From Tony Osauzo, Benin
A Professor in the Department of English and Literature of the University of Benin, Anthony Esijolmi Afejuku, has canvassed that for Nigerians to know where they got it wrong as a nation or as a people, there is fundamental need for them to study the autobiographies of three founding fathers of the country, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello, diligently.
According to him, “Our failure so far to do so must be a basic reason why post-colonial Nigeria is not out of the woods yet in every respect.”
Afejuku, whose research interests are Prose Studies with emphasis on Autobiography, Creative Writing, Poetry, Literature Theory and Criticism, gave the suggestion in the 245th inaugural lecture of the University of Benin, entitled: “The Autobiography of Nigeria.”
He further suggested that “Our steadily un-progressive omission to define the true motivations of the autobiographers and their political signs accounts for an important reason, up to now, we have not had a standardised body of individuals or of people who genuinely see themselves as autogenous and impermeable Nigerians.
“This is perilous, and we will continue to live quandary as a nation of a people so far apart, as a nation of a people who cannot earn each other’s personal trust and affection. This is one vital historical and political lesson our continual failure to study our pioneering auto biographies with fidelity of literature, historical, political and philosophical scholarship and understanding will teach us-perilously,” he said.