Nigeria has developed in such a way that certain things do not have the same meaning or significance nationally. One such thing would be the conferment of the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN). While the title may not be common place thing anywhere in Nigeria because of the prestige it carries, it would not be the basis for communal drumbeats of joy in many states in the Southern part of the country which enjoyed earlier contacts with the Western world.
That is not the case with most states in central Nigeria, for instance, where existence is more rugged, particularly with regards to the very limited educational opportunities, mitigated only by the muscular presence of the missionaries in that regard.
That is why a young man making the ranks of the inner sanctum of the legal profession can be the basis of communal drumbeats, loud enough to be heard up to the United Nations Headquarters. This is more so if two of the newest SANs in town are of Idoma identity with respect to filling the gap for enlightened leadership, rallying point for consensus and a community lighthouse at a deeply confusing time in the post-truth world.
In other words, there is a communal dimension to Paul Harris Ogbole and Professor Alphonsus Alubo becoming SAN, what with one of them combining intellectual acumen with the professional radius and verbal facility of the lawyer. Such a person could become a community’s power resource in negotiating accommodation for the folks in a country defined largely by well developed exclusionary practices.
It should thus not surprise all those hearing aja, oglinye, Ikpanke and Afia cultural musical brands right from Oglewu through Otukpo, Makurdi and Abuja over the conferment of the title of SAN on Professor Alphonsus Okoh Alubo and Paul Harris Ogbole. It is the Idoma community at work, celebrating and affirming their sons who have, in spite of ecological and political constraints, hit national headlines.
In the case of Prof Alubo, he is not just a lawyer but also an academic, with over 100 academic articles and 12 books. He has taught law at the University of Jos since 1993, becoming a professor at 41 in 2010. But that is not all. He narrowly missed being one of today’s vocal clergies because he was at Saint James Seminary from 1980 to 1985 before landing at the School of Basic Studies, Makurdi in Benue State from 1985 to 1987. Above all, he is a family man, putting in place four children in a marital venture with Madam Vivian Alubo. The point here is that he is a face of the many-sidedness of the post-modern world and, therefore, well positioned to serve.
With his colleague, Paul Harrison Ogbole who has had versatile exposure in the public service and has even greater edge in terms of age, a new set of leaders could be said to be emerging. That is, leadership not necessarily in terms of political office but consensus builders and problem solvers rather than otherwise.
Coinciding with a week in which several families lost everything in the September 15th, 2019 accident on Abuja-Akwanga monkey hole of a road network, this might probably be God’s own compensation in terms of voices with moral authority to draw powerful attention to such everyday threats in and around the region which are never mentioned in any newspapers and over which there are never any uproars at all. Congratulations, gentlemen!