Goodnight Justice Oputa (A Tribute)

If death could be appeased,
I would have pleaded for Justice Oputa.
If old age can be reversed and healed,
Then I know I’ll see a healthy Oputa.

He said, ‘To hear with one ear and deliver judgement…
Is a flagrant violation of the natural law of justice.’
The iconic jurist delivered a great judgement.
Now he parts from all earthly justice.

Let the gowns and wig mourn,
Let the giant Ikoro be sounded.
An enigma in the jurist world is gone,
But the Oputa spirit cannot be grounded.

I bid thee farewell with a salute
I sing my heart out from a distance
For the love you showed to all I salute
And I know your legacies will be told as a story.

I bid thee goodnight great Oputa
The legal world salutes your altar.
I salute your doggedness and humility
I salute your ingenuity and great ability.
Let the flag fly at half mast
For we have lost a rare gem at last.

(For Late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa)

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi
06-05-2014

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Reviewer –  Maxwell Onyemaechi Opia- Enwemuche

Book Title- The Oracle of Isieke

Author-   Maxwell Onyemaechi Opia- Enwemuche

Publisher- Readon Publishers Limited

Year- 2013

Page- 100

In his debut novel, “The Oracle of Isieke”, Maxwell Onyemaechi Opia- Enwemuche tells a suspense-filled story revolving arounda young man, his village, his heart of forgiveness and the oracle that brought peace to the land of Isiaku.Reading through the book, you get this feeling of pleasurable fascination and excitement mixed with apprehension, tension, and anxiety developed from an unpredictable, mysterious, and rousing source of entertainment. This  actually made me to read the whole book without a halt and discovered the rich cultural content of the novel. Intriging, revealing, thrilling and interwoven in various captivating plots, the book delivers great value and morals and points a direction at how we can let go of offences and rather pursue peace and seek the overall or common good of all rather than the seeming satisfaction that comes with getting even.In this short story, the author blends culture, tradition, humour, hatred and love to tell a compelling tale that would move any mortal into empathy for the protagonist. Indeed, this looks real than fiction making one wants to be in Isiaku. I would personally love to see the grave side of Mazi Uchenna Okechukwua to salute his courage and tenacity during those trying moments and the wonderful Okilo,’the great’ in order to tap from his wealth of knowledge and fountain of his vocabulary.The writer’s use of simple language leaves the reader entwined in the story and creates a desire in the reader to be in the setting as the story unveils in quick succession. Indeed the book tells of the story of Isiaku in line with the moving quote in the opening page, ‘The people that forget their culture shall utterly be enslaved because every man has a history [root] and every village a story to tell.’  There is a lovely sequence in which poetry was used as a song to drive home the message of hatred for Mazi Uchenna by the village of Isiaku. The novel is timely in an era where our African culture which ordinarily lies supine in our present day society is brought to life by highlighting on strong cultural values and tradition. Typical African scenery was painted by using simple language and good chronological account with grains of humour dotted therein for proper understanding even by an average reader. Though I found the character of Mazi Obiorah interesting as the antagonist that brought doom on the village of Isiaku, I enjoyed the character of Okilo, ‘The great’ who in the midst of death ravaging the land, he had his cap of humor and tons of grammar to keep him happy.

The oracle itself was seriously stressed on as a powerful tool for restoring peace in any troubled land within the clans.

Though our culture maybe on trial on scale and balances, I was held spell bound by this wonderful piece that I wished I was at Isiaku when these events happened.

The writer achieved the essence of the subject matter as peace was achieved in the land of Isiaku by the forgiving heart of Mazi Uchenna Okechukwu.

I recommend it to the reading public, old and young, but most especially the youths in order to teach them some basic principles of life that anchors on honesty.

Grab your copy and get other copies for your family, friends and foes.

The author, Maxwell Onyemaechi Opia-Enwemuche can be reached on mail: maxwellenwemuche@gmail.com—-

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi
08036992575,08170276371

My Heartbeat (A Poem)

My Heartbeat (A Poem)

There’re so many places to be
So many spots to visit
But I chose in between to be
I chose those two mountains to visit.

Smiles are innocuously contagious
Kisses can revive a dying soul
Your love towards me has made us
But your name have I etched in my soul.

New wines taste so good,
But the old ones can send you to sleep.
I will like to feel good,
But it will be better to fall asleep

I hope you feel my heartbeat
And feel yours too my dear.
Hear the syllabic sound of my heart beat
It beats with care MY-DEAR.

