University scholar and theatre technocrat, Professor Sunday Ododo, of the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, has stated that he has deep appreciation for National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), saying the Institute had demonstrated its love for promotion of culture through the role it played in the publication of a Festschrift in his honour, titled, A Gazelle of the Savannah: Sunday Ododo and the Framing of Techno-Cultural Performance in Nigeria.
Stating this in his vote of thanks, at the public presentation of the Festschrift and three of his latest works, to mark his 50th Birthday, Professor Ododo said he had high regard for the entire Management and Staff of the NICO and deep respect for its mandate of harnessing culture for national development.
The event, which took place on Saturday, October 20, 2012, at the Auditorium of the Federal College of Education, Okene, Kogi State, saw the presentation of three books, Hard Choice (a play), To Return from the Void and Vanishing Vapour (two libretti), and Broken Pitchers (an anthology of poems), by the celebrant.
He added that the administrative style of the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has placed the Institute on a very high pedestal in the culture community: “I must give special appreciation to the Executive Secretary, NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma. He is a very understanding person. We proposed one volume for the book and approached him; he supported us, but there were many essays from contributors, both from Nigeria and abroad; and one volume could not contain the 350 pages we planned. So, the editors started working on two volumes. We again approached Dr. Ayakoroma; he approved the request for us and that is the result of the two volumes of the books we have today. So, NICO financed the publication of the volumes. Dr. Ayakoroma also contributed in one of the volumes. I thank him from the depth of my heart and I am grateful to NICO.”
Earlier, former D-G, National Broadcast Commission (NBC), Dr. Tom Adaba, who was the Chairman of the occasion, described the event as epoch-making, saying that it is a challenge to younger Nigerians, especially the Ebiras: “This is why I call on Nigerians to encourage the youths to be serious with their education. I urge Ebiras to always make sure that our children face their education. We want to have more professors, great and literary giants and scientists in Ebiraland. I call on our children not to neglect their education. It is because of education that Professor Ododo has written three books and two volumes written on him. I am sure he will write more.”
On his part, the Ohinonyi of Ebiraland, His Royal Majesty Alhaji Ado Ibrahim Attah, commended Professor Ododo for being prolific, coming out with many books, saying: “I am at this book presentation because I want to share the pride of Professor Ododo. I am proud of him as his king. I am happy that such prominent people are coming out from my domain. I was told that we have more than 51 professors in Ebiraland. I can tell you that the number will continue to increase. That is why I say that I am very lucky. It is a good thing to write. I urge our younger ones to write too. If our ancestors had written down all they knew, we would have had great documents and books on their wisdom and philosophy.”
The event was well attended with the Ohinonyi of Ebiraland, HRM Alhaji Ado Ibrahim Attah and virtually other traditional rulers in Kogi Central and its environs, including, the Olu of Magongo, HRH Obiri Anthony Olu Alao; the Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, Professor M.M. Daura; former DG, National Broadcast Commission (NBC), Dr. Tom Adaba; the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Arch. Yomi Awoniyi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Administration and Parastatals in the Office of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Abraham Adavi; the Executive Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, represented by Dr. Lyitse Tivlumu; Justice Yakubu Momoh (rtd); the former Provost, Federal College of Education, Okene, Professor E.O.Onimisi; Professor Mabel Evwierhoma of the University of Abuja, who reviewed the Festschrift; Executive Secretary, NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, represented by Mr. Nwagbo Nnenyelike; and Dr. Sola Fosudo of Lagos State University, among others.