close

People

How Sapele was Re-Discovered by Colonial Masters

IMG_4743

Sapele is a Local Government Area (LGA) in Delta state, its headquarters/capital is also located in Sapele, a city on the Benin River just below the confluence of the Ethiope River and Jamieson River. It was originally a small village of the Urhobo or “Okpe” people.

The First Deputy Commissioner and Vice-Consul in charge of the Benin River District was Captain H. L. Gallwey on October 27, 1891, he carried out a survey of the Urhobo Oil markets along the Ethiope River, accompanied by Mr. S. Munro of the African Association, they proceeded on the voyage for the survey in a launch hired from Messrs Bey and Zimmer, a German trading firm at Benin River. They left Consulate at 10 a.m. reached Sapele by 6 p.m. anchored for the night-roughly 55 miles from Consulate and 60 mile from the mouth of the river. This is Captain H. L. Gallwey report, describing Sapele: “The anchorage here is deep and roomy, and the ground high, though one mass of forest. A most suitable spot to establish factories especially as all the produce from the Sobo markets passes here on the way to the towns near the mouth of the river. I consider Sapele to be a very good place to establish a Vice-Consulate, constabulary barracks, A great deal of clearing would be necessary to prepare the site, but this would afford work to the natives, and consequently be beneficial to someone. “By means of a launch all the markets could be reached in a very short time; a launch drawing 6 feet of water could go about 3 miles past Eku. The river water launch drawing 6 feet of water could go about 3 miles past Eku. The river water at Sapele is fresh, and one is well clear of the mangrove and fever swamps of the coast. Steamers drawing 14 to 15 feet of water could run up to Sapele. These steamers could tranship cargo to and from the larger steamers in the Forcados River.

Major Claude Maxwell Macdonald, the Commissioner and Consul-General visited Sapele on the 14th November, 1891, and approved the site as being eminently suitable. In his Despatch No. 30 the Foreign Office, dated 12th December, 1891, the Major said “I consider Sapele would be a very good situation for the establishment of a constabulary station; the ground is high, and though covered with forest, could be easily cleared. The people of Sapele informed me that if I would come and build there, they would clear as much ground as I wished.” That was the historic decision that made Sapele Village the modern Township it came to be in later years.

In 1891, the British government established a vice-consulate at Sapele, without waiting to first established the Constabulary station as proposed, they used a temporary means, a ship named the “Hindustan” bought at Bristol was sailed to Benin River. There it was dismantled, fitted up as a hulk, and towed to the Sapele anchorage. The hulk was said to have provided excellent accommodation for four Europeans, a Customs Office, a Consular Court, a Treasury, a Prison and Barracks for civil police. While the machinery of Government began in the hulk, the excellent site opposite the anchorage was being cleared for the construction of barracks to accommodate sixty men and a detachment of Protectorate troops under an English Officer.

That was in 1892. To live and work in a hulk might be an innovation at Sapele, but the idea was certainly not a new one to Europeans, especially European traders in the Oil Rivers. By its strategic location, Sapele, was considered to be an important military and administrative station for the projection of power and authority. As such it became a cosmopolitan city and attracted people from many Nigerian ethnic groups who came and settled; today we have streets named after some of the ethnic groups in Nigeria.

In 1926 the British colonial government held a census, in which only the men were counted, the result of the census was later used as bases for taxing the men. In April 1927, government took measures to enforce the Native Revenue (Amendment) Ordinance on the citizens. A colonial resident, W. E. Hunt, was commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor of Nigeria to explain the provisions and objects of the new Ordinance to the people throughout the five provinces in the Eastern Region. This was to prepare the ground for the introduction of direct taxation due to take effect in April 1928, On September 27, 1927, while the Officer Administrating the government from Sapele visited Sabo in the present Edo State, he announced the introduction of tax to be paid by the men, some of the men who came to welcome him, objected.

The Colony Police contingent stationed at Sobo opened fire on what they described as mob reaction to the Administrative Officer. The Acting Inspector General fired first shot into the air and one of his officers followed by firing into the crowd and he killed a Sabo man instantly while others got injured. The other Sobo did not take the killing likely and this led to the police arresting some of them, the police beat up another Sobo man to the point of death and the result was a riot that spread through Sapele, Forcados and Burutu. Markets were closed down and the police continued night patrols all of the towns. After the incident in Sabo, Mr C W Duncan, resumed work officially as the Inspector General of the Southern Province Police Force. Major F. H. Ruxton, C.M.G., the Lieutenant-Governor of the Southern Provinces, retired on the 14th March, and was succeeded on May 15th by Mr. C. W, Alexander, and he announced that there will be a fresh census in areas around Warri, Owerri, Onitsha, Calabar and Ogoja Provinces.

While driving around in Sapele my host showed me the burial site of the world Guinness book accountant David Dafinone. Sapele has produced many other great personalities including David Defiagbon – Olympic boxing silver medallist; Peter Dedevbo – Nigerian U20- Women’s National team Head Coach; Olusoji Fasuba Ola Rotimi & playwright; Blessing Okagbare – athlete; Kefee – gospel singer and composer; Endurance Ojokolo; athlete; Kenneth Eyemi – US military officer; Anthony Oghenedoro Akoria; preacher; Austin Opubor; politician; Chief J.Y Odebala esq. -Oviolo of Okpe kingdom and Gwen; -Nigerian King of Queens

I visited the oldest golf club in Nigeria in the corner of Chichester Road, now known as Sapele Athletic Golf Club which was once known as Sapelo and later Sapilo Golf Club. It was established 7 years after the first settlement of the colonial masters in Sapele and that was in in 1898, it was to while away boredom by the men staying inside the Hindustan -hulk in Sapele. In preparation of the amalgamation of the Protectorates of Nigeria and the Colony, the Chairman of Elder Dempster – Sir Owen Philip (KGMG)  and Directors of the company in 1913 donated a trophy to the ;Sapelo Golf Club; and urged them to plan a tournament to celebrate the unification of Nigeria.