Maxwell O. Opia-Enwemuche
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com
(C) 29-01-2014
The mind is a wonderful treasure to waste. Develop yours!

Give Me More of It (A Poem)

Give Me More of It

(For my amiable wife)

Life is nothing without love

Full of resentment and sorrow.

Without sentiment, what prevails is love

It keeps us alive with a secured tomorrow.
 
I was created through the Love of God

In His love was I conceived and born.

Now I enjoy the love of the true God

His blessings shine upon me like the sun. 

The love of God flows through various channels

And now I can see it so glaring in your heart.

You’ve shown me your love without reserve

Now I sing gloriously with joy in my heart. 

Now, I come alive everyday with great

heatAnd I ask you, my sweetest heart, give me more of it.

There are many blessings that come with love.

Now I can see them because of your wonderful love…

©20-10-2013
Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

A Mind Beat (Reflections)

The world should not define who you are.
Who you are comes alive when you care…
Care to dig inside out to see the truth.

Live everyday of your life in happiness
And without grudge, go to bed happy everyday.
No matter the situation of life, show a little kindness
And you’ll be a blessing to somebody someday.

Speak life into everything around you.
Think good always that you may embrace good today.
Don’t force yourself on people who don’t like you
And you’ll see the greatness in you everyday.

Remain steadfast in God our creator
Stay connected always to please Him
Strive to be like the creator
And above all live your life to please HIM.
(Cf Ecclesiastes12:13)

(C)19-10-2013
Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com
23598DE2
@maxxzydapoet
The mind is a great treasure to waste. Develop it!

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

The Beauty of Solitude (A Poem)

Who says that good things come easy?
Hard as they may seem, it’s always there.
Who says that you can’t become your dream?
Walk and think your dream
And you’ll sing your success story like fresh air.

The canaries sing their songs
Though loud and noisy, it tells their stories.
Termites build their termitarium with strength
Though messy as it may seem, it defines their existence.

There’s beauty everywhere even in solitude.
The world came into being from solitude
And man’s existence was a thought in solitude.
Now, I write quietly in solitude.

Who says that good things come easy?
Ask the gold and the crude oil about the word, ‘easy’
The world awaits my story
And it must speak loud into history.

In solitude i write without reserve
And I pray the beauty of Solitude be preserved.

(C)15-10-2013
Maxwell O. Opia-Enwemuche
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com

Hear My Cry, Oh Flower! (A Poem)

I can hear people screaming my name
Like the weaver bird singing songs of mockery.
When shall we get rid of this shame?
These lunatics must be curtailed with alacrity.

Sodom and Gomorrhea were minors,
But what I see everyday is horrible.
Fathers and grand fathers fight with minors
And the news from the Tabloids are incredible.

This time we must stand against evil
And speak with one voice.
The time has come to say no to this evil
And speak with facts without noise.

Must we act like apes?
We must stop this incessant rapes.
Say no to this monster
Join this fight for the girl child restoration.

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell O.
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com
(C)06-09-2013
The mind is a great treasure to waste. Develop it!

Hear My Cry, Oh Flower!

I can hear people screaming my name
Like the weaver bird singing songs of mockery.
When shall we get rid of this shame?
These lunatics must be curtailed with alacrity.

Sodom and Gomorrhea were minors,
But what I see everyday is horrible.
Fathers and grand fathers fight with minors
And the news from the Tabloids are incredible.

This time we must stand against evil
And speak with one voice.
The time has come to say no to this evil
And speak with facts without noise.

Must we act like apes?
We must stop this incessant rapes.
Say no to this monster
Join this fight for the girl child restoration.

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell O.
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com
(C)06-09-2013
The mind is a great treasure to waste. Develop it!

‪ Show Me Thy Heart (A Poem)

What’s wrong with imagination

That my heart wonders without limit?

When is this coming to be, oh vision!

I can see you even in your naked meat.

Caress my mine with this passion.

 

I stand like a statue, yet your feelings consume me.

Where goeth thou to please my soul?

Think of me that I may live forever.

Your heart is what I need to cure my fever

Come to me that we may hum our love song together.

Oh virgin of my heart! Come to me

The lusts of my youth come and consume me.
 
Like the snail, I walk into her heart.

Encapsulated, my love I dare to show…

Where would I keep my fragile heart

That the world may see our love snow?

Like the horn of a unicorn, show me thy heart.

