In the spirit of African legendary attitude of reconciliation, Dr. Onyeani accepts a truce and calls for friendship:
Wow!! Tony, I am not yet dead, but this is one of the greatest tributes (or
is it eulogy?) anyone has paid me. At least I am still alive to read it to my
heart's greatest content. Yes, I will take that drink this evening and will
share the same with you whenever I am in Detroit or you are in New York/New
Jersey. I believe I spoke of a Igbo proverb in my speech at Morgan State
University, which is that when a child grows up and is able to wash his hands, he is
entitled to sit at the table and eat with his elders. Rev. Agbali is entitled
to sit at the table and eat with us elders.
I want to say that the Right Rev. Anthony Atta Agbali, a great Chaplain as
well as a true son of Igalaland has spoken, and beat me to the truce I was going
to call, especially as an elder person. He is so disarming. True to the
edicts of those who brought Christianity to us in Africa, Rev. Agbali has shown
why when the white man finished with us we were left holding the Bible, while
he still clutched his gun and made out with our resources. No wonder he is
so beloved at the hospital where he is the Chaplain.
A lesson we should learn from this is the willingness on the part of the new
generation of Africans to pull back from the brink, and we are already seeing
the results in what is going on in many African countries - where leaders
are more willing to submit themselves to free and fair elections, and if they
lose, offer a helping hand to their winning political opponents; and where we are
seeing less and less wars. I salute the young generation of Africans, as
represented by a Rev. Tony Agbali. Those of us who are quite critical of our
race, are only dismayed at our inability to realise our greatest potential.
I say thank you, Rev. Agbali, great son of Igalaland, who like the Ohafia
mighty warriors are themselves true warriors as well. I also wish to
particularly thank our moderator for not holding back anything because through this
exercise we have learnt a lot about ourselves as well as others. I appreciate the
sentiments expressed by everybody for us to exercise caution. This shows the
great love that all of us have for that great continent of ours.
I have been able to learn what moves this young man in his unflinching
commitment for justice, and for those who don't know much about Rev. Agbali, here is
a very minutae part of who he is:
"I am a trained Cultural Anthropologist, with vital interests in sociology,
social movements, international migrations, indigenous and acculturated
religious forms in North America, Caribbean and Africa- or anywhere I can travel to
or find new and emerging data-I am a native Igala, who lived there and was
involved in the development of Igala scholarship, oral speech propagation and
other levels of the impact of ritual on the social milieu and mnemonic
representations. I would be willing to share the fruits of my research to all those
interested in learning about the Igala people, nation and culture. Hence, my
helping to providing the resources here relative to publications about the Igala.
Many more are yet to come...and I shall be giving them all some flesh by
bringing them into your consciousness. Further, there is also an Igala Association
USA with a domain located at geocities under yahoo.com, you can try that too, as
it is a media of Igala relations in the diaspora. Many times there are
exciting news items, articles etc there. Viva Igala, Viva humanity!!!"
I salute you all.
ps: Just one minor correction. When I started writing "Capitalist Nigger,"
yes my wife thought I was addressing black people in America and hated it,
until she realised I was addressing the whole Black Race. After that, she took me
to the Hilton at Reno, Nevada for a week so that I could have peace of mind
to finish the book. And it was there I finished the last chapters of the book.