Accepted 15th July, 2015
Although historians and men of letter, the literary minds/writers, particularly those of their oral forms, are seemingly and professionally (scope-wise) inseparable, only a few historians venture into literature, particularly poetry that involves the economic and technical use of condensed language to say much in a few words. Literary minded and talented erudite historians, like Prof. Okpeh, Ochai Okpeh Jnr, continue to sustain the ageing relationship between literature and history vis-à-vis men of letter and historians via their enormous literary contributions to knowledge and the society. There are unique historians, for every scholar can be a writer but not every writer can be a poet. They go beyond history, their area, delving into literature, sociology, economics, anthropology, archaeology, politics, international relations, philosophy, languages and linguistics, among others. This makes such historians multi-disciplinary and versatile. Okpeh is one of them, and thus deserves an art appreciation of this kind while alive for inspiration to many now and later as well as a well-done or a motivation to him and such others to do more. The study draws more from oral sources- interviews, observation and intuition- and a few closely relevant written materials. The paper concludes that Prof. Okpeh is a rare historian and man of letter that should be immortalised in various ways like Achebe, Soyinka, Dike, Amali’s and others.
Keywords: Appraising, Prof. Okpeh, Historian, Literary contribution, Social order.