Back to Africa Update

Vol. XXIX, ISSUE 2. Spring 2022

Pre-colonial Ibibioland, Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum, New York; and Coping Strategies for Malaria

Table of Contents

Editorial: Prof. Gloria Emeagwali

Nkereuwem D. Edemekong: Individual Rights and Social Responsibilities in Pre-colonial Ibibioland

Gloria Emeagwali: “The African Origin of Civilization” Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Samuel Uzondu: Despite Global Interventive Efforts against Malaria, in Africa it still leads: A Call for Review of Strategy

Editorial

In this issue of Africa Update, Dr. Edemekong reflects on Ibibioland in terms of its social and political philosophy. He points to the various manifestations of individual rights and social responsibility in the polity and argues that the participatory values of Ibibioland contributed to its sound democratic foundation. The author challenges some of the Eurocentric notions about the region and encourages Africa-centered perspectives on Ibibioland before the era of colonial occupation.

In her contribution to this issue, the present writer focuses on the on-going exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum New York entitled The African Origin of Civilization, an exhibition inspired by the works of the great Senegalese scientist, philosopher and historian, Cheikh Anta Diop, whose masterpiece by the same name, continues to influence scores of scholars in Africa, its Diaspora and beyond. His recognition of the interconnections between ancient Egypt and the rest of Africa inspires this illuminating exhibit. Earlier exhibitions on ancient Africa are also discussed in this article.

In the third article of this issue, Samuel Uzondu provides data on the prevalence of malaria in Africa, and offers short term and long-term recommendations for the eradication of the disease. Recommendations include structural changes in the delivery of palliatives and the monitoring of supply chain processes, improved modes of poverty alleviation, and the strengthening of institutions.

On October 6, 2021, the trial began of GlaxoSmithKline’s Mosquirix, a protein based malaria vaccine also referred to as RTS, S/AS01. Trials are being carried out in selected regions of Africa and it is hoped that vaccination would eventually reduce the severity of the disease once the vaccine becomes viable commercially. Mosquirix targets P. falciparum specifically, wanes after six months and is costly (Science vol. 374, issue 6565, 2021). So, Mr. Uzondu’s recommendations continue to be of utmost relevance for policy makers.

We thank Dr. Edemekong and Mr. Uzondu for their illuminating contributions to this issue of Africa Update.

Chief Editor

Prof. Gloria Emeagwali

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Individual Rights and Social Responsibilities in Pre-colonial Ibibioland

Dr. Nkereuwem D. Edemekong

Department of History and International Studies,

University of Uyo,

Akwa Ibom State,

Nigeria.

Introduction

There have been misrepresentations and distortions about pre-colonial governmental systems in the Southeastern and South-South geo-political regions in Nigeria. Ibibioland which had been part of the former region and now lies with the latter zone has not been spared the damaging consequence of this wholesale generalization which has been carried to the extreme especially by what Uya described as “outside” authors of the Eurocentric school[1]- colonial administrators, explorers, missionaries, European anthropologists, travelers, politicians, traders, and merchants, among others. In most parts of Ibibioland such as Ikono Ibom, Iman Ibom, Ikpa Ibom, Asutan Ekpe, Oku, Offot Ukwa Ibom, Oku Iboku, Mbiabong, Ayadehe, Itam, Ikot EKpene, Eastern Obolo, Eket, Ubium and others, studies have revealed that organized political structures and states prevailed. Notable scholars like Noah[2]; Udo[3]; Uya[4]; Abasiattai[5]; Esen[6]; Ekong[7]; Abia[8]; and Ukpong[9] to name a few, are prominent in this regard.

According to these scholars, prior to the arrival of Europeans in Ibibioland, these places (clans in Ibibioland) had evolved well-organized systems of traditional governance which emphasized the promotion and maintenance of law and order- a just, equitable and egalitarian society where every citizen had enjoyed the rights, privileges, and benefits of citizenship, and were also allowed to have a sense of belonging. According to Abia[10]- this pattern of government originated from the family (idip, ufok, atung and ekpuk) as primary unit of administration in the socio-economic, political, and religious lives of the people. The pattern was also maintained at the secondary[11] and tertiary levels[12] of Ibibio political structure.

Given the Afro-centric interpretations by recent African scholars on Ibibio traditional governmental system, this study, using the Ibibio as a microcosm of pre-colonial African society especially Southern Eastern and South-South geo-political regions, asserts that the pre-colonial Ibibio had organized and well-defined political structures, that albeit experienced historical changes with the coming of the Europeans.

Concept of Individual Rights and Social Responsibilities

Individuals Rights

The concept of a right relates to the freedom from interference by other individuals or the government. Individual rights, according to Garner,[13] refer to the liberties of each individual or the government. He gave examples of individual rights to include the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, etc. He further argued that the right to the pursuit of happiness means man’s right to live for himself, to choose what constitutes his own private, personal, and individual happiness and to work for its achievement, so long as he respects the same right in others.[14] This, thus, means that man cannot be forced to devote his life to the happiness of another man nor of any number of other men. It further means that the collective cannot decide what is to be the purpose of a man’s existence or prescribe his choice of happiness. Individual rights, it should be noted, is different from collective, group and civil rights.

Carla Manosa contends that individual rights are those equality rights that can be fought on an individual basis.[15] It means certain inalienable rights which come from God, not from government. For Aryan Rand, since man has inalienable individual rights, it means that the same rights are held, individually by every man, by all men, at all times. Therefore, the rights of one man cannot and must not violate the rights of another.[16] For instance, a man has the right to live, but he has no right to take the life of another. He has the right to be free, but no right to enslave another. He has the right to choose his own happiness, but no right to decide that his happiness lies in the misery (or murder or robbery or enslavement) of another. The very right upon which he acts defines the same right of another man and serves as a guide to tell him what he may or may not do.

From the examination of the positions of Garner, Manos, and Rand, it means that individual rights guaranteed certain inalienable freedoms. In a community of individuals made up of people of different backgrounds and orientations, and in pursuit of diverse interests and goals, the need to harmonize, in a collective sense, the goals and aspirations of such community for peaceful coexistence, bequeaths to the individuals a sense of social responsibilities.

Social Responsibility

Social responsibility, according to Haynes, refers to ethical responsibilities, and suggests that an entity, be it a group or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large[17]. Ethical responsibilities here are seen as embracing the emerging values and norms that society expects of citizens or indigenes, even if not expressly stated by law. These responsibilities can be thought of as things the group “should do.” Thus, social responsibility is a duty every individual has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the socio - political systems. It is sometimes referred to as group responsibility, collective responsibility, communal responsibility, or in a more recent usage, corporate social responsibility (CSR).

In the early stages of human civilization, the concept of individual rights thrived on the basis of sizeable and manageable groups or communities, in the absence of antagonism from marauding tribes or invading enemies. The idea of individual rights became increasingly dependent on corporate social responsibility. In Ibibioland, the pattern of indigenous governmental systems created room for both concepts of individual rights and social responsibility to develop. This will be considered in detail.

