I will not claim to have the wisdom of Chinua Achebe or the intellectual sagacity of Chike Obi. However, as an active citizen and socio-political commentariat, my pen cannot afford to go on sabbatical leave when an elder have chosen to dance naked in open believing that the people are we seeing his nudity.

Truly, I received “Professor” Okey Ndibe's reaction to the Lecture of the most revered and distinguish Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah with stoic and philosophical calmness. At first, it was difficult for me to believe that someone who claims to be a “professor” could display such naked rudeness.

I hate to say this, but say it, I must; “Professor” Okey Ndibe's ray of reasoning must have gone on a long vacation when he put together the filthy response to the posers Bishop Kukah raised during his public lecture in the occasion of the birthday celebration of Prof. Wole Soyinka.

Well, I don't need a B.Sc. from Oxford University, MD from Harvard University and a PhD from Yale University to know that common sense demands that a messenger is never guilty of any message he conveys; be it bitter or sweet. It is nothing but an “overdose of wisdom” for one to declare a messenger of a bitter message an enemy.

I digested the punchy and brilliant stroke of Bishop Kukah and see no reason why “Professor” Okey Ndibe should suffer from acute indigestion because of it. I have equally taken time to go through the profiles of Bishop Kukah and “Professor” Okey Ndibe. Here, it is salient I state that “Professor” Okey Ndibe should not even in his wildest imagination think that he can match Bishop Kukah's integrity, morality and intellectual prowess.

When one is in dark, as a lettered mind, one is expected to ask for light by posing the right and necessary questions. Even at the risk of sounding immodest, I make bold to say the Okey Ndibe's charge of “Grave misreading” against the people's Bishop is largely senseless and extremely arrogant. He displayed a scandalous and willful ignorance like the proverbial “Nza” that challenged his “chi” to a wrestling bout. “Professor” Okey Ndibe's “Grave misreading” is an advertisement of falsehood. It is a pity that an elder could descend so low to the extent of dishing out a menu of falsehood to the public. No matter the sophistication of his literary sophistry, Nigerians know who is a coward.

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah is a patriotic Nigerian in spirit, principle and letter. He understands the political situation in Northern Nigeria for better than an “aproko” professor who ran away from the battle front waiting to come back and claim victory when the combat might have ended. His lordship is not only a Northerner; he is also the Catholic Bishop of repute whose cathedral seats in the caliphate as such he is round peg in round hole.

If “Professor” Okey Ndibe could not read the handwriting on the wall by unveiling the simple message of Bishop Kukah, then, he has my sympathy.

Bishop Kukah delivered an insightful and robust lecture and deserves an eagle feather from Nigerians of Goodwill.

“Nigeria is in distress” and in a precarious moment like this, what we need is politics of contribution and not confrontation championed by “runaway” citizens like “Professor” Okey Ndibe. His lordship only told Ndibe not to chase rat when the house is on fire and for him to pick offence exposes the fact that, Okey is not ok. And this is more reason why he deserves forgiveness for his dusty outburst.

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Articles by Martin-hassan E. Eze