 
Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell O.
14-09-2013

Owing of Salaries: Is it a curse or there is a cause? (Using the FAIL and PASS Analysis Approach)

 

 

There is no moral justification any where why salaries should not be paid

Quote me anywhere and listen to what has been said.

~Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi

 

INTRODUCTION

Within the past few days, I have taken it upon myself to reflect on the plight of workers across the federation called Nigeria with tales of woes of unpaid salaries. So many pictures flashed through my mind as I thought about this harsh reality that has been meted out on innocent citizens of this country. What are their crimes to deserve such a hideous and barbaric treatment remains unanswered even till date. However, I have come to realize that mismanagement of funds earmarked for such purpose coupled with bad leadership is their albatross. Suffice to say here that any leader who decides to owe workers while he goes home with his or her checkoff is not only wicked, callous and hypocritical but in human to say the least. More so, the insensitivity of these acclaimed leaders who campaigned before these same workers with juicy democratic dividends is something to talk about as they waved their flags with the song CHANGE renting the air.

What is the Cause?

Common sense is often not common when it comes to common application. Salary payment is common, but common sense has travelled in this regard. Pepper is used to spicing local delicacies in this part of the world, but when an individual decides to use it as cream, such individual is said to have travelled to the world of insanity. When the purpose is not defined as it pertains to events or use of resources, abuse is inevitable. Corruption sets in when there is a huge compromise in the threefold of governance, the executive, the legislators, and the judiciary.

Permit me to take a cursory look at the causes of non-payment of salaries in states and what should be done to avert future occurrence while looking at it with what I have decided to call the PASS analysis which proffers solution for corrective reoccurrence while the cause is the FAIL analysis.

F-AILURE TO ARTICULATE A GOOD VISION (Lack of Vision)

There was an interview I attended long time ago in Lagos State. After preparing for the interview, I set out to the venue where I thought I would be called upon and asked some questions like is often the case. To my greatest amazement, we were given a sheet of paper to write out our goals in the next five to ten years. The question came from the blues, but because I was prepared for something similar to that, I was able to write excellent goals that are realizable and achievable. Most of our leaders who are elected into positions of authority by the power of the thumb or even through political appointment lack lustre for the office. Most of them except a handful does not know what they intend to do there. There’s no vision for such office and in the long run, there’s no result to show for it. Even the holy book assuage that where there’s no vision, the people perish. A good account can be seen in non-payment of salaries which is now pandemic in a country where leaders are democratically elected. There’s no better way to describe this leadership quagmire other than to conclude that these self-acclaimed leaders lack vision and the moral rectitude to lead as nobody can give what he or she does not have. If your stock in trade is mediocrity, you will definitely leave a trail of mediocrity wherever you find yourself whereas if you represent excellence, you become a pathfinder and a trailblazer in governance and delivering on campaign promises.  That’s true service and this is what leaders are called to do in this political milieu. Unfortunately, we lack leaders who show these traits of quality representation and effective leadership.

 A-IMLESS FOCUS ON POLICY IMPLEMENTATION (Lack of Focus)

Sir Isaac Newton once said that the fact that he saw farther than his colleagues or contemporaries is because he stood on the shoulders of giants. That’s to say he had focus and learned from those giants. These giants may not be physically present as at the time he was born. He may have read about them one way or the other and this helped to sharpen his focus and propelled him into achieving a lot in the field of invention. Bringing it home, how many of our leaders even read about past and successful leaders and what they achieved during their lifetime in governance at various stages? A handful and the effect can be seen in various states. A ripple effect of under development and mismanagements of various resources both human and capital are commonplace. No wonder a renowned man of God once said that leaders are readers. If you lack ideas on what to do, the focus will reject you whenever you seek her.

I-NTEGRITY IS ANGELIC IN GOVERNANCE (Lack of Integrity)

A politician once told me that the primary purpose of leadership through the power of the thumb is absolute service. Suffice to say here that accountability becomes a watchword even though it is not a common vocabulary in politics. However, this is more theoretical than practical. Campaign promises are sung into the air like Nigerian Hip Hop music as they canvass for votes from the helpless citizens who are unaware of their true colour until they get the need political offices they so desire. Integrity becomes angelic in governance as none of them lives up to their campaign promises. It beats my imagination to see politicians quantifying integrity. It is either it is 100% or nothing.