Individual Rights and Social Responsibilities in Ibibioland

Oyovbaire had noted that the problem of democracy revolves around how to forge a developmental process which is simultaneously participatory for individual citizens, sensitive to and protective of individual rights, freedoms and liberties, accommodative of social and communal pluralisms, nationally and socially integrative of multiple and competing loyalties, and generative of economic growth and distributive justice.[18] In the same vein, Iwe[19] asserted that the true test of a nation’s adherence and commitment to human rights is its attitude to the principle of the integrity of human liberty. Iwe stressed that this democratic principle requires that the liberty of citizens be promoted as much as possible and restricted only when it is necessary. He concluded that for effective socialization of the citizens in the culture of human rights, the efforts, and contributions of such institutions as the family are indispensable. Similarly, Ihejiamaizu and Egbe contended that the purpose of society and government in a democratic environment should be to provide an ordered, stable society which guarantees security for lives and property of citizens; the inculcation in the citizenry of a democratic culture and an attitude of service and trusteeship and of commitment to the welfare of the people and a sense of responsibility.[20] Their argument is that both the society and government should aim at promoting a spirit of fair play and tolerance of her people rather than arrogance and arbitrariness, and a sense of honest, faithful, selfless, disintegrated, impartial and objective service.[21] They advocated for a dedicated, selfless disciplined, patriotic, honest and highly motivated leadership, free from the cancer of social indiscipline, ethnic hatred and jealousies, religious bigotry as well as the tendency to personalize rulership and power - as the goal of any society and government.[22]

Furthermore, a report of the political bureau, 1987, also lent support to the fact that in all pre-colonial systems, the purpose of society and governance were clearly articulated and understood by both the ruler and the ruled. It stated:

The promotion of the welfare of the populace was the most fundamental reasons for government. Thus, in some communities when harvest failed, the rulers often forfeited their mandate to rule, and this led to loss of power. Each polity operated with a basic minimum sense of fairness and justice for each member of the community.[23]

The Ibibio indigenous political system possessed an in-built moral order that regulated its affairs. This moral order was predicated on the welfare and well-being of the entire community, promoted a feeling of patriotism and a sense of belonging and equality of all among the people, and enabled the citizens to cope with crises, manage conflicts and confront internal and external pressure.[24] Every adult male had to belong to Ekpo in Iman Ibom area. The women had to belong to abre and iban ison. The youths had nka iwaad or mkparawa in addition to being initiated into Ekpo ntok eyen (children’s order of Ekpo Anyohko).

In all Ibibio clans, oral evidence revealed unanimity on the view that children were regarded as belonging to everybody and were usually corrected by all when they went astray. It was the responsibility of every elderly person to reprimand an erring younger person. This ranged from scolding to flogging. For instance, if two children were fighting or quarrelling or struggling over an object or issue, the sight or arrival of an elderly person at the scene marked the cessation of contest, and all came to order. It was a serious mark of disrespect and dishonor for any of the parties to insist on exacting vengeance from the other in the presence of the elderly person. This was an act of uson anyen. In a literal sense, the act of having ‘strong eyes’ by a younger person in the presence of an elder. This act was strongly condemned. On the other hand, the senior could order them to continue in the fight until the winner emerged. In that case, the defeated party will respect his superior peer and the elder will order them to shake hands, as a token of reconciliation but warned them very seriously not to engage in conflict again. But he would take note of these revealed potentials in the champion, to be recruited for the community in the event of warfare, or inter-village wrestling competition where were common in the precolonial era.

Obong Enoch Eno Udofia recalled that secret societies were so powerful and awe-inspiring that even as a school principal in Edem Urua in Ibibiono Ibom local government area, he had to be initiated into Ekoon, Nkemba and Ataad which were so powerful and influential in Ibiono Ibom area so as to guarantee free movement for himself. This was in 1980. Obong Udofia argued that self-interest and additional fear ensured that administration of justice throughout Ibibioland. Udofia said:

With regards to self-interest, the leader knew that he was competing with other communities so he did the best he could to organize and mobilize his community hence the saying in Ibibio land “Obong Isibono ikpong”, the leader knew this and ensured that his community was carried along with him and he was more careful to avoid contravening the norms of the society concerning sacred commandments in the traditional religion of the land- mbet Abasi ukot, mbet Abasi Imaan and “mbet Abasi ayeyen”. The need to uphold the sanctity of these sacred laws provided the additional fear that ensured that the leader administered justice in a very strict and precise manner, otherwise he must pay dearly with his life. It is a matter of “Adue Ukot Akpa iton.” That is tit-for-tat.[25]

Law and order, especially in Southern Iman area, had straight severe injunctions as anybody who contravened the customs of his village and failed to pay the required fines might be punished with etuan (ostracization). This was an outright isolation of the offender to force him to mend his ways. This was a rare practice in northern Imaan. In Itam, Ibiono Ibom, Ubium, Uruan, Ibesikpo, Nsit areas, Ikpa Ibom, Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin and other parts of Akwa Ibom area, this practice was not different.

According to Ukpong, the maintenance of law and order was a religious as well as civic responsibility. The author argued that there was the ever-present danger that the Gods and ancestors, who were the originators of the customs and traditions, would react unfavourably if they were ever violated. When there was such violation, they had to be appeased by way of sacrifice. Ukpong[26] concluded that there was very little or no scope for bribery in the olden days as justice was speedy, transparently free, and fair. A member of the community who was alleged to have committed an offence had the right to appeal to his mother’s relatives to be present when the case was determined. The “nung mme eka” or “edemeka” were bound to accord him this right of protection and his village authorities must not act in any manner that would suggest the denial of the alleged offender such inalienable right. This goes to show that despite the strict and precise nature of justice, due process was allowed to avert the miscarriage of justice. In the same vein a prominent father-in-law or chief from another village could declare interest in matters involving his son-in-law or an accused person who solicited such intervention based on their conviction that they were innocent of the charges against them. The point to note is that the acceptance of outsiders to witness the trial procedure endorsed that the jury live above board in the discharge of their responsibility, while the citizens enjoyed their fundamental rights as human beings irrespective of their status or class. Any big chief could accept to defend and secure just for the weak without demanding any fee. There was absolutely no scope for bribery and corruption as the rule was strictly followed, and the penalties exacted without fear or favour.

Family heads had the responsibility to protect and defend members of their families at all times and the members owed the heads respect and reverence. In traditional Ibibio society, truth was embraced with passion, hence children were trained to embrace the philosophy that “honesty is the best policy”[27] so that their leaders would not be misled to be disgraced on matters that affected members of the family at the other or higher levels of governance involving the other families, the village, and another village. As an extension of these principles, members of the family were entitled to family land held in trust by the family heads.