The club embarked on planning its first major tournament which was rounded up in June 1914 and won by H.M. Mansfield. The second tournament was held in 1916 and won by S.D. Fraser, 1919 edition was won by J.W. Maskew. The 1922 and 1923 editions were won by D.J. Martins, 1931 was won by R.C Little. 1933 was won by Dr T.B. Mcalear, 1934 was won by C.D. Avy and so many other tournaments and wins.

The River Ethiope, I was told that the river originates from a community called Umuaja and flows through several others before joining the sea at Sapele. The River is shared by four local government councils namely Ukwuani, Ethiope East, Okpe and Sapele, it is about 50km long. I was also told that this river should be among the Wonders of the World, for it originated from the foot of a giant at Umuaja in Ukwuani Local Government Area, Delta State. It is said to be the deepest inland waterway in Africa. By the time it gets to Sapele through Abraka from Umuaja, it has become so deep to harbor ocean-going vessels. At most of the points where the river runs across, one could see the bottom of the water from the bank. This had given some people a false sense of shallowness of the river to their peril. Fishes are seen swimming enthusiastically in the water, but rapidly spin out of reach on noticing human presence.

River Ethiope is home to a great biodiversity of plants and animals.The river provides ecosystem services such as flood control, climate change regulation, recreation, spiritual homage, water supply, food, research and education, medicine, building materials to many communities through which it passes. Though all these being seriously hampered as result of development pressure and consequences of climate change driven by poverty, ignorance. I was told that the source of the river, the giant silk-cotton tree at Umuaja is said to be wrapped with yards of white and red clothes while different sacrificial objects brought by suppliants are seen around the tree by worshipers at the Onoku shrine and the chief priest – Chief Esinobi David, who is always garbed in red, seats at the entrance, to help worshipers for the spiritual affiliation attached, some areas of the groove surrounding the river source are restricted to visitors with a footpath leading to the grove.

This building in the heart of Sapele main market, is said to have been built in the 1800s by a man whose wife had about six miscarriages before she eventually had a baby and named the baby “Olumaro” and named the house after the baby meaning’he how many can I think of?

Source by Dr Raphael James

read more

See how the First Plane landed in Nigeria

56464383_2722662201083048_7200248750298628096_n

The history of Nigerian aviation will be incomplete without the mention of ​Maiduguri and ​Kano city, where the first aircraft landed in Nigeria on November 1, 1925.It is now 94 years since the historic flights, involving three De Havilland DH 9A aircraft belonging to the Royal.

Excerpts from pages 44 to 46 of the Vincent Orange’s book, the “Coningham: A Biography of Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham”, vividly captured the expedition including how the pilots played polo with Emir of Zazzau, Ibrahim Kwasau and how Shehu of Borno Sanda Kura offered them rams.

“By 1925, interest was growing in the problems and possibilities of opening up the African continent to civil aviation. The French and Belgians had plans for their own territories and Britain did not wish to be left behind. In September, the Air Ministry announced that three DH 9as of 47 Squadron (stationed at Helwan, near Cairo) would fly from there to Kano in Nigeria ‘for the purpose of gaining experience in long distance flights over tropical countries, where few facilities in the way of the ground organisation required by aircraft exist, and with the object of allowing Nigeria to see the capabilities of British aircraft’.

“The venture would be led by Squadron Leader Coningham. His major problems would be navigation and engines. Although there were wireless telegraphy stations at some points along the route, the aircraft carried no transmitting or receiving equipment and had to rely on compasses and on maps which were nearly useless. The engines, reconditioned American ‘Liberty’ engines of 400 hp, had an unreliable record, so Coningham decided to run them gently, reducing the DH 9a’s normal cruising speed from 90 to 80 mph.

“The aircraft took off from Helwan at 7 am on 27 October, waved away by a large gathering of soldiers and airmen and landed at Wadi Haifa – 644 miles south of Helwan – after eight hours and twenty minutes in the air, all three pilots aching in arms and chest because, as Coningham frankly admitted, he had misjudged their weight distribution and they flew tail-eavy. Fortunately, this first day of their journey was both the longest and hardest of the sixteen they spent in the air. At Wadi Haifa, Coningham boldly reduced the load carried and, taking off at 4.50 am next morning, they reached Khartoum at noon. With a lighter, better distributed load, it proved a faster and more comfortable journey.

“En route due west to El Fasher, a ‘considerable range of hills’ soon appeared and perturbed Coningham, for it was not marked on his map. Believing El Fasher lay east of such a range, he looked for it in vain and then decided to press on towards another range, some twenty-five miles farther west, which was marked. After fifteen anxious minutes, the town appeared and the flight landed safely (despite three punctures), everyone much relieved. Refuelling began at once, ‘assisted by the officers, who had cancelled their polo, and the men of the garrison’. It was while in El Fasher that Coningham again contracted the malaria that would plague him at intervals during the rest of his life.

“’The country from this point onwards,’ he wrote, ‘had never been traversed by aircraft.’ Visibihty as far as El Fasher had been ‘phenomenal’, but westward fires had been deliberately started to trap game ‘and at times it was so smoky that at 4,000 feet one was now and then taken unawares and compelled to make sure that nothing in the machine was burning’. For some time after leaving El Fasher, they were able to follow a well-worn camel track, used by Muslim pilgrims making for Mecca, until it ran into mountainous country. After an overnight stop at Abecher, they flew over the landing strip at Fort Lamy, for Coningham had intended to press on to Maidugari, but noticing that more smoke than usual was coming from Herbert Rowley’s exhaust, he decided to turn back. At Fort Lamy, he learned that Rowley had lost most of his fuel: had they kept going, ‘he would have crashed in rather thick forest twenty miles beyond’. Not surprisingly, Rowley remembered the incident vividly, as we shall see.

