April 24, 2017

PROFESSOR SAM AGHALINO: THE HISTORIAN AND HIS MANY GARLANDS

By

Ajirioghene Oreh
I must admit, I can not now remember when my love for history, and social events were born. But I remember how I was an ardent reader of newspapers, watcher of national news, online reader, among others that edify and ennoble man.  At a time, I started writing “current affairs” (I later tore the book). I was an encyclopedia of news about politics, politicians, and the secondary school subject Government. In fact, my classmates in Lulu Schools, Ughelli gave me a moniker, “the Senator”.  It was this period of my inquisitiveness; I encountered the hero, Professor Samuel Aghalino, an epitome of dignity of intellectual labour on the pages of newspapers, books, and online articles.  
Yes, Professor Aghalino’s life, works have taught us, especially we his offsprings that there is dignity in intellectual labour. He has done so much, written so much to privilege Delta State. Today, Professor Aghalino is currently one of the most committed scholars from the rich oil Niger Delta, Nigeria.
For his Isoko ethnic nationality with a population over one million, and human and natural resources, the highly respected scholar of History through his magical scholarship has been disseminating the socio-economic and political history of his amiable Isoko people. This is among the many reasons, why Fone Media Integrated Co., publishers of Isoko Mirror Newspapers as part of her activities marking her 12th anniversary celebration decorated and to presented the historian, Professor Aghalino with the apt award, Isoko Hero of Development on Saturday 15 of April, 2017 at Jubilee Retreat and Conference Centre, Efurrun, Delta State.  
This recipient of Isoko Hero of Development is one of the many eminent historians who have made Nigerian tradition of historical scholarship very exciting, truly engaging, and well critical. These historians, I chose to call heroes and heroines of our time for their intellectual labours have been recognized nationally, continentally and internationally.
For his inimitable but modest contribution in History in Nigeria, nay Africa, on Monday 10th day of October, 2016 Professor Aghalino was honoured with the prestigious Presidential Award in Outstanding Contribution to the Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN). On the 13th day of October, 2016, he joined the roller coastal of legendary and formidable historians when he was elected in to the highly regarded Council of the Historical Society of Nigeria to represent the North Central of Nigeria.

Indeed, this historian wears honours like a garment. As the epic Elizabethan dramatist, William Shakespeare in his brilliant romantic comedy Twelfth Night thesis on greatness puts it, “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them”. A probe of Professor Sam Aghalino’s past will reveal that by sheer dint of hardwork, perseverance, and integrity he achieved greatness, true greatness. Today his unprecedented achievements precede him. Indeed, this award of Isoko Hero of Development is in recognition of Professor Aghalino’s intellectual worth, and how Professor Aghalino who is also the indefatigable Publicity Secretary of Isoko Advancement Network (IAN) has been able to attract development to his homeland.
Professor Aghalino a first-rate scholar of history is genial, benevolent,  simple, and avuncular. He is a teacher of teachers, and who mete out knowledge with missionary and patriotic zeal. His oeuvre of historical tomes and corpus of historical scholarship that are original, deep and profound are in the sphere of world magnum opus. His legion of academic essays and books are often quoted in scholarships and other interventions. I must admit that his historical perceptive is so acute. Professor Sam Aghalino has taught in many renowned universities. He was visiting lecturer at the Department of History and International studies of the Delta State University, Abraka 2000 to 2001. 


Professor Sam Aghalino ever since he started dispensing knowledge at the well-known University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Kwara State has served in many exalted posts and plum positions in that state higher citadel of learning, such as the Head of Department (HOD), History and International Studies, from 2000-2012, (12 years!), Faculty of Arts Representative, assiduous member of UNILORIN’s Library and Publication Committee. This is beside the fact that he is an eminent external assessor and examiner. As an excellent and meticulous editor, Professor Sam Aghalino has edited innumerable books, journals. He was the superb editor of Ilorin Journal of History, and member of the editorial committee of the extremely reputed Alore: Ilorin Journal of Humanities. Currently, Professor Aghalino is one of the associate editors of the reputed Abraka Humanities Review: A Journal of the Faculty of Arts, DELSU.  


Professor Agahlino has distinguished himself in many positions. He was a member of the Delta State School of Marine Technology, Burutu, Delta State Think Tank committee to the extraordinary and highly successful 2014 National Conference held in Abuja that was convoked by the immediate past president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, (GCFR). Today, this public functionary, Professor Agahlino is currently the chairman, governing council of the Delta State College of Education, Warri, where he is inspiring management, staff and students. 
As a reputed consultant and external assessor, Professor Sam Aghalino’s fecund expertise has recommended him for many external assessors’ job and work, and consultancy local and international. He was between 2009 to 2015, External Assessor for Training progamme, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue Service (DSIR).
Comrade Felida Essi, the intellactually robust publisher of Isoko Mirror, her editorial team, and staff deserve a robust applause for  their brilliant decision to honour Professor Sam Aghalino. For now, let’s celebrate this mighty tree of historical scholarship, this colossal and golden fish of the ocean depths of history, an indomitable intellectual with an immense knowledge of literature, a public intellectual of high order with sublime thought, and Afro-optimist, Professor Aghalino. Yes, Professor Sam Aghalino, is an historian with many Garlands”Prof., from my study in Ughelli, I say big congratulations, on this great award of Isoko Hero of Development. 

A. Oreh is a student of the Department of English and Literary Studies, Delta State University, Abraka

My name is David Francis and the nature of my engagements include:

Philosophy (University of Jos, Nigeria); Research Consultant (St. Albert’s Institute, Fayit-Fadan, Kaduna, Nigeria); Editor (Sapientia African Leadership Formation Programme, e. V Address: Badenstedter Street, 99 30453, Hannover, Germany); Editor (African Home Reintegration, Spinnereistrasse 1A 30449, Hannover, Germany); Literature (S. E. M. S. Nassarawa State, Nigeria); Former Associate Editor, “Periscope Magazine,” Abuja and Columnist, “Seekers Delight Magazine,” Kaduna.

I simply try to question the ‘happy darkness’ by encouraging more hands to minimize ignorance. Just a dose of knowledge, is enough in training the mind, to conform to nothing except truth. Let’s ride this train together!

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