Citizens were expected to take part in community development projects such as road maintenance, clearing the stream to ensure proper sanitary environment, and payment of levies. All the leaders beginning from the nuclear family thus: Obong Ufok, Obong Ekpuk, Obong Idung or Ette Idun, Obong Aduuk, Obong Ession- held offices for life, subject to good behavior. They and others that aspired to succeed them were expected to be people of transparent honesty, impeccable integrity, and uprightness, and to possess the capacity to service the basic needs of the communities.[28] Succession to office was peaceful and done in accordance with established traditional rules. There were methods of making the rulers aware of the displeasure of the ruled. Ette or Obong who misbehaved were withdrawn from office. For instance, in Etinan village in about 1830, the 13th village head, Obong Idem Ekong Umo Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan was deposed from office. According to tradition as gleaned from the Report of Etinan village headship dispute:

Idem Ekong Umo Etukudo came to the throne and ruled for seven years. He misbehaved during the pre-farming season hunting by going for a snail instead of all the slaughtered animals before him. For this punishment, he was dethroned, and the staff of office was taken from him and given to Akpan Nsek Etukudo Ofon Nte Akpan Edok Eti Inan from the same family.[29]

All the foregoing is evidence that individual rights and social responsibilities were governed by the sacred principle of law of “unen.” Unen connotes the legitimate rights and social responsibilities of the citizens as imposed by customs and tradition. These rights and social responsibilities are fundamental and inalienable to the citizens. Social relationships and responsibilities were very strong.

In matters of enforcement of discipline among minors, the rule, as was noted above, was that any male adult had the right to enforce discipline on erring youth without necessarily reporting the matter to the father. Discipline was a collective responsibility of every adult in Ibibioland. Women were not left out. They also enforced discipline in their groups like Abre where they could use injunctions to keep certain people out.

The true test of a typical adherence and commitment to human rights was the Ibibio attitude to the principle of the integrity of human liberty. This was a democratic principle which required that the liberty of the citizens should be promoted as much as possible and restricted in the example of Idem Ekong Umo Etukudo of Etinan in about 1830. It is in the light of such evidence as the above the Udo[30] correctly observed that the traditional law recognized the rights of citizens. These included right to life, property, and individual freedom; right to religion; right to security and right to protect and defend the political system. These were the pre-existing rights before we began to talk of the arrival of the Europeans and imposition of the Christian religion. Udo[31] further argued that the Ibibio citizens had rights of ownership of property, right to occupy and possess landed property, right to have a family and take responsibility of the family. He concluded that “these rights were genuine, legal and natural”[32]. Therefore, when one talks of Human Rights in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, it is a repetition of the Ibibio traditional political behavior. The enactment of the Human Rights Law is not a novelty to the African political system.

Ibibio traditional political system was a typical democracy. Uya[33] strongly supported this view when he asserted that African societies regardless of their size, sophistication or simplicity of their political organizations and structures, shared several things in common. Uya further noted:

However powerful or weak the rulers were, decision was, more often than not, based on real consensus. Those who disagreed with decisions commonly reached could migrate to other areas[34]

But the West tried to de-emphasize the genuine qualities of original African democracy as practiced in Ibibio families, villages, and clans. This they did to claim that they invented democracy. Ibibio traditional political system also provided for social responsibilities in the sense that it encouraged the citizens to protect their own political system. Again, Uya insisted that:

In the ethos of governance (to be placed) on a balance between power and authority, on the one hand, and service, accountability, and responsibility, on the other, rulers where judged, and continued in power on the basis of the extent to which they served the public good[35]

The consequences of this, naturally, was that citizens were recognized in the provision of indigenous leadership from ufok, ekpuk, idung, or obio, aduuk and ession or afaha. This kind of arrangement was a sign of the fact that they had to be responsible. Here also, Uya correctly submitted:

There was a common acceptance, within the pre-colonial political system, by the ruler and the ruled, that promotion of the welfare of the populace was the most fundamental raison d’etre for government. This gave governance a moral anchor[36]

The next aspect of the social responsibility is the recognition of the rule of law in the system. This rule of law had equally received the author’s attention, as Uya had earlier written:

Even in states where rulership was hereditary, those who wielded authority were judged by the characteristics expected of the incumbents of their offices- obliged honesty, integrity, uprightness and so on.[37]

This rule of law, which could only be exercised by morally sound leaders who possessed the above qualities among others, was not a new thing. There were also economic aspects of social responsibility. The indigenous governmental system recognized self-help through such economic institutions as afe etibe or Osusu. Any person who was in need could consult the ruler and easily receive some kind of assistance or support. Everybody had something to do. There was no destitution. Laziness was not encouraged as even those who had no means could attach themselves to a big man and work for him. Through such ways (working for the big men), they could be established to be self-reliant. The Ibibio man was taught from childhood to embrace the philosophy of hard work and “dignity in labour.

The soil was always available to be worked on hence the saying “inwan atan akpanikoakan udua.” Throughout Ibibioland, it is common to hear of “nnanga” or “utom.” This refers to either a voluntary undertaking or cooperate farming activities for the family head, village head or some big man in the family or village, as the case may be. Sometimes this big man can be one’s akpongo (namesake), or a family friend or relative-in-law, from another village. This big man would be obliged to refresh and entertain such workmen with assorted sumptuous meals and “take home” items. It is worthy to note that in Ibibioland, the “take-away” or “take-home” tradition, known as Ekuu was reciprocal from the big man or woman to his or her workmen. The “take home” items were not paid for. They were usually offered free, and these items consisted of some food items and parts of animals slaughtered to feast the workmen or a visiting son-in-law, friend or relative.

This tradition is a validation of the Ibibio saying that “ubok anam utom ikpaha abio” meaning that “a laboring hand does not die of hunger.” Ibibio society had no room for lazy people. This political system did not want those kinds of people. Because of the culture of hard work, everybody struggled to participate in one economic activity or the other. Throughout Ibibioland, it is common to hear that “Etokayen ama akam akamba awuo utom, uduaan ayoho idip.” That is to say when a child runs errands willingly for the elders, he would have enough to eat and spare, “ubok anam utom, inua adia nkpo”- meaning, when the hands release the ingenuity of their labour, the mouth will be filled with sumptuous delicacies. All these wise sayings portend that the village heads, family heads, and other elders in the households were always ready to give to willing people all the support to work hard and survive. There was surplus land that could be given out to people to farm and return to the custodian authority after harvest. This was known as “Nto nwuo ikod” (temporal farmland). Sometimes, a relative-in-law or grandson who was in trouble at home with his family could approach his parents-in-law or mother’s kindred, as the case may be, and they could not hesitate to receive, accommodate, and rehabilitate him. Some Ibibio sayings which support the traditional practice are: Mkpo ama adiok ayen ke edem ette, asenyon edem eka. This means that when the fortunes of a child fail at home, he naturally turns to his mother’s kindred. Ukod isinnoho ukod ifen ayo atie: This translates literally to mean that it is forbidden of any man to issue or offer a bunch of oil palm fruit for a stool to an in-law. This was illustrative of the requirement of the spirit of goodwill, support, cooperation, solidarity, and brotherhood from in-law relationships.

As earlier said, people who worked hard could align themselves with important personalities, curry favour and them, to the extent that such personalities could even marry wives for them and give them plots of land to build their own houses and farm on. That is to say, “a nobody” can attach himself to a powerful man in Ibibio society and become “somebody.” There was also provision of health care facilities. Ibibio traditional political system had provision for social amenities. In Ibibioland, each family used to have a family doctor. The family medicine man (Abia Ibok) was responsible for the family healthcare delivery. From time to time, he would visit the family to find out how the children were faring. They used herbs and the bark of trees to cure such ailments as abscess, smallpox, and akpasak or ikiim, ikpakub, and adiitipbe. The kind of facilities they had was considerable.