Corruption sets in and monies earmarked for the constituent, state or even federal projects are embezzled with a local saying that daily bread will come from where you earn a living.  There have been counter definitions on corruption to suit the purpose or act committed by individuals who see nothing wrong in the act of marauding of resources meant for the development of the lots of the community for personal pockets. You often see government officials elected or appointed to an office of authority buying expensive properties within and outside the country in a way to launder money. This is not governance neither is it a characteristic of a true leader. The word nitty-gritty sounds like integrity. However, if you lack integrity you cannot deal with the nitty-gritty of governance no matter how small you perceive it.

Note, integrity may be seen as angelic in governance, it is your duty as the chief servant of the state or wherever you find yourself in the leadership rung to demystify it and sing a new song of governance with a high level of integrity and proper representation. If Thomas Sankara, a military head of state could rename Upper Volta as Burkina Faso (The land of the Upright man) and helped her come out from foreign debt before he was assassinated, any level-headed leader can do something special no matter how small it is. If every leader elected into a position of authority can do his or her part towards quality and purposeful representation, the country will be a better place as workers smile all the way.

L-OW STANDARD IS A NORM (Lack of Exceptional Political Standard)

When a little child is raised in a foreign culture other than the culture of his fatherland, he or she takes any available act as a norm. Permit me to state here that failure is not a standard anywhere except in the world, but political failure is often celebrated in various quarters by the same people whose relatives are victims of political misrule. When high standards are perceived as a strange occurrence, but mediocrity is highly celebrated, you will have no option but infer that the leaders are not ready to change. This is the case in our political arena right now. Low political standards have been widely accepted as a norm in many political quarters that the leaders see themselves not as call to service, but call to enrich their personal pockets to detriment of the general populace.

You often hear all manner of a news flash as regards arrears being owed workers in over ten states and the manner in which these chief servants are taking it. It goes to tell you that these leaders were not even prepared for an enormous task as this. A child who is going to swim in the river must first of all prepare himself before getting to the river banks otherwise; he will be swept away by the river in a twinkle.

A standard at every point in time is good in order to have the yardstick to measure political office holders. Opinion polls should be conducted, an invitation to live programs where the masses can call in to express their views and ask relevant questions and other avenues to actually appraise the leader whether he or she is doing well in terms of quality representation. This is accountability laden with transparency in governance.

 If this processes embedded in FAIL are avoided while replacing it with the PASS analysis, then the led should smile whenever the leader acts. The leader will always act on time and for a purpose in the interest of all.

HOW TO EXORCISE THIS PERCEIVED SALARY CURSE

There’s a saying that goes thus he who fails to plan, plans to fail. This is a statement that will outlive a thousand lifetimes. Nature obviously abhors a vacuum. If the right thing is not been done at a particular point in time, it means another thing which of course is the wrong thing is being sweated for. Permit me to say this bitter truth that states that owe salaries failed to plan with the resources given to them. Hence, they resort to excuses and counter excuses that hold no water in this regard. However, to address the cause of this pandemic that has eaten deep into the fabric of the country that it is now perceived as a curse, I will examine what the leaders should do in order not to find themselves in this quagmire using the PASS analysis.

P-LANNING ON SHORT AND LONG-TERM PROJECTS

It was Abraham Lincoln who said Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. That’s planning on what to do before eventualities. Planning can never be ruled out if the best is to be achieved from any project. Salaries can be termed short-term or recurring expenses while gratuities and pensions can be termed long-term hence proper planning is needed before execution. If this is truly considered in the best interest of all, there will be no disappointment from any quarters nor would there be any form of failed promises resulting to a backlog of arrears.

A-SSESSING PLANS ON WHAT TO EXECUTE

After planning comes the assessment of the plans if there are timely, realistic and keenly achievable. What has past administration done in this regard?  Is it a similar experience? What were their challenges? Did they pull through? What were the lessons learned?  When all these mind tasking questions are asked, the one with the plan(s) would definitely know what is important and necessary in the short and long-term period.

S-TRATEGIZE ON THE PROCESS OF EXECUTION

Having brainstormed on the plan(s) as per what to tackle headlong and what to deal with for a period of time. For instance, flyovers within a city are not projects you embark on with the intention to finish it with state workers money thereby putting a pause on payment of salaries. Even life is a process and nobody lives his life in one sweep.

Considering the amount of allocation within control, a leader who strategizes with a good team on the process of execution will never meet a brick wall when it comes to allotment of resources. A strategy is a very vital tool for any government that wants to be successful with governance. This obviously translates to quality governance and effective leadership style.

