: What happened to the bread fruit?
Kerere Nwankelu
Obi mara ukwa ahu: a digger pierced the breadfruit
Kerere Nwankelu
Gini mere obi ahu?: What happened to the digger?
Kerere Nwankelu
Akika kporo obi ahu.: The digger was infested by termites.
Kerere Nwankelu
Gini mere akika ahu?: What happened to the termites?
Kerere Nwankelu
Okuko tuga akika ahu: A cock was eating the termite.
Kerere Nwankelu
Gini mere okuko ahu?: What happened to the cock?
Kerere Nwankelu
Ufu chuga okuko ahu.: a fox was pursuing the cock
Kerere Nwankelu
Gini mere ufu ahu?: what happened to the fox?
Kerere Nwankelu
Mmadu chuga ufu ahu.: a man was pursuing the fox.
Kerere Nwankelu
Gini mere mmadu ahu?: what happened to the man?
Kerere Nwankelu
Chukwu kere mmadu ahu.: God created the man.
Kerere Nwankelu
Gini kere Chukwu ahu?: what made God?
Kerere Nwankelu
Anyi amaghi ihe kpuru Chukwu, Chukwu kpuru mmadu, mmadu chuga ufu, ufu chuga okuko, okuko chuga akika, akika taru obi, obi mara ukwa, ukwa dagbulu nwankelu- Kerere Nwankelu.: (we do not know what made God, who made man, man who was pursuing of the hyena, the fox that was going after a cock, the cock that was eating termite, the termite that infested the digger, the digger that pierced the bread fruit, the bread fruit that eventually fell and killed wankelu- Kerere Nwankelu). In this song, the relationship between realities in the world is not just traced, but traced back to God.
5. African Symbols
The use of symbols in Africa is a very common phenomenon. It has become more useful due to the African’s strong believe in metaphysical realities. Thus, symbols help the Africa to represent the unseen realities that are all around him or her. Fairchild (1965), defines a symbol as:

That which stands for something else particularly a relatively concrete explicit representation of a more generalized, diffuse, intangible object or group of objects. A very large part of social processes is caused on by use of symbols such as words, money, certificates and pictures. A true symbol excites reactions similar to, though perhaps not quite as intense as those created by the original object. (p. 314).

It is from the above perspective that Madu (2011) maintains that symbolism implies the practice of using acts, sounds, objects or other means which are not of importance in themselves for directing attention to something that is considered important.

A strong example of a symbol in the African world is the Kola nut. It is a caffeine-containing nut of evergreen trees of the genus Cola, primarily of the species Cola acuminata. Cola acuminata, an evergreen tree about 20 meters in height, has long, ovoid leaves pointed at both the ends with a leathery texture. The trees have yellow flowers with purple spots, and star-shaped fruit. Inside the fruit, about a dozen round or square seeds develop in a white seed-shell. The nut’s aroma is sweet and rose-like. Among the Igbo of Eastern Nigeria, it symbolizes life, and that is why during the formal introduction of the Kola nut ritual, it is said: onye wetara oji wetara ndu (he that brings kola nut brings life). The kola nut is also a symbol of peace and goodwill. This is why the first thing an Igbo person offers a guest is Kola nut to indicate that the guest is welcome. It is sometimes an indispensable element when sacrifices are offered to the gods. Very important is that it is a symbol of communion, not just among the living, but also between the living and the dead. It could be referred to, in a traditional sense as the Igbo sacramental communion, specially presented, broken, shared and partaken of. During the breaking of the kola, heaven and earth come together. When the different parts of Kola nut is together, the nut remains fresh and succulent, however, when the different parts are separated from each other, they die off by drying off. This brings out the African philosophy of complementarity: I am because we are and since we are, therefore, I am; together we stand, separated we fall.

6. Professional Philosophers
A glance at the works of contemporary African philosophers, reveals that the web that holds their perspectives together is the philosophy of complementarity. Although perspectives continue to change and differ, they continue to be united by the idea of harmony. This dates back to Tempels (1959) who argues that: “‘Beings forces’ of the universe are not a multiple of independent forces placed in juxtaposition from being to being. All creatures are found in relationship according to the law of hierarchy”. (p. 29). This sense of complementarity echoes in Kagame (1951) and Jahn (1958) who employed NTU as the rallying point of being, outside of which no being can exist. During the nationalistic movements of the 20th century, complementarity was grounded in political ideologies: while Senghor (1964 and 1975) places the family at the centre of the social structure, Nyerere (1968a and 1968b) bases his political thought on Ujamaa, familyhood. While Awolowo (1969 and 1979) makes a choice of socialism over capitalism, Nkrumah (1963) gave Pan-Africanism the publicity it deserved. In Mbiti (1970) the African personality is represented in the “I am because we are, and since we are therefore I am”. While speaking from the Igbo perspective, Oguejiofor (2010) maintains that “the unitary conception of reality pervades Igbo world view in a very remarkable way” (p. 21). Edeh (1983) in his work on Igbo Metaphysics avers that: “the Igbo way of life emphasizes ‘closeness’ but not closed-ness’. There is a closeness in living because each person ‘belongs to’ others and in turn, ‘is belonged to’ by others” (p. 105). From the Akan perspective, Gyekye (1987) asserts that: “The individual’s life depends on identifying oneself with the group. This identification is the basis of the reciprocal relationship between the individual and the group” (p. 156). Iroegbu (1995) describes being in African ontology as belongingness. According to Nkemnkia (1999) “The meaning of an individual’s life is found in and through his relationship with the other or others. In fact it is meaningless to ask oneself “who am I” without having a complete knowledge of the other, from whom, in the final analysis, one expects the answer” (pp. 111). Asouzu (2004 and 2013) locates within the context of mutual complementarity of all possible relations in the sense of an existent reality.


7. African Mythology
Esposito, Easching and Lewis (2006), explain that the word “myth” comes from the Greek “mythos”, which means “story”. Myths are symbolic stories about the origins and destiny of human beings and their world. They relate human beings to whatever powers they believe ultimately govern their destiny, and explains to them what those powers expect of them. According Marshall (1988): “The word ‘myth’ is used to refer to stories that are fictional, and hence, it has come to have a pejorative sense” (p. 449). In African ontology, myths are the outcome of the human attempts to explain historical institutions and developments by appeal to non-historical factors and forces. While discussing the Yoruba myth, Idowu (1962) speaks of capacity common to all myths, “... Odu myths enshrine the theological and philosophical thoughts of the Yoruba” (p. 45). African myths therefore, according to Kanu (2013b) are a veritable mine of materials on African philosophy. Gyekye (1995) describes them as “vehicles for abstract thought” (p. 14), and further advises that “To get at the full philosophical import of myths, however, requires detailed examination” (p. 15).
After creation, human beings had no house, making them to sleep wherever they found temporal shelter. One day they went out to look for food through hunting. While they were out they saw two beautiful birds on a tree working hard. While one of the birds always flew out and came in with weeds and sticks, the other one remained on the branch of the tree weaving a nest with the weeds and sticks. When the man and woman saw how the two birds were building their nest where they lived in, they located a place, gathered sticks and weeds together in imitation of the birds. With these materials they were able to build a house for themselves, a house that was better than the one that the birds built. From this first house, they improved on the future houses that they built.
Conclusion
The present paper has been geared towards the structuralization of Igwebuike philosophy, with the aim of developing a socio-cultural foundation. This is very important as Igwebuike philosophy is an indigenous philosophy that has emerged from a unique socio-cultural context. The foregoing has studied the sources of Igwebuike philosophy. The sources of Igwebuike philosophy that were studied include the works of professional African philosophers, African proverbs, African folktales, African myths, African symbols, African songs and African names. At this level, these elements, except for the works of professional African philosophers, are only part of culture and not philosophy itself- this is because they have not yet received the light of reasoning. However, through their hermeneutical interpretation, we move from culture to philosophy.
References
Adamson, H. (1972). Anthropology: The study of man. New York: McGrahil Press
Asouzu, I. I. (2004). Methods and principles of complementary reflection in and beyond African philosophy. Nigeria: Chidal Global.
Asouzu, I. I. (2013). Ibuanyidanda: Complementary reflection and some basic philosophical problems in Africa today. Berlin: Lit Verlag.
Awolowo, O. (1968). The People’s Republic. Ibadan: Oxford University Press.
Awolowo, O. (1979). The problems of Africa: The need for ideological appraisal. London: Macmillan.
Brosnan, T. G. D., The Gospel to the Birom. Doctoral Thesis. Pontifical University Rome, March, 1976.
Edeh, E. (1983). Towards an Igbo metaphysics Chicago: Loyola University Press.
Esposito, J, Easching, D, and Lewis, T. (2006). World religion today. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Fairchild, H. (1965). Dictionary of sociology and other related sciences. Little Field Adams: UK.
Gaudium et Spes (1965). In A. Flannery (Ed). Documents of the second Vatican Council (pp.903-1001). Dublin: Dominican Publications.
Gyekye, K. (1987). An essay on African philosophical thought: The Akan conceptual scheme. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gyekye, K. (1995). An essay in African philosophical thought: The Akan conceptual scheme. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Hountondji, P. (1995). African philosophy: Myth and reality. Paris: Francois Maspero.
Idowu, B. E. (1962). Olodumare: God in Yoruba belief. London: Longmans.
Ikemnkia, M. N. (1999). African vitalogy: A step forward in African thinking. Kenya: Paulines.
Iroegbu, P. (1995). Metaphysics: The kpim of philosophy. Owerri: International Universities Press.
Jahn, J. (1958). Muntu: An outline of the new African culture. New York: Grove Press.
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Zani, J. (1972). African Parables in 20 Africans write on communications in Africa. Uganda: Gaba.

IGWEBUIKE AS AN IGBO-AFRICAN MODALITY OF PEACE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION









Prof. KANU, Ikechukwu Anthony, O.S.A.
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Tansian University, Umunya
Anambra State
ikee_mario@yahoo.com




















A paper presented at the 2017 International Conference of the Igbo Studies Association, held at Greatwood Hotels, Plot 12, G Port Harcourt-Owerri Road, Fed. Secretariat Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

Abstract
A cursory glance at the African continent reveals that she has been and continues to be the scene of multiple conflicts at local, national and regional levels. These conflicts have led to the breakdown of African countries. Human lives have been lost, infrastructure destroyed, education and health services have suffered, and the environment damaged. Over the years, the international community has been involved in supporting African countries in the resolution of conflicts, however, only very little have changed. It is from this background that this piece asserts that circumstances have arisen that calls for the study of the African worldview to see how indigenous categories could contribute to or complement the resolution of conflicts in Africa. Igwebuike, an Igbo-African philosophy is, therefore, employed as a system of conflict resolution which would help Africans to incorporate African traditional categories in the resolution of conflicts, promotion of peace, justice, freedom, human dignity, sustainable development and better quality of life. Igwebuike as an indigenous wholistic Igbo philosophy is generated to emphasize that indigenous peoples have worldviews and means of relating to the world. This worldview is rooted within indigenous epistemologies, cultures and traditions with the understanding that we are all related- each aspect relates with the whole: the dynamics of realty are based on the relationships and experiences of interrelationships and interconnections. The findings of this research would assist policy makers, Non-Governmental organizations and development agencies to locate the appropriate conflict resolution strategy for the promotion of peace and development in African local communities. The Indigenous wholistic method of enquiry would be employed for the purpose of this research.

Keywords: Igwebuike, Igbo-African, Philosophy, Peace, Conflict, Resolution.