Another fundamental aspect of the social responsibility was in the area of security. Collective method of maintaining peace and security was practiced. This was observed in three phases namely: family level (ufok and ekpuk), village level (idung or obio) controlled by the village head and the senior chiefs who worked together to maintain peace; and the clan level (Essioon or Ikpaison) where the clan head (Etebom or Nkuku or Obong Afaha) in conjunction with village heads, titled chiefs and elders of the clan worked to maintain peace and security at the clan level.

The result of the combination of all these social responsibilities helped to establish a solid foundation for democracy and emphasized stability in the political system. This in effect gave rise to patriotism and self-realization, hence the saying, “Idun Nyin” (our village). These were the kind of things Ibibio people generally appreciated and would readily return home to celebrate, no matter where they were. Indeed, the primacy of the village in the person’s scheme of things is illustratetd by the Ibibio proverb that: Se anwuo anie ke idun awuo idoho inie, ibohokhe uma ukoono inie mfo uduwo ufok. This literally means that no matter the volume or amount of wealth acquired in a foreign land, such cannot be validated until they are safely repatriated home.

Democratic and Participatory Values in Ibibioland

Ibibioland was a highly democratic society. It is a truism that a democratic environment is a very highly regulated environment.[38] To that extent, it was a very highly disciplined society. It lacked the attributes of a feudal state of the ancient regimes which placed emphasis on service without commensurate reward. Rather it was committed to cater for the welfare of all its members. The leadership at whatever level derived its power from the will of the people, and the leaders were fully aware that the strength of the family (ufok), extended family (ekpuk), village (idun), village groups (aduuk), and clan (ession or ikpaison) depended on how well the people were organized and governed. The leadership was also aware that the maintenance of law and order, adequate security system of laws, and properly organized systems of leadership selection, succession and revenue collection constituted the hallmarks of a well-organized society.[39] Ibibio citizens were guided on the ideal principle, which affirms that change is progress, that the evolution of its society was one of transition to greater age of development, not of stagnation. Available evidence confirms that in Ibesikpo in the 1930s, Abak and Ikot Ekpene in the latter 1940s, the chiefs and leaders of the Ibibio areas spearheaded the invitation of missionaries who brought Qua Iboe, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic and Lutheran churches to their areas.

Emphasizing the democratic and participatory values as features of the Ibibio traditional political system, Ibibio State Union in its Memorandum for the establishment of the House of Chiefs in the Eastern Region of Nigeria in 1957 stated that:

Ibibio had always had traditional rulers as part of their practice of democracy of the highest order, that such democracy had its embryo in the grassroot which was the village community with its Council of Elders usually presided over by the village head known in the Ibibio language as Obong Idung or Obong Obio, and from thence the democratic institution expanded and overflowed to Ikpa Isong with its Esop Ikpa Isong usually presided over by Obong Ikpa Isong[40]

It is noteworthy that the practice of village democracy was common throughout Ibibio territory. This usually took place at the village assembly (Afe idung/Efe Obio). All adult citizens freely participated and expressed opinions on village affairs. Essien aptly summed up the practice thus:

The village shed exhibited and encouraged a high degree of democracy and individualism as all members were allowed to express their opinions on village affairs. This had the effect of mellowing…the authoritarian venom of decision making by pushing the settlements (of issues) towards common and shared values[41]

The ultimate aim of Ibibio village democracy, the author argued, was to ensure that any decision reached by Isong was a decision by consensus incorporating the ‘general will.’ However, the authors further posited that some views expressed at the General Assembly carried more weight than others.[42] First, the words of the village and family heads bore the greatest weight. Second, the operation of seniority principle ensured that the closer a man was in age and descent to the founding father, the greater the weight of his opinions. Third, as regards the General Assembly discussions, all the usual reasons why different individuals wield influence over a group come to play- competence, eloquence, wisdom, wealth, intelligence, and experience. Finally, a procedure which intended to reduce the influence of the ordinary citizens in decision-making, according to Jones and Forde,[43] was that:

After a general discussion, the elders retire to consult and when they return, a spokeman announces the decision to the meeting who either accepts it by general acclamation or refuses it.

The point to note here is that despite the seeming democratic and participatory values embedded in the features of the indigenous political system in Ibibioland, the structures of power do not operate like the proverbial periwinkle republic, where there is no distinction between the leader and the led as (afid awuo edo mfi, eyara itam ukem ukem). All the periwinkles dress in the same fashion and the style and size of their caps are similar. There is always first among equals. For instance, the appointment of village heads was never by resolution of Town Council or General Assembly but by selection or popular demand. In the case of Etinan village headship dispute between Chief Sampson Usen Mbek and Mr. James Udo Inyang which lasted from 1971- 1980, the latter was popularly elected by eight out of the nine families that constituted Etinan, through a town council resolution. Despite his popularity amongst the villagers (the remaining eight families), Nung Umo Etukudo vehemently opposed his choice and the procedure that led to his selection as “a travesty of our tradition and void.”[44] Consequently, Mr. James Udo Inyang lost the dispute to the superior claim and evidence of the ‘minority’ ruling family of Nung Umo Etukudo. According to Eteidung J.J. Nsek:

Etinan custom is akin to the Jewish practice where minority opinions always supersede those of the masses who have no business in the selection, anointing and installation of the kings[45]

 

Conclusion

This study has examined the concepts of individual rights and social responsibilities in Ibibioland as practiced in pre-colonial Ibibioland to date. The research had made known the fact that the people of Ibibio had well-established governmental principles and democratic ideals that regulated the day-to-day activities of the people. The coming of the Europeans to the scene of Africa and the Ibibio frontiers did not play any part in the evolution of governmental institutions or principles as wrongfully popularized by Eurocentric scholars. In fact, Ibibio governmental systems largely facilitated the British policy of indirect rule by giving it the necessary support and at the same time vehemently opposing obnoxious policies when necessary. It therefore goes that Ibibio, like in the modern state system, had elements of democratic principles that gave priority to the welfare of the people in state governance. In other words, whether one is examining democratic ideals, individual rights or social responsibilities as associated with the modern world and contemporary Nigerian state, their equivalents existed and still exist in Ibibioland.

Email Contact: nkereuwemdavid@uniuyo.edu.ng

Bibliography

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Oral Interview with Claton UDoh, 70+, Lecturer, Uyo, March 6, 2009.

Oral Interview with Etteidung J.J. Nsek, 60+, at Afaha Ibesikpo, May 21, 2010.

 

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Ihejiamaizu, O and Egbe, B.O. The Sociology of Traditional and Modern Political Administrative Systems and Some Contentious Issues in Contemporary Nigeria. Calabar: African Scholars Publishing Company, 2001.

Iwe, N.S.S. The Dignity of Man as the Foundation of Human Rights: A Message for Nigerians. Calabar: Sacs Print Publishers, 2000.

Jones G. I. and Daryl Forde. The Ibo and Ibibio – Speaking Peoples of Southeastern Nigeria. London: International African Institute, 1967.

Marnosa, C.C. “Group Rights and Individual Rights: Can they Coexist? Available at http://erpic.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Group-Rights-and-Individual-Rights-Can-They-Coexist.pdf. Accessed June 20, 2016.

