BY EKANPOU ENEWARIDIDEKE
The dramatic monologue and the chorus poetically cast with imagistic sophistication drawing on JP Clark’s identified technique of INDIRECTION, King Ebizimor begins to narrate the story of A. J. Turner with an admixture of poetry and Prose. Bayelsans have been developmentally enslaved by the rulers in the state.
When the constitutionally permissible season for change of government arrives, it is the same failed rulers who are poised to stage another dance of enslavement. A. J. Turner comes to the rescue of the groaning Bayelsans. He offers them Seriake Dickson as the next ruler of the state. A. J. Turner deploys all his resources towards the enthronement of Seriake Dickson.
Eventually Seriake Dickson emerges victorious after the election – thus offering Bayelsans a fresh breath of Democracy in Democracy. And for this liberation crusade, A. J. Turner merits musical immortalisation even while he is still alive.
This is the inspiration behind King Robert Ebizimor’s musical panegyric cast in decorative, connotative, emotive, incantatory and recitative language where ALLUSIONS flourish in a dance of obeisance to soothing progressive verbalisation seasoned with instrumental accompaniment.
Still in the midst of the musically enacted narration, possessed of the Aristotelian qualities of beginning, middle and end, King Robert Ebizimor suddenly turns a satirist. Before he claims his satirical cloak, he likens A. J. Turner to a man who shaves the enslavement-consolidated shaggy hairs of Bayelsans and pronounces them free – opening up the space for the illuminating arrival of moonlight from the sky.
Closely followed by this allusion to slavery and liberation of slaves in our traumatising past history, he satirises the past ruler of Bayelsa state, now displaced by Seriake Dickson, as a man who ignores his erstwhile advice of being cautious when on the road because of moving motors and okadas, and on the forest because of roaring lions. The ruler ignores the advice until the fatal moment arrives. The following lines embody the satirical picture:
You are on the road
Beware of okadas, brother
Okadas look brittle but dangerous
Even Okadas kill when encountered
Be wary of moving motors
Hastily you ran into the moving motors
Battered the moving motor left you
Again I warned: This is a forest of lions
Into the forest, wander not.
You did not listen to me.
Carrying Greek hubris, you ran into
The forest of lions. Daringly rather.Oh! You have been gored by lions
Didn’t I tell you brother?
Brother, you chose death.
Brother, Death did not choose you.
In the mould of a good story-teller, King Robert Ebizimor skillfully draws on the technique of indirection and progressively narrates the events that lead to the downfall or the democratic dethronement of the former ruler of Bayelsa State – a clear artistic reinforcement that his dethronement emanates from administrative recklessness and ideological vacuity.
However, in justification of his portrait of A. J. Turner as the liberator of Bayelsa state, King Robert Ebizimor ends the song with the thesis that A. J. Turner is an unbeatable achiever. His terminal but soothing chorus in syncopated rhythm captures this:
In Bayelsa no patriot, no
Ever been born.
An unprecedented cosmic bestowal
On Bayelsa state.
In a dance of recognition and gratitude
Pere, Obi, Charles have their hands raised
Perpetually, waving like flags on mast.
A. J. Turner, there is no one
Like you in Bayelsa state!
Premised on the musical panegyric, King Robert Ebizimor has moved from the world of music to the world of writing where he has assumed multiple shapes as poet, dramatist, novelist and philosopher. King Robert Ebizimor’s panegyric progressively moves from the stage of exposition, complication, climax and anti-climax to the final stage of denouement.