Introduction
The issue of peace and conflict resolution is within the parameters of human relationship. And the way people relate with one another is to a great extent determined by their worldview. For instance, while the Western worldview is exclusivistic, depersonalized, objectivised and more concerned with analysis; the African scheme of conceptualization is inclusivistic, integrative, non-reductionistic, concrete, personalized and subjectivised in all its manifestations, expressing the interconnectedness of reality- a world of relationship, harmony, continuality and complementarity. Thus, Onyeocha (2006) argues that “the African conceives of reality in terms of a universe of forces that are linked together, and are in constant interplay with one another” (p. 99). The differences in worldview would thus imply that there might be the need for the application of different methods of peace and conflict resolution, that is, if true peace must be attained. Applying a method of peace and conflict resolution that is depersonalized among a people who are personalized would definitely look like putting a square peg in a round hole.
Like every other people in the world, indigenous communties have unique and peculiar worldviews and means of relating to the world which are embedded in their different cultures from time immemorial. Thus, Nwolise (2005) avers that:
It is my firm belief that long before Aristotle propounded his theory on sociology and metaphysics, the African race … had not only understood these theories, but have reduced them into practice. These are embedded in their various proverbs, parables and wise sayings. (p. 155).
The African worldview is rooted in an indigenous epistemology, culture and tradition with the understanding that we are all related- each aspect relates with the whole: the dynamics of realty based on the relationships and experiences of interrelationships and interconnections. It is wholistic in the sense that it encompasses the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical elements of being (Absolom 2010). It forms a framework to indigenize our thoughts and actions into active healing processes that simultaneously decolonize and indigenize. As a theory, it is whole, ecological, cyclical and relational.
This paper focuses on Igwebuike as an Igbo-African peace and conflict resolution technique which is based on the Igbo-African worldview expressed within categories that the African can understand and appreciate. Having studied the development of peace and conflict resolution in Africa, and the impact made in this direction from the colonial era, this paper asserts that with colonialism there has been an imposition of the colonial system of justice administration that is endogamous and foreign to Africa. This accounts for the ineffectiveness of conflict resolution measures or procedures over time. It thus, calls for a renewal of the African method of peace and conflict resolution. This renewal is envisioned in Igwebuike philosophy of peace and conflict resolution.
Conflict, Its Ontological Cause and the Need for Resolution
Conflict is from the Latin word confligere, which means to strike together. It is the product of differences in the interpretation of reality, data, issues, values, interests, relationships and unsatisfied human needs (Bisong 2006). It is always the result of differences in a family, community, village, a tribe, religion occasioned by incompatible desires and aims (Nader, 1986). At the heart of it are self-assertiveness and the absence of empathy; and its key words are hostility, disagreement, incompatibility, competition and misunderstanding. The result is collision, disagreement, struggle, clash, opposition, etc. In relation to resolution, it first appeared in the mid-1950s with theories coming in mainly from North America. According to Bakut (2013), the University of Michigan made huge contribution towards the development of the concept through her Journal of Conflict Resolution founded in 1957 and the Centre for Research on Conflict Resolution which started in 1959.
The human person naturally is a social and political being created to be with the other. The inherent cause of conflict is egocentrism which bifurcates reality. And this is very alien to African ontology that has a complementary perspective of reality. The bifurcation of reality is evident in Descartes who defines the person in relation to self-consciousness. In the Second Meditation, Descartes (1637), through his methodical doubt, discovers that something resists doubt. That is, the fact that it is he who doubts, and who can be deceived. He thus, arrives at Cogito ergo sum (I think therefore, I am). To the question, who am I? Descartes answers simply, a “thinking thing”, a thing that essentially has mental experiences. Descartes’ transformation of the person from an ontological to a psychological fact, opened the door to a series of either great diminutions or of enormous exaggerations of the concept of person. Since the time of Descartes, individual consciousness has been taken as the privileged centre of identity, while ‘the other’ is seen as an epistemological problem, or as an inferior, reduced or negated form of the same.
Egocentrism occurs when someone has an overblown opinion of himself. It is the inability to differentiate between self and other. More specifically, it is the inability to untangle subjective schemas from objective reality; an inability to understand or assume any perspective other than their own. The moment a person begins to see the other person, his interests, wants, values, needs, etc., as incompatible with one’s own, with no ground for negotiation or compromise, then conflict has begun. The next step that follows is the expression of negative emotions like fear, jealousy, bitterness, sadness, anger, hopelessness. If this is not controlled, it navigates from perception, through emotion to action, a point where a person takes action so as to express his or her feelings. With this understanding of conflict and it ontological cause, the basic question now is, how can such conflicts be resolved from an African perspective? It is in this regard that we turn to Igwebuike philosophy for a means of resolution.
The Gap in Non-Indigenous Methods of Conflict Resolution
The Seventh Chapter of the United Nations Charter, Articles 39-50 makes a provision for the United Nations to maintain peace and security in any part of the world. Further provisions have been made in Chapter Seven, Article 52-52 for regional arrangements as in the case of African Union to mobilize troops for peace keeping. Unfortunately, Jiya (2-13) observes that a cursory glance at the historical evolution of conflict resolution in different parts of Africa by the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces and the regional bodies interventions, reveals that both bodies have recorded more abysmal failures than successes as is in the cases of Somalia, Rwanda, Angola, Centra African Republic. In Nigeria, the settlement of the cases between Ife/Modakeke, Aguleri/Umuleri and the Tiv/Fulani crisis are important cases in point. Although the cases are judged in the court and closed, the conflict still continues to raise its heads with gruesome implications in various ways, indicating that it has not been settled after all. The failure has always been as a result of the lack of understanding and undermining of the political, military and sociological realities of peculiar peoples.
In most cases, the Western methods, contradict cultural values and priorities and are not geared towards reconciliation but the condemnation of one and the justification of the other. This is usually achieved through force, use of the military or the police to enforce the judgment. Einstein (cited by Bogoro 2013) said that “Peace cannot be kept by force” (p. 44). This is at the heart of the problem with non-indigenous methods of conflict resolution, making it difficult to effectively address the cases of conflict in Africa. Bakut (2013) observes that Western approaches towards peace and conflict resolution do not focus on emotion and relationship of actors and factors in conflict, the African approaches, methods and styles are anchored on emotion and relationship of actors, deeply rooted in the spirituality of the African people. The western approach sees emotion as something to be passed by; its methods are analytical, result oriented, linear, and based on reaching an agreement between individual parties rather than building relationships (Quinney 2002, Walker 2004). The end result of the western methods of conflict resolution is that many of the cases or conflicts in Africa that they have tried to resolve have remained unresolved as crisis still looms in many parts of Africa where the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces have tried to intervene. This, according to Kriesberg (2003) emphasizes that cultural systems have a great role to play in styles of resolving conflicts, and in the contention of Avruch (2002), a people’s culture determines their action in the subconscious level; thus, the need to be open to indigenous methods in every sincere relationship with indigenous people.
An Overview of Igwebuike Philosophy
Igwebuike is an Igbo word; one of the major dialects in Africa. It is a principle that is at the heart of African thought, and in fact, the modality of being in African ontology. It is taken from the Igbo language. It is a composite word made up of three dimensions (Kanu 2015). Therefore, it can be employed as a word or used as a sentence: as a word, it is written as Igwebuike, and as a sentence, it is written as, Igwe bu ike, with the component words enjoying some independence in terms of space. The three words involved: Igwe is a noun which means number or population, usually a huge number or population. Bu is a verb, which means is. Ike is another verb, which means strength or power (Kanu 2016). Thus, put together, it means ‘number is strength’ or ‘number is power’, that is, when human beings come together in solidarity and complementarity, they are powerful or can constitute an insurmountable force (Kanu, 2017). Its English equivalents are ‘complementarity’, ‘solidarity’ and ‘harmony’. The preferred concept, however, is ‘complementarity’.
As an indigenous African philosophy, Igwebuike gives an understanding of the human person as a being who is in relation with the other in the world. It establishes that there exists a common link between human persons and that it is through this relationship that every other human person realizes himself or herself. Igwebuike is the capacity in Igbo-African ontology for the expression of complementarity, solidarity, compassion, reciprocity, dignity and harmony for the purpose of building and maintaining community. It celebrates in a deep cultural and philosophical modality our relatedness, our interconnectedness, our common humanity, our common responsibility towards each other and for each other.

FIGURE 1: Igwebuike in Concrete Expression
Igwebuike is the essence of being human. It understands that a person’s humanity is inextricably caught up and bound in the other person’s humanity: “I am because I am a part of the other”. It appreciates reality only within the context of its wholeness. To be grounded in Igwebuike philosophy is to be speak and relate with compassion, welcoming, hospitable, warm, generous an willing to share. It is the foundation of openness, availability, affirmation of the other, freedom from threat based on the ability or good in others. This is because, it comes with the understanding that oneself is diminished with the humiliation and oppression of the other. This helps one to celebrate the greatness and achievements of the other, because the greatness and achievements of others is my own greatness when properly understood. It is a very practical philosophy that is lived out in daily historical circumstances.
Igwebuike is an innate human quality. For deep in the recesses of the heart of everyone are found the qualities of and hunger for complementarity, solidarity, compassion, reciprocity, dignity and harmony. No one is born with hatred, spirit of division, tribalism or racism in his or her heart. All these negative qualities are learnt as the human person progresses on the historical path. And if the human person learns all these negative qualities contrary to his essence of being human, it means that the person can also be igwebuikelized- a process of the discovery of the real essence of a person’s humanity. To learn these negative qualities contrary to Igwebuike, that is, the essence of your humanity, is to be dehumanized. And only a dehumanized person can dehumanize the other. It is in this regard that Nelson Mandela writes that:
A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred; he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not truly free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity… For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of other. (p. 544).
There is, therefore, a strong nexus between the freedom of the oppressed and the freedom of the oppressor. At the time when the oppressor, the hater, the racist, the sectionalist, etc., thinks that he or she has achieved victory, the oppressor is as much the looser as the oppressed. There is a proportionate loss of humanness in the oppressor and the oppressed, for both are dehumanized. In the dehumanization of the oppressed, the humanity of the oppressor is also dehumanized. This perspective underpins Igwebuike’s perception of the self in relation to the other which is guided by an inner principle of equity, inter-social 'collaboration, caring for the other’s wellbeing, mutual support and a recognition of the other’s humanity. Principally, in Igwebuike, a person becomes a person through the other person or persons.
Igwebuike Philosophy of Peace and Conflict Resolution
Igwebuike as an indigenous method of peace and conflict resolution has a community-based approach. It is an outcome of the wisdom of traditional African conflict management practices drawn from the values of host communities, and founded on the custom and tradition of the African people which has been developed over a long period of time- it is entirely based on culture and emphasizes the fundamental part which culture plays in the lives and actions of people. It is more of a healing process in which individuals contribute positive energy with the sole aim of re-establishing the energy flow within individuals, families and communities for the purpose of rebuilding social harmony. Thus, by finding a balance between the self and other, the destructive and the creative, the good and the bad, etc.
What is peace? Igwebuike understands peace within the context of good health, well-being, order and freshness. From this understanding, poverty, insecurity, unemployment, waywardness, communal clashes, religious crisis, and other mysterious and human-made misfortunes are considered to be the opposite or negation of peace. In relation to conflict, Igwebuike philosophy does not understand conflict merely as a fracas between two persons, or two groups, it rather understands conflict as a fracas touching on the harmony of reality. This explains why the African approach always entails a spiritual dimension, for creating and restoring damaged relationship with God, the deities, the ancestors, family, neighbours, etc. This is done in a way, sometimes through rituals that link the people with their past, the present and their future- it is a holistic approach. Thus, it is not just about justifying the one and condemning the other, it works towards a compromise for the reconciliation of the both parties and the restoration of balance or the harmony of reality. It is relatively informal and thus, less intimidating as those involved are at ease, and are in familiar environment. These are the basic features of Igwebuike philosophy of peace and conflict resolution:
1. Conflict is not viewed as a problem between the disputants but as a problem of the entire community. This, therefore, attracts the attention of the community.
2. The emphasis is on reconciliation and restoring social harmony. It purpose is, therefore, aimed at rebuilding broken relationships and restoring the community.
3. Igwebuike works towards a situation that acknowledges a mutually beneficial condition rather just condemning one and exalting the other. This is because the emphasis is on co-operation with one another for the common good as opposed to competition that could lead to grave instability within the community.
4. Traditional arbitrators are appointed from within the community on the basis of status and lineage. They are never strange faces sitting on judgment seats- their personal knowledge of the disputants, the case and the community places them in a position of advantage.
5. There is a high degree of public participation. There are no secret trails in African traditional legal system. Since the problem between the disputants is seen as a community problem, in restoring harmony, there must be a general satisfaction among the public regarding the procedure and outcome of the case.
6. There is an emphasis on restorative penalty.
7. Decisions are reached through agreement rather than force.
8. The enforcement of a decision is reached through social pressure rather than the police or military.
9. A crime is viewed as a wrong that has its dangers, and, thus, must be addressed as soon as possible to make things right again.
10. Judgments are seen as teachable moments when the offender must learn new ways of acting in the community.
11. There is an emphasis on religious institutions in aiding justice among people and to promote moral and ethical values within communities.
It is from this perspective that Golwa (2013) avers that African traditional methods of conflict resolution are aimed at ensuring the full integration of the parties involved into the society. The objective is to move away from accusation and counter-accusation method to settle hurt feelings and to reach a compromise that would help improve future relationships. And since the family is at the heart of the African society, the family is the basic school where peace must be taught through proverbs, parables, myths, etc. When a child is born into a peaceful family, he or she stands the chance of being an ambassador of peace.
Conclusion
Conflicts have always been with the human society right from the very beging of the existence of differences in identities, competing definitions of what is right, fair and just. This paper has studied the issue of peace and conflict resolution from an African perspective relying on Igwebuike as an African method of reconciliation. It argues that the persisting issues of conflicts in Africa are a consequence of the relegation of the African traditional model of conflict resolution to the background. It acknowledges that the African approach to conflict resolution is aimed at removing the root causes of the conflict, to reconcile the conflict parties and to ensure peace in society. While the means to peace and conflict resolution are taught in schools, the traditional African emphasis on peace and the resolution of conflict is taught right from the home. Through proverbs, stories, etc., the African is taught the need for peace and the consequences of discord and its resounding effect on the entire universe. Therefore, the western model of conflict resolution has created confusion and occasioned haphazard measures in addressing interpersonal and intergroup discords in Africa. Igwebuike as a means for peace and conflict resolution is an attempt to reconsider the traditional model of conflict resolution. This model understands conflict as encompassing a parameter that is beyond the physical to involve the spiritual and emotional dimensions. It submits that, for true peace to be realized in African communities, there is a need for the incorporation of African traditional peace processes, that does not only declare a person right and the other wrong, but that heals the wounds or hurts that have emanated from the conflict in question.
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IGWEBUIKE PHILOSOPHY AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION IN AFRICA
















Prof. KANU Ikechukwu Anthony, O.S.A.
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Tansian University, Umunya
Anambra State
ikee_maio@yahoo.com







A paper presented at the Second African Philosophy World Conference held at the University of Calabar, Cross Rivers State, Department of Philosophy, Conversatonal School of Philoosphy, from October 12th to 14th 2017


Abstract
Human rights are moral principles which describe certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being, and which are inherent in all human beings regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status. They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. This piece studies the anthropological consequences of the violation of human rights from an African perspective. This study is based on the Igbo-African philosophy of identity and alterity captured by Igwebuike philosophy, which sees the other, not in terms of the ‘I and the Not I’ but in terms of the ‘I and Thou’. This philosophy understands the other as a complement of the self, and to violate the human rights of the other who is a complement to you is to violate your own fundamental human rights. For the purpose of this research, the hermeneutic method of inquiry and Indigenous Wholistic Theory would be employed. This research anticipates to re-awaken the need for a more sympathetic approach towards the human rights of the other.

