The Objective of The Orient Club:
This analysis is not supposed to be a journey into the world of self-pity, nor of recrimination nor rancor. It is supposed to provoke us to righteous indignation against ourselves so that we can embark upon the path of rectitude through soul searching and soul cleansing. It is by doing this that you can achieve the noble goals of this Club, which include being our brother’s keeper. We need an attitudinal change to be able to do this. It is evident that the events analyzed in this presentation have not quite portrayed us as our brothers’ keepers. Because of this and in the light of our past experiences, may I take the liberty to amplify your objectives? The other objectives, which the Orient Club should consider pursuing, should include:
- Acting as insurance to all members of this group at times of difficulty by coming to the aid of deprived members.
- Fostering fraternal bonds with other similar Igbo organizations
- Enthronement of the system of merit, hard work, thrift, excellence, and uprightness at all times.
These objectives derive from essential ingredients inherent in our culture and which is part of our noble heritage. They form part of the dialectical process of our history and therefore part of our character. For Igbo history is not just a basket of woes and negativism. As Professor Nwabueze put it:
The Nigerian state has brought out the best and the worst
In the Igbo, and exposed the other peoples in Nigeria to it.
The best in the Igbo character excites fear in others, whilst
The worst in him excites resentment and hatred. And he is
Endowed by nature with rather liberal measure of both. His
Best is singularly good, his worst is singularly bad.
And A.R. Caponigri by Professor G.M. Umezurike in his 1992 Ahiajioku Lecture, says:
The effort, which can send a nation back upon its origins to grasp anew, in idea, the principles of its own spontaneous life and power is the greatest spiritual effort, a nation can make. It is criticism in its purest, that is, its most concrete and historical form.
“In so doing, ” adds Professor Umezurike, ” a nation becomes well-informed about the good and bad aspects of its culture and history, and it can therefore ensure that history does not repeat itself.”
I hasten to add that negative history should not repeat itself