Noah, M. E. Ibibio Pioneers in Modern Nigerian History. Cambridge: Scholars Press, 1980.

Oyovbaire, S. “Political Developments in Nigeria” In: O.E. Uya, Contemporary Nigeria: Essays in Society, Politics and Economy. Buenos Aires: Edupulis, S.A, 1992.

Rand, A. The Ayn Rand Column. Available at http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/individual_rights.html. Accessed June 20, 2018.

Udo, E. A. Who are the Ibibio? Onitsha: Africana/Feb Publishers, 1983.

Udo, C and Essien, D.O (Eds.). Readings in Akwa Ibom History. Calabar: Wusen Press Limited, 1993.

Udoma, U. The Story of Ibibio Union: Its Background, Emergence, Aims, Objectives, and Achievements. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited, 1987.

Ukpong, E.A. “The Indigenous Judicial System of the Ibibio.” Ibom Journal of History and International Studies, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1999.

Ukpong, E. A. An Enquiry into Culture: Ibibio Names. Uyo: Dorand Publishers, 2007.

Uya, E.O. African Diaspora and the Black Experience in the New World Slavery. Lagos: Third Press Limited, 1992.

Uya, E.O. A History of Oron People of the Lower Cross River Basin. Oron: Manson Publishers Company, 1984.

Uya, E.O. “Nigerian Intellectuals and the Challenge of Nation Building.” A Convocation Lecture delivered at the University of Uyo, Nigeria, April 24, 2009.

Uya, E.O. African History: Some Problems in Methodology and Perspectives. Calabar: Cats Publishers, 2004.

 

 


 

“The African Origin of Civilization” Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Dr. Gloria Emeagwali
History Department
CCSU

On October 24, 2009, the curtains went down on one of the most memorable events of that year, “Lucy’s Legacy, the Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia,” hosted by Discovery Times Square Exposition [1]. The exhibit provided an evolutionary narrative of our ancestral family tree, ranging from the seven-million-year-old Sahelanthropus tchadensis to Ardipethecus kadabba, Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus anamensis, and, the star of the exhibit, Australopithecus afarensis, Dinkenesh, alias Lucy. We were reminded during the exhibit that the discovery of the skeletal remains of Dinkenesh took place the very year that Haile Selassie was overthrown.

The 1974 discovery marked the end of an era, and the start of a new episode in hominid history that propelled Ethiopia to the forefront of research in this field. Most of the fossils discovered, to date, have been found in Ethiopia, considered by some scholars to be ‘the cradle of mankind.’ Most instructive, for scholars of ancient northeast Africa, were the numerous artifacts on display from Aksum, including some of the world’s earliest coins in silver, copper, and gold. The coins represented several Ethiopian monarchs, including King Endubis (270-300AD), King Kaleb (520 AD), King Wazena (6th century), King Halaz (575 AD), King Gersen (600AD), and King Armah (614 AD). On display were medicinal scrolls, stamps, pens and locally made ink, and processional and handheld crosses, representing everlasting life. There were diverse swords, spears, and daggers of various dimensions, with and without sheaths, one of which was about 6 feet in length. Also on display were board games, and musical instruments such as the bagana, an 8 or 10 string lyre, and the sistrum, an ancient Egyptian musical instrument still used in the Ethiopian orthodox church. An exquisite outfit of velvet and silk, traditionally worn by Oromo horsemen, was also on display. One of the cherished items for viewers was a replica of the remarkable Church of Beta Giyorghis, St. George’s Church, chiseled and sculptured in the shape of a cross, being one of eleven churches attributed by some scholars to the era of King Lalibela of the Zagwe dynasty. Lalibela, the city, previously known as Roha, was Ethiopia’s capital in the 12th and 13th century. The Aksumites were associated with Christianity from its early inception, according to Biblical references. The kingdom later adopted Christianity officially, just about a decade after Rome.

Ethiopia continues to be the alleged host of the Ark of the Covenant, and to date has the largest Christian Orthodox Church, built by Emperor Haile Selassie before his assassination in 1974.
The Ethiopian Aksumites constructed the largest stone monument in the world, a carved stone monolith, weighing 500 tons and 100 ft high, taller than the Egyptian pyramid of Giza, and one of the eight UNESCO heritage sites of Ethiopia. The largest existing stela is 68 feet tall and ten stories high and inscribed with false windows and doors. Emperor Fasilidas is credited with the establishment of Gondar in 1636, in the post -Aksumite era. Monasteries, baths, and a series of castles are among the attractions of this city, located south of Aksum and north of Lalibela.

Ethiopia is also home to the third largest Muslim population in Africa. Ethiopia’s Harar hosts the fourth most important Islamic center after Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. Ethiopian contact with Islam dates back to 615 AD when King Armah, provided protection for exiled supporters of the Prophet Mohammed, including one of his future wives. Four Korans from Harar were on display. There were some illustrations related to Ethiopia’s Jewish population, or Beta Israel, 20,000 of whom remain in Gondar. The interconnections between Emperor Haile Selassie, Rastafarianism and Marcus Garvey were commented on in the exhibit.

The exhibit was not flawless. The timeline on display at the entrance to the exhibit could have included more references to the rest of Africa, to situate Dinkenesh (Lucy), and Aksum, for that matter, in the wider African story. Yeha was founded around 900 BC, but about 10,000 years before Yeha, Malian and Nubian pots were being fashioned in the West African and northeast African regions. About seven thousand years before Yeha, Nigeria’s famous Dufuna boat would have been constructed. Seventy-five thousand years before them all, artifacts would have been created by early South Africans at Blombos. Aksum must therefore be placed in a wider context of African historical growth. Another observation is that during the exhibit, the use of the Ethiopian name Dinkenesh was halfhearted. One area for improvement in museums and exhibits in general, is in the area of donor acknowledgement. Where possible, the original source of the object should be identified, in addition to the gift donor. The glorification of gift donors should not be done at the expense of the original village or town from which the object came. Finally, the exhibit’s representation of Homo sapiens sapiens attempted to reflect diversity but failed. African representation was inadequate, weak, subdued, and peripheral. The image was a vast improvement on the old Eurocentric image of Homo sapiens sapiens, which used to be exclusively Caucasoid in appearance, but the image on display was not inclusive and authentic enough.

Fast forward to December 2021, a dozen years later, to the exhibition entitled “The African Origin of Civilization” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The Eurocentric model that mildly tarnished the Dinknesh exhibit earlier discussed, is turned on its head, The very title of the exhibit is revolutionary since it admits to Africa’s fundamental role in history as the progenitor of civilizations. It acknowledges the monumental work of Cheikh Anta Diop in this field of research and utilizes the comparative model that the great scholar applied when making the case for the Africanity of Ancient Egypt. Such a view was heresy in his day, in the 1970s and 1980s, and he was metaphorically burnt to the stake for daring to make the case, but his doctoral thesis was eventually approved and when published was a phenomenal success. Egypt was an African civilization, he argued, and this could be proven in a multidisciplinary context.