Keywords: Human Rights, Igwebuike, Violation, Fundamental, Complementary, Alterity

Introduction
Human rights are moral principles which describe certain standards of human behaviour, and are supposed to be protected as legal rights in law, both nationally, regionally and internationally. They are commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights "to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being," . These rights are inherent in all human beings regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status. They are applicable everywhere and are the same for everyone . The doctrine of human rights has been highly influential within international and regional institutions. However, as a result of a community of events happening all over the globe, a chain of debates has been provoked, questioning the content, nature and universality of fundamental human rights. Such events include the many involvements of the developed nations in Africa, especially as regards biomedical research- “Is human rights the prerogative of Africans too or only of the West?”; the religious practices of some religious like Islam, precisely the Islamic Law which allows for practices such as stoning to death, beheading a person, cutting a person’s member, etc.; there is also the issue of the dehumanizing activities of the military among civilians. These issues, among others, raise questions as regards the authenticity of the universality of fundamental human rights: “Are there people with more human rights than the others?”
Events of this kind are an indication that circumstances have arisen for an interpretation of the ‘universality of Fundamental human rights’. This is precisely what Igwebuike philosophy undertakes in this piece: an attempt to give an interpretation of the consequences of the violation of fundamental human rights. Igwebuike philosophy springs from the African socio-cultural background which understands life as a participation in the life of the other or the community.
For Africans, to be human is to participate in life and respect the conditions that make life possible. To participate in life means ultimately to participate in the fellowship of the community. African community-based society does not designate a communal or collectivist society, but rather one reminiscent of an organism. The collectivist society inevitably places the emphasis on the individual and his or her needs. African society emphasises solidarity rather than activity, and the communion of persons rather than their autonomy … That personhood is identified by an individual’s interaction with other persons does not eliminate personal identity … It simply says that my personal identity comes to the fore in my interaction with, and place in, my community .
It is from this perspective, therefore, that this work attempts at understanding the violation of the rights of the other as carrying resounding consequences on the humanity of all. This is because the being of one is ontologically linked to the being of the other. It is from this ontological relation that this piece, using the hermeneutic method of inquiry and Indigenous Wholistic Theory, establishes the need for a more sympathetic approach towards the human rights of the other, since the other’s human rights is my own human rights, thus, the violation of the human rights of the other is the violation of my human rights.
The Linguistic Formation the Concept “Igwebuike”
Igwebuike is the heart of African thought, and in fact, the modality of being in African philosophy . It is taken from the Igbo language, which is a composite word made up of three dimensions . Therefore, it can be employed as a word or used as a sentence: as a word, it is written as Igwebuike, and as a sentence, it is written as, Igwe bu ike, with the component words enjoying some independence in terms of space . The three words involved: Igwe is a noun which means number or population, usually a huge number or population. Bu is a verb, which means is. Ike is another verb, which means strength or power . Thus, put together, it means ‘number is strength’ or ‘number is power’, that is, when human beings come together in solidarity and complementarity, they are powerful or can constitute an insurmountable force . Its English equivalent is ‘complementarity’. At this level, no task is beyond their collective capability. It is a concept that was employed by African traditional philosophers of the complementary school of thought to discuss the nature of the observed African reality .
Igwebuike is anchored on the African worldview, which, according to Iroegbu is characterized by a common origin, common world-view, common language, shared culture, shared race, colour and habits, common historical experience and a common destiny . It is a complementary philosophy which understands life as a shared reality. Life is a life of sharedness; one in which another is part thereof. It is a relationship, though of separate and separated entities or individuals but with a joining of the same whole . It is a relationship in which case the two or more coming together makes each of them a complete whole; it is a diversity of being one with each other. Thus, Mbiti classically proverbializes the community determining role of the individual when he writes, “I am because we are and since we are, therefore I am” . This notwithstanding, Igwebuike is an African philosophy of complementarity.
The Underlying Principle of Igwebuike Philosophy
The underlying principle of Igwebuike philosophy is the principle of complementarity. To complement means to bring together or to sum up distinct or similar things or words to make a new meaning or to form or produce a new outlook or phenomenon. According to Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary, complementary is all about “Combining well to form a balance or attractive group or whole,” while to complement is simply “to add new or contrasting feature which show the best qualities of something or which improve it . What this means is that complementarily is simply the act of summing up fragments to make up a whole which become more attracting and meaningful than its former fragments . It understands reality as being interrelated in all its segments, which works in mutual complementation and eventually lead to general well being of common good. Igwebuike is a school of thought that argues that a whole is greater, than any it’s corresponding parts. It is also a view that maintains that by the coming together of the individual or parts, a viable and sustainable whole will emerge, and by this, the parts will get to the brim purpose of their existence. Finally, it is the view that holds that individualized views and individualized goals and desires will be attained fully if there is a mutual collectivity existing amongst them. Thus, to be is to be in mutual complementary relationship.
As the modality of being, complementary relations to the other, therefore, becomes the point of fulfillment for being, for it is in relation to the other that a being realizes itself. Every being needs the other for self realization- the self is not realized in isolation. It is said that “all fingers are not equal”, however, when they different fingers come together, they can achieve a lot. Some fingers are shorter, but they have their use; some fingers are taller, they have their use; some fingers are slimmer, they also have their use; the importance of each emerges when the time for application arrives. The other is needed others to complement our efforts and works. There is an African saying that says: “one finger does not carry a load on the head”, which means that we need others. Some work great jobs while some small, otherwise how do we exist?
The idea of corporate existence was communicated in Plato’s political/ethical theory in relation to the realization of justice. Plato argues that for justice to reign in the state, the three parts that makes up the state, that is, the rulers (the philosophers) the guardians (the soldiers) and the artisans (the labourers) must work together in one accord with each person doing his or her work efficiently to ensure a peaceful co-existence in the state. This is also evident in Hegel’s philosophy which sees the conflict between thesis and anti-thesis as fundamental for the emergence of a thesis. Thus, everything that exists whether good or bad, positive or negative is in one way or the other part of an ultimate end. The concept also connotes that a whole will never be possible without its relative parts and on the other hand parts can only be known to exist if viewed in relation to its whole. Asouzu speaking on this note said that “all existent realities relates to each other in the manner of mutual service” .

Indices of the Violation of Fundamental Human Rights
Three indices of the violation of human rights have been chosen for the purpose of this work. This is not to say that these are the only or the major violations of human rights in Africa. They are chosen at the researcher’s discretion. And these areas include: the violation of human rights by the state, the violation of human rights in religious practices and the violation of human rights during biomedical research in Africa. However, while the main theme points to the violation of human rights in Africa, the indices dealt with here are major Nigerian situations, with little reference to other African experiences; this is done on the basis that to collect the whole experiences in Africa would be tedious and nearly impossible; more so, experiences in Africa are strongly related, and thus an experience could be discussed as an African problem.
1. State Violations of Human Rights
It can be rightly asserted that one of the greatest objectives of the post independence Nigerian Constitutions is the protection and promotion of human rights. The preamble to the 1999 Constitution unmistakably set the tone by dedicating itself to promote “good government and welfare of all persons on the principles of freedom, equality and Justice” . Apart from the preamble, chapters two and four of the Constitution extensively deal with human rights issues. While chapter two is captioned, Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, chapter four is entitled, “Fundamental rights”. In writing, these rights are well detailed in the Nigerian Constitution:
1. Right to life ,
2. Right to dignity of the human person ,
3. Right to personal liberty
4. Right to fair hearing ;
5. Right to private and family life ;
6. Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion ;
7. Right to freedom of expression and the press ;
8. Right to peaceful assembly and association
9. Right to freedom of movement
10. Right to freedom from discrimination
11. Right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria
12. And Right to receive prompt compensation for compulsory acquisition of property .
These rights enshrined in the Nigerian constitution notwithstanding, events in the history of Nigeria, as is in many African countries are worrisome. Presidents leave the country without constitutionally informing their people, a right that they possess. The court grants bail to people and the government sits on the bail. The president sends troops to wipe out a whole village . In 2001, the President of Nigeria invoked the emergency powers of the military against the town of Odi. Within forty-eight hours, the rural town of Odi was levelled. Only a church and a bank building survived the operation. Over 300 were reported killed in the most widely condemned military action since the General Sani Abacha pacifist troops overran Ogoniland. The action of the military as genocidal, brutish, reckless and a gross violation of the rights of the victims to life and to property. Describing the condition of Odi after the military invasion, the National Daily Newspaper reported that:
The destruction of Odi was comprehensive and complete; no aspect of the community was spared by what I saw in the pictures showed here. The respondents violated the fundamental human rights of the people of Odi, by the massacre. The people are entitled to fundamental rights to life, dignity and fair play, the destruction of Odi was not as a result of gun battle but clear bombardment, the destruction was malicious,” Justice Akanbi declared. The judge also quoted President Goodluck Jonathan as saying in a media chat on the National Television Authority (NTA), on November 18, 2010, that “only innocent people, including women, children and the very weak that could not run to escape were killed in Odi .
In 2001, the Federal government also ordered a military invasion of Zaki-Biam. The military operation began on Monday, October 22, when soldiers from the 23rd armored brigade of the 3rd armored division of the Nigerian army rounded up residents in Gbeji village for a “meeting,” made them sit on the ground, separated the men from the others, and then opened fire upon the men indiscriminately. Witnesses reported that some of the victims’ bodies were then set ablaze. Further killings took place as soldiers invaded the villages of Vasae, Anyiin Iorja, Ugba, Sankera and Zaki-Biam, all located in the two local government areas of Logo and Zaki-Biam. In the following two days, there was widespread destruction of property and buildings in these villages, after terrified residents had abandoned their homes. While the total number of victims has not yet been established, survivors and eyewitnesses have reported that at least 100 and possibly more than 200 people died at the hands of the soldiers . These raises questions as regards the universality of fundamental human rights: are there people who have it more than others? Are there times when it should be respected and at others disrespected?
2. Religion and the Violation of Human Rights
Religion, especially the Islamic religion has been accused of standing for class society and patriarchy, and thus undermining the fundamental human rights of women . Thus, religion has been accused of being an instrument of oppression rather than redemption. The introduction of the sharia law in Northern Nigeria in the perspective of Titi Salaam does not in any way advance the rights of women . In the contention of Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi,
The implementation of Sharia Penal Codes in northern Nigeria is flawed in several respects. Firstly, it does not adequately protect the rights of women. Therefore abuse, violence and discrimination against women go unpunished as they are wrongly considered to be socially acceptable. In addition, the testimony of women is devalued and treated as that of a minor or person without necessary legal capacity. Often, these biases and attitudes also affect judges and therefore the judgment of the Sharia Courts. As a result the implementation of sharia in Nigeria has placed some restrictions on the rights of women in Northern Nigeria .
The sharia law considers sex out of wedlock a crime punishable by death, and under this law, pregnancy is a sufficient evidence to convict an unmarried woman of the crime. However, if a man takes an oath denying of having had sex with a woman out of wedlock, is often considered sufficient proof of "innocence" unless four independent and reputable witnesses testify to seeing him take part in the act. Unfortunately, most of the culprits of the sharia law have been women . It is from this perspective that Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi further observes that,
These … suggest that the thinking of the court and supporters of sharia is that only women can be guilty of the 'offences' of adultery or fornication. What happens then, in the case of seduction of minors, or rape? This suggests that men living under sharia have been given a license to rape women and seduce or assault minors, or even impregnate them in the course of a relationship and then deny responsibility and watch them face a death sentence .
In October 2001, court in Sokoto state convicted Safiya Hussaini of adultery, she was sentenced to death by stoning, because she became pregnant out of wedlock, even though the 35-year-old mother cried out that her daughter was raped by a neighbor. In the case of Safiya, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, raises questions of gender bias on the following grounds: “Her pregnancy constituted the main evidence against her, but no scientific efforts were made to establish or disprove the paternity of the child. The onus of adultery was just pregnancy. The man named in the case was allowed to go free after denying responsibility for the pregnancy” .
In Katsina, during the month of March, in 2002, Amina Lawal Kurami was sentenced to death by stoning for bearing a child out of wedlock. The man she identified as the child's father denied the accusation and was acquitted for lack of evidence last. However, she was later set free.
In Zamfara, there was a time women were for a period prevented from travelling in public transport, the reason being that women are not supposed to be seen in the public spheres of life, it is worst when found in the company of a man not related to you. This led to a protest from women, and the law was amended, however in practice it is evident that women are still discriminated against .
In an attempt to express the fact of women oppression under the Sharia law, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, cites an instance in Tarata Mafara local government, where single women were given a three month ultimatum to get married or face being sacked from jobs in the civil service. Some financial inducements were provided to encourage women to become married. These example, argues Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, constitute rights violations under Nigerian law. The criminalization of women and their rights diverts attention from the real causes of crime, lack of adequate transport and housing and so forth .
In December 2008, Thisday Newspaper reported that the Kwara State Sharia Council faulted the purported plan by some members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to present a woman as the 2011 governorship candidate. It said that such a plan was contrary to the Sharia Law which forbids leadership by women. According to the statement signed by the vice chairman of the council in the state, Sheikh Moshood Ibrahim, “We therefore vehemently oppose this plan in Kwara State where over 80% are muslims come 2011 as being contemplated and bandied about by some members of the ruling party in the state” . Events of this kind, once again raises questions as regards the universality of fundamental human rights: do men have more human rights than women? Or are men more human than women?
3. Biomedical Research and the Violation of Human Rights
The challenges of underdevelopment, poverty, disease, inadequate health infrastructure, etc., have made Africa to become a vulnerable group for the conduct of biomedical research . There is an increased migration of research companies (unethical researchers) to developing countries where there is a loosed regulatory framework, where inhabitants have no knowledge of their rights to compensation, etc . In 1996, United States Physicians and the University of Zimbabwe, funded by the Centre for disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), made AZT trials on HIV-Positive African patients in Zimbabwe. The trial was done on about 1700 women for a medication that prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. The subjects were not duly informed about the procedures and onsequences of the trial, and in fact were told about the trial under duress. The result was an estimated 1000 babies contracting HIV/AIDS .

