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An Encounter With Toyin Falola: Between Celebration And Canonization Of Intellectuals

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Honouring Professor Akinjide Osuntokun (A review of Africa and the Challenge of Underdevelopment: A Festschrift in Honour of Akinjide Osuntokun)
Prof. Toyin Falola

By Tunji Olaopa
As is to be expected in any gathering of intellectuals, the recent special event to celebrate the scholarship of Prof. Adeshina Afolayan, a teacher in the philosophy department at the University of Ibadan, was such a highly engaging seminal offering. There were students, scholars and academics from all over to raise issues with a specific corpus authored by Afolayan. Moderated by Nimi Wariboko, the Walter G. Muelder Professor of Social Ethics at Boston University, the conversation did not only focus on Afolayan’s ideas in relations to what has been called the “African predicaments,” it also generated unique reassessments of issues that no one expected to surface, but you never can tell when scholars, academics and intellectuals begin to shoot ideas. And in this instance, yours sincerely was caught in the middle of the sparks of discursive argumentation.

An Encounter With Toyin Falola: Between Celebration atnd Canonization Of Intellectuals

Prof. Tunji Olaopa

When Toyin Falola, the grand master of arguments and insights, and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, took the Zoom stand, we expected nothing less than provocations and deep reflective points. Aside from paying tributes to the scholarship of Afolayan, Prof. Falola raised issues with the perceived predilection in Africa and Nigeria specifically to canonize intellectuals and scholars precipitately. According to him, “in Nigerian scholarship, isn’t it the problem that we raise canons so quickly? Part of the argument I have raised…is that we invented canons too quickly, and [this is done] over time you begin to doubt their contributions.” “Professor Olaopa is here; he raised [Prof. Ojetunji] Aboyade and [Prof. Akinlawon] Mabogunje to the level of canons…. We have raised [Prof. Kenneth] Dike to the level of canons. In fact, the principal thing they attributed to Dike, he never did. They said he pioneered the use of oral tradition in history; he did not. Not even in a single essay. But they keep repeating that point. So, whether it is in history or philosophy or literature, we raise these canons too quickly. And once you raise canons too quickly, measuring the impact of those who follow in an appropriate manner becomes problematic.” He then went on to advocate the fundamental need to challenge these canons through a process of rupturing. For him, there is a need to speak to the rupture in scholarship rather than the reproduction of scholarship. He insisted that there is a significant and critical difference. “Scholarship grows when you rupture it,” he argued. So, “how do we go back to these canons and begin to rupture them?”

READ ALSO: No Bobo! No Zobo! (Part 3)

This is quite provocative, and more so that it deliberately targets a crucial dimension of my public education commentaries. For many years now, I have cultivated the objective of critically identifying and celebrating those I call “intellectual heroes”—a critical corps of Nigerians, scholars, intellectuals, academics, professionals, civil servants who have done a lot, within their competence, endowments and capital to serve the Nigerian state and its national project. And these patriotic individuals have done so either within the ambit of their professional flexibility and even outside of it. To just mention a few: Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chimamanda Adichie, Chief Jerome Udoji, Kenneth Dike, Wole Soyinka, Billy Dudley, Claude Ake, Peter Ekeh, Chinua Achebe, Bolanle Awe, Teslim Elias, Babatunde Fafunwa, Simeon Adebo, Bala Usman, Eni Njoku, Ojetunji Aboyade, Ayodele Awojobi, Nana Binta Fodio, (Ali Mazrui and Richard Joseph inclusive), Akinlawon Mabogunje, Oladipo Akinkugbe, Matthew Hassan Kukah, and so many more. These Nigerians, against all odds, have engaged with the Nigerian state and her predicaments to push forward the boundaries of social change. My efforts at highlighting and celebrating these Nigerians, I consider to be a service to the history of intellectual ideas in Nigeria.

