Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Digest for - 4 updates in 3 topics

Congratulations Prof Moses Ochuno. May God grant your good health and long life to serve
humanity more,sir. IJMNA. Osakue Omoera.

On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 11:59 PM, <> wrote:
Moses Ebe Ochonu <>: Mar 22 11:13AM -0500

Thanks sisters and brothers for these kind, edifying words, which have made
a happy occasion even happier and more fulfilling. It is inspirational
colleagues and mentors like you who have propelled me along in this
journey. It is good to celebrate one another, and it means a lot to me that
treasured members of this list, many of them silent and distant mentors to
me, have further deepened the sense of fulfillment I got from this honor
Thank you all, and may providence bring you celebratory events, so that I
can "retaliate" the gesture.
Jibrin Ibrahim <>: Mar 22 08:42PM +0100

Very warm congratulations for all your achievements and the latest
Professor Jibrin Ibrahim
Senior Fellow
Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja
Follow me on twitter @jibrinibrahim17
Nimi Wariboko <>: Mar 22 04:19PM

Trust and Power: How to Avoid Unprotected Intercourse with the Powerful
By Nimi Wariboko
Eight Everyday Laws of Resisting Power
1. Do not trust anyone who has power over you, who has the power that can hurt you.
2. Do not trust anyone who has power over you when you have no countervailing powers of your own or you are not part of a group that can effectively stand up against the power over you.
3. Do not trust anyone who has power over you and he/she/it is not willing to democratize such power or to disarm.
4. Never forget that wherever there is power differential there is a huge potential for injustice, so says the ethicist (Niebuhr).
5. No power is in your best interest when it is in the hands of others who want you to believe that they have no self-interest in keeping that power out of your hands.
6. If power can hurt you, it will eventually do so unless you protect yourself against it.
7. When any or all of the above conditions are present you have an Us-Them situation. Do not be under the hegemonic ideology of the powerful and believe that there is only a monolithic "Us" or you are part of the "Us." Protect yourself!
8. Love and not hate the powerful, but always work to defang them, rending their powers over you.
I wrote the eight principles down in the first week of November 2013. My colleague at Andover Newton Theological School, Professor Carole Fontaine, an eminent scholar and feminist, and I were having conversation about power and oppressions of women and I expressed views along the lines of the everyday laws of resisting power. She then challenged me to collate them and write them out so she could send them to feminists. After reading them, she said to me: "Nimi, given your principles women should never trust men."
Should Nigerians trust persons who have power because they say they hold such power to the glory of an ethnic group or God? Should Americans trust anyone who has immense power because he/she says he/she holds such power to the glory of Almighty God (faith) or hints that he/she holds such power to the glory of a race? I hope all of you out there exchanging stuffs and inter-coursing with the powerful are protecting yourselves, your faith, and your race or ethnicity.
Nimi Wariboko
Boston University, USA
Salimonu Kadiri <>: Mar 22 07:32PM