“It was not until 10.20 next morning that they were able to leave Fort Lamy and French territory for Maidugari in British Nigeria. ‘Crowds had been out on the main road from Maidugari to Kano from dawn looking up into the sky,’ he wrote, ‘and people assembled in the towns on that road, coming in from considerable distances north and south.’ Coningham landed to apologise for not having arrived the night before, but soon regretted his generous impulse because all three machines got stuck in soft yellow earth on the landing strip and it took forty-five minutes to free them, by a combination of engine and muscle power, and run them on to a harder polo ground. More harm was done to the engines during those minutes than would normally occur during at least twenty hours of flying time.

“The flight had been expected to arrive at Kano about 10.00 that morning and would have done so but for Rowley’s faulty carburettor. The Resident Representative in Kano of the Government in Lagos told the huge crowd which had assembled that the aircraft would now arrive about 5 pm. It was a rash promise, but Coningham redeemed it, landing on a polo ground outside Kano’s ancient walls at 5.10 pm on 1 November 1925, the sixth day of the journey. The Resident, greatly relieved, afterwards told Coningham that ‘we had saved their prestige’. The machines were carefully roped round to prevent damage and the whole airfield completely surrounded by troops holding back a crowd of at least 20,000 people. The airmen had flown the official distance from Helwan – 2,904 miles – in thirty-six hours and fifty minutes, but the actual distance covered, ‘allowing for finding the way’, was well over 3,000 miles at an average speed of about 83 mph.

“Throughout the journey, Coningham closely observed the character of the country over which they flew and concluded that good landing grounds were few and far between. Distances and the time taken to cover them impressed him deeply. If a machine had come down near Lake Fittri, for example, the crew would have had to sit tight near the crash, living off what they could shoot or buy from the natives until rescued – and that would have taken at least forty-five days from Fort Lamy or Abecher: a distance the aircraft covered in two and a half hours. However, there was no possibility of a successful landing between Kaduna and El Obeid, except for a short stretch west of Abecher. ‘The knowledge of this,’ wrote Coningham, ‘becomes a cumulative strain.’ And yet, flying sometimes seemed to him the slowest means of transport. ‘At 3,000 feet with visibility up to 150 miles, a hill comes into view quite two hours away. You know that your destination is some way beyond. There is no sense of speed and for hours the hill seems never to get any nearer.’ The temptation to hurry, to risk damage to elderly engines, became difficult to resist towards the end of a long day, especially when an airstrip lay in view for up to an hour.

“Flying from Kano 130 miles south-westward to Kaduna on 6 November, the airmen were met by ‘everybody in full dress’, taken to Government House and ‘lived in the greatest comfort’ until the 10th. ‘A special grand- stand had been erected and the preparations were such that the natives were convinced that the Prince of Wales liked Nigeria so much that he had come back … I was again given two days very good polo and well mounted.’ Coningham took up the Emir of Zaria, Flight Lieutenant Humphrey Baggs took up the Sergeant Major of the Regiment and Rowley the Sergeant Major of the Police, a Hausa. ‘He looked slightly thoughtful as he clambered into the machine,’ wrote Rowley, ‘but once in the air he broke into a great smile and then sang at the top of his deep voice until we landed.’

“’The Qualities of a Senior Officer’ the machine,’ wrote Rowley, ‘but once in the air he broke into a great smile and then sang at the top of his deep voice until we landed.’

The three aircraft left Kano for Maidugari on the first leg of their journey home at 7 am on 12 November. They flew at 1,000 feet for much of the way ‘to give the people a better view of the machines’. Having flown low over the native town, they landed or the same soft yellow sand as before, only this time making sure to run on to the polo field before stopping. The airmen were presented to the Emir of Bornu, who presented Coningham with two huge white rams, which he accepted with an enthusiasm made all the warmer by his knowledge that the Resident’s staff would have to find some means of hiding them until long after he had gone.

“They retraced their outward course without incident (except for strong head winds and punctures at every landing) until arriving safely at Helwan on 19 November 1925. Coningham and his men had flown on sixteen of the twenty-four days spent on the total journey, covering a distance that he estimated as about 6,500 miles. Exactly eighty hours were spent in the air (apart from a few courtesy flights) and all three of their much-maligned engines ‘ran faultlessly’ throughout, a fact that greatly pleased the crews for ‘fifty-three successive hours were spent over country ordinarily called impossible’. The Air Ministry proudly announced two firsts: the first east-west crossing of Africa by air and the first appearance of aircraft in Nigeria. That same journey, ‘by the normal methods of rail, steamer, camel and bullock transport’, would take about six months,” wrote Orange in the book.

However, Kano residents only saw plane again ten years after the Coninghams’ departure when Imperial Airways aircraft landed during the reign of Emir Abdullahi Bayero in 1935.

Coningham was presumed dead on January 30, 1948 when the airliner he was flying, G-AHNP Star Tiger, to Bermuda got missing off the coast of US. Coningham remains one of the unsolved mysteries of the aviation history as his whereabouts remains unknown till date.

Source:- Premiumtimes

read more

The Biography of hubert ogunde

ogunde4

History of African opera, play, drama and theatre would be incomplete without mentioning the name of this great and very industrious dramatist, who more than any contributed in no small measure to the commercialisation of drama in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa as whole. To many, he was the doyen of African theatre, father of Yoruba operatic theatre, a resounding pioneer of the Nigerian drama. Very often referred to as ‘Father of Nigerian folk opera’.