And that project of intellectual heroes commenced in 1997 when I invited the late Prof. Claude Ake to pen the foreword to A Prophet is with Honour: The Life and Times of Ojetunji Aboyade. In that foreword, Ake lamented the lack of heroes in a country like Nigeria that sorely needs them. Heroes, according to him, are the embodiment of what a country values. And this is precisely where, according to him, the paradox of the Nigeria state resides: “The country yearns for heroes, acknowledges none and it devalues and derails those who could be. Nigeria has no standards and no heroes.” The intellectual history of the Nigerian state ought to provide the template for tracking the intellectual and scholarly trajectories and dynamics of those who have contributed and are contributing to the intellectual foundations of a country. And my objective is to set the pace in generating a list, together with an outline of their contributions, placed within the theoretical ambit of intellectual, social and generational capitals that Nigeria ought to harness for nation building and national development.

READ ALSO: Excellence In Education In The Context Of Pan-Africanism And Digitization

The point of this project, for me, is to set up these figures and individuals as the ready space of heroic framework that serves not only the Nigerian state but also the Nigerian society as a set of role models the Nigerian youth can look up to. No one will doubt the extent of the sociocultural anomie that has engulfed the country. There is a global perception of Nigeria as a country of scammers, and criminality has become the order of the day. And when I established the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP), we were sure to insert programs, especially the intergenerational conversation platform, and the Leadership Development initiatives, especially targeted at the youths, etc. The idea is that the youth demographics need a template of leadership and mentoring that could feed right into the framework of intellectual heroes that I have been pushing.

Now, let us return to Prof. Toyin Falola and the challenge of hastily inventing intellectual canons. No one can quarrel with the argument about the relationship between scholarship and the advancement of knowledge that he puts up. Scholarship largely becomes unenlightening orthodoxy when the fundamental significance of ruptures is absent. And this is all the more so for the humanities that ought to challenge dogmas and doctrines. And when placed side by side with the critical relationship between the humanities and the health of the nation, we immediately see the relevance of scholarship for expanding the field of possibilities that could strengthen the social bond between the government and its citizens. However, my first response is that I doubt very much that what I have been doing is tantamount to canonization, and not to talk of inventing it too quickly. To reiterate, my intellectual heroes project is simply meant to point attention to the relevance of the figures and individuals I have identified beyond their relevance in their strictly professional and academic roles. Claude Ake, to be sure, is a giant in the field of the social sciences in Africa. I have simply attempted to redirect the focus to his contribution to the relationship between an intellectual hero and the task of deploying intellectual and generational capital towards moving Nigeria forward. That cannot be canonization. I am not even sure whether what I have been doing constitutes the first step or condition towards it. And my objective is far from canonization when I began.

My second response is to ask: what is wrong with canonization? Or more precisely: at what point in an intellectual or professional’s life should that process be jumpstarted? At what point in a person’s contribution to her field or to the society is canonization justified? Those I have celebrated have reached some form of professional, scholarly and academic zenith that qualifies them for my objective. Engaging their various endeavors with the Nigerian project, for me, is a sufficient enough cause to call attention to their contributions, and courage. Who would doubt the patriotism of Wole Soyinka, and his right to be canonized? But then, on another hand, canonization, either hurried or deliberate and delayed, is not dogma. The idea of canons, and canonization, is critical and significant to intellectual traditions in any society. Henry Louis Gates once said, “You have to have a canon so the next generation can come along and explode it.” So, Soyinka can be canonized, even if so that the canon should be exploded by the coming generation. The felt need to canonize, which necessarily occurs over time, cannot undermine the responsibility to rupture.

READ ALSO: Funding Public Education In Nigeria: Towards An Alternative Financing Model

The challenge therefore, I argue, is not in canonizing an intellectual. And more so, no one can stop any community of intellectuals who perceives the worth of a scholar and so deems her for canonization. That is, as long as there is no intellectual violence attached to rupturing the claim of such a figure. In other words, an icon must be ready for reversed iconoclasm that bursts the claim to an iconic status. Once an intellectual is prevented from an iconoclastic rupturing, then we are brought brutally back to Prof. Falola’s concerns. Even at that, I doubt that rupturing a canon is a collective responsibility that can be policed. Prof. Falola cited the case of an essay written to rupture the iconic status of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, but failed to publish it due to warning from certain quarters. Is that a capitulation in the service of the canon? Like canonization, the service of rupturing is also open to those who feel compelled to do so, based on available evidence. And based on the courage to rupture!

Olaopa is a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, and  Professor, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies 

(NIPSS), Kuru, Jos .

tolaopa2003@gmail.com

 

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Opinion

Where Are The New Notes?

