Annual traditional festivals are recurring ceremonies in most African communities. They attract all and sundry. They are platforms where cultures and traditions of the people are relived. They also strengthen the cord of communality among people of same ethnicity.
The festivities end with the collective invocation of the spirit of ancestors and the gods of the land, to shower blessings of love and unity on the community, accord bumper harvests and also, cast out demons of sicknesses from their midst. But most importantly, prayers for the prosperity of sons and daughters of the community in their chosen careers/vocations are also offered.
In Nigeria, the mentality of communities identifying with illustrious sons and daughters who have reached the zenith in their professions has become legendary. It is now coloured with pride for such communities, whose members most times boast of the rare accomplishments of their kith and kin.
Every proud member of such communities savours the gift profoundly because the distinguished son or daughter is an illuminating beacon of the community on many paths.
Through this means and very often, small and obscure communities are stirred to limelight through the rare and excellent accomplishments of a single son or daughter, which stands him or her uniquely from the crowd.
The populous Tiv nation, which is generously sprinkled around the geographical space of the Benue valley and beyond, has not ceased relishing the novel academic accomplishments of her sons and daughters.
Just recently, an academic and illustrious son of Tiv nation, Professor Emmanuel Apedzan Kighir coated his dazzling and multiple intellectual endowments with a professorial title in Accountancy. This was after he accomplished his first academic journey in pharmaceutical studies.
His journey of life began in 1959 at Adudu, in Obi Local Government Area (LGA) of Nasarawa state, where a little baby named Emmanuel Apedzan Kighir was born. God Almighty destined that the joys and pains of Apedzan’s parentage be shouldered by the family of Mr and Mrs Kighir Begha of Mbakyum, via Koti-Yough City of Ute clan, in Vandeikya LGA of Benue state.
But the young Kighir docked the earth at a time western education was still largely detested in many parts of his ancestry. However, the determined Apedzan never allowed the repulsion against the acquisition of modern knowledge to deter him from acquiring western education.
Therefore, after elementary education, he proceeded to the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, where he bagged a B.Sc. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
His quest to expand his frontiers of knowledge propelled him to delve into management sciences. Within a short while, he secured a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) from the University of Jos.
Desiring to combine pharmacy with another equally competitive professional discipline, Professor Kighir sought to also explore the world of finance and accounting. And a few years later, he became a chartered Accountant and obtained a Master’s Degree (M.Sc.) in Accounting from the University of Lagos. He returned to ABU Zaria, where he crowned his regular academic pursuits with a doctor of philosophy (PhD) in Accounting and Finance.
Impressively, Prof. Kighir has continued to impact knowledge to the younger generation. His years of teaching experience both at tertiary and professional levels have spanned for over two decades, as attested by his membership of top-level national and international professional bodies/associations.
He was a lecturer and Head of Department of Accounting, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, near Abuja, Nigeria. He is currently a professor of Accounting and Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, Federal University, Dutsinma, Katsina State, Nigeria.
Prof. Kighir is a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), the elite league of accountants in Nigeria A chartered stockbroker and member Institute of Chartered Stockbroker of Nigeria (ACS) and an Associate of Taxation Institute (ACTI). The accounting professor is also a member of American Accounting Association (AAA). And spreading his tentacles farther afield, he also holds the membership of British Accounting and Finance Association(BAFA).
These accomplishments by a single person are rare feats one can find among his Tiv kinsmen.
Widely recognized as a seasoned financial and management consultant, Professor Kighir is a resource person to many organizations and has authored several books, including articles in renowned index Journals. His research interests include financial reporting and corporate governance. His works on financial reporting has been of immense assistance to journalists globally. Professor Kighir has presented many academic papers at reputable local and international conferences to his credit.
His recent elevation to the rank of a Professor of Accounting amply testifies to his outstanding academic excellence and professional performance. But quite uniquely, the feat stands him out as the first Professor of Accounting in Tiv nation; the second ICAN Chartered Accountants’ Professor of Accounting from Benue state and ranks among the very few ICAN Chartered Accountants‘ Professor of Accounting in Northern Nigeria and indeed in Nigeria.
His working experience also stretches to the Accounting Research Institute, Universiti Teknologi Mara in Malaysia, where he served as a visiting research Scientist.
Kighir is a devout catholic. He is married to Mrs. Msurshima Kighir, a Director with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). They are blessed with a beautiful daughter.
Tiv nation is indeed proud with this illustrious son and academic of repute, Professor Emmanuel Apedzan Kighir, who initially set out as a pharmacist, but ended up making indelible global imprints in the field of accounting. He remains the torchbearer in accounting for Tiv nation.
As the Tiv nation, Benue, Northern Nigeria and indeed, the entire country roll out drums to celebrate Kighir’s exceptional academic exploits; it is the fervent prayers of all that may the Almighty God continue to soar his wings in the quest to assist in the expansion of knowledge for humanity.
**** Kubeka is an Abuja-based investigative journalist and publisher.