New Book On JP Clark Presented At UNILAG
In conjunction with the Department of English, University of Lagos, the Clark family presented a new book chronicling the life and times of Nigeria’s foremost literary icon, Professor Emeritus, John Pepper Clark, at the Rahaman Adisa Bello Lecture Theatre, last Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
The book titled, “Connecting the Local and the Global Across Literary Genres: Emerging Perspectives on J.P. Clark and His Works”, is edited by Professors Hope Eghagha and Solomon Azumutana, both of the University of Lagos, UNILAG.
Published by Mosuro Publishers (2022), Connecting the Local and the Global Across Literary Genres: Emerging Perspectives on J.P. Clark and His Works features erudite scholars such as Hope Eghagha (UNILAG), Lilly Chimuanya (Covenant University), Olufemi Adeosun (Ekiti State University), Destiny Idegbekwe (University of Africa, Bayelsa), Promise Adiele (Mountain Top University), Omolara Owoeye (Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti), Peter Omoko (University of Africa, Toru-Orua, Bayelsa), Rosetta Nnsi (Nigerian Film Institute, Jos) and Solomon Azumurana (UNILAG) as contributors.
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The seminal material encapsulates fifteen chapters of critical essays on phenomenal works of the legend which include the following: “The Wives’ Revolt”, “Ozidi”, “All for Oil”, “Song of a Goat”, “Casualties”, “Masquerade”, “Streamside Exchange”, “Night Rain” and “Home from Hiroshima”. The 339-page book also features exploratory essays on other prolific writers like Ahmed Yerima and Femi Osofisan whose works are interrogated by Rosetta Nnsi under the subtitle, “Folklore in J. P. Clark’s Masquerade, Femi Osofisan’s Many Colours Make the Thunder King and Ahmed Yerima’s Hard Ground”.
The auspicious occasion chaired by Architect Charles Majoroh was well attended by members of the academia, communication executives, reps of Government College, Ugheli- Clark’s Alma mater and a host of others, including a representative of the Chief Host, Vice Chancellor Prof. Folasade Tolulope Ogunsola who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services), Prof. Victoria Atsenuwa Ayodele, Dean, Department of English, Prof Funke Adeboye, Prof. Yemi Akinyele, Arts curator and consultant, Moses Ohiomokhare, widow of the late sage, Prof. Ebun Clark, their son, Elaye and daughter, Ema Clark.
The book reviewer, Prof. Patrick Oloko, recalled his last encounter with the late sage, saying: “A year or so before he died, I was with Prof. Clark in his office at the JP Clark Centre. I informed him that Prof Eghagha and I were thinking of introducing courses-in his works, at the post graduate and graduate levels. He gave me that his trademark quisical look and then replied, ‘So, you are still thinking? Well, whatever you want to do, please, do it quickly because I don’t have much time.’ I was expecting a congratulatory pat on the back. You know that typical, but very very meaningful Clarkian arrogance that I have heard so much about. Later on, I reflected on his words again. I told myself that a writer who donated an entire library holding that he had spent his entire life time building to an institution where he and his wife spent their most productive years of a human life circle actually deserves more than mere ‘thinking about’. He deserves action. I’m happy to announce that the undergraduate level course is going the process approval for literature for the English Department. The book being presented today is part of the action being taken.”
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Speaking further on the book project and the persona, Prof. Oloko said: “In my reckoning, it should be an important material for the course. 11 of the 15 chapters of the volume bring new conversations that are centered around specific works of the famous author. Unlike others, I refuse to believe that he wasn’t given much attention. He was very popular and controversial. Any writer who is not controversial is going to be simply shut behind the room and never listened to. J.P. Clark was not the kind of person you could ignore.”
The reviewer explained that the other four chapters point to new directions that follow up the volume’s chart. “The first direction is to give more content to the understanding of Clark through his extra-literary engagements, ” he noted, revealing that Chapter 1 started it admirably, focusing on “the biography of Clark- the controversial one and the authorized one as well as his very definitive memoir, “America, Their America.” The second direction puts Clark’s works in dialogue with his contemporaries and others after his generation. Chapters 7 and 13 have started the conversation, resituating Clark within the universal continuum of theatre practice without sacrificing his humanity and national consciousness. The chart continues brilliantly through the entry to Chapter 4. So, the authors of this volume are collectively kick-starting a project of bringing Clark in a broader view after he joined the ancestral realm.
They remind us that writers attain an enduring immortality when they are no longer alive. Part of the enduring value of this book lies in that very pragmatic word, ’emerging’ which is somewhere in the book’s rather long title.”