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Where Are The New Notes?

By Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha
It was with mixed feelings that Nigerians first received the news in October last year that the federal government was redesigning certain denominations of the nation’s currency. From December 15, 2022, the new notes would be in circulation, the CBN governor Godwin Emefiele promised. It was also announced that by January 31, 2023, the current N1000, N500, and N200 notes would no longer be legal tender. Government explained that some unscrupulous politicians had accumulated billions of naira in private vaults and would deploy the illegal funds to compromising the general elections scheduled to start on February 25th. What has become of those billions?

Owing to the level of distrust between the government and the people, conspiracy theories surfaced with ‘stupendous alacrity! The Minister of Finance did not help matters when she openly disassociated herself from the new policy announcement. She asserted that her ministry ‘was not consulted before the policy was announced and she believes the policy is wrongly timed’. CBN Governor countered by saying that he did not need clearance from the Minister to initiate new policies, adding that he was accountable to the President.

This aspect of the controversy was only laid to rest when President Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu issued a statement that ‘the president said the CBN’s decision had his support and he is convinced that Nigeria will gain a lot by doing so! The government explained that the policy would compel persons who had stolen monies and had hidden same in vaults, septic tanks, and warehouses to deposit same in the banks before January 31. Limits as to how much could be deposited per day by individuals and corporate bodies were specified. The National Assembly had tried on different occasions to make the CBN extend the deadline. They have not succeeded so far. What exactly is going on?

READ  ALSO: How Nigerians Keeping N2.7 Trillion At Home, Others Caused Naira Redesign – Emefiele

Suddenly, Emefiele became a target of arrest for possible prosecution by EFCC. A narrative that he was a financier of terrorism was pushed into the national space. He was accused of massive corruption. Push backs came from counter forces. Emefiele was being persecuted because he had hit the big money bags in society with a harsh policy. It was reported that Emefiele was on the run like a common criminal. A court refused to grant an order to EFCC for the arrest of Emefiele. The general question on the lips of everyone was: what exactly is going on? While this charade was ongoing, news came that the CBN governor had secretly returned to Nigeria. Men of the DSS raided the governor’s office but did not arrest him. Another report came out that the Chief of Defence Staff had deployed soldiers to guard the embattled governor. Two arms of security fighting a battle of arrest and protection? Who gave orders to the Army? Who gave orders to DSS? Is the president aware of the madness at large? Who wants the head of Emefiele and why?

The uncertainty and controversy around the CBN governor are unsalutary. In other climes, the economy would take a nosedive. Perhaps because the economy is already sick, there is nowhere to fall into. He that is down, like the Nigerian economy, needs fear no fall! But there is great confusion in the land that foreign investors no doubt would be watching out for what would happen next. Emefiele himself had got himself into many controversial actions, one being his attempt to contest for the office of the president while heading the Bank of bankers. It seems that because he is in the good books of the powers-that-be, no harm can befall him.

It’s a few days to the deadline. There are still many questions. The most important question right now is: where are the new notes? As a corollary to this question, why are the banks reluctant to dispense the new notes? Is it true that some Point of Sale (POS) operators have the new currency while banks claim they do not have the same currency? How much has entered the banking system since the October announcement? How can the banks be monitored for compliance? What are hard hit politicians planning to do next?

READ  ALSO: CBN Extends Withdrawal Of Old Naira Notes Deadline

APC presidential candidate Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu recently cried out that the currency and fuel scarcity was met to sabotage the February elections. Buhari has asserted that he wants to leave a legacy of free and fair elections, not tainted with money. He has somewhat withdrawn himself from the political fray and directed that money should not be allowed to determine the winner. Some irony here. Our president now wishes to distance himself from the system which gave him the presidency and sustained his rule for some eight odd years. How the politicians will react is not clear yet. But it is possible to become a statesman after experiencing the rot of the system at close range.

For the common man, the main question is: where are the new currency notes? I am yet to set eyes on the N200 notes. I didn’t have access to the N1000 note until two weeks ago. This has exacerbated the level of desperation in the land. Suddenly changing the currency has its advantages especially if the security of the nation is threatened. One of the first groups to ask for extension of time was Miyetti Allah. They claimed that because they keep a lot of cash, they would need more time. Fittingly the government has stuck to its guns. No compromise. Kidnappers and bandits who keep huge sums collected as ransoms from their victims must be caught in the web.