EARLY LIFE
Olooye Hubert Adedeji Ogunde was a folklorist, Nigerian actor, playwright, musician, dramatist, theatre manager, policeman, teacher, teetotaller, human right activist, Seer, prophet and a nationalist of class. Like any mortal, was born into a modest but reputable family of Mr. Jeremiah Dehinbo Ogunde and Mrs. Eunice Owotunsan Ogunde on Monday July 10th, 1916 at Ososa in Ogun State.

Elder Ogunde was a pastor at the Baptist Church, Ijebu Ife and disciplinarian, whose father and forebears were Ifa worshippers and founders of Ososa town. While Madam Eunice Ogunde was a trader whose parents were also enthusiast of Ifa deity. Ogunde’s mother was a pagan at the time he was born. But after his birth she was converted to Christianity. The duo raised and taught their children about African culture and demagogues. An act which helped young Ogunde in later life.
At the age of nine, young Ogunde entered Saint John’s Primary School, Ososa for his elementary education and left the school in 1928 for Saint Peter’s Faji School, Lagos State where he was until 1930. Between 1931 and 1932, Ogunde was at Wasimi African School, Ijebu-Ode. His graduation from Wasimi African School actually marked end of his entire formal education. He altogether spent approximately seven years acquiring formal education. Despite his few years in formal education, Ogunde’s command of English was not only excellent but much better than many university graduates of his time.

Read Also HISTORY OF ORON PEOPLE IN THE PRE-COLONIAL ERA

OGUNDE: A TEACHER AND CHRUCH ORGANIST
Between the ages of 17 and 25 (1933-1941) young Ogunde was a school teacher at Saint John’s Primary School, Ososa and a dedicated church organist. As a pupil teacher, Ogunde taught in the elementary classes for eight years, an act which was predominant among few educated Nigerians at the time. He organised his first band as a teacher at Oke-Ona United School, Abeokuta. It was during this period he developed special skills for opera and folklore, which in later life launched him becoming the greatest Nigerian folklorist of all time.

OGUNDE: A POLICE OFFICER
After about eight meritorious years in the teaching profession, it was during an holiday in Ibadan that he joined the Nigeria Police Force in December, 1941, a bid to better serve his motherland. He was later to be transferred on training to the Police Training School, Enugu which later led to his appointment as a Third Class Police Constable. As a Police Constable, Ogunde was diligent and performed his duties with all his brains. For this, he was transferred to Nigeria Police Force ‘C’ Division, Ebute-Meta, Lagos. By March, 1945, approximately four years in the Nigeria Police Force, Ogunde resigned from the Force in order to pay full attention to his passion- acting. His passion for opera was mind-boggling. His resignation was spurred by reckless and gross misconduct of the colonial regime, which was demonstrated by Ogunde in his much talk about 1945 opera entitled ‘Worse Than Crime.’ The opera was a political satire on the colonial masters which set to establish that ‘Colonialism in any shape or form is worse than crime.’ This earned Ogunde and Mr. G.B. Kuyinu (His co-director) two days in the Police custody. The opera was staged at Glover Hall and Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe Chaired the Show.
However, Mr. Ogunde’s altruism also pushed him to produce an opera ‘Strike and Hunger’ in 1945. The Opera was topical. ‘It narrated the events leading to the famous general strike by trade unions for better wages, cost-of-living allowances and improved conditions of service. The strike began in late June 1945 and lasted for forty-four days.’ This play shoots Ogunde into national prominence.

BIRTH OF OGUNDE’S DRAMA
Monday, June 12, 1944, was a special day in the life of young Ogunde. He was supported and sponsored by Church of the Lord, Ebute-Meta to produce his first and oldest opera ‘The Garden of Eden and The Throne of God’ at the Glover Memorial Hall, Lagos. The content of the opera was biblical. It enunciates the ‘fall of man and his expulsion from the Garden of Eden.’ The folk dance by Messrs Hubert Ogunde and G.B. Kuyinu were loudly applauded. Other characters in the opera included: Miss Kotoye Oshodi, Mr. S. O Okeowo, Mr. E.O. Adeleke, Miss M. Samuel, Miss M. Adenuga, Miss C. Bajomo, Miss K. Ashabi and Mrs. King. ‘The audience that night which was over 1000 all clamoured for a repetition of the play at no distant date.’

In 1945, the success recorded in ‘The Garden of Eden and The Throne of God’ motivated Ogunde to establish his first company the ‘African Music Research Party.’ This was an amateur dramatic society. As the saying goes ‘Rome was not built in a day’, this was the first professional step taken by Ogunde in his newly found drama career.

Read Also 10 WOMEN THAT CHANGED THE HISTORY OF NIGERIA

In the wake of 1946, Ogunde turned professional with the production of the ‘Tiger’s Empire’ which was his first opera as a professional under his company (African Music Research Party). Although, Ogunde was warned by the Police for showing the ‘Tiger’s Empire’. The opera was showed throughout the defunct Western Region. In 1946, Ogunde was banned from staging the opera in Jos, Northern Nigeria. This also earned him £125 fine. At this point he took his company outside the border of Nigeria to Dahomey, present day Republic of Benin, this marked his first international outing.

In September 1946, Ogunde felt the need for training and development as a professional playwright; he applied for Passports and UK Visas alongside with his companion Miss Clementina Ogunbule who will later become Mrs. Ogunde (Late Mrs. Adesewa Ogunde- Mama-Eko). Unfortunately, he was refused. This refusal led to another confrontation with the government. To this end, the media supported him and by March, 1947 Passports and Visas were granted to Ogunde and his partner.

