By Luka Binniyat
ABUJAÂ â€”Mr. Peter Enahoro, popularly known as Peter Pan, (his pen name), was showered with encomiums by a high profile segment of the Nigerian society Monday during the second launch of his memoirs: â€˜Then the Thunder Spokeâ€™. The Book was published by NAPMIND Communications.
The event which took place at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja was also a forum for stock taking on contemporary Nigerian History.
Chief Tom Ikimi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs during the regime of late General Sani Abacha in his speech said, â€œI am filled with pride and great joy as I stand to warmly congratulate Peter and join you all the good people here in presenting to the world this literary work of genius, which contains a faithful record of the amazing history of Peterâ€™s incredible experience, spanning some seventy yearsâ€, he said of Enahoro and his 743-page book.
Ikimi who was Chairman of the occasion, observed that in the first chapter of the book, the author convinced him on the real origin of the Ishans, (both Ikimi and Enahoroâ€™s tribe)Â not as descendants of Prince Oranmiyan or Oduduwa of Yoruba land, but very distinct origin.
He described the author as, â€œa Journalist of exceptional ability, who at 23, became Editor of the Sunday Times, then the largest circulating paper in Africa. At 27, he was already the Editor-in-Chief of Daily Times, to become the most powerful Journalist in the landâ€.
He said that â€œat a time when meeting past Nigerian leaders was almost impossible for ordinary people, Enahoro, met these leaders easily. He ate with them, drank with them and talked to themâ€, referring to Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief S L Akintola of the Western Region and Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe of Eastern Nigeria and Nigeriaâ€™s first Governor General and eventually, President.
The Reviewer of the Book, Chief Tom Adaba, a veteran broadcaster and media administrator, praised Enahoro for the use of vivid imageries and excellent recollections of the past in the book
According to him,â€œthe book has the recollection of Peter as a young timid lad, who was shy of girls, but brilliant and mischievous. We saw in the book how Peter went though life to become one of the most influential journalists of his time, his success and trauma and his exit into exile during the Nigerian civil war.
This book is a must read for present day journalists and indeed all Nigerians, because it has authoritative information on how Nigerian first generation of leaders ruledâ€, he said.
On his part, Alhaji. Maitama Sule, former Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations, and first generation Minister, boasted of knowing Peter on very close basis.
Said he, â€œhe was very, very intelligent, hard working and humble. He had the ability to naturally mix with the high and mighty and ordinary folks and the under privileged.
But while we were amazed at his voracious appetite for work, we did not know that he was hiding under it to steal all our girlsâ€, he said to the amusement of the gathering.
Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State, in his remarks argued that all Nigerians should read the book and learn from it.
â€œIt is not easy to relate to the rich and powerful, and have the same relationship with ordinary peopleâ€, he said.