The Central Bank of any country is insulated, should be insulated from politics and politicking. It ought to be the last economic institution standing tall even when all others collapse. But the CBN under Emefiele has been hijacked by powerful interests who do not have the common good at heart. Emefiele symbolizes that takeover. History will judge him harshly. But for now, Mr. CBN Governor, let hapless and hungry Nigerians have access to the new currency. If the CBN is unable to enforce its directives to the banks, it will be because the bankers see that institution as a weakened and weak one that can only bark without the capacity to bite. Let us end the uncertainty now!

. This article was sent in before the Central Bank of Nigeria on Sunday, January 29, 2023 extended the January 31, 2023 deadline for the withdrawal of old naira notes from circulation.

 

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Opinion

Post-2023 Policy Advisories: Youth Unemployment  And Job Creation

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Stoic Philosophy, Resilience And Nation Building Project In Nigeria

By Tunji Olaopa

In this piece, the focus of my policy advisory will be on the critical connection between education, unemployment and job creation as fundamental elements in the transformation of Nigeria’s economic growth and development. And this is crucial because of Nigeria’s low-employment intensity and its collateral effects on the non-inclusive growth of the national economy. Over the years, so much analytical ink has  been spilt over the largely uneven, unbalanced and socially non-inclusive growth trends of the Nigerian economy, deriving essentially from the unimaginative monocultural dependence of the economy on oil. This is further aggravated by several deep-seated structural debilitations at the heart of national low development policy performance over the years. I have in mind, first, the crippling national infrastructural deficit which is now estimated at $100m yearly, and requires $80billion in financial commitment over the next ten years to build up. There is also, second, the cost and ease of doing business. In the 2022 ranking by the World Bank, Nigeria currently stands at 131 out of 190 countries. This simply implies that the regulatory environment for doing business in Nigeria is not friendly enough to boost the economy. Nigeria’s heavy dependence on the oil and gas sector is also inhibiting because it is not a labor-intensive sector in terms of its production process and the dynamics of its capital formation. 

READ ALSO: You don blow!

All this has grave implications for the chances of the Nigerian economy to achieve a robust diversification through a multi-pronged and strategic policy rethinking of the developmental components. The resolution of this problematic is inherently connected with the governance imperatives of a restructured Nigerian federation that has the capacity to harness the non-oil resources of its federating units based on comparative advantages. It is easy for the reader to immediately discern how such a critical move, especially the unbundling of the agricultural sector, can easily alleviate the lingering unemployment tension. This policy challenge has consistently been crucial to the social inequality which has instigated the unbridled draining of human capital made up of essentially young Nigerians who cannot be blamed for choosing the Japa option in privileging their life prospect rather than be undermined by a state that is not rethinking its potential.  

READ ALSO: Tribunal Sacks Adeleke, Declares Oyetola Osun Governor

What is also immediately certain is the significant role that education and training will play in arresting the drift in Nigeria’s human capital and workforce dynamics. This is because the challenge of unemployment is complicated by (un)employability as a result of various levels of skills deficiencies and mismatch. And this not only demonstrates the defectiveness of the educational system skewed in favour of formal certification, but also points at the urgent need for an education reform as a critical part of the larger development equation in driving Nigeria’s progress. On the other hand, and also quite unfortunate, the informal education sector is not only disarticulated, the policy innovation that ought to creatively reconnect it as a structural base for productivity has been scant and far-between. And when successive governments have been earnest in their investment in technical and vocational education and training (TVET), it has also been to the detriment of the proper structural reprofiling of the traditional apprenticeship system and non-formal training models as equally fundamental elements in the education provisioning that generates productivity and human capital for jumpstarting Nigeria’s development. And this is not to say that even TVET itself has been properly grounded since there is still a serious gap between the available opportunities and the skills and competences the education made possible. 