In England 1947, Ogunde was admitted into Buddy Bradley School of Dancing at the Piccadilly Circus, London. This is the root of his much talk about aesthetic dances in his plays.

On his return from Britain, in October, 1947, the company name was changed from ‘African Music Research Party‘to ‘Ogunde Theatre Party’ this might be due to the exposure and influence of Great Britain on Mr. Ogunde. ‘That Ogunde financed his trip unaided indicated not only the success and popularity of his Party but also his financial achievement in a short space of time.’ And before December 1947, Ogunde had become ‘Nigeria’s theatre king.’

In 1948, ‘Ogunde Theatre Party’ travelled to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) to perform the popular opera entitled ‘King Solomon.’ This outing was disastrous as majority of his Ghanaian audience did not understand Yoruba. He returned to ‘Nigeria penniless after owing his cast a month’s salary and the lorry-owner the fare.’ But as a determined entity, Ogunde did more research on the Ghanaian audience, put together a variety of programme and called it ‘Swing The Jazz’ and this time , the tour was not only a success, but profitable.

Between 1949 and 1950, hardworking Ogunde had extended his works to other parts of West Africa including the Ivory Coast (now Cote d’Ivoire). ‘Ogunde Theatre Party’ was banned in Kano (also in Kaduna and Makurdi) in May 8, 1950, for staging the social lampoon opera titled ‘ Bread and Bullet’ and was arrested for sedition. He was charged to court later discharged but fined £6 for posting posters for the play without prior permission from the government. Moreover, towards the end of 1950, ‘Ogunde Theatre Party’ was changed to ‘Ogunde Concept Party.’
In 1951, Ogunde marked the seventh year anniversary of his theatre with the production of the opera ‘My Darling Fatima.’ For almost the next decade, Ogunde produced eight more plays and also toured the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, West Africa and the world as a whole.

Read Also HOW KILLING OF TWINS WAS STOPPED IN NIGERIA

In 1960, Ogunde was invited to produce a play ‘Song of Unity’ for Nigeria at independence. The play was staged at Glover Hall, Lagos and commissioned by Nigerian Government to mark the independence of Nigeria. Ogunde changed name again to ‘Ogunde Theatre’ a name that stuck on him till today. Between 1960 and 1963, no single song or play was written by Ogunde. He only concentrated in the review and modification of his numerous works to fit into the taste of the early 60s.
In 1964, there was a political tumult in the then Western Nigeria. Chief Awolowo was incarcerated on treason accusation and Chief Ogunde, wrote the highly controversial account for his indictment entitled it ‘Yoruba Ronu (Yoruba Think!).’ This account put him at loggerhead with Chief S.L Akintola who was at the time Premier of Western Region since the play directly attacked him and his government. For this, Ogunde Theatre was banned for two years (1964-1966). And in reaction to his ban, Mr. Ogunde produced ‘Otito Koro’ (Truth is Bitter). This ban had grave financial effect on him since majority of his audience were in the Yoruba speaking Western Region.

Ironically, Yoruba Ronu was a prophesy of days to come. And by January 15, 1966, the prophesy came to past and Akintola’s government was not only ousted out of power, but many had paid with their lives. The military had taken over and on request; the ban on Mr. Ogunde and his company was lifted by Lt. Col. F.A Fajuyi, the newly appointed governor of the Region.

In 1967, Ogunde Theatre has grown into an institution. The theatre was to represent the Nigerian Government at Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada. The Theatre utilised this opportunity, stop by in the US and performed in the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York City.

In 1968, Ogunde Theatre was also invited to perform at the International Llangollen Eisteddfod, North Wales and Fairfield Hall, Croydon, Great Britain. Ogunde also produced ‘Ire Olokun’, ‘Keep Nigeria One’ and ‘Mama Eko’ in the same year.

In 1969, Ogunde Theatre reached an important milestone , as he took 45 member dance troupe abroad and perform extensively in Britain and Europe with a special production called ‘Oh Ogunde’ and also while in London produced ‘Obanta’ and ‘Ogun Pari (War is over).’ In addition, Ogunde Theatre performed in the Municipality Milano in Italy that same year.

Between 1970 and 1989 Ogunde staged ‘Ewe Nla’, ‘Iwa Gbe Mi’, ‘Onimoto’ ,’Kehin S’okun’, ‘Muritala Mohammed’, ‘Ore ni won’, ‘Igba T’ode’ and ‘Orisa Nla’. In 1979, Ogunde veered into movie production with the blockbuster film-Aiye. He followed this the following year with ‘Jaiyesimi’ in 1980, ‘Aropin N’tenia’ in 1982 and ‘Ayanmo’ in 1986. And by 1990, Ogunde briefly featured in the popular movie; ‘Mr. Johnson’. Sadly, it was while in the location of the film ‘Mr. Johnson’, which was in collaboration with a UK based English producer that he was taken abroad on a chartered private jet and he passed on. In all, Ogunde wrote over sixty stage plays/opera, produced four films and 99 songs.
Mr Ogunde also had a TV programme called ‘The Hubert Ogunde Show’ on NTA for about a year (1971-1972).

Read Also NIGERIA CIVIL WAR AND WHAT WE DIDN’T KNOW HAPPENED

Ogunde founded the Union of Nigerian Dramatists and Playwrights and became its first president. The Union is today called ‘Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (ANTP). Hence, the ANTP presently boasts of membership in there hundreds and professional travailing Theatre companies throughout Nigeria.

In 1975, the Union of Nigerian Dramatists and Playwrights rejected the invitation of the South African Troupe to stage ‘Ipi Tombi’ to mark the official opening of the National Theatre, Iganmu. Ogunde’s objection in capacity of President of the Playwrights was that an indigenous company should have the honour.

