I ended last week’s column with the issues raised by Colonel P.A. Clark (rtd) in the text message he sent to me a fortnight ago. The first was his question on if I was a seer, prophet or man of God? The other one was his request that I should brief him on my intellect, education and integrity. His text came at a period when I received commendation for the quality of the well – researched and objective articles I write from high – profile professionals, academics and others.
The appreciative readers included Major – General Charles Ogunlewe, a distinguished officer and electrical engineer in Abuja; Dr. Uzochukwu of Enugu, a Ph.D. Management degree holder (090 – 9344 – 5600); Port Harcourt – based Dr. Augustine who has a Ph.D. certificate in Geography (070 – 1369 – 1277); Mr. A. T. Mozie, 63, a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; 80 year – old Mr. Ekete J. George (080 – 3840 – 1340) and Apostle James Olukayode of Lagos (080 – 3365 – 4765).
Given the reaction from these eminent citizens, I therefore took Colonel Clark’s enquiries as coming from someone who also likes my column and that he raised his questions for good reasons. I believe he asked for my educational qualifications because, like Dr. Uzochukwu and others, he too was impressed with the way I tackled the Akwa Ibom State – born professor I took on in this column a fortnight ago. And the fact that I disclosed I published a book in 2004 on God’s plan to make Nigeria a great nation.
The second reason I believe is that like everyone else, Colonel Mark too had not seen or heard of anyone anywhere in the world writing a newspaper column or article that God had a plan to make a country great. I am also of the opinion that he raised the issue of integrity because he is new to my column, as he first got in touch with me in a text message he sent two months ago, on August 2nd.
Consequently, he does not know that I am someone the Ancient of Days discusses the hereafter and issues on people and events in the Holy Bible and Qur’an with and who had written about some of them a number of times in this column in the last nine years. Such as the number of years Job’s ordeal in the Christian Scriptures lasted (30 years) and why of all the people Jesus Christ cured, that it was only those with skin diseases that he sent to the priests to carry out the sacrifice prescribed by Moses.
Colonel Clark also does not know that I am someone the Lord in the last 24 years had sent to some politicians He wanted to be the country’s president under His scheme to make Nigeria a great nation. I decided to make my reply to his text message public because of those, who like him, may not be aware of my spiritual endowment as a servant of the Most High to know this fact. I also did so to let the academics and others who reacted to my articles in the last two months know that I am a graduate.
Ignorant of this fact, some of them talked to me on phone condescendingly as if I was educationally inferior to them or younger to them in age and status because of the 1985 photograph I use in this column because I don’t like people recognizing me in public. Indeed, some of them behaved as if they think, as was the case in the 1940s through the 60s, that many a Nigerian journalist and columnist are people with only primary, secondary or teachers’ training education.
When he phoned me three weeks ago, on October 25, the Akwa Ibom State – born professor was so insulting and nauseating that some minutes into his diatribe I had to tell him that I graduated from the University of Ibadan in June 1968, forty – nine years ago. I also informed him that I belonged to the 1965 matriculating set which included Professor Eyitayo Lambo and Professor A.B.C. Nwosu who were Ministers in the cabinet of President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 – 2003) and Senator Jubril Martins – Kuye who was a Minister in the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Ditto His Royal Majesty Adedotun Gbadebo, the Alake of Egba Kingdom, Professor Femi Odekunle of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Afolabi Soyode, a former Vice – Chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo University (2001 – 06), Professor Isola Adamson of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and Professor Monrufu Rahman, a retired staff of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife.
Professor Charles Adebisi Ajibade, a former Deputy Vice – Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna was my classmate in the 1957 – 61 West African School Certificate set at Christ’s School, Ado – Ekiti. While Professor Roger Makanjuola, a former Vice – Chancellor of OAU (2001 – 06), was my classmate in the 1963 – 64 Higher School Certificate set at Ibadan Grammar School..
Immediately I stated this I switched off my phone. The professor called back about two minutes later and this time showed me respect that we discussed for twelve minutes and eight seconds.
To be continued next Wednesday with my educational qualifications and proofs of my impeccable integrity as a journalist and columnist and servant of God.
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Author: Uche Atuma