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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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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 generation of builders

In my construction of the generations of our dear country, I assumed the role of a social builder or a construction engineer. I drew upon the existing structure of the United States of America and I was quick to capture the strong generation known as the builders.

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