Ogunde was invited by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1986 to demonstrate if the formation of a national troupe is viable. This led to what is now known as the ‘Ososa Experiment.’ It was the success of this experiment that led to the formation of the National Troupe of Nigeria. He thus became its first Artistic Director/Consultant.

However, at the time the Nigerian film industry was using 18mm analogue camera, Ogunde was already using a 35mm analogue camera. Ogunde was a man per excellence, a thorough and hardworking artist, who will give all to get the best out of his numerous casts in his plays and films. Before any play is shown, he organises practices for his cast for at least nine months to one year. His play rehearsals was twice a day starts from 8am to 2pm and 4pm to 9pm, Monday to Saturday. So rigorous and tough. With a day set aside for dress or costume rehearsal. The play making processes were often managed satisfactorily by the workaholic Ogunde before any play is shown. No wonder the successes recorded by Ogunde through his 47years excellent performances on stage.

OGUNDE: A FAMILY MAN
As husband and father, Ogunde was able to integrate his wives and children in his company and livelihood. It is believed that he fully enjoyed the joys of family life and of seeing his children grow up under his watch. Ironically, Ogunde who during the last count married some seventeen wives and numerous children never allowed separate pots for his children, this helps to fasten the rope of unity among everyone in the yard.
Mr. Ogunde after morning exercises attends to morning routines and at leisure sits among his wives joking and playing a bid to bring happiness to them and their children.

RADICAL OGUNDE
Between 1971 and 1975, Ogunde had constant press battle with the organisers of the second world black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) over what he considered inadequate and unprofessional arrangements for the festival. He also objected to the high cost of hiring the National Theatre.

In 1976, he marked the thirty-third anniversary of his Theatre in January with the dance drama ‘Nigeria.’ The production which was also to commemorate FESTAC, therefore given full supports to the Festival on ground of patriotism.

In 1977, Ogunde succeeded in having the cost of National Theatre reduced, which led to the premiere of ‘Igba t’ode’ at the National Theatre , thereby making it the first time in thirty-four years that Ogunde would stage a play in the National Theatre ,Iganmu, other than at the Glover Memorial Hall.

OGUNDE: A NATIONALIST
Ogunde was an outspoken contemporary political commentator, who was ready to risk the possible destruction of his Theatre in order to fight for the freedom of his people from alien rule. He was jailed and banned on several occasions for fighting and standing against the devious colonial regime with all his brains.

The Nigerian Nationalists movement did not entirely leave him to fight the government alone. They supported him morally and protect him through their various press companies. Believing that the victimization of his Theatre often arose from official aversion of his nationalist bent , not only did they give him protection and cover from the law but they also often allowed him use their press to speak directly to the public about various acts of victimization that he suffered. The West African Pilot, Daily Comet and Daily Service; were the few newspapers that supported Ogunde in his nationalistic rather than radical behaviours.

According to an editorial in Zik’s West African Pilot Newspaper (1947) “Ogunde‘s preoccupations with the projection of the cultural as well as the political identity of his people were enough for the nationalist movement to call him ‘a genius’ who did not seek ‘wealth’ or ‘fortune’ … nor self inflation or any other artifice of fame, a genius who was once a poor police officer, perhaps one who shared with three others ‘ten by eight!! A day came when he sat down , racked his brain, composed nature airs and dramatized them and by 1947 , had become ‘Nigeria Theatre King’
The nationalist movement maintained that through him ‘the realm of the theatre has become a living reality’. They recommended Ogunde’s efforts to all saying that repining in indolent idealism can avail nothing. It is courage to take risks and determination to forge ahead in spite of man-made handicaps. Good luck to Hubert Ogunde”

Read Also OGEDENGBE THE ITINERANT WARRIOR

In the words of Prof. Ebun Clark “ Ogunde was a pure nationalist who believed that the only quick way to liberation was through a united national front that could face and rout the army of the colonial ruler to free the people.

Ogunde became the most popular Nigerian Musician and Dramatist of all time. This is owing to his sheer discipline, determination, integrity and absolute commitment to the institution of drama and a free Nigeria.

OGUNDE: AWARDS AND HONORARIES
In 1983, Ogunde was awarded the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR) by the Federal Government under Alhaji Shehu Shagari, unbelievably; Ogunde rejected the honour arguing that corruption is endemic in the land.

1987 and 88, Ogun state Government awarded Ogunde the Excellence Award in the field of Drama and Film Production which he joyfully accepted.

In 1985, Ogunde was awarded Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Lagos on Friday 17th of January, 1986.

EPILOGUE
In Scotland (1986) Ogunde showed his Play DESTINY which was Nigerian entry into the Commonwealth Festival of Arts in Edinburgh. The Play was described by the Scots as an Epic of its time. Ogunde was also described as one man with unique and large reservoir of creative resources to draw from. His Plays are often different from others always attracting his numerous audiences. With his unique and unbeatable dance steps remains evergreen in the Nigerian Theatre. Ogunde also helped to advanced dances like: Bata, Koto, Fishermen, and women dance, Itsekiri dance, Sango Dance, Agbekor with the dances always showing smiles of Africa.

Ogunde was not only a pioneer in the Nigeria field of Drama, he was Nigeria saviour of native music and drama. For this, he becomes the acknowledged leader and father of contemporary Yoruba Theatre.
“For all the Nigerian Playwrights in Yoruba and indeed in English, Ogunde was the most consummate social commentator and satirist, who easily make his views on people and events known through his sketches and characters (Clark,1979). “

Ogunde died at 5:25a.m on Wednesday, 4th of April, 1990 at Crowell Hospital, London. He was aged 74.

