TRACKING>>>The story of the six blind men and the elephant might be new to many but it still finds relevant when one is confronted with huge task of writing about an icon of global standard whom Chinua Achebe were to be alive would have described as ‘A MAN OF THE PEOPLE’.
On this note let’s refresh our minds of the story of the blind men and the elephant.Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”
They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Everyone of them touched the elephant.”Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.”Oh, no! it is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.
“Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.
“It is like a big hand fan” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.
“It is like a huge wall,” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.
“It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.
They began to argue about the elephant and everyone of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said.”
“Oh!” everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all correct.Yes quite interesting tale but it also explains the views of millions of Nigerians and across the globe about Chief Ambassador (Dr) Godknows Boladei Igali,OON.
For the intellects, he is an award winning author. To the diplomatic corp, Igali is an accomplished Ambassador, for the civil servants, he is a technocrat per excellence, for the middle and the low class of the society, he is a philanthropist and for the political class, Igali is a strong force and a strategist.So, it is indeed a sunrise in Bayelsa state every 4th of April, being the day Ambassador Igali was presented at no cost to Nigeria as an independent gift in 1960.Just like many other children from the oil reach Niger Delta region of Nigeria, Igali passed through the agonies of poor educational system and deprived of the luxuries of live, yet attained the peak in different fronts of success at both national and international levels.One thing however stood Igali out and ultimately sold him to the hearts of many; despite political, tribal or religious biases and that is his ability to impact on the lives of anyone that cross his part in the journey of life.
While as a pioneer student of the prestigious university of Port Harcourt, Ambassador Igali was a strong activist who was instrumental to the formation of many associations to project the plights of the Ijaw nationality and later the famous Kaiama declaration. And while as young diplomat in the federal ministry of Foreign affairs in the early 1980s, Igali facilitated the employment of many Ijaw youths; some are now directors and of course the hundreds of Nigerians from the prisons and make-shift camps in Cameroon that were freed and brought back home during Igali’s short stay in Cameroon as Nigerian Consulate. As providence plans it, these Cameroonian returnees from Bayelsa state met the philanthropy of Igali again when the then Governor of the state ,Dr Goodluck Jonathan appointed him as Secretary to the Bayelsa State governor.Igali later left the Bayelsa state Secretariat for the Federal Secretariat, Abuja as Permanent secretariat, ministry of water resources and later Power. It was another harvest of employment for many Niger Delta youths as well as landmark projects. In between this period, Igali also served as Nigerian Ambassador to Norway, Fineland, Swiden and Denmark. He also left his footprints on these countries.Sincerely, this true son of the Ijaw nationality from Eniwari in Southern Ijaw Local Governmnt Area of Bayelsa State deserves the outpouring of goodwill and best wishes of the Ijaw man as he marks his birthday,April 4th.Happy Birthday Ambassador Goodknows Igali, PhD,OON.
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