By Emmanuel Ndon
It was Corneliu Zelea Codreanu (1899-1938), a Romanian politician of the far right, who propounded that, “A nation lives forever through its concepts, honour and culture. It is for these reasons that the rulers of nations must judge and act not only on the basis of physical and material interests of the nation but on the basis of the nation’s interests. Thus: not bread at all costs, but honour at all costs “.
It is on this metaphor of honour, culture and integrity that the Bö Enö concept is woven around.
Honour has to do with good reputation and high moral standards. As Wikipedia puts it, honour is the idea of a bond between an individual and a society as a quality of a person that is both of social teaching and of personal ethos, that manifests itself as a code of conduct, and has various elements such as valour, chivalry, honesty, and compassion. It is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or institution such as a family, school, regiment or nation.
Accordingly, individuals (or institutions) are assigned worth and stature based on the harmony of their actions with a specific code of honour, and the moral code of the society at large.
In his A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), Samuel Johnson defined honour as having several senses, the first of which was “nobility of soul, magnanimity, and a scorn of meanness”. This sort of honour derives from the perceived virtuous conduct and personal integrity of the person endowed with it.
The concept of Bö Enö and the choice of Pastor Umo Eno as its symbol by Governor Udom Emmanuel expounds the need for the preservation of sanctity of government as an institution of honour. This means that the ethos for which government and governance is defined should not be desecrated.
Concepts are abstract ideas. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of the concept behind principles, thoughts and beliefs. There are a set of traditions and a shared history that set a state apart from others. While many states have a great deal in common, each has its own approach to handling government and governance.
Akwa Ibom State has attained a refined status of a modern state with a responsible leadership and good governance. It has ascended to high rankings – from a pedestrian state to a destination; and from the once civil service economy to an industrial hub. Evidently, sectoral achievements within the past few years has elevated tourism, sports, culture and investments to its pride of place – capping it all with a safe, peaceful and secure environment. This is the culture, a well known tradition of the people.
The Bö Enö philosophy revolves around tradition – a tradition of preservation, a tradition of culture and honour. It’s a new consciousness of gifting intended to cement familiar bonds of relationships, an expression of love and brotherhood as well as expanding our social and economic frontiers.
Bö Enö is a systematic transitional agenda to deepen industrialization and manufacturing. The coordinative mechanism of tradition, resting on the perpetuation of social order, is marked by a characteristic changelessness in the way we know and enjoy peace, where security is dominant. Bö Enö and its eventual evolution is marked by the capacity to mobilize and utilize resources in ways far beneficial to the common man than imagined.
Eno is translated in English to mean gift. Bö Enö (meaning to receive a gift) is a concept intended to herald a new dispensation of self reliance and quality service delivery.
A gift or present is an item given to someone without the expectation of payment or anything in return. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation of reciprocity, a gift is meant to be free. The implication is that the Umo Eno era will work for the good of all devoid of unnecessary bias and partisanship.
Economists have also elaborated the economics of gift-giving into the notion of a gift economy. It explains that the term gift can refer to any item or act of service that makes the other happier especially as a favour, including forgiveness and kindness. This is the embodiment of Umo Eno, the embodiment of all our hopes.
Pastor Umo Eno, the symbol of Bö Enö, a revered gentleman, is an embodiment of virtue. Bred in the competitive business environment, Umo Eno has paid his dues as a successful business man with a decent public service record. No doubt that the political climate has been tensed up as a result of divergent interests. And it is easy to fall into the trap of those who believe that the choice of Umo Eno is a singular act of the governor. The reality is that at no time did anyone, let alone voters, support any candidate they did not believe in.
It is pertinent to point out that the governor, with a long list of achievements would not bequeath his legacies to a successor that will demean him. This is the eternal interest, not bread at all costs, but honour at all costs. Thus, no one should perceive the Umo Eno brand with a perspective of “us versus him”.or “we versus them”. What is important is to pay attention to the character of the individual, his background and personality; capacity and intellect.
The Umo Eno brand will unveil the hidden talent and potentials of our collective dream in all sectors of our daily life as we will come to see in the days to come.
Let’s embrace our gift. Bö Enö.