Remembering Michael Anyiam-Osigwe, a remarkable man 8years after, By George Anyiam-Osigwe

michael AO

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MCAO dedicated his life from 1998 to the time of his transition to eternal glory in 2014 in search of a holistic approach to human existence and development.

In 1998, the family and friends of Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe resolved to evolve a process by which his postulations on knowledge and existence could be subjected to wider intellectual evaluation. Since its inception in November 1999, the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Lecture Series provided the panacea for the realisation of that objective. It served to provide deeper insights into the value system espoused by Anyiam-Osigwe, embracing socio-political, economic, and spiritual issues. It had, in other words, provided a yearly forum for intense examination of matters affecting the well-being of our society in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.

This year marks eight years since the transition to higher glory of the man who spearheaded these annual gatherings that enriched the public realm with socially relevant discourse drawing on our patriarch’s philosophical writings. For our Foundation and our family, the past eight years have posed a variety of challenges and presented a number of unique opportunities. Drawing inspiration from the abiding consciousness of our Co-ordinator-General (whose physical presence the Anyiam-Osigwe family shall continue to miss) and with the support, assistance and encouragement of friends and fellows of the Foundation, we are resolved to boldly rise to these challenges and embrace the opportunities.

In marking the eighth anniversary, we are therefore called to reflect on the Lecture Series and the wider work of the Foundation, an area in which Michael constructively engaged with present socio-economic and political realities and consciously contributed to the process of inventing a future of promise.

As has been established, the core mission of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation is to give further development to the value system and public-spirited endeavours of Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe. In scripting the central themes of the Lecture Series, Michael deliberately sought to reflect on all aspects of his father’s postulations on the Three Constituents of Existence Hypothesis. These were the spiritual, economic, and socio-political integrals of human existence. In the fourteen years in which he served as the Coordinator General of the Foundation, the Lecture Series focused on examining topical issues that were designed towards the fundamental elevation of the world order and the universal course. These issues engaged with a diverse set of development-centered themes: from the search for a holistic approach to human existence and development and genuine women empowerment to activating a national mindset through the Group Mind consciousness.

Under Michael’s direction, the Lecture Series gained national and international acceptance as a relevant platform for the generation of ideas that could contribute to development and good governance. This was evident in terms of the scale of public participation, the scope of subjects discussed, the depth of the research briefs presented and the statesmen and eminent women, both national and international, who graced the annual occasion. The Foundation equally attracted the participation of notable international role models and leaders as keynote speakers to exhaustively discuss the central themes. In drawing these keynote speakers, the Foundation’s tradition required esteemed personalities whose perspectives and wealth of experience and knowledge would lend invaluable insights into the subject under discussion. We, as a family and a Foundation, were therefore grateful for the participation of several distinguished men and women who used both their experience and knowledge to evaluate the applicability of Anyiam-Osigwe’s postulations in the attainment of social, economic, and political development. These guest speakers who delivered keynote addresses at various sessions of the Lecture Series, include F.W. de Klerk, former President of South Africa, Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister and President of Israel; former American Vice-President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper Gore (participating separately); His Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the 16th Asantehene of Ghana; John Major, former British Prime Minister; Helmut Kohl, former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany; Cherie Blair (QC), wife of the then British Prime Minister; Fernando Cardoso, former President of Brazil; Alexander Kwasniewski, former President of Poland; Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic; His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso; Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, former President of Sri Lanka, General Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan and Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi.

Beyond the Lecture Series, one of Michael’s hopes was to invite intellectual attention to the works and treatises of Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe at the university level. In particular, he wanted to elevate the propagation of Anyiam-Osigwe’s works and teachings into research at the tertiary level, including the prospect of students taking interest in dissertations at the PhD level on the basis of these works. This, he believed, was central to his goal of drawing the broadest possible attention to Anyiam-Osigwe’s thoughts for the purpose of appraising not just their intellectual credibility, but their social relevance for the country, the continent, and the world at large. The Lecture Series was therefore never an end in itself, but a process towards this desired objective. Guided by the hands of providence, much more than by our prowess and strategy, the works of Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe were invited into the arena of intellectual discourse anchored by the Department of Philosophy of the University of Ibadan. The University found it worthy to test these ideas with a view to ascertaining their philosophical import and academic credibility. The first seminar, which held at the University of Ibadan in 2009, began a series which generated three seminars, three national workshops and an international conference in which renowned academics of esteemed philosophical ilk discussed Anyiam-Osigwe’s works in November 2010. These developments, while establishing Anyiam-Osigwe‘s works at the prime and universal level of structured intellectual attention, also gave a cosmopolitan and worldwide focus to the implementation of Anyiam-Osigwe’s submissions and perspectives on various areas of human existence and development. It is against this background that, on the 23rd of October 2012, the Nigerian Philosophical Association (NPA), the esteemed body of Nigerian professional philosophers, officially acknowledged Anyiam-Osigwe’s works as conveying philosophical depth and import by selecting him as the recipient of Professor Odera Oruka award. Received by Michael on behalf of the Foundation, the award represented a formal recognition of Anyiam-Osigwe as a Sage Philosopher.

It is noteworthy that as a man who drew from his internal prodding in interpreting the work of his father, Michael’s distinction bears on the fact that he too was an original thinker who synthesised Anyiam-Osigwe’s puzzles and submissions on knowledge and existence from first order imports. His own submissions, seen in conjunction with his father’s, were always conveyed in a first order appraisal of reality that did not derive from the insight of Western philosophical prodding. His efforts, in this regard, benefitted from sustained encouragement and recognition as Anyiam-Osigwe’s works went on to be interrogated and analysed in various articles and papers presented by scholars all over the world.

Looking ahead, therefore, the Foundation and the family are faced with a renewed zeal to proselytise Anyiam-Osigwe’s Holistic Approach to Human Existence and Development in a way that transcends its current scope to a worldwide dimension. Whereas Michael, in the course of his earthly sojourn, synthesised Anyiam-Osigwe’s ideas, we realise that our mission now is to analyse and actualise these ideas. This realisation and the work ahead not only deepens our appreciation of the blessing of having Michael as part of our family, but also fortifies our resolve to remain faithful to our mission and the pursuit of the aspirations for which he already laid the groundwork.

As always, we thank Almighty God for granting Michael the grace to dwell in the light, peace and joy of His Divine Consciousness.

-George, immediate elder brother of Michael on behalf of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Family

Original post is published at Westernpost:

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