During an outbreak of cerebro-spinal meningitis in 1996 in Tudun Wada in Kano State, Nigeria, where Children were predominantly the victims. At this point, Pfizer brought in a team to conduct a research on its test drug TROVAFLOXACIN (TROVAN) - a quinolone antibiotic. Pfizer recruited a total of 200 children into the study in two arms- one arm had the test drug Trovan orally and the control arm was given Ceftriaxone or Chloramphenicol. Pfizer did obtain ethical clearance before recruiting participants and administering the drugs conducting the study. Pfizer capitalised on the poor, illiterate and desperate situation of the people and administered an unregistered drug; a clear case of the exploitation of the ignorant . During the research, about five children died . There was the case of clinical trials in Uganda between 1997 and 2003, when women taking the anti-transmission drug Nevirapine experienced thousands of serious adverse effects (SAEs). These symptoms went unreported and testing was allowed to continue, resulting in the (also unreported) deaths of 14 women. In Hyperabad, India in 2003, eight test subjects died during the testing of the anti-clotting drug Streptokinase. The worst part, though, was that the subjects did not even know that they were part of a trial . One would have expected that researchers from the West would have known that local people in Africa have fundamental human rights which needs to be respected. This also raises the question as to the fundamentality and universality of human rights.
Igwebuike and the Hermeneutic of the Violation of Human Rights
The question that Igwebuike philosophy intends to attend to in this section of this research is on the interpretation of the violation of fundamental human rights is: how does the violation of another person’s fundamental human rights affect me as a separate individual? When the issue of the violation of fundamental human rights arose at the heat of the Boko-Haram insurgency in the Northern part of Nigeria, some of those from the South were quiet, or simply thought, it’s a Northern issue, let them sort themselves out. During the military invasion of the Eastern part of Nigeria, predominantly Igbo, opinions were widely different, while those from the South condemned it, most of those from the North saw it as the most appropriate thing to be done, and only a one-sided attention was paid to the tale of terror, bloodshed and tears as the helpless and armless IPOB members were crushed by the Nigerian military. Much has been said about the need to defend people’s fundamental human rights in the United Nations, but these voices seem quiet and less aggressive when it comes to biomedical research in Africa which violates local people’s fundamental human rights. If the west keeps quiet at the violation of the fundamental human rights of the African people, the Northern part of Nigeria keeps quiet at the violation of the human rights of the people from the south and the south keeps quiet at the violation of the fundamental rights of Northerners, how does this affect or affect the humanity of the one who is quiet?
Igwebuike philosophy sees the other as a part of me, and together, in our peculiarities, we make up the whole. And if together we make up the whole, it then means that the other is a part of me and what affects the other affects me. To alienate the other is to alienate myself. Ewulu, therefore, writes that:
If the other is my part or a piece of me, it means that I need him for me to be complete, for me to be what I really am. The other completes rather than diminishes me. His language and culture make my own stand out and at the same time, they enrich and complement my own. In the presence of his language and culture, the riches and poverty of my language and culture become clear and I see that his own and my own when put together form a richer whole when compared to any of them in isolation .
Ekwulu (2010) further opines that the self is not only completed in relating with the other, but that it attains self-realization in the other: “I realize myself in the other because it is in the ‘Thou-ness’ of the Thou that my ‘Is-ness’ is realized. I am ‘I’ because you are ‘You’. Without Thou there is no I. We are ‘We’ because they are ‘They’, and without ‘They’, there is no ‘We’” . Thus, the Igbo would refer to the ‘Other’ as Ibe, which means ‘a piece of’ or ‘a part of’, as in ibe anu (a piece of meat) or ibe ede (a piece of cocoyam). The Igbo would, therefore, refer to the ‘other person’ as ibe m which means ‘my piece’ or mmadu ibe m (my fellow human being). This is the concept also employed in reference to relationships and reciprocity: love one another (hunu ibe unu n’anya), help one another (nyere nu ibe unu aka), respect one another (sopuru nu ibe unu), etc. Since the ‘other’ refers to my own piece, it would, therefore, mean that to love the other is to love oneself, to help the other is to help oneself and to respect the other is to respect oneself. Put the other way round, to hate the other is to hate oneself, to refuse help to the other is to refuse help to oneself and to disrespect the other is to disrespect oneself .
Relating the principle of Igwebuike philosophy to the interpretation of the violation of human rights shows that silence at the face of the violation of human rights is the greatest disservice to humanity and yourself. To be quiet, is to be quiet about what affects you indirectly- fundamental human rights. If a person keeps quiet at the violation of another’s human rights, instead of being the voice of the oppressed, he is quiet at the violation of his own human rights. In Igwebuike philosophy, the person who speaks for the other, speaks for humanity of which he is a part; for if humanity is destroyed, the individual is also destroyed. Since every part plays a fundamental role in the universal human scheme, it then means that every part, no matter the colour or tribe, needs to be protected for the preservation of the whole.
Conclusion
The foregoing has studied the consequences of the violation of the fundamental human rights of the other from the perspective of Igwebuike philosophy. It first established the linguistic formation of Igwebuike as a concept and underpinned complementarity and solidarity as the underlying principles of Igwebuike philosophy. It also studied the indices of violation of human rights in Africa, with more focus on the Nigerian nation of Africa. This initial study created the background for an interpretation of the violation of human rights with the principles of Igwebuike philosophy. In Igwebuike philosophy, the dynamics between identity and alterity is different and unique. The other is understood, not in terms of the ‘I and the Not I’ but in terms of the ‘I and Thou’. The other is seen as a complement of the self, and to violate the human rights of the other who is a complement to you is to violate your own fundamental human rights. This work traces the ontological link between and among humanity, which makes human rights universal, whether rich or poor, developed or developing, poor or rich, etc., and within the context of the same ontological cord, establishes that the violation of the human rights of the other is a violation of your own human rights and thus, sees the fight for the preservation of human rights as a responsibility for all.
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IGWEBUIKE AS AN IGBO-AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY OF INCLUSIVE LEADERSHIP













Prof. KANU Ikechukwu Anthony, O.S.A.
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Tansian University, Umunya
Anambra State
ikee_maio@yahoo.com









A paper presented at the Second African Philosophy World Conference held at the University of Calabar, Cross Rivers State, Department of Philosophy, Conversatonal School of Philoosphy, from October 12th to 14th 2017

Abstract
A cursory glance at the historical development of the concept of leadership in Africa reveals that proposals during the nationalistic movements of the twentieth century were basically in the direction of an inclusive system of government. Thus, Senghor places the family at the centre of social structure; Nyerere’s political philosophy was familyhood; while Awolowo called for a socialist system of government, Nkrumah proposed Pan-Africanism, and Azikiwe welfarism. All these were based on the African worldview that is inclusive, integrative, complementary and wholistic. Following the complementary nature of the African worldview, this work makes an attempt to articulate an Igbo-African concept of leadership within the context of Igwebuike philosophy, to serve as a model for the essential elements of effective leadership. For the purpose of this research, the hermeneutic method of inquiry and Indigenous Wholistic Theory would be employed. This research hopes to produce both Inclusive Leaders and Inclusive Organizations in Africa that would run a system of leadership that would carefully include the contributions of all stakeholders in the community or organization.

Keywords: Igwebuike, Inclusive, Leadership, Igbo-African, belongingness, Socialism.

Introduction
With the collapse of the Second World War emerged new city states of which Singapore was one. Lee Kuan Yew, the charismatic leader of Singapore wrote a book in 2000 titled: “From Third World to First: Singapore and the Asian Economic Boom” in which he narrated the story of the transformation of Singapore from a Third World country to a First World Country . Granted independence in 1965 with a population less than two million, with 75% Chinese, 13.6% Malay and 8.6% Indian, however, adjoined in the South with Indonesia of aver a hundred million and Malaysia with about 6.28 million, she seemed like a nation that would turn out to be the slave of bigger nations. However, Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore from a nation people thought would simply survive to a state that excels. How was this achieved?
Lee Kuan Yew summoned his compatriots to a duty they had never previously perceived: first to clean up their city, then to dedicate it to overcome the initial hostility of their neighbors and their own ethnic divisions by superior performance. The Singapore of today is his testament. annual per capita income has grown from less than $1000 at the time of independence to nearly $30,000 today. It is the high-tech leader of South-Asia, the commercial entrepot, the scientific center .
The foregoing reveals that the success of any organization, religious or secular, state or nation is highly dependent on the quality of leadership. Where there is no good leadership, there can’t be unity, peace and progress. A cursory glance at History reveals a couple of outstanding leaders, true heroes of their time, who set the moral and political tones for their societies. Such leaders as George Washington of America, Mahatma Gandhi of India, Winston Churchill of Britain, Charles De Gaulle of France, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Nelson Mandela of South Africa, etc . These leaders have shown that circumstances are not only enough for national prosperity or to change events, but that prudent and ordinary calculations made by extraordinary personalities- leaders can overturn events. Circumstances might be unfavourable, but extraordinary personalities can manipulate unfavourable circumstances to achieve favourable ends.
Recent experience reveals an aggressive agitation for cessation in Nigeria; there is the agitation for the Republic of Biafra from the Igbo of Eastern Nigeria, the agitation for Oduduwa Republic from the South West and the agitation for Niger Delta Republic from the South South of the Nation. These agitations continue to whisper that there is a problem with leadership and thus the need to structure our concept of power. Describing the present leadership, George Ehusani writes that: “It goes without saying that the government of the day is insensitive to the yearnings of the people and deaf to their cry of desperation”.
If nations and organizations must succeed, there is the need for leaders who would redraw the political map of their nations and organizations. The world needs a paradigm shift from an exclusive culture of governance, to an inclusive, transparent and accountable leadership style. It is in this regard that Igwebuike philosophy, aligning with its inner principles of inclusiveness, complementarity and solidarity develops a system of leadership that concurs with the African spirit of integration, for development.
Diversity as a Basis for Inclusive Leadership
The mid 19th century will always be remembered as the period in African when European Explorers began to make significant advances into tropical Africa. As a result, the great puzzles of the geography of Africa– notably the course of the Nile, Niger, Congo and Zambezi rivers – were solved within the space of half a century . Gradually, Europe realized that profitable trade depended on the maintenance of peace, and that this peace could not be assured without administrative intervention and control in the hinterlands . Since the explorers came from several different European countries – Spain, Portugal, France, Britain, Belgium and Germany – Africa soon became a field for the conflicting ambitions of the major European Colonial Powers . By the early 1880’s these conflicting ambitions were beginning to be expressed territorially. Sections of the coast were being claimed by traders and administrators of one or other of the European powers . The stage was now set for the European scramble for Africa, finally to be set in motion by the 1884-5 Conference and Treaty of Berlin which divided lands and peoples without consideration of their ethnic and religious divides . The boundaries of the formerly English colony were drawn to serve commercial interests, largely without regard for the territorial claims of the indigenous peoples .
The result of this development was that countries like Nigeria were formed without the consideration of the league of culturally and religiously diverse nations. Cultural and religious diversity is a term commonly used to describe the society with people of different ethnic origins and religious affiliations, which is manifested in their religious expressions, culture: languages, the way they dress, art, and other traditional practices that are either similar or very different from each group. In the North, while Hausa and Fulfulde are the major languages spoken, in the South it is majorly Yoruba language and in the East, Igbo language. When it comes to religion, it is more of Islam in the North and less of Christianity, in the South, there is what seems to be a balance of both religions. In the East, it is predominantly, the Christian religion.
When it comes to dressing, it varies according to regions: the Hausa are known for their baba riga and cap; the Yoruba ethnic group generally sew their cap in a long style which is neatly folded when worn on the head. On the other hand, in the eastern part of the country the Igbo are known for their red cap, which is traditionally worn. Other minority ethnic groups in the middle belt region of Nigeria, like the TIV, Ngas, Ida, Nupe, etc., also have unique cultural attributes that help identify cultural roots, when he appeared in public. For example, the TIV of people in Nigeria are well known for its a'nger, unique traditional costumes (cloth), linear sewn in black and white options, which typically carry TIV people identify with their cultural background .
Beyond the three major ethnic groups: Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, which comprise only fifty-seven percent of the population of Nigeria, there are ethnic minority groups, those which do not comprise a majority in the region in which they live. Going by the 1953 census of about thirty one million Nigerians, these ethnic groups were discovered to have over one hundred thousand members each. This would imply that with the population of Nigeria, now estimated to be about 180 million, it is safe to assume that these groups are now five times larger or even more, than they were . These ethnic minorities include peoples like the Kanuri, the Nupe, and the Tiv in the north, the Efik/Ibibio, the Ejaw, and the Ekoi in the east, and the Edo and Urhobo/Isoko to the west, along with hundreds of other groups that differ widely in language, culture and even physique. These groups usually do not have a political voice like the major ethnic groups. They, therefore, often consider themselves discriminated against, neglected, or oppressed .
As a result of perceived discrimination and relegation of particular ethnic groups, Nigeria's unity has been consistently under siege as more than ten attempts at secession have threatened National unity between 1914 and 2017. In 1990, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People issued a ‘Bill of Rights’ to the Nigerian government and with an appeal to the International Community, they castigated Nigeria’s federalism as arbitrary and constructed to favour the major ethnic nationalities: Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo. The group agitated for control and use of Ogoni economic resources for Ogoni development . They, therefore, denounced the centralised state control and management of the country’s oil and mineral resources . In 1998, after the All Ijaw Youths Conference held in Kaiama, they released a communique called ‘The Kaiama Declaration’, they similarly denounces Nigeria’s ‘unbalanced’ federalism and the exploitation of ‘Ijaw resources’ for the benefit of other groups. IYC threatens to disobey all ‘undemocratic decrees that rob our peoples/communities of the right to ownership and control of our lives and resources, which were enacted without our participation and consent…’
More recently, the Ijaw Youths Conference has taken a militant stance, taking up the name: Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF). Its purpose is to seek greater local control of the Delta’s petroleum resources. With the proliferation of sophisticated weapons in the Niger Delta, this has led to armed confrontations between them and the Nigerian military . This agitation has become more aggressive as Nigeria’s export as of 2004 was 97 percent crude oil. This has alternated with time: oil accounted for 57 per cent of total export revenues in 1970, it rose to 96 per cent (1980), 97 per cent (1990), 76 per cent (2000) . While this oil is from this minority area, the Nigeria’s political scene is dominated by three largely non oil-producing ethnic groups. Worst still, the Niger Delta remains one of the most underdeveloped regions in Nigeria; she remains poor as her resources sustains the nation .
Igwebuike Philosophy and Inclusive Leadership
The relevance of Igwebuike to a discussion on leadership is, first, because of the place Igwebuike occupies in the category of being: it is the modality of being . Secondly, because of the importance of leadership in human development: Leaders are agents of change ; they have the task of taking people from where they are to where they have not been ; it is the leader who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way . Igwebuike posits that the level of the leader’s impact is dependent on the level of connection he is able to have with his people. The three words involved: Igwe is a noun which means number or population, usually a huge number or population. Bu is a verb, which means is. Ike is another verb, which means strength or power . Thus, put together, it means ‘number is strength’ or ‘number is power’, that is, when human beings come together in solidarity and complementarity, they are powerful or can constitute an insurmountable force. At this level, no task is beyond their collective capability .
Leadership within the context of Igwebuike philosophy is understood as an inclusive enterprise. The leader does not see himself as a separate entity from the people, but as leading from among the people; while the individual is a potent and viable being, as such a force, it is potent and viable in a limited way; however, when there is a conglomeration of forces, the human potency can be extraordinary. Leadership is not about power but about service. The leader sees himself as part of a group and not as a person different from the group or better than the people he is serving. He or she understands that there are no leaders without followers, and leadership always involves interpersonal influence or persuasion . In the absence of followership, interpersonal influence and persuasion, the person is only taking a walk and not leading.
The relevance of the leader is based on the people whom he is leading; if there are no people, there can’t be a leader, and the ability of the people who constitute the state to achieve their national goal, is dependent on the ingenuity of the leader. So the leader needs the led as much as the led needs the leader. This springs from the understanding that every reality has a purpose of existence. The leader and the led both share in this pool of universal purposefulness of existence, which they draw from and contribute to by playing their unique roles in the journey of existence. Situations where by the leader sees himself as superior and indispensable to the people that he or she is leading, can be considered an aberration or alienation of true leadership. Likewise, the polarization and fragmentation of society into antagonistic factions, in the bead to ‘divide and rule’ is a disservice to and an aberration of the human society.
In every circumstance, the good of those led is placed over the self-interest of the leader. This is the leadership that promotes the valuing and development of people, the building of community, and the promotion shared power. leadership is, therefore, not a position, rather, it is about how well we work together; the great leader is the one who has been able to connect to the different dimensions of society, not minding the depth of its diversity. There are all kinds of human beings- good and bad, in the society, and this is where the role of the leader comes in, it is a responsibility and not a call to enjoy life; the leader should be able to manage all these peoples and make the best out of them. This makes the deciding difference. As a philosophy, Igwebuike in relation to leadership recognizes that a team is made stronger through diversity; It acknowledges that our differences are what make us stronger . This would mean that the less the diversity, the less the power of the group.
The qualities of inclusive leadership would, therefore, include:
1. Listening: Listening is a critical communication tool, necessary for accurate communication and for actively demonstrating respect for others. Listening creates for oneself and others the experience of being heard and understood . By listening to the individuals, you show you are approachable, and in turn encourage others to be the same.

2. Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. The inclusive leader strives to understand and empathize with others, recognizing the fundamental human need to be accepted .

3. Healing: One of the great strengths of inclusive leadership is the potential for healing people. Many people have broken spirits and have suffered from a variety of emotional hurts. Inclusive leaders must recognize that they have an opportunity to “help make whole” those whom they come in contact with .

4. Awareness: Inclusive leaders must be attentive to their surroundings, their actions and the effect of their behavior on others. They must solicit and be open to feedback .

5. Persuasion: The effective inclusive leader builds group consensus through gentle but clear and persistent persuasion, and does not exert group compliance through power. Servant leadership utilizes personal, rather than position power, to influence followers and achieve organizational objectives .

6. Foresight: The next principle we’ll review is foresight. This means learning from the past in order to have a better than average guess about what is going to happen in the future .

7. Stewardship: The eighth principle is stewardship. As stewards, leaders are concerned not only for the individual followers within the organization, but are servants to the organization as a whole . Stewards are not owners but answerable to the owner.

8. Commitment to growth of people: Commitment to growth of people is another principle of Inclusive leadership. It is the demonstrated appreciation and encouragement of others, by lifting people up to grow taller than they would otherwise be .

This is the leader that makes the difference in society. If there are leaders who have made impact; if there are leaders who are celebrated; if there are leaders who have transformed society positively, these leaders are the inclusive kind of leaders.
The Anthropological Foundation of Inclusive Leadership
Igwebuike concept of inclusive leadership has an anthropological foundation. And this anthropological foundation is based on the nature of the human brain which hungers for something inclusive and finds satisfaction when an atmosphere is inclusive. A glance at the different inclusive leaders that we celebrate today reveals that they created an inclusive atmosphere. This explains why some leaders are able to inspire their followers while others are not. If we analyze the human brain, we discover that the human brain has different sections which could be described as circles. Below is a diagram to explain the different sections of the brain and what they represent.


Figure showing the dimensions of the human brain
The human brain has the Olympic dimension referred to as Olympic brain and the Noecortex dimension. The Olympic brain can be divided into the inner and outer Olympic brain. Thus, in the brain we can have the inner Olympic brain, the outer Olympic brain and the noecortex brain. These different parts of the brain concern themselves with different questions that arise in human relationships. There are three questions that correspond to the different parts of the brain: the question of WHY, HOW and WHAT. While the inner Olympic brain responds to the question of WHY, the outer Olympic brain responds to the question of HOW, and the noecortex responds to the question of WHAT.
Many who are under leaders of organizations, nations, etc., know what they do, how to do what they do, but do not know why they do what they do. Thus, in advert, most organizations only explain what they do, how they do it without explaining why they do it. This explains why many organizations fail. This is because, people patronize you because of why you do what you do and not because of what or how you do it. The question of WHY explains why you are different and the newness you are bringing into the system. In many circumstances, people led know WHAT and HOW they do the things they do, but they do not know why. This is simply because many leaders do things without carrying their people along- no communication with the people who are led. The result is that many leaders do not attract loyalty. Why is this so? At the WHY Level- corresponding to the inner part of the brain, you find: Feelings; Loyalty; Trust; Decision making and Human behaviour.
If you are able to explain why you do what you do, then you touch people at the level of feeling, which is very important, you would attract their trust and loyalty. They would make a decision to follow you, which is shown in their behaviour. At this level, you get people to believe what you believe. You inspire them from the inside. When we remain at the level of what we do, it is just the level of language. You can express what you do in the most beautiful language, but the person still leaves without feeling anything. He remains with you without conviction. He is following you but only like a hireling. The person would leave you as soon as he finds something more convincing. If leaders must be able to inspire their followers, then they must take them into the sanctuary of the WHY.
The Socio-Cultural Foundations of Inclusive Leadership
The socio-cultural foundation of inclusive leadership based on Igwebuike philosophy is first of all, the Igbo traditional model of leadership, and secondly, a Yoruba traditional model of leadership.
1. Igbo-African Traditional Model of Inclusive Leadership
Hundreds of years ago, the Igbo developed permanent settlements, which led to the emergence of economic, social and political institutions. From these settlements emerged leader, and as social groups developed, effective administrative systems that regulated social relations. This administrative system was founded on egalitarian and democratic structures. The political organization was constituted by different levels of autonomous democratic governments which exercised political, social and economic control over the lives of the people. These autonomous democratic governments include the Nuclear Family, the Patrilineage (Umunna), the Maximal Lineage and the Village-Group Assembly.

