Charles Dokubo: A Jolly Good Fellow And Nigerian Patriot
Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo

Charles Dokubo: A Jolly Good Fellow And Nigerian Patriot

2 years ago
1 min read

There are some people you meet in your life journey, they leave a very lasting impression on you forever. Dr. Charles Dokubo was one of those people. I had met him at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island- Lagos. He was a Research Fellow in the International Politics and Strategic Studies unit of the NIIA’s famed Research department. I was a youth corper doing my compulsory one-year national youth service. At that time the NIIA was brimming with very brilliant young academic and intelligentsia, a sort of hotbed of ideas with people like Dr. Bayo Olukoshi, Dr. Bola Akinterinwa, Dr. Osita Ogbu, Dr. Cyril Obi, Dr. Aderemi Oyewumi and a host of others. I was initially assigned as a Protocol Assistant under the office of the then Director General Dr. George Obiozor before I was reassigned as a Research Assistant to the the Head of International Politics Department, Professor Joy Ogwu.

Once, I got to the Research Department, Dr Charles Dokubo and Dr. Aderemi Oyewumi took me under their wings. It all started from looking at my work mainly book reviews and policy papers and projections that Professor Ogwu had assigned to me with very tight deadlines. I will usually come to them for sympathy but rather they will tear my work apart (literally), sending me back to start again. They both came out with a phrase to describe my malady and their goal. They both agree that I am brilliant and has some potential but suffers from what they called “the rough edges of Nigerian University education.” They both graduated from the University of Bradford and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) both in the United Kingdom. They made it their goal to “smoothen the rough edges of my Nigerian University education.” They will daily bring major International newspapers like the New York Times and The Guardian in the UK and Nigerian local newspapers like The Nigerian Guardian. Vanguard and The Punch comparing the news stories, but particularly the writing styles and grammar. They will meticulously point out the errors in the stories and offer their corrections where they apply. Every conversation with Dr. Dokubo and Dr. Oyewumi usually over their favorite”bolle and ekpa” (local Nigerian roasted plantain and ground nut peanuts) centers on good writing, they detest and frown at poorly written material of any kind, particularly published works. Thus, they taught me early on being meticulous with my writing and were really the persons who advised me of a possible career in The Guardian Newspapers where they were both regular contributors. Adieu Dr. Charles Dokubo!

Kingsley Dike, a former Foreign Affairs Reporter with The Guardian Newspapers and retired United States Army Intelligence Analyst wrote from Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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