The knowledge of philosophy teaches that a man without his polis isn’t a man. Science tells us that man and its environment exerts pressure on each other. This pressure could be positive or negative. But they interplay in the similitude of feedback mechanism. Since man is the product of its environment, the people one interacts and mingle with mostly at nascent phases of life could help influence the trajectory one’s projectile might likely enroute.
Legend has it that Bill Clinton had his leadership candle lit when President John F. Kennedy visited the school Clinton was a student. Clinton was enthused, motivated and the rest is history. Similar scenario equally premiered somewhere in Yala.
It gives me absolute joy and I consider this one of the rarest privileges I got to convey my best wishes and congratulations to you on the 2nd anniversary of your appointment as DG of the above agency. On few occasions, I’ve had contact with you. I’ve been taught to respect your sense of judgement in which you deployed as a proponent of youth in leadership circle. I’m quite glad to join with your numerous friends in paying you tribute even if belated. Therefore, I wish to go down into history.
Many years ago, I could reminiscence vividly the unfillable void and the hunger to fill the void caused by the excellence speech of Ogar Eba few minutes after our encounter. I and my colleagues were in our various classes receiving lectures in the famous Mary Knoll College when we heard unusual sound from the school’s bell. We strove among ourselves to decipher the meaning and reason why the Regulator ( Time Keeper) rang the bell because it wasn’t time for the change of period or break.
The bell meant we should converge at the refectory. We filed out on a straight line towards the venue. The seats were occupied. We sat according to our levels. The junior students sat the front rows. The hall was filled to the brim. Decorum was perfectly maintained such that a drop of pin could trigger sound with higher decibel.
Then, the Vice Principal Academic thundered in her usual characteristic as she warmly welcomed and introduced our August visitors to us. She comfortably took her seat. They were the extract of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS. Cautiously and majestically; a gallant, fashioned, cute and somewhat bulged belly young man mounted the rostrum. He gave a strange but hilarious salutations that changed the condition of the once quiet hall to a boisterous one. It were the Aluta idiophones or the common parlance used in students’ activism.
He spoke convincingly and eloquently to the admiration of the boys in white. We were held spellbound throughout the duration of his speech. His charm and aura overwhelmed the atmosphere. His co-travellers were yelling from the stage; Okadigbo! Okadigbo!
He was garbed in well-tailored black pair of English trousers to complement the trendy afrobeat maestro legend, Fela’s type of pant that was invoke then. His stripes tie rested on his belly as it perfectly matched the sky-blue shirt he decked on that memorable day. The curve forest of hair on his chin and jaw was thick and virgin; however, well maintained.
We were encouraged by all the speakers to take our studies serious. They even told us to report parents and guardians to them if they deliberately decline of their responsibilities of sponsoring their children and wards. The task of reporting whosoever that… wasn’t my qualms because the family I belonged to gives high premium to education. What was on my mind was to be like them when I eventually gain admission into higher institution. Somehow, it happened in my days in Unical.
In times like these when the dearth of leadership is towering above the heavens and seeing one with sterling performance in public office, one shouldn’t lack splendid words to talk about such persons. For sure, Mr. Alphonsus’ services merits my time and energy. His contribution has helped to sustain not only the government he’s serving in, but also the people that for many times calls on him.
The other day, I was disturbed, worried and concerned over the sorry or perhaps, sordid and stunted state of development in our local government area, Yala. On social media, I saw disturbing pictures of dilapidated government institution like the Nigerian Police Force station from that locality flooding the internet. It’s gory and inaesthetic jammed the walls of Facebook users. Reactions from viewers led to what computer architect would call INTERRUPT. That’s whatever that’s capable of causing abrupt stoppage of the flow of process.
In my lonely state of worries and agony, I took a stroll to Alphonsus Ogar Eba’s office. We spoke for about three and half hours. I told him that I wasn’t there to discuss politics. I told him that I came to discuss Yala. The conversation about the new Yala and making it great again started at exactly 1500 GMT and lasted to 1900 GMT.
We talked on the way forward for Yala. We talked about the dearth of true leadership as the bane of sociocultural; political and economic development of any emerging society. I told him that Yala was far from development and development must have been demarcated from Yala as a result of the ineptitude of the few narcissistic opportunists holding in trust our mandate.
He told me the plan of the government for Yala nation. He mentioned a number of roads to be constructed in Yala that would revamp the moribund Okuku market. He assured me that in few days from our meeting, caterpillars and bulldozers will begin the grading and opening of streets in Okuku for urban development. It happened as he said.
While the discussion ensued, political affiliation was relegated to the backyard and fraternal brotherhood of Ayi Yala stood firmly at the centre stage of our conversation. The other laudable plans concerning banking, construction of new roundabout in Okuku and many not to be mentioned caught my fancy.
While we thought of Yala, I saw the sincerity of his readiness to work towards achieving the dream of Yala as a nation.
Sir, as I commented on your post few days ago, I’ve no doubt in my mind, something bigger is on the way for you. I pray God to grant you wisdom, knowledge, understanding and health to contribute your quota to the development of Yala, Cross River State nay Nigeria via the office you’re currently occupying.
Once again, congratulations on your second anniversary as DG of Due Process and Price Intelligence, Cross River State.
Comr. Ogar, Emmanuel Oko.
Publisher of TheScribe and Observer