Many years ago, while working as a principal of an elementary school, I had the good fortune of having a young man from Nigeria as my assistant. His professional and personal characteristics made our working relationship comfortable but effective. After my retirement, it did not surprise me that over time he rose from one job to job, each requiring greater responsisbility. What I did not know was that my former colleague had duel citizenship – United States and Nigerian.
Last winter my former colleague became an international phenomenon. The king of his tribe in southern Nigeria made him the adjudicator of his tribe. An article in a local newspaper stated that while maintaining a directorship postition in the United States, my former assistant would use electronic media to judge tribal disputes across the Atlantic in Nigeria!
While I am proud of the accomplishments of this intellegent, compassionate man, I am humbled by and grateful for my own ability to recognize a man of honor. Today’s headlines too often include corruption charges against the politicians of Nigeria, or report of foreign oil companies’ pipelines severed by poor villagers in southern Nigeria. The honest, just adjudicator of one small village offers an example of courage and stedfastness to two distant cultures on either side of the Atlantic. He and his kind keep hope for all people alive!