Erudite scholar and professor of Literary Criticism on the College of Benin, UNIBEN Edo State, Anthony Esijolomi Afejuku, has underscored an pressing want for the diligent examine of autobiographies of Nigeria’s founding fathers with a purpose to know the place the nation received it improper as a nation. He stated failure of the nation to date to take action “have to be a primary cause why post-colonial Nigeria will not be out of the woods but in each respect”.
Afejuku, of the Division of English Language and Literature, on this vein, advisable to the college to ascertain an unbiased ‘Centre for Autobiographical Research’ which shall be a novel one within the nation “to ensure that autobiography to be freed of its standing as ‘a form of auxiliary literature’ that’s not legitimised or ‘legitimated by its associate, the novel, or to conflate it and the novel”.
Delivering the college’s 245th inaugural lecture final Thursday, titled “The Autobiography of Nigeria”, the don asserted that the rationale the post-colonial Nigeria was not out of the woods but was the failure to concentrate to the autobiographies of the trio of Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe, and Ahmadu Bello, which he described because the “official data of Nigeria”.
Afejuku famous that the autobiographies – ‘The Autobiography of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’, Azikwe’s ‘My Odyssey’ and Bello’s ‘My Life’ – “in numerous levels, dwell on the necessity for Nigerians of all religions and political teams to discern and articulate interconnections between ethnic, spiritual and linguistic diversions to assemble (and reconstruct) a way of shared country-hood or nation-hood”.
Aligning with the place of Professor Adebayo Williams that “Awolowo was a social reformer and crusader for the inalienable proper of each citizen to entry life extra ample”, Afejuku affirmed that the late Avatar was a key proponent of wholesome perspective.
He stated “Chief Awolowo, no matter any failings of human nature he possessed, was a key proponent of wholesome perspective and virtuous conduct of political authorities; and was the closest occasion of the best elder and chief of administration and governance conceived of, particularly as a future chance for Nigeria – going by what he did within the Western Area, the place he was Premier and was not allowed to do by the terminators of the First Republic”.
The inaugural lecturer subsequently advocated that “to know the place we received it improper as a nation or as a individuals, there may be the elemental want to review the autobiographies diligently. Our failure to date to take action have to be a primary cause why post-colonial Nigeria will not be out of the woods but in each respect.
“I’m additionally suggesting that our steadily unprogressive omission to outline the true motivations of the autobiographers and their political indicators account for an essential cause why to this point, now we have not had a standardised physique of people or individuals who genuinely see themselves as autogenous and impermeable Nigerians”.
Spotlight of the lecture was the departure by Afejuku from the norm in official dressing for Inaugural Lectures in go well with, as he donned his native Itsekiri apparel, complemented with an extended coral bead and the tutorial robe.
Professor Afejuku bagged a doctorate in English and Literature from UNIBEN in 1987. His main analysis pursuits are Prose Research with emphasis on Autobiography, Inventive Writing, Poetry, Literary Concept and Criticism.
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