– Copied from Exclusive Biographer Magazine

read more

The rise and fall of the great Sokoto caliphate

C4442_-UoAIMzyN

The Sokoto Caliphate was founded by an Islamic teacher Uthman Dan Fodio in the
year 1804 who later became the first Sultan of Sokoto (Sarkin Muksulmi –
Commander of the Faithful). Although he refused a titular name, leaders after him
called themselves the “Sultan of Sokoto”.

The Sokoto Caliphate was a western African empire that became a part of the Northern
Nigeria in Late 90s. dan Fodio who lived in the Hausa city state of Gobir initiated a Jihad
after he and his followers were banished from the city. From exile, he called for a Holy
war (Jihad) against the Gobir leaders and other Hausa states.

Read Also:-THE ORIGIN OF HAUSA

The Jihad affected the course of history through out the Savanah and resulted in the creation of Islamic states in Senegal, Mali and Chad. At this time, Dan Fodio’s empire was at it peak and there were no turning backs as it already influenced regions around it including Northern Cameroon. Those were the glorious days of the ever flourishing Caliphate.

After the death of Dan Fodio in 1817, Muhammed Bello his son took over the eastern
empire while his brother Abdullahi was the titular ruler of the western empire; but
Bello was seen as the next Sultan of the Caliphate.

Read also:-THE TAPA TRIBE AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Europeans had been focusing on the region for colonial expansion for much of the
last part of the 19th century. A French explorer visited the caliphate in 1891 and noted
that it was at war with the Emir of Argungu, defeating it in the next year.
However, following the Berlin Conference; the British had already expanded to
Southern Nigeria and by 1902, it was planning to march into the Sokoto Caliphate. The
then British General, Fedrick Lugard used many Emirs in the South and Central Sokoto
as rivalries to prevent defense as he worked toward the capital.

Muhammadu Attahiru (Successor) waged a quick defense on the British, but then; they
were at the harsh receiving end as the British came out with great rivalry.
On March 13, 1904 at the Grand Market square, the last Vizier of the Sokoto Caliphate
officially surrendered and conceded to British rule. Fedrick Lugard abolished the
Caliphate, but retained the title “Sultan” as a symbolic position in the newly
established and organized Northern Nigeria Protectorate.

Silva Okpara for Hiztorybox.com.ng

read more

Agba Jalingo And 6 Other Journalists charged with treason since 1963.

Agba-Jalingo-1280×720

In the Chapter II section 22 of the 1999 constitution, hence:

The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.

This provision implies that the press shall be a watchdog over the excesses of government, and shall ensure that government delivers it promises to the people. The government on the one hand shall ensure that the press informs the people about its programmes and actions.

This part of our constitution suggests that the press will be a watchdog over the overabundances of government, and will guarantee that administration conveys it vows to the individuals. The administration from her viewpoint will guarantee that the press illuminates the citizens about its projects and activities. Another part of the constitution which is chapter II section 39 subsection (1) of the 1999 constitution states:

Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.

Subsection (2) states that:

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection I of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions.

We look into the cases of 7 other Nigerian Journalists alongside with Agba Jalingo from 1947 till date; with regards to FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and charges of Treasons meted against them.

  1. Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro

He came into the limelight in 1944 when he was made editor of the Southern Nigerian Defender at the age of twenty one, becoming the youngest newspaper editor in the history of Nigeria. He was actively involved into the world of Nigeria journalism till he was sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment on charges of felony and treason in September 1963 when the leadership of his party, Action Group in 1962; was accused of plotting a coup against the federal government and threatened with detention. Although severally, he has been detained by Federal Government of Nigeria since 1945 as a journalist on different charges.

  1. Kunle Ajibade

In 1995,Kunle Ajibade was arrest and charged for treason under the administration of Late General Sani Abacha for having his name appeared on a story titled “Not Guilty – Army Panel Clears Coup Suspects.” by the newspaper house “TheNews” where he worked as an editor.  He was charged for ‘publishing materials which could obstruct the work of the coup plotters tribunal’ and for ‘misleading the public’. The crime was being “‘as an accessary after the fact of treason” and the punishment was life in prison. It was the first time journalists would be tried (and convicted) with coup plotters in the country.

Read Also:-REVEALED! HOW MKO ABIOLA DECLARED HIMSELF ‘PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF

  1. George Mbah of Tell Magazine

On May 5, 1995, barely 18 months after he came out of the hospital after surviving a deadly motor accident from one of his trip to interview one of the running mate of 1992 Presidential Election. George was arrested in the Lagos premises of Tell magazine by soldiers from the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) alongside with other jounalists.Althouugh there were no definite reason for his arrest except for the coup plot against the then military regime. On August 1995,He bagged 15 years Jail term alongside with Kunle Ajibade

  1. Chris Anyanwu of The Sunday Magazine

Christiana “Chris” Anyanwu MFR (born 28 October 1951) is a Nigerian journalist, publisher, author, and politician. She was imprisoned from 1995 to 1998 for treason after reporting on a failed coup d’état against the government of Sani Abacha. In May 1995,Anyanwu was arrested following the publication of a story about a failed coup d’état against the government of Sani Abacha, whom she had refused to endorse as president. She was sentence to life imprisonment by the then life military regime; but after much pressure from international community, it was reduced to 15 years. Following the death of Gen SANI Abachi,She was release by the administration of General Abdulsalam Abubakar on health ground.

  1. Ben Obi of the Weekend Classique was also arrested alongside with George Mbah, Chris Anyanwu, Kunle Ajibade.

Read Also SOWORE AND 5 NOTABLE NIGERIANS CHARGED WITH TREASON SINCE 1963

6. Omoyele Sowore is a Nigeria journalist and also 2019 presidential candidate for African Action Congress. On Aug 4, 2019 was arrested on the charges of treason for planning revolution protest in Nigeria. Later,he was granted bail today after several denial on the whooping amount of 100millions Naira and other requirements.