On November 7, 2019, Dr. Christopher Ehret, Distinguished Research Professor at University of California, Los Angeles, made a similar case, in his lecture on “The Africanity of Ancient Egypt” at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University [2]. Dr. Ehret made use of archeo-linguistics, and archaeology in his illuminating lecture. The path to the Metropolitan Exhibit was blazed by Diop, initially and this is fully acknowledged by the museum, which has to be commended for daring to modify the rather conservative methodological approaches of some of its previous exhibits.

The African Origin of Civilization exhibit was part of the wider exhibit on ancient Egypt. The juxtaposition of ancient Egyptian artifacts with those from other parts of the continent would stimulate thought and encourage viewers to reflect on the wider issue of Egypt’s African identity. For example, a ceremonial ladle by a Dan artist in late 19th to mid-20th century Libera is compared with a bowl with human feet from around 3700 BCE, the Late Naqada era. A portrait mask of wood done by a Baule artist of the late 19th to early 20th century is matched with a funerary mask of estate manager Wah during the early period of Amenemhat I, during the twelfth dynasty. Headrests can be found throughout the African continent from east to west, and north to south, not to exclude central Africa that has produced a generous supply of artistically sculptured head rests. It turns out that the starting point of this iconic object, the head rest, is ancient Nubia and Egypt where it was associated with the journey to the afterlife. It would also be a convenient prop for elaborate coiffures of the fashionistas of the day, and for other hair conscious clients. Matching a headrest from the Congo with one from ancient Egypt made a lot of sense.

The curators did not always hit the mark. The statue of the God Ptah juxtaposed with a Benin bronze flute player seemed to be a poor fit, and so, too, a ritual specialist, a nganga and his power objects, that were matched with a kneeling figure from the thirtieth dynasty - Egypt’s last dynasty before colonial occupation by the Greeks. It would have been more convincing to match an Egyptian kherheb or shaman with the Congolese nganga. They would have more in common. The danger of erratic and arbitrary matching is that skeptics would walk away thinking that the curators ran out of objects to compare because of an absence of evidence. This, of course, would be far from the truth. Cheikh Anta Diop would provide numerous examples of artifacts that matched squarely in terms of culture, theology, and physiognomy. May we add also that the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1994, provided a series of perfect matches in terms of mother and child sculptures, cowrie shells from west Africa and Egypt, divine kingship in ancient Egypt and Benin, animal deities and symbols, body art, masking in ancient Egypt and “sub-Saharan” Africa, body art, tattooing in the ancient Nile valley and other regions of Africa, scarification and even circumcision, as well. Theodore Celenko, the organizer of that exhibit would provide us with a memorable edited text associated with that exhibit, namely, Egypt in Africa (1996). Unfortunately, all efforts by the present author and a prospective publisher, to have this work republished, failed miserably. We got the run-around from Indiana University Press.

The two exhibitions had a few things in common, although a dozen years apart. Donors and purchasers of items were given high priority in the two exhibits - to such an extent that the actual creation of the objects, and their places of origin, were unduly obscured. Reliance on benefactors for the artifacts in their possession no doubt drives this excessive show of gratitude, but as argued earlier in this article, the stars in this historical drama are not the buyers or owners, but the people, known and unknown, who created these wonderful objects - and the people and society that inspired this activity. More attention should be placed on the skills, expertise, technologies, inventions, and innovations that went into the creative process than to the donors. Both exhibits attempted to highlight aspects of the African past. The Metropolitan Museum was quite successful in this regard in its trans- continental view. Both exhibitions focused on Africa’s role in the origin of civilization although from different angles. Lucy’s Legacy was largely inspired by paleontological research and discoveries, while Cheikh Anta Diop’s work inspired the Met’s African Origin of Civilization exhibition.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York must be commended for launching this exhibit. Judging from the constant flow of visitors, the exhibit continues to attract a wide spectrum of the population, inclusive of scholars of African and world history and the general public. The exhibit is a spark of light in a field that is experiencing a welcome process of truth- telling and decolonization. By honoring the legacy of Cheikh Anta Diop, the Metropolitan Museum of New York has taken a giant leap forward in this direction.

Notes

[1] This article includes extracts of an article previously published in Africa Update vol. XVI. Issue 4. Fall 2009

[2] Ehret, Christopher. 2019. “The Africanity of Ancient Egypt.” Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University.

https://hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/event/huggins-lectures-christopher-ehret-1-3

 

 

 

Despite Global Interventive Efforts against Malaria, in Africa it still Leads: A Call for Review of Strategy

Samuel Uzondu
Nano Malaria Research Unit,
Department of Pharmaceutics,
University of Nigeria,
Nsukka.

Historical Background

Malaria is a public health concern which has ravaged majorly Sub-Saharan Africa that accounts for over 90% of the global malaria burden [1]. There have been global interventions by way of therapeutics and prophylactics. Therapeutically several drug classes have been used in the treatment of malaria including chloroquine, sulphadoxine - pyrimethamine (SP) etc. The introduction of these drugs led to a drastic control of the disease, until the emergence of drug-resistant strains of the malaria parasite: a phenomenon known as antimalarial drug resistance (ADR), particularly plasmodium falciparum which is responsible for the most deadly form of the disease found in Sub-Saharan Africa, with children under five years and pregnant women being the most vulnerable population. The emergence of drug-resistant strains of the parasite has led to the retirement of most antimalarial drugs like chloroquine, SPs etc. The introduction of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) in 2001 by the World Health Organization [2] brought a respite to the global threat posed by antimalarial drug resistance (ADR).

This relief has been short-lived with the emergence of ACT- resistant strains of the malaria parasite in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in Asia in 2009 [3]. The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) comprises the following countries in Asia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Yunnan province in China. The emergence of ACT-resistant strains of the malaria parasite in the GMS led to launching by the Global Fund in 2013 of the regional Artemisinin -resistance Initiative (RAI) to contain and possibly eradicate the threat in the region. This RAI programme is paying off as there were 88% reduction in indigenous malaria cases and 95% reduction in P. falciparum cases [1]. While Asia is making steady progress in stemming malaria and antimalarial drug resistance (ADR) the same cannot be said of Africa that for many consecutive years still has the highest burden of malaria in the world. According to the world malaria report 2021, six countries: Nigeria (27%) the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12%), Uganda (5%), Mozambique (4%), Angola (3.4%) and Burkina Faso (3.4%) – accounted for about 55% of all cases globally. In fact, Nigeria has led the pack for at least five consecutive years. More worrisome is the recent reports of ACT-resistant strains of the malaria parasite in the Horn of Africa, Rwanda, and Uganda. This portends great danger for a continent that has been plagued by malaria and has the highest malaria burden globally.

Several factors may be responsible for the continued dominance of Africa on the global malaria burden and mortality list.

