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Bits and Pieces

Let the past be

I have come across many references to the past. Some state that the past is very important because it is a guide to the future; some believe that the past must address its present (apologies to Soyinka in his Nobel Lecture) and some, like I want to be part of now, believe that the past is gone and should be allowed to rest in peace; however only to be remembered for its good contributions. I have decided to join this group of philosophers because of what is happening in the country now and what will happen in the near future.

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Diplomatic marriage, divorces: Mother Nigeria, hear thy children

I am rereading Emefiena Ezeani’s book, In Biafra Africa Died, The Diplomatic Plot and the news ran into me “…Biafra died in 1970 – Ohaneze ndi Igbo.” The two titles struck me and I think I have some comments to make. I am aware that a lot have been said about Biafra; while some people think that it is mischievous for anybody or group of people to resurrect Biafra, some believe that it is the right of citizens to be involved, if they so wish, in self determination. But I must confess, I have not read much of what people have said recently.

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The dilemma of a people: Future

At last the list of Minister to constitute the Federal Executive Council has been approved after a protracted period of screening by the upper legislative house. Good news, one may say, but there are still some uncertainties. Mr. President agreed that he has conformed to the constitution of the Federal Republic by appointing at least a Minister from each state of the federation but he also hinted that the constitution does not state that he must assign portfolios to all of them. This simply means that there are going to be Ministers without portfolios. We perceive that as a measure to cut cost, ministries will be reduced.

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Great images of the past: “The dead ones who have always refused to die…”

Writers are, according to Sir Philip Sidney and many other thinkers, the unacknowledged legislators of the society. I agree with them, because the sharp pen of the writer is capable of tearing into the rubrics of societal norms, mores and even laws. They can construct, reconstruct and also subtly obliterate beliefs and ways of life, generally.

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Soyinka’s 1960 play: Leave the dead some room to dance…

The living are ever disappointed in themselves and thus crave for a return to the past. This appears escapist but it has become normal. That is why we hear statements like “the good old days.” In his play, to commemorate Nigerian independence, A Dance of the Forest, Soyinka makes the living to formally ask for the presence of all creatures at a celebration identified as “The Gathering of the Tribes.”

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The writers of distinction 2

The last piece here was on writers of distinction and again this piece takes up the same subject. Now before I continue. I want to reason out what make(s) some writers special, in other words, what distinguishes a writer – not in the sense that the writer is different from others – but more in the direction to which that writer is adjudged better than other.

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The writers of distinction 1

I was at the celebration that ushered Prof. JP Clark into the Octogenarian circle. I was told, and so many in my generation also, that JP was a lecturer in the Department of English, University of Lagos, where I later came to study and teach. I have imaginative (text) knowledge of JP but a visual knowledge of Ebun Clark. Not long after was another, similar celebration: Soyinka at eighty. I quickly want to make few comments on JP Clark’s, of course, which is belated.

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The enemy called distraction

I am a little confused about the things I hear and things I see. We seem to be romancing with a certain demon that ensures that we remain at the level of beginning all the time. My confusion is simple: when it appears as if there is going to be a measure of advancement, then we see ourselves slipping down again and I wonder; why? I ask, is it possible for us to, at least remain, at a spot, for some time, so that we don’t really degenerate. I am only asking that we be given the grace not the move at all since if we must, we always slide ‘downward’. There was a mad man, I mean a crazy man, not really an angry man, in my home some time ago who advanced this philosophy of “remaining where one is.” He had come to sympathize with some folks who were bereaved.

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Antecedents and precedents: Okezie Ikpeazu and hope for Abia state

I am bold to say that this is a season of hope for Nigeria. There are high expectations at the Federal, State and even Local Government levels following the just concluded general elections. While the APC led federal administration has made it clear to the citizens of this country that it is “baking” sweeping changes which are expected to pop out of the oven soon, some states are quite skeptical about the new wave.

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My Guilty Dream Again

I begin again, this week, with yet another relay of “My Guilty Dream.” The truth about it all is that no matter how hard I try, I just cannot stop dreaming. I dreamt that I was Head of Government. Please, don’t get me wrong, I did not see myself as Hon. Earnest Sonekan, who was appointed Head of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, neither did I see myself go through the rigours of electioneering campaigns (with all forms of promises), and of course, I am far from the military circle, so forceful overthrow is equally ruled out, but I just emerged. That is the power of dreams.

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