  1. Agba Jalingo is the publisher of Cross River Watch and he is currently facing charges of terrorism, treasonable felony and attempt to topple the Cross River State government. Although he pleaded “Not Guilty” for the charges against him. Until the very time of filing this report, he was denied bail today after attempt by his legal team.There have been several campaigns going on with the regards to unlawful arrest of Mr Agba Jalingo.

Reference :- Wikipedia,Washington Post,Sahara Reporters,ZODML

read more

Biography of Promise Issac

19290950-0-image-a-14_1570183499385

Promise Isaac (2 December 1987 — 2 October 2019) was a Nigerian football player who last played for Austin Bold FC in the USL Championship. He was the captain of the football team representing Nigeria that won the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He played professionally for 14 seasons, much of which was spent in Turkey. He scored a total of 77 club goals during his career.

Isaac died on October 2, 2019, at age 31

Source: Wikipeda

read more

BREAKING NEWS! After Running For 16 Days,World Wrapper Man Is In AGBOR, Now

Worl

The #WorldWrapperMan Amb Adjarho David Obaro is finally in OMUMU COMMUNITY,Agbor #DeltaState

He is NOW few miles away from his destination Onitsha,as he is expected to wrap his trekking tomorrow at Onitsha tomorrow. Remember he has been Running from #Lagos to #Onitsha in the last 16days.

Read Also 7 DAYS LEFT! A Man Is Trekking From Lagos To Onitsha 

This is another Historical Event happening in our time.

read more

THE TAPA TRIBE And WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

no thumb

You might be thinking they are the unknown, but there is more to them than you
thought. Here’s what you probably didn’t know about one of the greatest race in the
history of Nigeria; “The Great Nupe Tribe”

The Nupe origin can be traced to “Tsoede” who fled the court of “Idah” and established a
loose confederation of towns along the Niger in the 15th Century. What a long time it
was!!
The proximity of Nupe to the “Igbomina” people in the South and to the Yoruba “Oyo”
people in the South West led to cross fertilization of cultural influences through trade and
conflicts over the years.The Nupe people are traditionally called the “Tapa” by neighboring ethnicity like theYoruba. The “Tapa” people are located primarily in the middle belt and Northern Nigeria,and are the dominant group in Niger state, and an important minority in Kwara state and ofcourse present in Kogi state as well Many Nupes were converted to Islam as at the end of the 18th century and were incorporated into the Fulani empire established by the Jihad and led by “Usman Dan Fodio” after 1806.

History has it that the Fulani leader – Mallam Dendo (Manko) who became the new
leader of this empire started it all; after which his son, Usman Zaki became the first “Etsu
Nupe” in 1832.

The Nupe language is also spoken in Kwara, kogi and the FCT. They are primarily Muslims
with few Christians and African traditional worshippers. They have no recent capital
although they were originally based at Rabah and only moved to Bidah in the 19th
century. There are probably about 4.5 million Tapa’s (Nupe Indigene) principally in Niger state, but although they are less noticed in diaspora, they have tremendous achievements in thehistory of the black race. They might not be in diaspora like some other tribes in Nigeria, but there are surely doing wonders in our mother land Nigeria.

read more

Sowore and 5 NOTABLE NIGERIANS CHARGED WITH TREASON Since 1963

Omoyele-Sowore

The crime of treason is the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill or overthrow the sovereign or government.Once found guilty,the offender is usually faced with Whoever commits treason shall be punished with death, and whoever attempts or abets treason shall be punished with imprisonment for life or for any less term or with fine or with both according to Nigeria constitution. Today,we will review the case of some notable Nigerians who were once charged with the case of the treason by federal government of Nigeria.

Read also: 7 Nigerian Journalists Charged With Treason Since 1963

With the recent advent of Sowore omoyele’s case and the federal government of Nigeria.We looked into to some other notable Nigerians with similar Cases.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Immediately after Nigeria independence,there was a political turmoil in the western region of Nigeria.This continued until 1963, when the plot between Chief Ladoke Akintola, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello was perfected and Chief Obafemi Awolowo was arrested for coup plotting/treason. His trial commenced in earnest and he was alongside some accomplices convicted for treason and jailed for 10 years.

Join Us TOMORROW for an 599 tweets on Nigeria Independence

Prof Wole Soyinka:- The literary Nigeria giant was once charged with treason during the military era of Late Gen Sani Abacha.Alongside with 11 others,they were charged on the crime of treason in connection to the bombing of army buses that killed at least three soldiers and wounded dozens of others.

Chief Mko Abiola:- After the annulment of 1993 Presidential election.MKO Went further to declare himself president in which he was declared wanted and was accused of treason and arrested on the orders of the then military President General Sani Abacha.

Chief Gani Fawehinmi:- During the military era of Babangida and Abacha military,Chief Gani was one of the major critic of that adminstration.He uncompromisingly pursued and crusaded his beliefs, principles and ideals for the untrammelled rule of law, undiluted democracy, all embracing and expansive social justice, protection of fundamental human rights;wasn’t the favorite juice of the military of his day.Rather he was jailed severally until he died on 5 September 2009 after a prolonged battle with lung cancer

Read Also 12 SONGS THAT TALKS ABOUT NIGERIA INDEPENDENCE

Nnamdi Kanu:- In 2018,Nnamdi Kanu was charged with the crime of treason with regards to his separaists’ movement of IPOB.He was arrested on treason charges in Lagos Nigeria on 14 October 2015 and was detained for a year.On 28 April 2017 Kanu was released from prison on bail.

Worthy Mentions:-

  • Victor Banjo
  • Nzeogwu
  • Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna
  • Shehu Dani
read more
1 2 3 9
Page 1 of 9