By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
In appreciation, the convener of the Colloquium, Reverend Father Professor Bonachristus Umeogu who is a Professor of Philosophy in Faculty of Arts, Unizik, as well as an Igbo Renaissance promoter, made it clear in his golden birthday celebration that the recreation of Igbo civilization cannot but be the work of the faculty in our universities. And he made it clear that the Faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, had done a lot in this regard.
Fr Bona said: 'Yes, Arts humanize culture and cultural identity and in the Faculty of Arts, Unizik, there is the Department of Igbo and they have made the Igbo people proud of their language and culture by their ''Ogbalu Lectures''. The Department of Linguistics in their Igbo Language Studies has gone very far in advancing Extensional suffixes and clichés in Igbo cultural identity. The Department of History as the memory of the Faculty of Arts, Unizik, has articulated Igbo's difficult history in a body of writings in her different seminars and conferences. The Department of Theatre Arts, as the performance hands and legs of the faculty, has in their original and creativity outputs, re-enacted Igbo life and culture in a world of lived expense.
'The Department of Music, as partaking in the performance, hands and legs of the Faculty, has recovered Igbo musical identity at the complex of Igbo ethnomusicology. The Language departments of the English Language and Literature, Modern European Languages, African and Igbo Languages, have all, as the tongues and voices of the Faculty of Arts, Unizik, created a comparative Igbo Language environment that gave Igbo cultural identity a verbal expression and meaning.
The Department of Religion has worked on Igbo Religious Identity in their lectures and conferences in such a way that the proper inculturation of God in Igbo Religion is now a reality. And the Department of Philosophy in their symposia, workshops, and Ogirisi Igbo festivals have advanced and been in the forefront of Igbo Philosophy of Culture.
'From this great Faculty of Arts, I was appointed the Pioneer Director of the Directorate of Igbo Village and Centre for African Civilization (IVACAC), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. So, in the great Faculty of Arts, the Gown and the Town (the University and the Igbo World) have met in undivided unity (Indivisa Unitas). As the servant of Jesus Christ, Fr BonaChristus was born for the rising and falling of many in the world, with a great mission for God and Humanity. Rev Fr Prof Bona Umeogu and his zeal in his God-given mission cannot be stopped by liars, envious, jealous and wicked people,' Fr Umeogu stated.
He pointed out that the homogenous Igbo culture had been made heterogeneous by the onslaught of other extra cultures such as the colonial, Christian, European, American and Asian business cultures, as well as the cultures of Science and Technology.
IGBO SPIRIT AND DESTINY, AND CHRISTIAN LIFE AND DESTINY
Fr Umeogu said he established Christian Life and Destiny (CHRISLAD) not only to solve the problem of unity and division in Christian Cultural Identity but also to solve the problem of unity and division in the sheep and other sheep, referring to what Jesus Christ said in John 10: 16: ''I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also and they will hear my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd''.
He explained that to have one flock and one shepherd was the purpose of the theory and principles of cultural hermeneutics, which must explicate the implicit meanings and interests of God and His people in all churches.
He concluded that the Igbo Spirit, Destiny and Life (ISLAD) had come to establish Igbo Cultural Identity, Nigerian Cultural Identity and African Cultural Identity, by the power and authority of the theory and principles of cultural hermeneutics, while Christian Spirit, Life and Destiny (CHRISLAD), had come to establish Christian Cultural Identity by the power and authority of the theory and principles of cultural hermeneutics.
Fr Umeogu further lamented that the homogenous Igbo Culture had been made heterogeneous by the onslaught of other extra cultures, including the colonial culture, the Christian culture, cultures of science and technology, the cultures of the European, American and Asian business communities.
PRESIDENT CSM BOARD OF GOVERNORS SPEAKS ON FR PROF BONACHRISTUS
Earlier in a press briefing , Bro Damian Ofornagoro, President, Governing Council Communio Sanctorum Ministries International Summit, dwelt on resolving Igbo ontologies shown in relation to colonization, education, religion, specialization, etc, and reached common grounds of , “solving the problem of unity and division in the cultural hermeneutics of Igbo identity''.
Bro Ofornagoro said that Fr Bona as a Catholic Priest, university teacher, philosopher and spiritual director of the Communio Sactorum Ministry International, had propounded theories and principles of cultural hermeneutics that had in their intra, extra, contra, inter, supra and intergo proportions, unified the militating factors of qualifications that work against Igbo cultural identity.
He said Fr Bona concluded in his thesis on cultural hermeneutics and the problem of unity and division in Igbo Identity that the Identity of a people was always a function of their culture, hence he argued that Igbo identity must come from the hermeneutics of Igbo culture.
He added: '….The most painful is that the younger generation in Igboland, the newly married, etc, don't believe at all in promotion of the Igbo Language and Culture. To them, speaking the Igbo Language to their children is a taboo, even in their homes. There are some children who were born and bred in Igboland here that don't understand any bit of Igbo Language, yet their parents are Igbos. So, it is very unfortunate that Igbo Language is at the verge of going into extinction and it is not good…'
Fr Bona Umeogu described Igbo Culture as the Igbo way of life interpreted from the identity of Igbo knowledge, belief, law, custom, art, morals and other inclinations, capabilities and traditions acquired and developed by Igbo people as citizens of Igboland.
'So, Igbo cultural identity becomes the domain in which theories and practices, impressions and expressions, times and traditions, etc, continue and unite all things in Igbo being, and belonging, despite the factors that discontinue and divide Igbo cultural essence and existence.
'Igbo Cultural Identity is no longer a homogenous one, because of the onslaught of colonialism, religion, science, modernism, globalism, etc. The result is that Igbo Cultural Identity stands divided by these cultural agents of incidence and influence,' he said.
According to him, there was a paradox to all these: that in all these dividing dimensions the same Igbo person, the same Igbo people, the same Igbo race, the same Igbo nation “is” involved. We are not talking of a divided disunity but of an undivided unity. So if you ask the question: who is a native doctor and who is a medical doctor, or who is a pagan and who is a Christian, or who is a barbarian and who is the civilized, etc, the answer must remain---the same Igbo person, the same Igbo people, the same Igbo race, and the same Igbo nation. So, these qualifications should stop dividing the Igbo person, the Igbo people, the Igbo race, the Igbo nation. These qualifications should stand to qualify Igbo Identity and be qualified by Igbo Cultural Identity.
FR PROF BONACHRISTUS AND NATURE'S GIFTS TO MANKIND IN LIVING COMMUNION DRUGS
Fr Bona is not only after the spiritual life but also the health of the children of God as God gave him a revelation on how to use pure and qualitative natural herbs through inspiration to produce powerful and all healing medicinal drugs and pharmaceutics. In his Living Communion Drugs, he has over 300 different drugs with names and ranges from cure to epilepsy, to solution, to infertility and glandular problems, to mention but a few. There are testimonies everywhere.
This, he said was possible because ''in nature we have a living communion with the virtues and powers of God, for the medicinal and mystical health of the body, the mind and the spirit. In nature, we have a living communion with the life of God. God came in (human) nature that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10)''.
There is nothing else in the rock of living health better that 'Living Communion Drugs' a distillation and synthesis of the best roots and barks and leaves and flowers and fruits of nature.
In 'Living Communion Drugs', you have a pure and qualitative access to the ageless health and prevailing healing energy of God, for wholesome life.