 

We are then sensitised to the creative policy direction that the new administration needs to pursue—an urgent and comprehensive re-articulation of the education sector in ways that (a) strengthen the formal education and certification process to fit into the industrialization objectives of the Nigerian state; (b) connect the formal and the informal education sectors together on a continuum of learning and training; and (c) leverage the traditional apprenticeship, informal and vocational training and formal certification into a reprofiled human capital development policy. Such a proactive policy strategy will surely be a significant complement to the Nigeria’s 6-level National Vocational Certification Framework (NVQF) which links the education and training systems in terms of industry and competence-based qualifications. This has the advantage of facilitating a strategic collaboration between the higher education and industrial dynamics in Nigeria; in terms of connecting the dots between theoretical and practical realignment to rejuvenate the workplace for national development. The trajectory of the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is also lamentably stalled due to the total lack of synergy between students inchoate theoretical learning and workplace demands. 

 

So, while the incoming administration crucially needs to start mapping the policy framework for a proactive education reform that will connect learning and training to human capital development, at another fundamental level, there is also the critical imperative of land reform as part of the development reflection. Here, land reform relates to leveraging land and agriculture as development complements for rejigging job creation and youth employment. This calls for the meeting of governance and constitutional reforms to facilitate land reform as a legitimate means of aggregating and expanding the means of production that Nigeria needs to achieve economic growth. The focus of this governance and constitutional alignment is the repeal of the Land Use Act of 1978. This has an immediate relevance of freeing up land use in ways that aggregate it for economic development. The Act contradicts all the critical norms of land use for economic growth anywhere on the globe. And its logic is only due to the lopsided unitary federalism that is suffocating developmental initiatives. Whereas land is supposed to belong to local communities in terms of customary and legal dynamics, Nigeria’s anomalous federalism gives all lands to the Nigerian government. And this becomes an immediate constraint on the socioeconomic dynamics of national development.    

    

It not only undermines the subsidiarity principle that engineers the grassroots as the context for a people-centered development initiative, it also fundamentally ties landholding to the tough and debilitating environment of doing business in Nigeria. Unfortunately, however, when farmers—the fulcrum of any agricultural resurgence—fails to hold the titles to the lands they farm, then the agricultural unbundling will be affected in ways that prevent their being coupled to the governance reform to activate development. More important still, as Hernando de Soto argues, in most third world countries, land and other critical resources for development are held in “defective forms”. In other words, “houses built on land whose ownership rights are not adequately recorded, unincorporated businesses with undefined liability, industries located where financiers and investors cannot see them.” The problem of this observation for farmers and agricultural investors in Nigeria is therefore that any land that is not properly documented cannot be capitalized for investment and national development. 

 

We then turn back full circle back to the governance challenge of the ease of doing business in Nigeria that links landholding to the surveying and regularizing land use for investment purpose. Nigeria needs a land development policy, with an institutional framework, that frees up land use for investment and development purposes. But in the long run, the land reform must be insinuated into a broader and more comprehensive local government/governance reform that will tap into the larger objective of restructuring of Nigeria’s federalism and all its debilitations. At this point, we have a confluence of reform fundaments—democratic governance, national development, local governance, federalism and education. And they are all intertwined into a policy framework that the next administration must be willing and politically courageous to hold together. Federalism speaks to a local government/governance imperative that instigates grassroots development founded on social capital and the subsidiarity principle. When development is genuinely taken to be about the people, then its dynamics must emanate from below, and within a rural and local governance context that unbundles the growth possibilities that could radiate democratic governance. This includes the traditional and informal apprenticeship system and the non-formal vocational training that could complement the formal educational training for the harnessing of Nigeria’s human capital for development. 

 

The Igbo apprenticeship system is a good case in point. This singular example brings to the fore how a local innovation can serve as the nexus for developmental policymaking. It is an educational initiative that brings a solid entrepreneurial spirit into the development equation. This provides a leeway for undermining the vicious cycle of unemployment, while also redirecting focus away from the government as the sole provider of everything. And this is just one example, among many, of how the government can harness the social capital and subsidiarity represented in the local government arrangement that has already been, to all intents and purposes, excised from the federal dynamics and the framework of stultifying centralization. 