(a) Antimalarial Drug Resistance (ADR): The failure of antimalarial drugs to kill the malaria parasite, the parasite continues to grow and develop in the presence of the drug. This leads to treatment failure with its attendant costs - direct and indirect despite interventions by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Fund by way of programmes such as Rollback Malaria (RBM) etc. and elimination strategies such as high burden high impact (HBHI). Antimalarial drug resistance (ADR) has been fingered as one of the causes of these negative statistics. A study done by WHO between 2010 and 2018, showed that malaria cases in Africa rose due to resistance

(b) Poor Regulation of Drug Distribution: A well –regulated drug distribution system ensures that quality drugs are accessible ONLY when needed. This is not the reality in Africa where there is easy access to drugs including antimalarial drugs especially through the open drug markets which are poorly regulated. As a result, there is influx of fake and adulterated drugs which come very cheap for the poor majority. The effect of this is in the challenge of the malaria parasite with sub-effective doses of the antimalarial drug which the parasites adapt to, giving rise to resistant strains of the parasite. Poor regulation of drug distribution also implies unfettered access to drugs even when not needed, this is a major contributory factor to resistance development. Poor regulation of drug distribution encourages self-medication as a result of unfettered accessibility, also another trigger of resistance development. Resistance development manifests as delayed parasite clearance, treatment failures leading to increases in morbidity and mortality rates. This is very noticeable among the rural population.

(c) Poor Regulation of Drug Quality: This is one factor, too many. Drug quality regulation is key to delivering desired treatment goals, targets. There is preponderance of fake and adulterated drugs in Africa as a result of porous borders, weak or no enforcement of relevant laws, and institutional corruption in drug quality regulatory agencies. The long-term effect of this untoward development is the resultant challenge of the malaria parasite with a fake or adulterated antimalarial drug product which cannot kill the parasite. As a result, it grows and develops in the presence of the drug. This leads to the development of resistant strains of the parasite which causes treatment failures and increasing morbidity and mortality rates of the disease.

(d) Corruption in the Healthcare Sector: The global intervention programmes against malaria are majorly carried out in sub-Saharan Africa, responsible for over 90% of the global burden of malaria [1]. These programmes entail purchase and free donations to the affected country’s Ministry of Health, to be given to patients without cost. This is not the reality as government officials sell off the antimalarial drugs labelled “Not for Sale” donated by the Global Fund to wholesalers and distributors in the open drug markets. This leaves patients who are supposed to receive these drugs free of charge, to buy them at exorbitant rates for the ones who can afford. These are a small percentage of the patient population, leaving the majority who cannot afford, to go the unregulated open drug markets to buy fake or adulterated drugs- which leads to treatment failure, increased hospital visits, multiplication, and spread of resistant strains, and the vicious cycle continues. This also applies to non-drug measures like distribution of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). Patients end up paying for ITNs that should have been given to them free of charge. This leads to non-actualization of the objectives for the prevention of malaria, which may lead to the same cycle of morbidity and mortality rate increases.

(e) Lack of Effective Management of Monitoring and Evaluation Systems: Monitoring and Evaluation is an indispensable component of project management. It is key to ensuring that project or programme objectives are being achieved. It should be sensitive to detect early signs of failure or success of the programme. Human factors, particularly corruption, could be a key reason why monitoring and evaluation systems fail. Corruption in the area of inventory management; recording of false information regarding distribution and utilization of antimalarial drugs and insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) lead to significant negative disease statistics, despite huge investments. An effective management of this process must “manage through” the entire process of the supply chain of donated antimalarials, ITNs etc.

(f) Poverty: There seems to be a direct correlation between poverty and disease vulnerability. A study by Statista showed in 2021[4], that around 489 million people in Africa were living in extreme poverty, with the poverty threshold at 1.90 U.S. dollars a day. The number of poor people on the continent increased compared to the previous years. However, poverty in Africa is expected to decline slightly in the coming years, even in the face of a growing population.

(g) Defective Healthcare Delivery Structure and Systems: The health of a nation to a large extent is dependent on its healthcare delivery structure and system in terms of the quality-of-service delivery, the efficiency of service delivery, the geographical spread of that service and more importantly affordability of that service. The best estimator of the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery in a country should be the primary healthcare centres found in the rural areas of the country. The situation of some of these healthcare centres in Africa is very pathetic as they have become “glorified healthcare outlets” with no medical doctors. The best personnel you get there are nurses who virtually do the work of medical doctors, and pharmacists in addition to theirs. This defective structure and system will lead to misdiagnosis, treatment failures as a result and enhance the development and spread of the disease in terms of morbidity and mortality rate including resistance.

Having x-rayed the possible factors that may be causing the sustained dominance of Africa regarding global malaria burden and mortality rate, it is pertinent to proffer realistic short term and long-term measures towards elimination and possible eradication. The measures being proposed here will bring fundamental shifts in progress in the march towards malaria elimination in the African continent.

Proposed short-term measures include:

(a) Elimination of “middlemen” in the supply chain of donated antimalarial drugs, ITNs: The middlemen are the corrupt government officials and their accomplices who divert Global Fund - donated ACTs & ITNs labelled “Not to Be Sold” to their cronies at giveaway prices. These are items meant to be given to patients free of charge. Some of them who can afford to buy them, do so at exorbitant prices. Elimination of this group from the supply chain among other things will ensure the donated items (ACTs, ITNs) get to the target audience, patients in the urban and rural areas, thereby enabling the malaria elimination programme objectives to be achieved. It is heart-wrenching to observe that ACTs whose costs have been subsidized with donor funds do not get to target audience free of charge. This defeats the aim of the subsidy which is to increase accessibility and affordability. Elimination of middlemen can be done by direct supply of ACTs, ITNs to the access points: tertiary, secondary and primary healthcare institutions. A pilot study could be undertaken to establish the effectiveness of this approach.

(b) Establishment of Liason Offices in Recipient Countries/Deployment of Liason Officers: This will greatly assist in the effective monitoring and evaluation of the supply chain processes and programmes to ensure that targeted objectives are actualized. National malaria control programmes in countries affected by malaria should seek or inculcate donor agency participation by way of representation on constituted boards or committees handling such programmes, to encourage transparency of all levels of the value chain. The donor agencies should deploy their liason officers to represent them on the constituted boards or committees that will execute such programmes. This will help curb if not eliminate corrupt practices in the execution of such programmes.

Proposed Long Term Measures include:

(a) Strengthening of Institutions: Developed countries build very strong institutions which enforce the laws of the land, uphold democratic principles, and entrench good governance. The reverse is the case in some regions of Africa where countries build very strong individuals who are above the laws of the land, and entrench corruption, which eats deep into the fabric of the society, leaving very weak institutions and an impoverished populace. Everything rises and falls on leadership. Having the right leadership at all levels of administration from the three tiers of government to the healthcare sector will lead to the strengthening of drug quality regulating agencies, drug distribution regulating agencies, and law enforcement agencies, to live up to the expectations required of them in being respectively the watchdogs of drug quality drug distribution, and law & order. This will ensure that drug quality of compendial standards is maintained, and drug distribution is strictly regulated. Poor regulation of drug quality and distribution are among the factors causing the development of ADR, which among other factors is responsible for the sustained dominance of Africa at the top regarding global malaria burden and mortality.

(b) Conscious Programming Efforts

WHO and Partners should consider rolling out programmes that will consciously pull people out of poverty in Africa? There seems to be a direct correlation between poverty and disease vulnerability. This proposed strategy is an indirect approach to eliminating malaria that should impact greatly on the negative statistics regarding malaria burden and mortality in Africa. This proposed programme should be best done to achieve the desired results through non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that will interface directly with the poor populace, eliminating the corrupt interference of government officials.