The Nuclear Family was the bedrock of social and political organization, referred to as ezi na uno. It consisted of a man, his wives, his married and unmarried sons, unmarried daughters and the servants or slaves, if any. The Father was the leader of the household and was in possession of the family ofo, which is the symbol of authority, justice, law and uprightness. The Father was responsible for directing the affairs of the family, however, it was done in consultation with his senior sons and wives . There was also the extended family, which is referred to as the Umunna. It is composed of a number of families that have a common eponymous father. Uchendu defines the Ununna as “a territorial kin-based unit which subdivides into compounds (ezi obi)” . The head of this political unit was the oldest male member of the extended family also known as the di-okpara and had the ofo of the extended family in his possession. According to Opone, the leader is usually a grandfather or great grandfather . The di-okpara presided over meetings, sacrifices, issues of inheritance, settlement of dispute among members of the extended family, marriage, allocation of lands and the representation of the family with other extended families. In decision making, the di-okpara worked in consultation with the other heads of the extended family who constituted the extended family assembly. Decisions were arrived at through dialogue, consensus (nkwekolita), compromise, cooperation and consultation (Igba Izu) .
The Maximal Lineage is the next biggest socio-political organization after the extended family. This is a referred to as Idumu in Igbo, which means quarter. It is made up of a number of extended families who are linked by a common putative ancestor. This major lineage is headed by the oldest male among them. He holds the ofo of the major lineage and presided at functions concerning the major lineage and was considered as a sacred person with taboos and rituals accompanying the violation of his authority. In his exercise of authority over the major lineage, and he worked in consultation with a large assembly comprising of senior household men, titled men, priests, men of honour, intelligence and wealth etc . There was also the Village-Group Assembly, which was the biggest socio-political group referred to as ogbe (village). It was composed of a number of major lineages who are descended from a common ancestor or different putative ancestors . And could be referred to the ogbe as federation of autonomous settlements , and by Ozimiro as wards . The assembly was the highest authority with its members being senior males of households, professional hunters, priests, honourable and wealthy men, warriors, titled men, medicine men, etc. The leader of this assembly varied from one village to another, in some it was headed by the council of elders: a group of wise, knowledgeable, courageous and transparent men, Maquet refers to their authority as “a collegial authority exercised by the chiefs of the various lineages living in the village” . In some, the oldest member of the council of elders referred to as the diokpa, and in this case, he becomes the custodian of the ofo. The supreme head of the assembly took decisions in consultation with the constituent members of the village assembly. Consultation, consensus and compromise were necessary elements in resolving issues and decision making. The village square (ama nzuko ora), usually a common place, was the arena of assembly .
2. The Yoruba Traditional Model of Inclusive Leadership
The Yoruba traditional political organization that would be under consideration in this section is the Oyo Empire. As a kingdom, it reached its heights in the 18th century, however, was founded in the 14th century about 1300 BC by Oduduwa who settled in Ille Ife during the 14th century. As of the time, it was the largest empire in Yoruba land to exist and the most important and authoritative of all the early Yoruba principalities. Because of the wealth of military skill, the authority of the Oyo Empire was felt beyond the Yoruba states to as far as the Fon of the then Dahomey Kingdom. By the 19th century, the Oyo Empire began to collapse as a result of administrative disagreements among the leaders. Gradually the provinces began to revolt as the centre lost its ability to govern. By 1888 it had collapsed and became a Protectorate of Great Britain .
In the Oyo Empire, the Alaafin was the sole voice of authority, however, with limitations. Before the Alaafin can take any valid decision, he must consult with the Oyomesi. He had a large amount of ritual restrictions which limited his authority . There was also the Oyomesi, which consists of a council of the heads of the seven non-royal wards of the city of Oyo, though sometimes six in number. They guided the king’s decisions in many issues, such as military action, religious festivals etc., and had the responsibility of checking the excessive exercise powers of the Alaafin. The leader of the Oyomesi was called Bashorun, the Commander-in-Chief of the army of the Empire and presided at religious festivals. One of the most important religious celebrations of the Empire was the Orun, and during this ceremony, the Bashorun had the power to depose the Alaafin by causing him to commit suicide. Usually the Bashorun would present the Alaafin with a calabash which signifies that the Oyomesi and the ancestors have lost confidence in him .
The Ogboni is another important political structure in the then Oyo Empire, and in fact the second council in the Oyo Empire that helped in checks and balances of authority. The council was composed of the representative of the various lineages, and was headed by the Olowu. They had the primary responsibility of checking the excessive powers of the Bashorun. Before a person can be appointed as a Bashorun, the Ogboni must issue their approval.
Are-Ona-Kakanfo was the military commander of the Empire who was never expected to lose any war. If he loses a war, he had the options of either committing suicide or going on exile. He was responsible to the Alaafin and Bashorun. He was appointed by the Alaafin, however, promoted by the Oyomesi .
The Aremo: The Aremo was the crown prince. While the Alaafin remained in the palace as the king of the palace, the Aremo, who is the first son of the king was for the general public. The Aremo could move out of the palace as he had no ritual restrictions on his movements. During the early stages of the empire, when an Alaafin died, the Aremo took over, however, it was later discovered that some Aremo killed their father in order to ascend the throne. A law was therefore, made that when an Alaafin dies, the Aremo should commit suicide .
The Babalawo: The Babalawo was the spiritual guide of the Alaafin. Although he was not required to be part of the council, he was very often consulted to provide spiritual advice. His relevance is based on the belief that he was in direct communication with the spirits, and thus, his advice is considered a divine knowledge . The Oyo Empire survived on this political system until its collapse and the advent of Europeans.
In the political administrations of the Yoruba and Igbo traditional political systems, there were strong systems of checks and balances, and this is consistent with most socio-political structures of ancient Africa. Although the Alaafins and the Igbo heads wielded much power, they were not absolute leaders. There was elaborate organization of palace officials or chiefs especially among the Yorubas. For instance, while the Alaafins had the Oyomesis to regulate their power, the Oyomesis were regulated by the Ogboni council who were backed by the authority of religion.
In the Igbo political system, particularly, during decision making, it is not the eldest man that imposes his will upon the people, but decisions are reached through discussions, consultations, dialogue and compromise which might take the shape of imposing the will of the majority on the minority and this reveals the democratic value that does not see the community as a constellation of impersonal forces but rather a complex of human beings and human interests that upholds the ethos of resolving human antagonistic interests through negotiation. According to Wirendu:
This should not be confused with decision-making on the principle of the supreme right of the majority. In the case under discussion the majority prevails not over, but upon, the minority- they prevail upon them to accept the proposal in question, not just to live with it... In a consensus system the voluntary acquiescence of the minority with respect to a given issue would normally be necessary for the adoption of a decision. In the rare case of an intractable division, a majority vote might be used to break the impasse. But the success of a system must be judged by the rarity of such predicaments in the working of the decision-making bodies of the state .
During decision makings, the perspective of every lineage in the village is represented in the presence and contributions of their representative. It can be compared to the House of Representatives, a structure that provides the space for the genuine meeting of minds for the interchanging of opinion and understanding. Decisions arrived at this council is not enforced through policing, but what Maquet called ‘collective pressure’ . At the centre of these African traditional political structures was the rule of law.
Nigerian Nation and Igwebuike Vision of Inclusive Leadership
The geographical area that is today known as Nigeria was, before the colonial invasion, inhabited by people of varied and often conflicting traditional ideologies, cultural dispositions, and socio-political and religious orientations. These peoples or tribes are endogamous groups descended from the same ancestor, occupying a particular territory and possessing cultural, religious and linguistic homogeneity . These tribes in Nigeria are about 400, and it is the coming together of these different tribes that have united and formed the political union in the form of a federation . In their respective domain, they cherished what they shared together as a people. But with the advent of colonial powers and missionaries, the policy of divide and rule along religious, cultural and political lines was introduced. Nigeria was divided into north and south . This division of North and South keeps reminding Nigerians that they are different. And today, nothing in Nigerian history captures her problem of national integration more graphically than the chequered fortune of the word tribe in her vocabulary. As Achebe would say, ‘tribe has been one time accepted as a friend, rejected as an enemy at another, and finally smuggled through the backdoor as an accomplice’ . If Nigeria as a nation would endure in the midst of the possibility of tribalism, then there is the need for the government to adopt an inclusive pattern of leadership which would have the responsibility to:
a. discover the circumstances which can be superimposed on the natural chains of language and culture, which has linked the human beings who inhabit Nigeria to enable them develop a feeling of personal security and group preservation .
b. concede coexistence to all linguistic groups, on the basis of equality, within a framework of political and constitutional warrantees. Such a federal system of government would protect individual freedom under the rule of law and thus preserve and sustain any linguistic group. By preserving the linguistic groups of Nigeria and conceding to them local autonomy of some satisfactory nature, an atmosphere for respect of their culture and traditions is created.
c. revise the Nigerian Constitution: first in relation to safeguarding people’s fundamental human rights; secondly, providing citizens with adequate food, comfortable shelter and a minimum level of subsistence. In this case, rulers must discover the material needs of their people. Once there is a failure in this by rulers, Nigerians will harbour grievances about political, economic and social inequalities. This will increase loyalty to tribe and disloyalty to the nation .
d. concede to each region de jure equality and de facto inequality. De jure equality is used in the sense that every province and local authority in each region in the nation is legally equal with the Federal government providing for each of them. De facto Inequality, means the acceptance of the fact that not all regions, provinces and local authorities are equal either in area, population, natural resources and financial means.
e. Have political parties that will cut across the artificial barriers of tribes and regions. National loyalty must supersede regional claims .
There is something in everyone that yearns for belongingness. If nation building is a national project, then the interests and participation of all parties and dimensions of society must be patronized.
Conclusion
This piece has studied the socio-political platform for leadership which Igwebuike as an Igbo-African philosophy provides. As an Ibgo-African philosophy of inclusive leadership, the focus of this work is primarily the entirety and Africa and in fact the world. However, it adopts a context for a more concrete analysis and application. It studied the basis of a philosophy of inclusive leadership, which is diversity, emphasizing that the idea of leadership already presupposes the need for an inclusive leadership. To go contrary to this would result to crisis, frustration and polarization of society. It established that Igwebuike philosophy is the philosophical basis for inclusive leadership. It established the anthropological and socio-cultural foundations of inclusive leadership; then using the Nigerian nation as a context, it studies how inclusive leadership can being about the desired future which the nation aspires for. This work, therefore, lends its voice to the many voices calling for an inclusive form of leadership as the one political system that can restore the basis for a genuine Nigerian socio-political life.
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Kanu, Ikechukwu Anthony, The Political philosophy of Nnamdi Azikiwe as an Ideology for Political Regeneration for Nigeria. Professor Bassey Andah Journal of Cultural Studies. 3. 146-155. 2010
Kanu, Ikechukwu Anthony, “The Nature and Meaning of African Philosophy in a Globalizing World”. Published in the International Journal of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education. Volume. 1. Issue. 7. pp. 86-94. 2014.
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IGWEBUIKE AS AN AFRICAN INTEGRATIVE AND PROGRESSIVE ANTHROPOLOGY












Prof. KANU Ikechukwu Anthony, O.S.A.
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Tansian University, Umunya
Anambra State
ikee_maio@yahoo.com










A paper presented at the 2017 Pan African Conference on Inter-Disciplinary Studies on 20-25 September, Auditorium, Holy Trinity Basilica Onitsha

Abstract
Responses have emerged in the works of many African scholars regarding the question of who a person is in African ontology. While some scholars have spoken of the African personality in terms of Africa’s geo-numerical identity, some have spoken of Africa in terms of her civilization and colour-based identities. These perspectives notwithstanding, this piece focuses on the relational-based identity of the African personality. It understands the African living person as a dialectically relational organism, with a coherent pluralism or a composite of complex elements within the same self. It argues that it is this complex dialectical relational character of the African personality that gives the African his or her identity in the midst of alterities. For the purpose of this research, the hermeneutic and phenomenological methods of inquiry would be patronized in the collection and interpretation of data. It is also envisaged that a study of this kind would enlarge the understanding of the African personality, and thus, predispose the African for development.

Keywords: Africa, Philosophical, Anthropological, Personhood, Person, Identity, Self.

Introduction
The concept of the human person cultivated by various indigenous African peoples is a core value in each individual socio-cultural context, and more so, a determinant of thought and relationships within the socio-cultural milieu. This is based on the fact the human person is at the centre of the African universe. Mbiti (1970), therefore, asserts that “Man is at the very centre of existence and African people see everything else in its relation to this central position of man… it is as if God exists for the sake of man” (p. 92). Corroborating Mbiti, Metuh (1981), avers that “Everything else in African worldview seems to get its bearing and significance from the position, meaning and end of man” (p. 109). The idea of God, divinities, ancestors, rituals, sacrifices, etc., are only useful to the extent that they serve the needs of the human person. Contrary to the mechanistic concept of the human person, the human person in the African worldview has a purpose and mission to fulfill; he comes into the world as a force amidst forces and interacting with forces. Good status, good health and prosperity are signs of the wellbeing of a person’s life-force, and man struggles to preserve it through an appropriate relationship with the spiritual forces around him. The goal of every human person is to achieve his destiny imprinted on his palm by his creator. He is not just an individual person, but one born into a community whose survival and purpose are linked with others. Thus the human person is first a member of a clan, a kindred or a community (Kanu 2015a&b).
This notwithstanding, studies in the area of African personality have been done in the direction of reflections on symbols and patterned behaviours associated with one level of personality or the other, like the Chi, which in Igbo is the symbol of a person’s guiding spirit; the Ofo, the symbol of a man’s individuation, the Ikenga and Odu Enyi, symbols of a person’s personal achievement. Although the exposure of African traditional values to western culture and influence has brought about a lot of alterations in African perspectives, this piece studies the concept of personhood in traditional African ontology with the purpose of establishing the nexus between ancient African traditional society and the present conceptual package. In studying the traditional African concept of personhood, it would be engaged from the dimensions of African personhood as a coherent pluralism and its dialectically progressive character.
African Personhood as a Coherent Pluralism
In African ontology, the human person is made up of three principal distinctive but coherent elements: the spirit, the body and the heart. These constituent elements that make up the individual person, according to Ejizu (2017), also provide the basis for the relatedness of the total personality. Thomas (1971) describes the African personality in this regard:
Similar to modern chemistry, it is a veritable epistemological revolution which is in operation if one wishes to comprehend the coherent pluralism of the self which seems to have characterized the complex structure and dynamism of the Black African Personality. (p. 387).
The focus of this study would be the Igbo-African worldview. And within this context the three elements include, the spirit (Muo), the Heart (Obi) and the Body (Ahu). These elements are in the self, defining the distinctive character of the self. Without all these elements, the self would lose the power of context, and thus the strength of visibility and relevance.
1. The Spirit (Muo)
Muo in Igbo is a name used to describe whatever that is immaterial, like God, the deities, ancestors, however, it is also used to describe the immaterial part of the human person. This introduces the idea that the human person is not completely a material reality, it has a spiritual dimension which must be considered in every discussion about personhood. Okere (2015) avers that: “Muo is therefore conceived as the intangible, invisible element in man, the seat of will and emotions, the principle of life and point of connection, similarity and sharing with the world of the spirit” (p. 164).
This spirit in the human person is the principle of life; such that the absence of the spirit would mean the absence of life. This explains why for many Africans, the death of a person is seen as the departure of the spirit of the person. Okere posits that the Muo carries out the following activities in the human person:
1. Uche, which means thinking, considering, reflecting, etc.
2. Iru eruru, which refers to a deep reflection, usually over something sad or tragic.
3. Ncheta, which means to fetch out from the past through thinking, that is, to remember, to recall, to think out.
4. Nghota, which means to understand, to comprehend, to grasp or to get the full implications of something.
5. Izu, deliberation, consensus, or the information that is the result of consensus and deliberation.
6. Ako, means prudence, cleverness, wise.
7. Ngenge, imagining, surmising.
8. Atutu, it means to plan, to project and to order the execution of some plan.
This notwithstanding, the spirit of a person, which derives directly from the Supreme Being and the ancestral world also links him or her ontologically to the God and the ancestral spirits. It is the point of connection between the person and the spiritual world.

2. The Heart (Obi)
When the missionaries came, for want of word and due to ignorance of the local language and culture of the Igbo, they foisted the foreign concept of the soul on the native word: Mkpuru Obi (the seed of the heart), to mean the spiritual element that is in man that is destined for eternal life. The obi is the psychological centre of emotions, sensation and sympathy. It is the seat and centre of virtue and vice, of conscience and morality as well. The quality of a person’s heart determines the quality of the person’s way of life. The life that a man lives mirrors the kind of heart that the person has. In fact, when an Igbo wants to describe a person in relation to his attitude, the heart is used to present a picture of him (Okere 2015). For instance:
a. Obi kara ka: a brave heart
b. Obi mgbawa: heart brake
c. Onye obi miri: weakly or sentimental person
d. Obi kporo nku: a wicked person
e. Obi nwayo: a gentle or kind person
f. Obi ike: a strong person
g. Obi ojo: a bad person
h. Obi oma: a kind and happy person
i. Obi ebere: a merciful person

3. The Body (Ahu)
The body in Igbo language is ahu. Etymologically, it can be traced to the Igbo word- hu, which means ‘to see’. In relation to ahu, it means that the body is that part of the self which can be seen, it is visible, seeable, tangible. Thus, Ejizu (2017) refers to the body as the centre of the manifestation of a living person. When a child is born, his ahu helps people around him in identifying him. When a person has polio, the sight of him and the nature of his ahu helps a person to identify him. The ahu also expresses the state of the human person. This is why the Igbo would ask the other: Ahu gi kwanu, meaning, how is your body? The body is thought of as the indicator of the health of the person. This explains why when the Igbo says Ahu ojoo or ahu njo, meaning bad body, is used to mean ill health.

When an ancestor reincarnates, sometimes the ahu helps the family into which the child has been born to identify the ancestor who has returned. For instance, in cases of an ancestor who lost his five fingers while he lived, and when a child is born after his death and the child is born without five fingers, even before divination, it is believed that it is the ancestor that has returned. And in most cases the divination confirms it. In a situation of this kind the child could be named Ahunna, that is, the father’s body, if it is the father who has reincarnated in him. Thus, the ahu helps in identifying a person as an individual who is different from the other. While the spirit relates a person to the spiritual world, God and ancestral spirits, the body relates a person to the parents, the lineage and the physic-social order, that is, animate, inanimate and social environment.