S-TRIKE ON TIME TO ACHIEVE THE DESIRED RESULT

Just as every plan has a timeline; results are achieved when things are done timely without delay. Having strategized, the next thing to do is to mobilize for action there by monitoring to ensure a result.  Remember once there’s a bridge in the process, the leader at the helm of affairs takes the full blame before it trickles down. Bad roads, non-payment of salaries, gratuities and pension, poor health care and so on will first be blamed on the government before looking on the person with the direct responsibility.

Always remember to strike when the iron is hot and in this context when you intend to achieve the result. This is possible with the place of proper planning and strategy to execute.

CONCLUSION

Having exhausted the various options before us while weighing the FAIL and PASS analysis, you can agree with me that owing of salaries is not a curse but there is a cause which is tied to bad leadership and gross mismanagement of public funds. The cure to this is tied to our thumb, freedom of speech and the ability for proper representation to avoid any form of disenfranchisement at any point in time.

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi writes from Umuahia

salary


 

 

The Mind of a Jilted Lover (2)

Your thoughts fill my heart,

But you’ll not pick up my call.

You used to call me your heart

Now your actions will not make me stand tall.

 

You said you love me to the moon

Now you will not even talk to me

I used to you my sunshine even at noon

Now you’ll never speak of me.

 

Talk is cheap when you speak,

But your words are like smoke

Making me so weak

Now you stinky attitude causes me to choke…

 

Life is too short to play around

As you quickly become an object for men all around.

I like it when I know the truth

But your tongue speaks lies so strong like iroko root.

 

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi

©08-10-2017

broken heart

THE FOLKTALE TRADITION IN A TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD: A REVIEW OF ONYEMAECHI MAXWELL OPIA-ENWEMUCHE’S THE ORACLE OF ISIEKE BY UBAJI ISIAKA ABUBAKAR EAZY

IMG-20170814-WA0021

I salivate for times bygone
When we assemble at night
At feet of elders to gladden
Out minds with juices from
Their oral repertoire

– – – from ‘Dele Bamidele’s “Konko Jabele”

When I was young and my elders say to me that their younger days was better than ours, I was forced to ask myself how such assumption could be possible. What do they mean by better when my age was fortunate to have the television, air condition, radio, Internet and better health facilities. It was not till I grew up that I realised the wisdom in their words. I was not fortunate to be born in the village but my father was the old traditional type who felt the need to gather his kids once in a while at nights to tell them stories; stories of the tortoise and his willy ways, of how the tortoise came to have a seemingly cracked shell, of how the lizard liked nodding its head, stories of hunters and spirits, stories of man crossing seven seas, seven rivers, and seven mountains to achieve their aims, stories of man in eternal struggle with the supernatural. I practically lived in those worlds and wish I could turn back the hands of time if only to relive those moments. Truly, I can say that those of you born in the age of PS, Mario, computer games and Android phones games have no idea what you have missed. Indeed, I salivate for times bygone.

Indeed, in the transition from orality to written literature, there was much transference of the techniques of orality into the written medium. The use of proverbs in Chinua Achebe’s works is one of such example. Another is the folktale tradition; Chinua Achebe had employed the use of folktale in Things Fall Apart, where Ekwefi tells her daughter, Ezinma, the story of how the tortoise broke its shell. Amos Tutuola’s narrative technique in The Palmwine Drinkard was heavily influenced by the folktale tradition, yet that which I find most fascinating is Cyprian Ekwensi’s novella titled The African Night Entertainment, I could read that book twenty times and never get tired!

Even in the face of series of breakthroughs and new discoveries by science, galloping advancement in technology, and migration from the close existence of villages to living in ‘mind your business flats’ in the cities, I believe that we can reinvent the culture of orality and keep it alive in different ways. We can use the television to record our tales and play them out, wait a minute, what happened to the Nigerian television programme known as Tales by Moonlight? We can document our tales in writing using the ambiance of old moonlight storytelling and this exactly, is what Onyemaechi Maxwell Opia-Enwemuche has done in his novella, The Oracle of Isieke.

The Oracle of Isieke is a tale of jealousy, wickedness, and evil. As Achebe says in Things Fall Apart, a man is measured based on his achievement for while age is respected, achievement is revered. So it happens that Mazi Uchenna Okechukwu wins the title and honour of being the greatest yam farmer in the land of Isiaku after every year’s harvest. This is as a result of his hardworking nature but there are some who are not happy with the fact that one man continually wins this honour every year. So they plan on having him humiliated by changing the words of the oracle of Isieke by accusing him of raping a six-year-old girl to death and secretly had her buried on his farmland. It is an abominable act and one which must not go unpunished else untold hardship would be visited upon the village by the gods.

