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29.05.2007 General News

Our Communal Spirit

It is important that we rekindle the communal spirit which drove our forebears to undertake development projects through self-help.

From time immemorial, that spirit moved various communities to rally around their chiefs to build roads to link them to neighbouring towns and villages. Invariably, the adjoining communities also contributed towards such projects.

Self-help has been the spirit behind the construction of schools and churches which have quickened the pace of development in many communities.

Modernity and urban migration have conspired to undermine the spirit as it used to be.

However, all is not lost because when a community wants to undertake a project, citizens living outside the community are able to make generous financial contributions.

Sometimes those living abroad send a delegate to come home with money or a consignment of items that might be needed for the project.

In all that, one major factor which could dampen the communal spirit is the failure of organisers to account for funds for the project.

When that happens, those at home and abroad become reluctant and adopt a lukewarm attitude towards contributions towards projects which could be beneficial to the people.

It is against this background that we share the call by Vice-President Alhaji Aliu Mahama that we should rekindle the communal spirit which seems to be waning.

The people of the Drobo Traditional Area used communal spirit to set up the St Mary's Hospital, of course, with the help of the Catholic Church. That was at a time when traditional rulers wielded enormous power. Their subjects responded to their calls to duty without any complaint.

Indeed, if the people in a community do not see accountability in the disbursement of funds, they become unwilling to offer communal labour in a project.

Consequently, it is important that traditional rulers, assemblies and all local authorities ensure that people who are made to execute community projects live up to expectation.

Obviously, when a community is doing well in uplifting itself from the level of deprivation, it will endear itself to well-meaning people and organisations. Many are such bodies which will respond favourably to assist.

It will be in the interest of the people in every community to ensure that the right calibre of people are selected to organise and manage affairs.

When that is done, it would be one of the most effective ways to rekindle the communal spirit.