It must be noted that, although the ahu occupies a very important place in identifying a person, the ahu is not the self, but an outward expression of the self. It is through the ahu that the self is known and expressed. In relation to the individuality of each person, every ahu is unique. There are no two ahu that are the same. Each person has his or her own ahu which differentiates him or her from the others (Okere 2015).
The Self (Onwe) as the Unity of Plurality
Having discussed the dimensions of the human person as including the body, the heart and the spirit, does it imply that they exist merely as independent dimensions of the human persons- a kind of three persons? No, there is a coherence. This coherence is achieved through the self- the onwe. The self is he unity of the plurality of the human person. It is also that which remains permanent in the changes that occur in the human heart, spirit and body. Thus, Okere (2015) describes the onwe- the self as the:
Core subject of identity, perduring and enduring all human experience. It is not describable and has no name and no function except as the ultimate author of all the functions of the individual, the carrier of all experiences. It is the link between the experiences of yesterday and today, the basis of that proprietorship by which these fleeting multitudes are one and are mine. (p. 164).
The original root of the word onwe can be traced back to nwe that means ‘to own’. Thus, onwe gi, would mean he that owns himself, onwe ya, would mean he or she that owns himself or herself. Therefore, it is the same person that owns the body, the spirit and the heart, and since the person owns them, the person exercises control over them and directs their purposes towards the will of the self (Kanu 2017).
The Dialectically Progressive Character of African Personhood
The human person is also conceived by the Igbo-African as a life-long project. Ejizu (2017) refers to this as a progressive and role oriented affair within one’s socio-cultural milieu. The human project is, therefore, not achieved at once when a person is born, but progressively as the person moves from one sage. The progressiveness of the human personality lies in the fact that the human person through roles and initiations recreates his personality from one stage to another. This is evident in the different rites of passage that the African goes through, and its elaborate nature indicates the importance that the African places on it.
Although the pregnancy rites is meant to facilitate the birth of the child and to protect the mother and child from evil powers and malignant persons through offering a sacrifice, Metuh (1985) maintains that it is a rite of separation of the child from the world of the ancestors and incorporation into the world of human beings. It begins as soon as the woman misses her period. Among the Igbo, oracles are consulted as soon as a woman conceives and sacrifice offered to Ala. The movement from the world of the ancestors to the world of human beings brings about a shift in the personality of the human person that is involved (Kanu 2016).
In most African cultures, there are two stages of it: purification rites and naming ceremony. The purification rites according to Metuh (1985) begins after the woman gives birth, she and the child are secluded for purification. It is only after purification that she can begin to move around in the community. It is usually a ceremony of days, the number of days depends on the culture. To establish the community ownership of the child, the umbilical cord connecting the mother and the child is cut as a sign of the incorporation of the child into the community. After the purification rite, the naming ceremony begins, which Quarcoopome (1987) opines humanizes and socializes the child, making him a member of the human family. During the birth rites, the child’s personality is communitized.
Puberty rites in both boys and girls is an announcement that they have reached adulthood. It introduces the child from the world of dependence to that of independence, and the rights, privileges and duties of adulthood. It is a sign that they are ready for marriage and have reached the biological maturity necessary for reproduction. The rite for boys and girls differ according to their particular roles in society as husbands and wives. At the end of the rites, the women are beautified and brought to the village square where they would display their beauty and dance as well to the admiration of men. Men who are in search of wives usually find this period very interesting. The boys are also initiated into secret societies and masquerade cults. After this, the boys come to the open and eat with the elders, a sign that they have arrived. Their seclusion and public appearance are symbolic: it symbolizes the death of the child and the birth of the adult, the death of dependency and the birth of independence, it symbolizes a new personality (Kanu 2016).
In most African traditional societies, marriage is a business between families and not between individuals. Real discussions about marriage between families begin when both families consent. At the point where the man and the woman unite as husband and wife, their personalities changes and expands for the accommodation of the other (Kanu 2016).
The rites for the dead can be divided into two: burial rites and funeral rites. The nature of a burial is determined by who has died, a child or an adult, and if an adult, an elder or a chief or a king. During the rites, the dead is ritually washed. The purpose of this rite is to strengthen the diseased as he or she embarks on the journey to the spirit world. Among the Igbo, after washing, a fowl is strangled and the head cut off. The blood is rubbed on the body of the diseased; the blood is sacrificed to the deities to accompany the dead to the spirit world. When the ritual-washing is over, the body is taken to the grave for burial. The funeral rites is a continuation of the rites for the dead. It is a rite of incorporation of the diseased into the world of the ancestors- after the rites, the diseased is welcomed into the college of ancestors. This rite helps the deceased to secure his or her rightful place in the world of the living-dead (Kanu 2016).

FIGURE 1: Rites of Passage and the Progressive Evolution of the Living Person
As a human person moves from one rite to another, he assumes a different level of personality. Writing about the Akamba people initiation rites as it concerns the progressive development of personhood, Mbiti (1970) avers:
Without being initiated, a person is not a full member of the Akamba people. Furthermore, no matter how old or big he is, so long as he is not initiated, he is despised and considered to be still a boy or girl. (p. 122).
Every stage signifies a progressive evolution of the human person. According to Ray (1999):
People are metaphysically and sociologically remade into new beings with new special roles. New born infants are made into human persons, children are made adults, men and women are made into husband and wife… This remaking of man… involves the symbolic destruction of the old and the creation of the new. (p. 91).
These levels of personality are progressively defined by one’s standing in the socio-cultural ladder. And to progress from one stage to another requires different kinds of criteria. Within the period that a person lives, one can be said to have achieved full manhood. For men, this might be determined by a person’s achievement in the battle field as it is common among war-like communities like the Cross-River Igbo or how much wealth a person has acquired which enables him to take and foot the bill for the different categories of titles available, like the prestigious Ozo and Ezeji titles, or how successfully, a person has been able to raise a good family. Among the women, fertility is central for full womanhood. For instance, among the Mbaise, Mbano, Owerri and Ngwa areas, the successful delivery of the tenth child earns a woman the prestigious title: Eghu-Ukwu (Goat for the Wait). These changes are basically external, changed by new learning, new encounters, etc., while the concept, unlimited by time and space remain unchanged.
Conclusion
The exposure of traditional cultural values to the multiple forces of colonialism, Christianity, western education, urbanization which is breaking down the walls that distinguished micro societies and building a macro society, and scientific technology, in the contention of Ejizu (2017) has led to a tidal wave of change, engendering a significant revolution in traditional perception of the living person. While this might be true of the accidents of expressing manhood or womanhood as in the case of symbolic objects, institutions, ritual forms, it might not be true of the substance of personhood. For instance, in areas where manhood was measured by how many wars a person has successfully fought, this might not be possible because of minimal reduction in inter-tribal wars; and where how many children a woman has given birth to, like ten children, might have been used as a symbol of womanhood, this might not hold again for the modern woman and society. The African concept of a person as a coherent pluralism still remains unchanged by the current changes, also, the African concept of the human person as a dialectically progressive reality has not been altered by the current changes. What is perceived as change is nothing but the adaptation of an old reality to new mediums of expression.
References
Ejizu, C. I. (2017). African personality in symbolic and ritual forms. A paper presented at the 2017 International Conference of the Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars (AATREPS). Held in June at the PG Auditorium.
Kanu, I. A. (2015a). African philosophy: An ontologico-existential hermeneutic approach to classical and contemporary issues. Nigeria: Augustinian Publications.
Kanu, I. A. (2015b). A hermeneutic approach to African traditional religion, theology and philosophy. Nigeria: Augustinian Publications.
Kanu, I. A. (2016). African Life Circle Rituals as a Socio-Cultural Context for Education. International Conference of the Society for Research and Academic Excellence. University of Nigeria, Nsukka. 8th -11th February.
Kanu, A. I. (2017). Towards a hermeneutic of personal autonomy in African ontology. A paper presented at the 2017 Pan African Conference on Inter-Disciplinary Studies on 20-25 September, Auditorium, Holy Trinity Basilica Onitsha.
Mbiti, J. S. (1970). African religions and philosophy. London: Heinemann.
Metuh E. I. (1981). God and man. Southampton: Carmelot.
Metuh, E. I. (1985). African religions in western conceptual schemes: The problem of interpretation. Jos: Imco.
Okere, T. (2015). The hermeneutics of philosophy, religion and culture. J. O. Oguejiofor (Ed.), A. C. Onuorah (Comp.). Colour Print Group: USA.
Quarcoopome, T. N. O. (1987). West African traditional medicine. Ibadan: African Universities.
Ray, B. C. (1999). African religions: Symbol, ritual and community. Vintage Books: London.
Thomas, L. V. (1971). Le pluralism coherent de la notion de personne en Afrique noir traditionalle. Paris: CNRS.

IGWEBUIKE AS A HERMENEUTIC OF INDIVIDUALITY AND COMMUNALITY IN AFRICAN ONTOLOGY
















Prof. KANU, Ikechukwu Anthony, O.S.A.
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Tansian University, Umunya
Anambra State
ikee_mario@yahoo.com







A paper presented at the 5th International Annual Conference of the Association of African Traditional Religion and Philosophy Scholars, held on 28th June, at the PG School Auditorium.

Abstract
One of the allegations against African philosophy and acting is that of collectivism, which excludes of individuality in the African universe. The present work on schedule responds to this allegation by attempting to prove that there is individuality in the African communal universe. This is achieved by relying on Igwebuike philosophy taken from the Igbo-African socio-cultural background. The Igbo concept of the self was studied to see how in differentiating the self from the other in Igbo ontology, individuality and identity is unveiled. It further studied the use of personal pronouns and names in Igbo ontology to reveal how the Igbo express the individuality of persons in the community. The Igbo philosophy of the body was employed as an instrument of personal identity to show how, through the body, the Igbo-African differentiates individual persons from the other in the community. Finally, the concept of Chi, which is an Igbo principle of individuation for the interpretation of personal historical and religious experiences, was studied to see how the particular is not lost in the universal. The phenomenological and hermeneutic methods were employed for this research. This paper submits that in the African universe, while the ontology of the person is founded on the particularity of the individual, implying that it is the metaphysics of the particular that founds identity, it is the community that gives meaning to such an existence and grounds such an identity.
Keywords: Igwebuike, Self, African, Philosophy, Individuality, Communality.

Introduction
African thought, philosophy and ethics have been accused by both Western and African scholars of swallowing up the individual and his or her personal identity in the community oriented pattern of thinking. This perspective is the product of an interpretation of the African way of life, which is community focused and reinforced by the African’s cultural orientation characterized by love, brotherhood, concern for the other and a sense of belonging to the community. The community has set laws which members follow for the purpose of order and the preservation of the community. From the foregoing, it would look to a distant observer that everyone acts, thinks and behaves in the same way. According to Edeh (1983):
From this, it would seem that by living in such a community, the lucidity of one’s self-consciousness is veiled and therefore one is not yet in a completely realized communication since one is not yet aware of autonomous selfhood or will. In such a community, it could appear as if each person is reduced to an ego point which is substitutable for another mere ego point. (pp. 135-136).
In the midst of the questioning of the quality of the individuality of the African individual within the context of the community, this work makes an attempt to study the African concept of the self as it relates to the community. Is the African an individual person who is capable of deciding on his own what to do and what not to do or is he a lump of persons who act in a chorus? Is the African capable of individuality or is he locked up in communalism? This is the burden looming at the horizon of this piece. It would, therefore, study the African concept of the self, names, personal pronouns, Chi principle and the human body to see if there is the possibility of a simple individuation and identity within the complexity of the community.
Cartesian Conceptualization of the Self
An attempt to understand the conceptualization of the self within the context of Igwebuike philosophy would be best appreciated against a different background. And the different background that would be of concern here is the western conceptualization scheme of the person, which is expressed in the Cartesian concept of the self. The Cartesian concept of the self without the other can be traced back to the medieval ages.
Boethius (480 AD) in his De Persona et Duabus Naturis, held that a person is an ‘individual substance of a rational nature’ (persona est rationalis naturae individual substantia). This later became the classical definition of person. St Thomas Aquinas (1224 AD) after Boethius, in his Summa Theologica, defines a person as the subsistens rationale (a rational subsistent). According to Okon (2010), Thomas Aquinas’ concept of a person implies:
a. A person is a substance not accident.
b. A person must have a complete nature, and so that which lacks completeness and remains only a part of nature does not satisfy this definition.
c. It is subsistent by itself, the person exists in himself and for himself, being the ultimate subject possessor of his nature and all his acts and so is the ultimate subject of predication of all its attributes.
d. It is separated from others.
e. It is of a rational nature, this excludes all supposits that lack rationality.
This notwithstanding, with Rene Descartes (1596-1650 AD), philosophy started a new way, that of gnoseology. He defines the person in relation to self-consciousness. In the Second Meditation, Descartes (1637), through his methodical doubt, discovers that something resists doubt. That is, the fact that it is he who doubts, and who can be deceived. He thus, arrives at Cogito ergo sum (I think therefore, I am). To the question, who am I? Descartes answers simply, a “thinking thing”, a thing that essentially has mental experiences. Descartes’ transformation of the person from an ontological to a psychological fact, opened the door to a series of either great diminutions or of enormous exaggerations of the concept of person. Since the time of Descartes, individual consciousness has been taken as the privileged centre of identity, while ‘the other’ is seen as an epistemological problem, or as an inferior, reduced or negated form of the same. The self in the Cartesian scheme sees itself without the other (Kanu 2016 and 2017). This perspective has influenced western philosophy.