The verdict was that Mazi Okechukwu and members of his family are to be banished from the village and abandoned in the evil forest to be devoured by wild animals. An ordeal which Mazi Okechukwu and his family miraculously survived.

Years after Mazi Okechukwu had been expelled from the land of Isiaku, things became worse as there were famine and sickness in the land, and death ate to its fill. Many were contemplating abandoning the village for better life elsewhere. The king has the responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of his people so he embarks on another long journey to consult another oracle at Isikwato who reveals that which had long been hidden to the king.

The solution to the problem is to find the man who has been wrongly accused, punish those who had framed him up and cleanse the land of sin. Now, where would the king find a man who had long been believed to be killed by wild animals, how does the king identify those who committed the heinous act, and how does he restore the peace and well-being that had been lost in his kingdom? You can only know this when you read the novella.

We must applaud Maxwell Opia-Enwemuche for a job well-done. He actually brought the Igbo culture to the fore, especially in his description of the proceedings of the new yam festival. Among the Igbos, yam is regarded as a staple crop and mainly cultivated by men. Whoever produces the largest piece of yam during the new yam festival wins the honour of being regarded as the greatest yam farmer in the land for that harvest season or year. Hence, yam is a celebrated crop and the festival is done to encourage hard work and appease the goddess of the earth (Ani) so she can keep the soil fertile and allow bountiful harvest the following year. I find the novella quite educative and informational but is the book good enough? Let us see.

While the writing is not bad and I love the idea of using the framed narrative technique mode, I think the second round of editing would help eliminate few grammatical inconsistencies and the book’s outlook. The style of presenting speeches need also be checked. And about the plot, that twist of raping a young girl and burying her on Mazi Okechukwu farm did not go down well with me, except those that committed the abominable act could actually be linked to the plot to bring about the downfall of Mazi Okechukwu.

In narrating the story, the writer used the effaced narrative style whereby a narrator begins the story and later fades into the background only to reappear at intervals or at the story’s terminal point. So if the writer brought “Grandma” in at the story’s prologue to tell the story and removes her in the first chapter then he should let it remain so and avoid authorial intrusion. Perhaps the writer wanted the reader to remember Grandma was still telling the story while driving deeper into the story’s world but he made a bad job of it.

I am not comfortable with the manner in which characters were introduced without first creating adequate ambiance but this was controlled in later chapters. For example, I dare say the forty kids gathered around Grandma in the prologue appeared out of nowhere!

Another issue I have with the story is the lack of coherence and verisimilitude. First, my findings made me to understand that Ani is the goddess of the earth and not a ‘god’. Also, since the story temporal setting is fixed at 1800 (by the writer) I wonder why the writer could not stay with the story in 1800 and decides to zoom into the present while he is confidently writing of the past. I know Amos Tutuola was accused of the same issue I have just identified and one critic who defended him said that it is normal for a story teller to use modern images in description while telling a story of olden days. Well, I think Tutuola could be forgiven considering the level of his proficiency in the English language at the time he wrote and also the fact that he was trying to explain strange phenomenon which (although would have at once been grasped by the Africans but) would not easily be comprehended by the Europeans who were Tutuola’s target audience.

What I speak of is the use of terms like Igwe Chiyelugo IV to name a king (even though the Igbos were historically never known to operate a centralised government as at 1800), the addition of the Roman figures to the name of kings is an English innovation that never existed in Africa as at the time the story happened. The use of “Mr” and “Mrs” for some characters as a way of showing respect is also wrong. I believe words such as “ichie,” “dee,” “mazi,” “ogbuefi,” “pa,” etc are appellations indicating respect or titles. Else, use the names only instead of Mr. Ifeanyi, Mr. Ogazi, etc.

Using latinated terms and expressions to capture characters speeches does not also go well with the story, as well as using biblical images such as Sodom and Gomorrah or words like ‘gallon of water’ where ‘a pot of water’ should have sufficed, ‘Isiakuwas,’ ‘holy books,’ ‘school,’ Isiaku Trust Funds,’ ‘wonderland of Arabia,’ ‘Princess Diana of hearts,’ etc hampers the story presentation since these things are modern phenomenon that could not have been in place as at the story’s temporal setting and neither could the old village grandma have been conversant with them if we assume it is her voice we hear.