April 25th, 2022, was World Malaria Day with the theme “harnessing innovation to reduce malaria disease burden and save lives.” Innovative research in the area of developing novel drugs are in top gear, and any solution that will eliminate and possibly eradicate malaria in the future may not be accessed by Africa if defective, corrupt healthcare structures and systems in Africa are not dealt with.

Summarily, the goal of actualizing the WHO realistic goal of malaria elimination and eradication in Africa, may only be possible with a total overhaul of defective and corrupt healthcare structures and systems which militate against achieving WHO malaria programme endpoints. This squarely rests on having the right leadership.

*samuel.uzondu@unn.edu.ng.

Whatsapp Line: +2348074394722.

REFERENCES

[1] WHO, World Malaria Report 2021. 2021.

[2] WHO, “ANTIMALARIAL DRUG COMBINATION THERAPY Report of a WHO Technical Consultation,” 2001.

[3] A. M. Dondorp et al., “Artemisinin Resistance in Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria,” N. Engl. J. Med., 2009, doi: 10.1056/nejmoa0808859.

[4] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1228533/number-of-people-living-below-the-extreme-poverty-line-in-africa

 


 

[1]E.O. Uya, African History: Some Problems in Methodology and Perspectives. Calabar: Cats Publishers, 2004, p.4.

[2]M.E. Noah. Ibibio Pioneers in Modern Nigerian History. Cambridge: Scholars Press, 1980.

[3]Udo, E. A. Who are the Ibibio? Onitsha: Africana/Feb Publishers, 1983.

[4]O.E. Uya. A History of Oron People of the Lower Cross River Basin. Oron: Manson Publishing Company, 1984.

[5]M.B. Abasiattai. (Ed.). A History of the Cross River Region of Nigeria. Enugu: Harris Publishers Limited, 1990.

[6]A.J. Esen. Ibibio Profile. Lagos: Paico Press, 1982.

[7]E.E. Ekong. Sociology of the Ibibio: A Study of Social Organization and Change. Calabar: Scholar Press Ltd, 1983.

[8] O.T. Abia. “Nigerian Traditional System of Government: A Case Study of Ibiono Ibom.” The Calabar Historical Journal, Vol 4, No. 1, 2000.

[9] Ukpong, E. A. An Enquiry into Culture: Ibibio Names. Uyo: Dorand Publishers, 2007.

[10]O.T. Abia. “Nigerian Traditional System of Government...

[11]The secondary unit was made up of the village which is known in Ibibio as Idung/Obio/Udung

[12]The tertiary unit was made up of the sub-clan or lineage group known in Ibibio as (Aduuk). This tertiary level stretched further terminating at the clanship level known as (Essioon or Ikpaisong). The clanship unit of the Tertiary level was the level of administration in Ibibioland. Despite colonial intervention in the politics of the people of Ibibioland, the Ibibioland patterns of governance was maintained even after Donald Cameron’s reforms of the Native Court System under the Native Administration system in the 1930s.

[13]J.W. Gardner. Living, Leading and the American Dream. New York: Jossey Bass, 2003.

[14]ibid

[15]C.C. Marnosa. “Group Rights and Individual Rights: Can they Coexist? Available at http://erpic.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Group-Rights-and-Individual-Rights-Can-They-Coexist.pdf. Accessed June 20, 2016.

[16]Ayn Rand. The Ayn Rand Column. Available at http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/individual_rights.html. Accessed June 20, 2018.

[17]T. Haynes. “Social Responsibility and Organization Ethics.” Available at http://www.answers.com/topic/social-responsibility-and-organizational-ethics. Accessed June 20, 2018.

[18]S. Oyovbaire. “Political Developments in Nigeria” In: O.E. Uya, Contemporary Nigeria: Essays in Society, Politics and Economy. Buenos Aires: Edupulis, S.A, 1992

[19]N.S.S Iwe. The Dignity of Man as the Foundation of Human Rights: A Message for Nigerians. Calabar: Sacs Print Publishers, 2000.

[20]O. Ihejiamaizu and B.O. Egbe. The Sociology of Traditional and Modern Political Administrative Systems and Some Contentious Issues in Contemporary Nigeria. Calabar: African Scholars Publishing Company, 2001.

[21]Ibid.

[22]Ibid.

[23] Report of Etinan Village Headship Dispute. Unpublished Report of Etinan Traditional Rulers Council, Etinan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, 1980, 1980

[24]E.A. Ukpong. “The Indigenous Judicial System of the Ibibio.” Ibom Journal of History and International Studies, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1999.

[25] Oral interview with Obong Enoch Eno Udofia, 70+, Traditional Prime Minister of Imaan Ibom, Etinan Town, March 18, 2009, and October 19, 2009.

[26]E.A. Ukpong, E.A. “The Indigenous Judicial System of the Ibibio” …p. 193.

[27]N.D. Edemekong.” Changing Patterns of the Indigenous Governmental Systems in Ibibioland, 1900 – 1987”. Ph. D Thesis, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria, 2010, p. 156.

[28]ibid., p.176.

[29]Report of Etinan Village Headship Dispute. Unpublished Report of Etinan Traditional Rulers Council, Etinan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, 1980, 1980.

[30] Udo, E. A. Who are the Ibibio? Onitsha: Africana/Feb Publishers, 1983.

[31]Ibid.

[32]Ibid.

[33]E.O. Uya, E.O. “Nigerian Intellectuals and the Challenge of Nation Building.” A Convocation Lecture delivered at the University of Uyo, Nigeria, April 24, 2009, p.13.

[34] Uya, E.O. African Diaspora and the Black Experience in the New World Slavery. Lagos: Third Press Limited, 1992, p.13.

[35]E.O. Uya. A History of Oron People of the Lower Cross River Basin. Oron: Manson Publishers Company, 1984, p.39.

[36]ibid.

[37]ibid.

[38] G.A.I. Nwogu. “Democracy: Its Meaning and Dissenting Opinions of the Political Class in Nigeria: A Philosophical Approach,” Journal of Education and Practice, Vol.6, No.4, 2015, p.131.

[39]N.D. Edemekong.” Changing Patterns of the Indigenous Governmental Systems in Ibibioland, 1900 – 1987”. Ph. D Thesis, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria, 2010, p. 156.

[40] N. D. Edemekong and B. J. Edet: “Continuity and Change: Indigenous Governmental System in Ibibioland, 1900 – 1987” African Update, Vol. XXVII. Issue 4. 2020.

[41]O.E. Essien. “The Ibibio Language: Classification and Dialects” In: Abasiattai, M.B. (Ed.), The Ibibio: An Introduction to the People, the Land, and their Culture. Calabar: Alphonsus Akpan Printers, 1991.

[42]ibid.

[43]G.I. Jones and Daryl Forde. The Ibo and Ibibio – Speaking Peoples of Southeastern Nigeria. London: International African Institute, 1967.

[44] Report of Etinan Village Headship Dispute. Unpublished Report of Etinan Traditional Rulers Council, Etinan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, 1980, 1980.

[45]Oral Interview with Etteidung J.J. Nsek, 60+, at Afaha Ibesikpo, May 21, 2010.

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Prof. Gloria Emeagwali
CCSU History Dept.
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
Tel: 860-832-2815
emeagwali@ccsu.edu