By Chekwa Raphael Msughter
Ace Booksquare have chosen to read and discuss a novel titled, “The Story of Adan Wade” by Prof. Tyohdzuah Akôsu, which was translated from Suemo Chia’s “Adan Wade Kohol Ga”. I just read the two versions again, i must say they are very great story tellers and amazing writers.
It occurred to me that the latter is one of the most read Tiv Language books, and the author is still alive, the novel was first published in 1982, the year of my birth. I decided to search for him, I found him, I’m glad I did.
Former Senator Suemo Chia is a Revolutionist, a Lawyer, a Tiv Language Scholar & Former Nigerian Senator, who represented the Benue East District in the Second Republic.
He was born on January 23, between 1939 & 1943, in Katsina Ala, now Benue State. He attended Babel School Tse-Adôôr, Sudan United Mission (SUM) Primary School in Zaki-Biam. Benue Provincial School Katsina-Ala, Gindiri Boys School, ABU Zaria, and the Nigerian Law School, from where he was subsequently called to Bar in 1972.
He worked with Clement Ikomi Chambers Jos (1972-1975) before establishing his own Chambers in Gboko where he briefly worked before he was appointed to serve the State. He served as: Commissioner for Social Development, Community Development, Youth & Sports, Benue-Plateau State, 1975-76; Commissioner for Local Government, Social Development, Youth & Sports, Benue State, 1976-77; Commissioner for Internal Affairs & Information, Benue State, 1977- 78; before he contested and won the Senatorial seat to represent his District at the National Assembly in Lagos.
He served as a Senator between 1979 & 1983, some of his colleagues includes: Former Sen. President, Dr. Joseph Wayas (Ogoja), Sen. Ameh Ebute (Benue South Central), Sen. Ahamdu Ada Alli (Benue West), Sen. Andrew Abogede (Benue North-Central), Sen. Ayoola Adeleke (Osun II), Sen. John Wash Pam (Jos), Sen. Abubakar Olusola Saraki (Ilorin/Asa), and Sen. Joseph Sarwuan Tarka (Benue East-Central), upon J. S. Tarka’s demise he was replaced by Sen. Jack Tilley Gyado . While a lot of them are now deceased, a lot of them are still alive.
Sen Suemo is a prolific and creative writer, despite his busy schedule to the service of his country he still found time to pen down his thoughts. He has a lot of publications to his credit, some of his books include; Adan Wade Kohol Ga (1982), Nigeria: The need for Revolution (1986), Nigeria: Time for Revolution (1993), TAAM for Tiv People (2001), Loho u TAAM Hen Hanma Ortiv (2001), Tarsôron (2001), & Daar u Yesen Zwa Tiv ken Iengem (2012).
He also served Benue State and Nigeria under different capacities, some of which includes: Nigerian Red Cross Society, Benue State (1976-79 & 1984-89); International Year of the Youth (1985); and Board Member, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi (2000-2003).
He lives a simple and quiet life in Makurdi, Benue State, with his family. His eyesight is deteriorating but he still manages to drive by himself. The Former Senator is so down to earth full of knowledge and wisdom to tap from.
The semblance is one thing, the other is that I was also a Senator, representing Faculty of Environmental Sciences at the University of Jos, in my undergraduate days.
I shall create time and visit him again!