I find it ridiculous that the night which began the story was a night with forty children yet it was a night with “dead silence in the village of Isiaku with the hooting of owls and the screeching of crickets” and that part of having Obiora son talk of seeking greener pastures in Lagos when it is still 1800 is not good for the story.

In conclusion, Maxwell Opia-Enwemuche has written a good story and proven that he is one of the last bastions of the African culture and the traditional storytelling style in Africa (even in the face of scientific and technological innovations). By writing this story he teaches his readers to shun jealousy, wickedness, and evil. Also, while we can only hear an oral tale once or twice with some parts easily shorn off or added to, we can read this written tale over and over again (without alterations) since we would have our copies within reach on our bookshelves. However, he should work on the story’s flaws and ensure they do not appear in future stories. The wonderful thing about literature is that you can sit at one spot, open a book and let your soul travel into the world of the book! The Oracle of Isieke is indeed “A Journey Through Time” and we must thank the author for taking us on the trip. For those who will soon sojourn into the world of The Oracle of Isieke, I must plead that you send my greetings to Mazi Uchenna Okechukwu, the greatest yam farmer in all of Isiaku! Tell him the grandson of Ubaji from the future sends his greetings!

© Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy 2017

UBAJI ISIAKA ABUBAKAR EAZY is a poet, short story writer, literary critic, and book reviewer. He is currently the Chief Editor of literarycriticsandwriters.sim

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Culled from quillkastle.com

Hon Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo welcomes Ecological Team from OSGF Abuja

It’s only a leader who means well for the people that will attract meaningful projects that will benefit his people. This statement can be vehemently affirmed in clear terms when Hon Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South constituency and who is the current chairman, House Committee on Climate Change, played host to the Ecological Team from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) led by Oluwa Oladega Semiu, a Deputy Director from the Ecological Fund Office on Sunday, 17 September 2017.

Addressing the gathering, Oluwa Oladega Semiu highlighted their reasons for visiting Abia State. He said that they are here to get data on the number of erosion-prone sites. He further reiterated that the database will help the office in taking major decisions that will be to the benefit of these sites in Abia State and the nation in general. He further said that the team will be spending seven ( 7) days for this exercise.

Moderating the meeting, Ejim Chibuzor, Special Assistant to ABSG on Donor Fund showered encomiums on Hon. Samuel I. Onuigbo who have hitherto attended to two major erosion sites in his constituency located at Okwe in Ikwuano LGA and Ukwu-Udara Amachara Amankwo Ezeleke respectively. Also taking turns to welcome the team to Abia state were Elder Henry Nwoha, former TC chairman Ikwuano LGA; Dame Chimechefulam Nwoko, Perm Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Abia State; Hon. Tony Alaribe, Deputy Chairman, Ikwuano LGA; Uche Mpamah, former commissioner, ASOPADEC, and Hon William Ukatu, former Deputy Chairman Ikwuano LGA and Coordinator Okezuo Abia.

Reacting, Hon Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo said that the seven days earmarked for the visit will not be enough to cover enough grounds, but promised to give them the needed support while also assuring them of their safety as the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has curtailed the situation in the town with the appropriate authorities. He also extended his thanks on behalf of the state governor to the Acting Secretary to the government of the Federation, Dr. Habibat Lawal.

The team from the Ecological Fund Office (EFO) were grateful for the hospitality after which a group photograph was taken to the effect as they departed from the meeting to commence work on Monday, 18 September 2017.

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi writes from Umuahia

Hon Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo: Another Giant Stride

Leadership is all about service to humanity” —Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo

It is only an ignoramus with a spirit of mediocrity who would doubt and assume the office of the biblical Thomas even when a blind man can clearly see and affirm without mincing words, the giant stride been taken by the office of the able Honourable House of Representative Member, Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo, representing Ikwuano/ Umuahia North/ SouthFederal Constituency at the National Assembly. Suffice to assert here that any man who plants and waters will definitely expect growth in various ramifications as returns for effort. That’s what I call true result and of course, that’s what good leadership is all about. The visible development emanating from the office as a result of quality representation brings the constituents closer to itself. Hence, the opening quotes which affirm unparalleled service to humanity as the bane of leadership under the quality representation of Hon Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo.

Little wonder why these developments are happening somewhat at a speed that the constituents have never imagined before. One would not fail to notice that another quality representation in the Senate in the person of Senator T.A. Orji also concurs with the progress of things happening in Ikwuano/ Umuahia North/ South Federal Constituency.

