The credit for my raising this issue is not mine, but that of Mr. Emenike, a retired police officer, who phoned me about it last week Wednesday from Canada at 9.28pm Nigerian time. He called after reading my column online and I am humbled and honoured that I, whose article was published on Page 40, was the one he chose for the task of all the columnists in the Daily Sun and other Nigerian newspapers on the internet that day. Or one of those he contacted, if he got in touch with other columnists.
According to Emenike, he was bringing up the issue because he wanted President Muhammadu Buhari to honour Dr. Chuba Wilberforce Okadigbo (December 17, 1941 – September 25, 2003), a renowned philosophy professor, for his illustrious services to the nation as a university lecturer and politician. Just as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, did during his presidency (1999 – 2007), for late Major – General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, the Chief of General Staff, Supreme Headquarters and his deputy when he was military head of state (Saturday, February 14, 1976 – Sunday, September 30, 1979), whom he named the Federal Government – built Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja after.
He said Okadigbo, a former Senate President in the early part of this Fourth Republic (1999 – 2000) deserves to be honoured by Buhari because of his commitment and loyalty to him as he decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party in 2002 to join the All Nigeria Peoples Party when he invited him to be his running-mate for the 2003 presidential election. What’s more, Okadigbo died in Abuja the day after the people at an ANPP gathering in Kano were tear-gassed by the police. Some believed he was killed by the fume he inhaled during the attack.
Emenike recalled that Obasanjo acted when northern elders made the suggestion that he should do something to immortalize Yar’Adua. So, now that I have raised the issue, the ball is in the court of Igbo leaders in the Ohaneze Ndigbo, the legislators from the South – East in the National Assembly and the traditional rulers in the zone to take up the matter with the President.
Apart from partnering Buhari during the 2003 election, Okadigbo was the Special Adviser on Political Affairs to President Shehu Shagari during the Second Republic from Monday, October 1, 1979 to Friday, December 30, 1983. As his close associate and a very good friend of northerners it will not speak well of Buhari not to honour the memory of Okadigbo now that he has the opportunity to do so. He can do this by naming an important and prestigious Federal Government building or a major and conspicuous street in Abuja after him on May 29, the 18th anniversary of the return to civil rule or on October 1, the 57th milestone of the country’s independence.
If Obasanjo, a Yoruba man, honoured Katsina State – born Yar’Adua, why would Katsina State – born Buhari not do it for Anambra State – born Okadigbo? To do otherwise would further give credence to the Igbo belief that the president dislikes or has little or no regard for members of their ethnic group and that he reached out to Okadigbo in 2002 to serve his political ends and was not his genuine friend.
Hereafter advice for Obasanjo and Jonathan
I decided to change the title of the series from Obasanjo – Jonathan’s latest feud to this one, which was the original headline I had in mind, because I am really writing about the hereafter of the two former presidents and not the quarrel between them. So, this caption is the one that will let them know and realize the importance of my advice to them. Which is that they should make it a prayer – point every day until they die, asking God specifically for the forgiveness of the sins they committed as a result of the 2011 presidential poll.
I am always amuse to hear Dr. Jonathan say that he decided to concede victory to General Buhari in 2015, before the final results were officially released, because he did not believe any Nigerian should lose his or her life because of him. A perplexing and funny statement, given the dozens of people who died in the North during the riots against his re- election in 2011. Protests which were caused by his depriving northerners the opportunities of having the presidency for eight years like the South did from 1999 – 2007. So, what Jonathan did in 2015 was to stop more Nigerians from dying because of him as was the case in 2011, not preventing deaths from happening over his political cause. It is time he and Obasanjo realize that they were responsible for the death of those killed during the 2011 election riots in the North and ask for God’s forgiveness.
To be continued next Wednesday
Prof Anele’s faux pas on Bible authors (9)
The Epistle of Hebrews, the last I am treating in the series, is another evidence that confirms that those named as the authors of the Books in the New Testament were the ones who actually wrote them. Because the author of Hebrews is not known and the Book is not attributed to anyone. Originally, it was ascribed to Apostle Paul and it was placed immediately after Romans, the first of the 13 Books he wrote.
But some centuries later Bible scholars said Hebrews could not have been written by Apostle Paul because he did not introduce himself as the author, as he did in the other Books, which were actually the letters he wrote to people whereas Hebrews was not a missive like his works. As a result, it was removed and relocated after Philemon, the last of the Pauline Books. This is why instead of being the seventh Book in the New Testament as it was in the beginning it is now in the nineteenth position.
The information in the biographies of the authors of the 27 Books in the New Testament on the internet is that Hebrews might have been written by either Luke, who produced Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, or any of Apollos, Barnabas, Silas, Phillip, Aquila or his wife, Priscilla, whose names appear in some New Testament Books as either a disciple of Jesus Christ or an aide of Apostle Paul.
For continuation coming Wednesday