 

The next government has a lot on its plate already. And what must be done must be dictated by the agonies of Nigerians who have had to suffer too much for the simple fact of being born into a country that lacks developmental leadership. The flash point of the urgent policy intelligence and direction are already clearly outlined in painful reliefs in the lives of Nigerians. Unemployment is not something that can be subject to bad politics that kills Nigerians. This is the politics that past governments have played. The next government cannot afford to do the same.      

 .  Olaopa is a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, and Professor, National Institute For Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos. tolaopa2003@gmail.com

 

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Opinion

Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement

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Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement

By Tony Afejuku
It is time for me to wake up in the New Year in my waking mind to catch the pictures of the unseen and seen inhabitants who help to make this column the stuff of dreams. These inhabitants are my readers whose words see me any time they come to me or are called up by music of words, showers of encouragement, that help to seize and define the column.
My readers help me to see and feel the beauty and truth, ever bright, ever potent, ever lovely, in the things I set my mind to all the times it tip-toes to the rosy sky with its lure of some-thingness. I quote now select readers:

On ASUU and the “conquistadors.”
Professor Ademola Da Sylva
TA, our TA! Your resilience is amazing, your uncommon focused energy and optimism have continued, so far, to serve as essential fuel that keeps the ASUU collective struggle steadily on course, and very assuredly to the expected end. There are tricksters and there are tricksters: when a trickster-character attempts to make a society worse than he meets it, the trickster always ends up unwittingly, burning its own boat! Ditto the Speaker of HoR under reference, a chief trickster indeed, and his current ruling Party. No country’s leadership treats its academics this shabbily and disdainfully with impunity without serious short-term and long-term repercussions. Any further delay on the part of the society in taking decisive actions against these clowns and self-styled “conquistadors” could lead to a permanent and further irreparable damage to Nigerians’ warped psyche, and any meaningful development in the country. TA, the payback time is surely nigh. Cheers.

Professor Ademola Da Sylva
TA, our TA, ageless and timeless! When this current ASUU struggle shall be over, predictably victoriously, and hopefully pretty soon, either the principalities in the current government like it, or not, your adorable portrait, and name written in bold gold, shall surely adorn a conspicuous place in the nation’s Hall of Fame!; but the tricksters, interlopers, who constitute themselves, lately into a bunch of elitist-Boko Haramists, shall similarly have their names in the nation’s Hall of Shame! Kudos for an essay well thought out, and lucidly crafted! My 2 Kobo appreciation! Cheers.

Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kano
Ha! Ha! Ha! You nailed the imbeciles once more. You’re quietly gathering a reputation as the Jonathan Swift of terrorist academic journalism or is it you as the columnist-academic-Professor terrorist? A student of mine said sometime ago that he would soon begin imitating your writing style. I told him in response that he should wait until he has mastered the language well enough. It’s not easy for a PG student to imitate a Professor!

Anonymous Reader
Dear Mr. Afejuku, good morning. I am always eager to read your write ups. You are among the three highly rated journalists in this country. I have learnt so much from you in both content and form. I am an Associate Professor in the Arts Faculty in UNICAL. Keep feeding our brains and minds with your grip of the language, your knowledge and your expertise in journalism. God bless you immeasurably. The unfortunate thing is that you are speaking to minds that are depraved and have been inhabited by demons. Demons know nothing but wickedness and oppression. However, there’s always a day of reckoning, where the chicken will always come home to roost. Thank you profusely, Sir. Accept the expression of my esteemed regards. Have a useful and fruitful week ahead, while I await your next write up, Sir.

READ ALSO: Pele: World King Of Football Had Warri Ancestry

A Reader from the Diaspora
Good afternoon, my dear Brother. Thanks for your usually brilliant piece. It is obvious that the intent of the Buhari administration is to drop the ASUU file for its successor. Perhaps a bilateral conversion with each of the leading presidential candidates should be considered. Have a Blessed day and weekend.

