Former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, has described the Late John Pepper Clark, as one who contributed immensely to the nation’s social-cultural development.
Gbagi in a statement to the media on Friday, eulogized the deceased poet who is a younger brother to Nigeria’s former Minister of Information, Edwin Clark.
According to him, Pepper Clark’s works, particularly on events of the Nigeria-Biafra war — Casualties: Poems, and A Decade of Tongues, a collection of 74 poems, remains a legacy that would continue to illuminate the minds of Nigeria’s creatives.
“I consider the demise of Pepper Clark a huge loss to the Nigerian Academia. His contributions to the country’s socio-cultural development cannot be quantified, as his works remain indelible in our memories.
“Famous for his much-eulogised poem “Ibadan”, Clark was able to draw on aesthetic and cultural autonomy in his earliest poems as a form of protest against colonial hegemony.
“In a subtle but brilliant way, he was able to relive the cultural history of the Ijaw people in his dramatic works: The Raft (1964); Ozidi (1966); and The Boat (1981).
“John Pepper Clark through his works will continue to live in the hearts and minds of Nigerians. May God Almighty grant him eternal rest”, Gbagi said.
Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, FNIM
Friday, 16th October, 2020