The annual Abba Day Public Lecture is an intellectual conference that promotes ideas on the development and progress of Abba Ama Ano.
The 2015 lecture was delivered on December 26, 2015, at Amukwe Hall, Ekitiafor Abba, by Chief Joe Nwachukwu, former Chairman, Abba Welfare Association, United Kingdom, and Chairman, Abba Property Group, an international property company based in London and Port Harcourt.
Chief Joe Nwachukwu
Your royal highnesses, respected clergy leaders, ndi nze na ozo, chiefs, professors, legal luminaries, captains of industries, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
I am much honoured and indeed humbled to be given the opportunity to present this year’s Abba Day Lecture.
If one considers the capabilities of the previous guest speakers –Professors Iwuala, Chimezie and Dike, Chief Dona Anochie, and other Abba intellectual heavyweights–this is indeed a great honour done to me.
I salute you all and thank God for your lives and for your support and assistance towards the progress of Abba. May God reward you all abundantly.
I know some people will be disappointed by this year’s lecture because it is a departure from the previous lecture topics. I crave your indulgence. I am a businessman and I wish to open our line of thinking on how to create a better, sustainable future for ourselves and our children.
The reason I chose this topic is twofold: First, I felt that enough foundation has been laid to underscore and add value to the importance of our heritage. Secondly, the necessity of this forum in championing our common development causes. I think it is necessary to create a road map now, on how our communities can sustain themselves and our children in today’s world.
The question now is how can we organise ourselves better to take advantage of the realities and opportunities that are available in the world today?
Even though the government has a constitutional duty of service to Abba and Nigeria as a whole, is there any point in waiting for the government to come and help us when we can help ourselves?
We all know the future is going to be knowledge based and the possibilities of that near-future are within our reach even without government assistance. We also know that if we pool our resources together as our ancestors did, we can achieve many of our goals.
Therefore, I humbly ask you to permit me to propose that we strongly consider adopting the following measures to move Abba forward:
Our Action Plan
We should develop Community Action Plans. We can identify and harness our assets towards the implementation of these Action Plans.
We should not look at our communities’ complex needs and problems as barriers; rather, we should see our diverse and potent web of natural gifts, resources and human assets, especially our people’s unique skillsets, which can be channelled for community development, and build unique, world-class capacity where needed, and add value to our natural tendency to create and expand wealth through an inclusive transformation of Abba’s human and physical assets.
We need to increase production capacity for the sustainable rural livelihood of our community in order to help our people break away from the vicious circle of poverty and worrying deprivations in health, education and decent standards of living.
Our Objectives ”
To achieve sustainable livelihood for our communities, our objectives should be:
- Develop the capacity of community-based groups
- Decrease the poverty levels of individuals
- Improve the socio-economic and environmental status of our communities
Livelihoods refer to capabilities, assets and activities required to make a living.
Sustainable livelihood refers to livelihoods that can (a) cope with and recover from shocks and stress, (b) maintain and enhance themselves, (c) provide opportunities to future generations (d) extend net benefits to the society.
So we have to look at what will promote growth and reduce poverty in our community.