FIGURE 1: The Self In Relation to the other in Western Conceptualization Scheme

The study of the historical development of Western philosophy and the evolution of African thought, unveils an obvious diversity between the Western conceptualization scheme and the African conception of reality. From the Cartesian model, Onyeocha (1997) and (2006) points out that while the Western pattern of thought is exclusivistic, depersonalized, objectivised and more concerned with analysis; the African scheme of conceptualization is inclusivistic, integrative, non-reductionistic, concrete, personalized and subjectivised in all its manifestations, expressing the interconnectedness of reality- a world of relationship, harmony, continuality and complementarity. The dualistic and exclusivistic Western perception of reality understands a person in relation to the other in terms of “I and Not-I”. This creates a dichotomy that brings in a strong divide between the “I and the other”, which could set groups and individuals against themselves.
The Problem of Collectivism and Unanimism in African
Philosophy
While individualism defines the Western conceptualization scheme, African philosophy has been criticized on the grounds of collectivism and unanimism as regards the self in relation to the other. It is argued that while Western philosophy is the record of the philosophies of individual persons, for instance, we have Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Hegel, Russell, Whitehead, Rawls, Rorty etc., in African philosophy, it is different. Afolayan (2006) writes that “Instead of the gallery of individual philosophers who symbolize the cultures confrontation with its experiences, ... there is an attempt to summarize the philosophical enterprise in Africa into a collective, communal framework” (p. 22).
Appiah (1992) puts the blame of unanimism on oral tradition. He writes, “Oral tradition has a habit of only transmitting consensus” (p.92). based on the collective character of African philosophy, Hountondji (1976) described African philosophy as simply a myth, the myth of unanimity and consensus. It is not surprising that he rejects concepts such as Igbo philosophy, Akan philosophy, Bantou philosophy or Dogon philosophy. Reacting to Hountondji’s perspective, Gyekye (1987) accuses him of denigrating, if not ignoring:
...the relevance and impact of the culture on the reflections of the individual thinker. Believing, as they do, that philosophizing is a wholly individualistic affair, they fail to recognize that the thinker perforce operates on the diffuse and inchoate ideas of the cultural milieu. We obviously cannot divorce the philosophy of an individual thinker from the ideas current among the people, for the philosophy of the individual thinker is rooted in the beliefs and assumptions of the culture. (p. 25).
While it is accepted as true that African philosophy, in the past, is collective, it is also good to mention that its collective character does not mean that it ceases to be philosophy or critical. Gyekye (1987) argues that, “In Africa’s historical past, there has been an absence of ... known and identifiable individual thinkers who stand out and can claim to have originated specific philosophical doctrines and to whom we can trace such doctrines” (p. 24). But this is not to say that there were no individual thinkers, for that they are not known does not mean that they did not exist. He goes on to write:
But surely, it was individual wise men who created African ‘collective’ philosophy. A particular thought or idea is, as regards its genesis, the product of an individual mind. And although it is logically possible for two or more individuals to think the same thought or to have the same idea at the same time, nevertheless, the production of the thought as such is the work of the mind of each of the individuals concerned. It is always an individual’s idea or thought or proposition that is accepted and gains currency among other people; at this stage, however, it is erroneously assumed to be the collective thought of the people. (p. 24).
Although African philosophy is regarded as a collective philosophy, they were borne from individual minds, and although we regard the philosophy of the West as composed of individual thinkers, they were furnished with the ideas, beliefs and thoughts of their society. Explaining why they are referred to as Oriental philosophy, speaking of the Oriental mind, British philosophy, speaking of the British Mind, European philosophy, speaking of the European mind, German philosophy, speaking of the German mind, etc.
The Self and the Conceptualization of Individuality
In the Igbo expression of a person, we discover that a person is an identity. In reference to a person, it is said onye mmadu. Moreso, the use of pronouns by the Igbo, like Mmu (I) , Ngi (You), Nginwa (Yourself), Nmunwa (Myself), Nyanwa (Himself, Herself), show that a person is conceived with an identity, a primary statement of reality and not mixed up with others without an identity. The attachment nwa is a demonstrative which means ‘this here’. Thus, mmunwa would literally mean ‘Myself here’; Nginwa ‘Yourself here’. It is an emphatic pronoun. The word which the Igbo uses to speak of the self is onwe, and so the Igbo can talk of onwe gi ‘yourself’, onwe ha ‘Themselves’, onwe m, ‘Myself’, onwe ya ‘Himself or herself’. The original root of the word onwe can be traced back to nwe that means ‘to own’. Thus, onwe gi, would mean he that owns himself, onwe ya, would mean he or she that owns himself or herself. The idea of ownership over the self introduces the idea of independence from the other. The onwe, therefore, becomes the source of identity of the individual. According to Okere (2015), the onwe:
is not describable and has no name and function except as the ultimate author of all the functions of the individual, the carrier of all experience. It is the link between the experiences of yesterday and today, the basis of that proprietorship by which these fleeting multitudes of experience are one and are mine. (pp. 163-164).
The onwe is, therefore, at the centre of human action and engagements. No one can speak of the onwe in a way that denotes distance or as a part of him or her. For the onwe is not a part of the person as one can speak of the hands or legs or ears. The onwe is yourself in its totality. While the onwe conveys the reality of identity and alterity, ‘I’ different from the ‘Other’, it is also a basic indication of personal autonomy. Personal autonomy brings in the idea of freedom, for he who is autonomous is free. Thus, the Igbo-African is free because he is autonomous. If the onwe is autonomous in the community of the others, it is obvious that the Igbo-African has an individuality even in the midst of communality.
Personal Names/Pronouns and Individuality
Personal names in African ontology recognizes personal identity. It is in fact the first mark of personal identity in African communities. Once a child is born, he is given an identity as Chukwuma, Chukwuka, Onyema, Adaku, Ikechukwu, Adaora, uchenna, Emeka, Chiugo, Nnennia. The peculiarity of the circumstances leading to the birth of persons affects to a great extent the kind of name that is given to the person. Even when people are born under the same circumstance and given the same name, their names are particular to them and do not have the same meaning- as it is unique to them. Tempels (1959) avers that “The first criterion is the name. The name expresses the individual character of the being. The name is not a simple external courtesy; it is the very reality of the individual” (p. 106). Bujo (1998) asserts that “For many African people, the name is not a mere ritual which defends and protects the person, but is the bearer of an action and a message. In a specific manner, it contains a whole programme for life, which everybody has to realize individually” (p. 147). Names carry the history and prehistory of individuals, families and communities. Thus, names for the Igbo is very important for his identity, and that is why he says afamefuna- let my name not demise. This is because the demise of his name is the demise of his identity. This is why every Igbo-African works hard to achieve something in the community so that his name does not demise. This makes a strong connection between the name and the person. Mbiti (1970) posits that the name is the person, and many names are often descriptive of the individual, particularly names acquired as the person grows. The reference to personal names points to the fact that in Africa people were viewed as persons and not just in the collective as a community. If people were viewed collectively then there would be no need for a name.
The Body as an Indication of Individuality
The body in Igbo language is ahu. Etymologically, it can be traced to the Igbo word- hu, which means ‘to see’. In relation to ahu, it means that the body is that part of the self which can be seen, it is visible, seeable, tangible. When a child is born, his ahu helps people around him in identifying him. When a person has polio, the sight of him and the nature of his ahu helps a person to identify him. When an ancestor reincarnates, sometimes the ahu helps the family into which the child has been born to identify the ancestor who has returned. For instance, in cases of an ancestor who lost his five fingers while he lived, and when a child is born after his death and the child is born without five fingers, even before divination, it is believed that it is the ancestor that has returned. And in most cases the divination confirms it. In a situation of this kind the child could be named Ahunna, that is, the father’s body, if it is the father who has reincarnated in him. Thus, the ahu helps in identifying a person as an individual who is different from the other. It must be noted that, although the ahu occupies a very important place in identifying a person, the ahu is not the self, but an outward expression of the self. It is through the ahu that the self is known and expressed. In relation to the individuality of each person, every ahu is unique. There are no two ahu that are the same. Each person has his or her own ahu which differentiates him or her from the others.
Personal Chi as an Indication of Individuality
The Igbo believes in the existence of a personal guardian, protector or divine double conceived as a part of God in man or the divine part of man appointed by God to watch over the individual person as he or she fulfils his or her personal destiny. It is called a divine double because while it is resident in the individual person, it deputizes for Chineke or Chukwu. As a divine force, agent or power, it is unique to the individual person, and part and constitutive of the individual person. There can’t be one same Chi for two persons. The Chi is not the self, neither is it the soul or the spirit of a person. For if it were the self or the soul or the spirit of a person then the self cannot pray to it, for that would mean the self praying or honoring the self. Beyond the fact that it is a principle for explaining historical and religious experiences, the Chi according to Okere (2015):
Is also part of the individual’s identity and is seen as the prime moving force and principle of individualism in Igbo culture. As such, it is strictly personal, indivisible, not shared or sharable with others as the Igbo says: out nne namu mana owughi otu chi neke: same mother but different Chi, that is, a person has the same mother as his sibling but his Chi is strictly his. (p. 167).
From the foregoing, Chi becomes an instrument of individuation and a characteristic attribute of individual persons. It is the principle of destiny- and just as everyone has his own destiny, everyone also has his own Chi.
The Problem of Individuality and Community: An Igwebuike Response
Having established the uniqueness and individuality of each person, Igwebuike philosophy understands individuality not as the antithesis of community but as a basis for relationship in the community. Therefore, the oneness and personess in a person is what makes him or her to relate to the other. If all realities were one reality, then there would be no relationship, but the fact that the African world is one that is complementary and relational indicates that there are individual persons that relate. Ezekwonna (2005) posits that: “The community recognizes this personhood and knows that ‘I’ cannot be ‘you’ and that ‘you’ can only relate to ‘I’ in other for them to achieve their goals and those of the community” (p. 64). Despite the community influence, each person maintains his or her identity, however, it is through relationship in the community that a person’s personhood becomes clearer and developed: through constant contact with the other person, your personality learns and is influenced. The African individual person is a social being and not a solitary being. Nzomiwu (1999) expresses this thus:
For personality, having its root in spirit rather than in matter expresses itself primarily in love, which involves the power to give oneself and to receive the gift of another. Personality emphasizes community for it is dynamic out-going passes properly to a trait of an African person. (p. 19).
How does a person’s personality develop through interaction with other persons? As an individual person, no one is self-sufficient. The goods in us are developed when we interact with other people. The entire cultural life is imparted through relationship with the other. Thus, in African ontology, the conceptualization of a person includes the person’s dialogical relationship with his environment. There is no individual person without a world, and this world is the sociality and materiality that defines his personhood. For it is in the process of asserting himself in the community that the intelligibility of a person’s autonomous choices of goals and plans for his life becomes crystal clear. To disassociate oneself from the community is to weaken the personhood of a person and, therefore, the being of the community.
From the foregoing, Igwebuike is not a philosophy of collectivism. It recognizes the particular which complements the other. And its recognition of the particular is closely linked to its respect for individuality. It is, therefore, neither collectivism nor individualism. Igwebuike, thus, contradicts the Cartesian conceptualization of the individual in terms of which the individual can be conceived without necessarily conceiving the other person. Manda (2015) avers that in the Cartesian self, the individual exists prior to, or separately or independently of the other or others in the community of people. Therefore, the remaining part of the society outside of the self is conceived as a nothing but an added extra to a pre-existent and self-sufficient being. This perspective exaggerates the solitary aspect of the person or individual to the detriment of the community. In Descarte’s corgito ergo sum we find an individualism that is not the opposite of Igwebuike, but rather the opposite of collectivism, which is different in nuance from Igwebuike. Thus, the opponent of individualism becomes collectivism. Below is an attempt to present in a diagram the relationship between the self and the other in Igwebuike philosophy.












FIGURE 2: The Self In Relation to the other in Igwebuike Conceptualization Scheme

Igwebuike is distanced from collectivism because in collectivism, the individual vanishes in the community without any relevance. This was the impression that Gyekye wanted to correct when responded to the interpretation of African thought by Hountondji. Gyekye (1987) understands the idea of collective thought as employed by Hountondji as a misnomer. He writes:
There is, strictly speaking, no such thing as collective thought, if this means that ideas result from the intellectual production of a whole collectivity. What has come to be described a collective thought is nothing but the ideas of individual wise people; individual ideas that, due to lack of doxographic tradition in Africa, became part of the pool of communal thought, resulting in the obliteration of differences among these ideas, and in the impression that traditional thought was a monolithic system that does not allow for divergent ideas. (p. 24).
Igwebuike understands persons as individuals, however, in a community, and in terms of their relationship with others. Although persons are first individuals, in African ontology they conceptualize themselves only in relation to the other. In this case, individuals only exist in terms of their relationship with other people or individuals. The individual is a person who corresponds to the multiplicity of relationships in the community. This pushes the Cartesian corgito ergo sum into a more complex reality, from an understanding of the individual as a solitary reality to a reality in solidarity, from an independent reality to an interdependent reality, from individuality in contrast to community to an individual in the community, from an individual filled with a sense of solitariness to an individual filled with a sense of the other. Igwebuike is based on the nature of the African universe which is complementary and relational in character.
Conclusion
The foregoing has studied the possibility of individuality in the African communitarian universe. It began from the Cartesian conceptualization of the self- the corgito ergo sum, typical of the Western perspective of the self as the fundamental western conceptualization of the self- that is, individualism. It further studied the alleged crisis of collectivism in African philosophy and the attempt of Gyekye to debunk the idea of collectivism in African philosophy. For a more profound study of the problem at hand- the dynamics of individuality and communality, the Igbo-African background is relied upon, since Igwebuike philosophy is itself an Igbo philosophy. And to prove that there is still individuality even in the presence of communality, the concept of the self in Igbo ontology is studied to see how in differentiating the self from the other in Igbo ontology, individuality and identity is emphasized. It further studied the use of names in Igbo ontology to reveal how the Igbo expresses the individuality of each individual. The Igbo philosophy of the body is also employed as an instrument of personal identity to show how, through names, the Igbo-African differentiates individual persons from others in the community. Finally, the concept Chi which is an Igbo principle of individuation for the interpretation of personal historical and religious experiences was studied to see how the individual ontologically is not mixed up with the other.
As a study in Igwebuike philosophy, this piece has shown that, although in African philosophy there is communality of people, the communality of people has not degenerated into communalism. Every sense of communality perceived in the African universe is a product of individuality, for unless there are individuals, there cannot be a community. The beauty of the African universe is the presence of an individuality that relates freely and without losing their individuality in a community.
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