No doubt, being the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change, Honourable Samuel Onuigbo used his good office to apply to the Ecological Fund Office to carry out erosion control on some of the badly affected erosion sites in Ikwuano/ Umuahia North/ South Federal Constituency. In his words, “I am happy that out of the twenty-two sites approved in the country, two are from Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South.”

As I write this article, this contract has been flagged off and contract papers signed for erosion control at Ukwu-Udara, Amachara, Amankwo Ezeleke. The highly dangerous erosion site at Okwe, in Ikwuano LGA, has also been inspected and the work has commenced earnestly too. Honourable Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo further reiterated by saying that, “Climate Change is real, and the effects are everywhere. Let us be aware.”

There’s no better way to have the people at heart than to bring lasting dividend that will affect the common good of the constituent. This is another giant stride for Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo which corroborates Neil Armstrong’s famous statement after he touched the moon which reads thus, That’s one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind.

Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo has indeed demonstrated that Leadership is all about service to humanity by taking this giant stride to salvage erosion devastated area. We have seen what you’ve done and we implore you to do more as your constituent is solidly behind you to give you our unflinching support.

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi writes from Umuahia, Abia State.

Award for Great Contributions and Upliftment of Humanity||Hon.  Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo 

There’s  a Latin maxim which says Vox populi Vox Dei meaning the voice of the people is the voice of God. This singular maxim came to live again during the Assemblies of God Church (AGC) Ndume, Umuahia National Men’s Day Celebration and Unique Family Award Ceremony held on Sunday,  September 10,  2017.

Highlighting the achievement of Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo before presenting him with an award in respect of his Great contributions to the upliftment of Humanity, the moderator,  who spoke on behalf of Men’s Ministry of AGC,  emphasized that Hon. Samuel Onuigbo is a friend of  the church and a leader par excellence who has brought meaningful development to the people under his leadership as can be seen in  The Definition of a True Leader: Hon. Samuel I. Onuigbo

Award presented to Hon. Samuel I. Onuigbo

Receiving the award from Hon. Williams  Ukatu,  former Deputy Chairman of Ikwuano Local Government Area who represented the rep.  member,  Hon.  Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo said that  the church is universal and if the achievement of his office through him is recognized and used for  the basis of the award, it means they should continue to do more in respect of service.

Hon.  Samuel Onuigbo receiving his award from Hon. Williams Ukatu who represented him at Assemblies of God Church,  Ndume,  Umuahia on September 10, 2017

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi writes from Umuahia

“He Who the Cap fits, Let Him Wear it”

“He Who the Caps Fits, Let Him Wear It”

It was the Legendary reggae star Bob Marley aka Robert Nesta Marley who first said he who the cap fits, let him wear it. No doubt the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal constituency have made the right choice when Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo was elected two years ago to represent them at the Federal level, National Assembly (NASS) in Abuja. Hence, it is not coming as a surprise the dividends gushing forth from the office of House of Representative currently being occupied by our own visionary and quintessential leader. Just as controversy will have no say when a precious ornament like gold is presented anywhere, our own action representation in the person of Hon.  Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo is a rare gem that has great track records laden with visionary leadership qualities. 
It is a popular axiom that whoever needs refined oil must first work to obtain the crude oil and proceed to the refinery where the finished product is delivered. Little wonder, the Hon. Samuel I. Onuigbo led administration under the auspices of the Ikwuano, Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency made her mandate clear and hinged it on service to the people. She went into business on assumption of office.  Indeed, there has never been a dull moment since he assumed this office as history is there since 1999 till date to validate this.  His achievement has brought the constituency to lime light and forefront. This has reminded unquestionable.
A lot of people are already clamouring from different quarters as they seek recognition.  However, permit me to assert vehemently here that a man without a story has no place in history in this modern time. Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo has achieved a great deal within his two years in office and he has two more years ahead of him to complete this tenure before he goes for tenure.  I strongly believe in the legacies of Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo. His achievement so far speaks volume that opposition is silenced before they open their mouths to speak. The past representation within this same constituency achieved little or nothing. Speaking with an Ikwuano indigene on his take on past representatives’ achievement within the constituent, his response reads thus there’s nothing to write home about when you compare past House of Representative candidates for Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency with Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo. I know that the present House Representative candidate will emerge victorious when the time comes for re-election. Mark my word! This statement corroborated the
On this note, I will submit that for proper representation at the Federal level from Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency, the man who the cap fits should be considered. He who has delivered within the space of two years can do much more if given the mandate to continue. 

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell writes from Umuahia, Abia State