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While speaking on behalf of the editors, Prof. Hope Eghagha also went down memory lane, saying: “In 2018, we hosted a conference, the ‘JP Clark Conference’. At the opening ceremony was the Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka who gave the keynote. At the end of it, Prof. Clark said to me: ‘Hope, we’ve broken the jinx. That was a very good good attempt to host a JP Clark Conference.’ I didn’t know what to do. He was excited. I didn’t know that that was a “good bye conference. The first two flopped for some reasons. So, he was excited. Of course, there was no way we could have known that that was a ‘Good bye conference’ because shortly after he joined his ancestors. Why did we decide to host the conference? We thought that not enough attention had been given to his work. Most of us in my generation were exposed to his works in secondary schools. “Night Rain”, for instance, long before became fashionable for environmentalists to make an issue out of the degradation in the Niger Delta, Clark captured it in his book.
He was one of the first generation of Nigerian, indeed, African writers recognized as literary giants of our time. But, why was it that his works were not given enough attention? Was it that people focused more on his personality than his written works? Last year, with the support of his family, I’ll like to pay tributes to Prof. (Mrs) Ebun Clark who has gone out of her way to keep her husband’s legacy, standing for what he stood for and supported this our first book. We hope that we have documented the first phase of our research.” Moreover, Eghagha pointed out that Prof. Clark had an attitude towards his work as “He used to say: Let the work speak for itself’ and didn’t believe in propaganda. He didn’t believe in courting or being nice to the press.”
VIDEO: Dismantle EFCC, Sack Bawa For Successful Anti-corruption War – Agbakoba
Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Olisa Agbakoba, has asked President Bola Tinubu to dismantle the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in his bid to have a successful anti-corruption war.
Agbakoba stated this while speaking in an interview on The Morning Show of Arise Television on Wednesday.
The legal luminary also urged the President to relieve the EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa of his job, in order to have a fresh leadership for the agency in the new administration.
He said, “We need to talk about anti-corruption. The anti-corruption process is not working. I have challenged the constitutionality of the EFCC. The EFCC is a behemoth and it needs to be dismantled.
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“Mr. Bawa needs to go because what he’s doing is not attracting people’s confidence. He needs to go. He’s always in battles with everybody. Now, he’s battling Metawalle. That’s not the way to fight corruption.
“We need to see Mr. Bawa step aside honourably so that the anti-corruption process can be seen to be genuinely fought by the President without any equivocation,” he said.
Tinubu needs to dismantle EFCC, sack Bawa for successful anti-corruption war – Agbakoba
Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Olisa Agbakoba said President Bola Tinubu needs to dismantle the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in his bid to have a successful… pic.twitter.com/CJXdhlw2SI
— Vanguard Newspapers (@vanguardngrnews) May 31, 2023
NAPTIP Sacks Director, Four Officers For Misconduct
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has dismissed a deputy director and four other officers for various offences including bribery, corruption and leaking confidential information to suspects.
The Press Officer of the NAPTIP, Vincent Adekoye, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
Adekoye explained that the offences range from corruption to demanding and receiving bribes from suspects and relatives.
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According to him, other offences committed by the officers were leaking confidential information to suspects that endangered the lives of colleagues, violating the oath of secrecy, stealing and alteration of official records and being absent without official leave.
He said, “These offences are all contrary to provisions of the Public Service Rules and other extant laws and regulations. Two other officers were demoted by two ranks for soliciting bribes from a suspect of human trafficking, while one officer was demoted by one rank for negligence of duty.
“The disciplinary actions followed the approval of the Governing Board of the Agency at its meeting of May 25, 2023. At that meeting, the board considered and ratified the decision of the agency’s Senior Staff Committee which earlier sat on the disciplinary matters in accordance with the Public Service Rules and other extant laws and regulations.”
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Adekoye also announced that a Federal High Court sitting in Sokoto State convicted a law enforcement officer and sentenced him to prison.
He said the officer was convicted on two counts of trafficking, contrary to section 26 (2) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act (2015) and was sentenced to five years on each count.
He added, “This is NAPTIP’s 37th conviction and counting for the year 2023.”
Otti Suspends Transport Levies In Abia
The Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, has suspended all transport levies imposed on commercial drivers in the state.
This was contained in a statement by the special adviser to the governor on Media and Publicity, Ferdinand Ekeoma, on Wednesday.
He stated that the directive was in line with the campaign promise of the governor to sanitize methods of revenue collection in the state and stop all kinds of extortion, intimidation and harassement of motorists.
The statement read, “The governor has directed the immediate suspension of all kinds of transport levies payable to Abia state government and imposed on Tricycles (Keke), Buses, taxis and other commercial vehicles plying Abia roads.
“This suspension takes immediate effect, and will remain until government reviews these levies and makes public its arrangements for the smooth, organized and transparent collection of such transport levies in a manner it would not lead to extortion, intimidation and violation of rights and privileges of Abia residents.
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“The government believes that the present method is archaic and very harmful to the lives of the people and the economic well-being of the state, and thus should not be allowed to continue.
“In the light of the above decision, the governor has asked all those involved, directly and indirectly to please discontinue forthwith, or face the wrath of the law, as security agents have been briefed and directed to apprehend and bring to justice anyone found violating this directive”.
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