Friday, March 17, 2017

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - “An advice, ” “a good news”: Errors of Pluralization in Nigerian English

On Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 12:45 PM, Toyin Falola <> wrote:
My own take, which I argued in Sokoto where I told them to use Hausa to teach all disciplines at the university level, is not about the ability or otherwise to use correct English but how best to access and use knowledge.

That's extreme pedagogical exclusivism, and it's a recipe not just for dialogic catastrophe on northern Nigerian university campuses but for unwarranted epistemic isolationism. This suggestion assumes that everyone (students and professors) at Usmanu Danfodiyo University--and other far northern universities--is Hausa. That's flat-out inaccurate. When I enrolled as an undergraduate at the Bayero University in Kano many years ago, I didn't speak a word of Hausa. There are thousands of undergraduates and professors from other parts of Nigeria in northern universities who don't speak Hausa. Are you suggesting that non-Hausa-speaking Nigerians have no place in universities in the far north?

If your suggestion is executed, several southern professors in northern universities (and they are many) would be fired since most of them can't teach in Hausa. More than half of the senior professors in my department in BUK were from the south. Why should money from the federation account fund this de facto educational apartheid? 

Would you go the whole hog and suggest that every university in Nigeria should instruct its students in the local language of the community in which it'situated? How practicable is that? Or is this recommendation exclusive to Hausaphone Nigeria? If yes, why should Hausa-speaking Nigerians be treated differently from the rest of Nigeria?

There are just so many problems with this suggestion. For me, it's an indirect way to say Hausa-speaking Nigeria should secede from Nigeria since English is the adhesive that bonds together the disparate fragments of Nigeria.


Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Journalism & Emerging Media
School of Communication & Media
Social Science Building 
Room 5092 MD 2207
402 Bartow Avenue
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, Georgia, USA 30144
Cell: (+1) 404-573-9697
Personal website:
Twitter: @farooqkperog
Author of Glocal English: The Changing Face and Forms of Nigerian English in a Global World

"The nice thing about pessimism is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised." G. F. Will

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