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IBK and Evwierhoma On Octogenarian Igho Natufe. By Tony Afejuku

Professor Igho Omajuwa Natufe

"All those who are constant readers of the column know very well that these two seasoned professors; Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kanos and Professor Mabel Evwierhomas respectively, number among the very loyal readers who courageously and aesthetically contribute to it without qualms." Tony Afejuku.

My essay entitled Glorification of Igho Natufe as an octogenarian which ran for the immediate past two Fridays was officially concluded last Friday. Even though I didnt say several necessary or pertinent things (for example, our road journey in 1987 from Sapele to Ikenne in our teary hearts to sign the condolence register when Chief Obafemi Awolowo translated to after-life) that I should have saidly said, I was satisfied that what came out of my healthy nib would be regarded as enduring enough by my readers, by some of my readers at least.

Indeed since the column came out, twice, on Professor Omajuwa Natufe I have since benefitted enormously. Is the word strong enough? From the generosity, that is, from the collective generosity of callers, and from those who actually drafted to me what I am delightfully calling aesthetics on the subject of the Glorification. I am publishing here, however, only two of them because of their enduringly potent brilliance. I am of course alluding to Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kanos and Professor Mabel Evwierhomas respectively briefly brief essays on the subject. On this occasion the short length or slight volume of each ones study I earnestly consider pivotal to the columns undertaking. All those who are constant readers of the column know very well that these two seasoned professors number among the very loyal readers who courageously and aesthetically contribute to it without qualms.

Now before I invite the two eminent professors to speak to us, let me make a slight but pertinent clarification in order to place in proper perspective or contextual context the remark I made last Friday relating to Professor Natufes tripping trip from Russia to Carleton and McGill respectively for graduate studies in Canada. His first university of call was Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario thence to McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kano speaks: Dear Prof TA, this essay of yours on Prof. Igho Natufe is actually a Postmodernist poem, if one were to rearrange the phrases and the clauses into verse lines. The musicality of the subject's "adventures" from Sapele and Professorship through to Exile and Okpe Union and 80 years is told, or narrated, or poeticized in bravura semantics, or rendered in versical/vertical biographicism, retold in flowery imagery: the glorification of the "glorification of Omajuwa... Natufe" is a metaphorising of the Okpe Patriotic Patriotism of the Octogenarian glorification of the Octogen, now a living poetry in the denizenisation of "two Wednesdays" for the Professor's Okpeisation of Patriotic Nationalism. So, the great TA, Tony Afejuku Wordsmith and Manufacturer of relative clausisation of the 80-year Mandarin, in a foreign land without relatives, and without a wife and without summer months but "with" Nigerian newspapers: what a gem you did on a fellow gem! Anyway, congratulations, Prof TA, on your semantic recreation and bringing back to vigorous life the 80-year life about to pass into the post-octogenarian glorification of the Glorification. Cheers.

Professor Mabel Evwierhoma speaks: Migwo, Prof. Bokor? Your proclivity to honour people is commendable. It's a leaning or juicy juice that contributes to social health. For every community to grow, it needs that fearless and objective teller of truth in order to drive patriotism, not the present 'bolekaja' drivers of ideas that we have not profited with or by or from as we seek patriotism that is patriotic in Nigeria. You have started to drive my pen, sir! Glad to know that MNR and NADECO ideas are still extant and are for extension to our Nigeria your Nigeria's Constitution. I 'burutu' and shift my 'derriere' for him with respect as we say in Urhobo language. But how aware is he of the current lay of our 'levelless' land or undulating political field? O yes! We have seen 'change', Prof. Check the average domestic shopping budget and list and the flux both are daily forced to metamorphose into due to prohibitive or dare I say inflationary costs? 

But if I may ask, when did the Okpe people come under 'internal imperialism' if at all they were under any? Are we not seeing dialect and ethnicity through one lens? Ethnic nationalism and its political undertones are matters of power politics. 

I wish our dear patriarch, Baba Natufe, who loves Albert Camus, as I also do, more years of valuable impact in every sphere of operation or work at home and abroad. Your Safarian volume on Okpe is loud. I want it loudest on Okuama! How far, dear Uncle TA, teacher and guide?  My echoing laughter of pain: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!!! Seriously, give us something on Okuama.

Now I must end here. I will end these indispensable thoughts, which may pass as epilogue to the glorification by quoting another reader and contributor, Professor Owojecho Omoha, to this column: I not only admire Natufe, the octogenarian professing professorship in Russia, I, an Idoma-man all the way from Idoma land well based in Abuja, am mesmerized by the eloquence of your voice thrilling Nigerians and the world from wherever Emeritus enclave you speak, TA the TA Master of words.

The columnist cannot but be gladdened by these and other remarks, nice or not nice, that help the column to flourish.

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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