Anonymous Reader
Good morning, Sir. I appreciate your thoughtful article on the trickster beggars, and I love the inclusion of the allegories from the erstwhile FIFA World Cup, where professionals behaved like true professionals, upholding the integrity of the game by employing the best human and electronic resources to get the best out of the game. In our national climate, the different interest groups and personages in government and not in government, who begged ASUU to call off or suspend the strike, suddenly went mute. Even press and media personages involved in the begging charade are now fully engrossed in the flimsy stories of distraction created by the CBN sector and the Naira. The courts, which were employed by the FGN to force the lecturers to pick up their chalk by force, have ceased from advocating for the truth regarding the debilitating decay in the educational segment. A handful of those columnists, like you, who maintained a respectful distance and wrote about it truthfully, decently, genuinely, are now vindicated for writing objectively and absorbingly about the subject of begging and taking a stand. CONUA or whatever the alleged traitors of academics are called, are allowing themselves to be used to be playing a nauseating game against their mother union and colleagues.
SSANU members did not get their due for listening to the beggars. Now we are all waiting… Waiting… waiting…, while the present administration prepares for their swan song by inflicting financial pains on the populace with un-thoughtful money policies.

On Pele: World King of Football
Professor Owojecho Omoha:
Were you there at the invention moments of capture theory? You theorize the admiration of King Pele to recapture the attention of the world on coach Izilien. This vibrancy of your memory lives in poets, and only poets memorably work passionately to capture the attention of readers, the way you do, Afejuku. The year has begun with your poetry. Hold further passionate lyrics till you capture the attention of the world on Nigeria, when Coach Izilien and the rest of us shall dance gracefully turning backs on the criminals in February. This happiness makes greater sense, when you shall turn the attention of the world on Nigerians who survive the dark years in our history.

On Pele’s Warri ancestry
Professor Owojecho Omoha
A true African writer must be traditional in spite of the burden of modernity, from the ancestry, and again, back to the traditions that we know. This piece scores high on both points.

Suyi Ayodele
Passion and passionate passion! Now to our Waffi enclave. Pele was a Waffi Boy? This is a bad suspense and only a poet does that! I have started counting the day, to next Friday! Good morning, Sir.

Suyi Ayodele (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
Nobody, I repeat, nobody can dispute those revelations. I sat in divination sessions with my late uncle. Reading this piece brought back graphic images of those times. The Ifa priest was right, is right and will eternally be right. This is one of your best I have ever read. How did we abandon that plain religion, IFA? And about your younger brother, pity that you folks did not do what Ifa prescribed. It is always like that with Ifa, the Atori Eni ti o suhan se (The repairer of humanity). I would have personally ‘bewitched’ you if you have not written this! VINTAGE AFEJUKU!!!!!

READ ALSO: Pele: Coach Izilien Revises His Memory

Professor Olu Obafemi (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
This is a very fascinating treatise, especially because of its crisscross transcendent of the abstractive ineffable to the physical/archaeological referents. The narrative’s rhetorical strategy is suspenseful with the capacity to provoke insatiable yearnings for the remit of the story. These days Africans in the Diaspora are Evoking DNA identity/Descent retrieval. Unfortunately, Pele has left.

Professor Sony Awhefeada (On Pele’s Warri Ancestry)
This is thoughtful, enriching and instructive. I wish you published this when Pele was alive he would have come home. And how is your younger brother now? I am really moved.

Nonso, Owerri resident (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
Good evening, Afejuku. I am totally intrigued by your write up on Pele’s Warri ancestry. I am enchanted with the eloquence of your pen that glides through the white sheet of paper and the attendant satisfaction that gladdened my heart to have stumbled upon this great literary work. Allow me to say that the article is un-putdown-able and the accuracy of the Divine revelation of the Ifa Priest should be announced to the world. Who knows? Or may-be Pele’s offspring may be interested in knowing the tree they were carved from … Thank you for the great work.

Professor Dan Chima Amadi (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
Good, good historical touch. I could not stop.

Roland Uyimulam Aleshi, from Calabar (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
Greetings, Mr. Afejuku, I read your well researched write-up on Pele’s Warri ancestry. You impressed me a lot with useful information and updates on Pele’s Warri ancestry ties. Well done.

READ ALSO: On Pele’s Warri Ancestry

Professor Mabel Evwierhoma (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
I agree (from personal experience) that the art of divination is a means of finding out deep truths. We could know more, from such researches, but how can they be untainted by the factors of selectivity and monetary inducements? – May we know that which will not lead to perdition.

What do I say other than to thank my readers and readers, listed and un-listed, whose words charm me beyond any measurable afflatus? My nib gives applause to your lovely music of words – whose peroration I charm myself to let be.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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