Thank you Ayotunde Bewaji for deciphering the message by looking at the messenger. In Nigeria, English was imposed on us as the official language of communication. In the name of justice, those who imposed English on us as the official language ought to have given all Nigerians access to schools where they should learn how to read, write and speak the official language, English. English language is not spoken at home in Nigeria but indigenous languages depending from which part of the country one comes from. As Samuel Zalanga has rightly pointed out, English is the language of the elites in Nigeria.
Being educated in Nigeria implies fluency in, or mastery of, spoken and written English language and nothing more. That was why after independence in October 1960 when the British officials departed Nigeria, Nigerians stepped in to fill their jobs, play their roles, inherit their salaries and privileges, and assume their attitudes in regarding the non-English speaking masses of Nigeria as inferior people doomed by God. "Stepping into jobs left behind by the British" Chinua Achebe wrote, "Members of my generation also moved into the homes in the former British quarters previously occupied by members of the European senior civil service. These homes often came with servants - chauffeurs, maids, cooks, gardeners, stewards - whom the British had organized meticulously to 'ease their colonial sojourn.' Now following the departure of the Europeans, many domestic staff (Nigerians) stayed in the same positions and were only too grateful to continue their designated salaried roles in post-independent Nigeria. Their masters were no longer European but (Nigerians) their brothers and sisters. This bequest (on Europeanised Nigerians) continued in the form of new club memberships and access to previously all-white areas of towns, restaurants, and theatres (p.49, There Was a Country)." Just because Achebe and people like him were certified English speakers and writers they were licensed to live like Europeans over the masses as appointed British slave overseers in Nigeria. By 1964, more Nigerians acquired academic degrees in English language and they demanded the same standard of living as the one enjoyed by Chinua Achebe and his cohorts. Since Federal government was not able to absorb all English degree holders into the civils service or parastatals, ethnicity and nepotism became major means of competing for senior service positions in Nigeria.
In the beginning, it was thought that knowledge in English language would enable Nigerians to acquire skills in Science, Medicine and Engineering for the development of verse mineral and forest resources of Nigeria and for the benefit of all Nigerians. However, acquisition of degrees in science, medicine and technology by Nigerians have had the same effect as degrees in English language or any other subject on Nigeria's industrial and economic developments. By 1964, people were appointed to, or employed into, positions that were unrelated to their professional degrees. Thus, Dr. Okechukwu Ikejiani, a medical practitioner was appointed a full-time Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and when he left by 1965, he was appointed Chairman of the Nigerian Coal Corporation. This trend continued after the civil war till date. The current President of Senate was born in London and received his education as a medical doctor there, but from day one when he entered the Nigerian shore, he has never practised medicine. He was employed as a Bank Executive and when he ran the bank into bankruptcy, he joined politics to become Governor of Kwara State for eight years from where he progressed to be current Senate President. Similarly, the former Governors of Rivers, Delta and Ondo states, Drs Peter Odili, Oduaghan and Olusegun Mimiko are Physicians by profession but they have never served the nation as medical practitioners. If the socio-political, economic and industrial development of Nigeria are considered, professors of English, Economics, Law, Science and Engineering are inseparable from Alhajis, Imams, Bishops, Reverends and Pastors. They all live beyond their legitimate incomes and they steal appropriated developmental funds with impunity.
Samuel Salanga made very important observation when he wrote, "The money that was used to subsidize the acquisition of western education could have been used to provide rural clinics or healthy drinking water etc., to ruralites, but it was appropriately thought that investing in higher education would help in nation building. Unfortunately, in many cases, the money was used to subsidize the education of people who now acquired an elite status in the country based on their western education and acquisition of the language. And they used their knowledge and positions to marginalize the ordinary people who never received the opportunity to be educated." The last sentence above could have stated that those whose education have been subsidized in Nigeria have used their acquired knowledge in English language and positions in the society to exploit and impoverish ordinary Nigerians who were denied access to schools for education in English language. Professor Malami Buba had asked rhetorically, ".... what's the whole point about pointing out errors in Nigerian English?" In order to answer that question we need to ask, how many spoken and written English grammars make - a cup of Gari or rice?; a kilogram of yam?; a watt of electricity?; a litre of potable water?; a litre of refined crude oil?; and a kilogram of beef? etc. Since the equivalent of spoken and written English grammars in Nigeria to the aforementioned products on which Nigerians depend for their daily living are zero, pointing out errors in Nigerian English is a useless mental gymnastic. It is valueless. Knowledge of English in Nigeria is nothing but ego-boosting personal chauvinism and those in command of the English language are parasites living on the labours of non-English educated working masses. That is why, a parasitic English Professor could shamelessly declare, "I write my language columns (in the Daily Trust) because I am paid well to do so (Forum's thread, 29 October 2016)." On March 14, 2017, he marketed the sale of his abstract knowledge on this list serve thus, "I am out. Gotta go teach 'native English speakers' some English to pay the bills." During Babangida dictatorship in Nigeria in 1986, academic degrees were called meal tickets whereby possessors of abstract knowledge lived luxuriously without productive work.
Nobody is advocating that English should be abolished as a language in Nigeria. What is being said is that the English language has deprived Nigerian children of their original thoughts in science and technology as dictated and experienced in their geographical environments which are quite different from that of Europe and America. Today because of English language, Nigerians are mentally and technologically dependent on Europe and America for the development of Nigeria. But, Europe and America would rather give fishes to some Nigerians serving their interests in Nigeria instead of allowing Nigerians to become fishermen. As Mao Tse-Sung rightly postulated, if you give a person a fish, he will eat fish only for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, he will eat fish everyday. One of the first thing the Englishmen did when they colonized Nigeria was to steal our technologies and destroy their foundations. A typical case was that of common salt narrated by Professor Kenneth Onwuka Dike in his book, Trade & Politics In The Niger Delta (1830 - 1885). He wrote, "Consul H.H. Johnston noted in 1888: A native salt industry of old standing continues. The salt is made extensively by Jakrymen from the leaves of a willow-like tree not unlike the mangrove; which are burnt; the ashes are soaked and washed, then evaporated; the residue represents native salt, which is even now preferred for many uses to introduced salt (p.22)." This was how the Itsekirimen, wrongly spelled Jakrymen, produced commonsalt in 1888 before their production of salt was destroyed and Nigeria became a market for British salt. Can any Itsekiriman in Nigeria today produce salt today? My guess is that he would probably be able to tell the chemical formula of salt in English which is sodium chloride (NaCl) but he will not be able to produce salt. A relevant case nowadays is that, Nigeria is a major exporter of crude oil and has four crude oil refineries manned by Nigerians whose brains are boiling with sophisticated formulae in English about petro-chemical Engineering and oil refinery but they are incapable of refining crude oil for Nigerians even though they are highly remunerated and they get all kinds of fringe bensfits, including concubine allowances. All ministries, departments and agencies in Nigeria, designed to solve the nation's social, political, economic and industrial problems are manned by Nigerians who speak and write Buckingham Palace English, but none of the problems for which they are employed or elected has been solved. Rather, and for instance, the cause of darkness of darkness, for Nigerians is the cause of the shinning light in the bank accounts of Nigerian officials at home and abroad. To the Professor of standard English, those who cannot generate electricity, pump potable water, refine crude oil, build motor-able roads and produce iron and steel, possess very high IQ, as long as they can speak and write standard English. If Nigeria is being ruled with any of the indigenous languages, it would not have been possible for the officials to engage in massive looting of the treasuries without facing citizens' anger and revolt. Tell Nigerians the real value of millions, billions and trillions of peoples' money stolen in indigenous languages Nigerians would massively and definitely react like the Islanders did to their Prime Minister, Daviõ Gunlaugsson, when it became public knowledge that he was engaged in tax evasion through a Panama brief case company. Fela once said, Your eyes e they red, e no fit light cigarette; and I say, your standard Buckingham Palace English e no fit bring water for drink, e no fit shine electricity for house, e no fit bring fujel from crude oiyele, your grammar e don turn hospitals for mortuaries and your grammar e don blow open all our roads wey e don become grave yards for vehicles and people. A beg, bring back my indigenous language.
S. Kadiri
Från: 'Ayotunde Bewaji' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <>
Skickat: den 20 mars 2017 08:52
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - "An advice, " "a good news": Errors of Pluralization in Nigerian English
lgnorance breeds arrogance. A tale told by any idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Komolafe is right, "May God save us from ourselves". We should give the last word to Oga Farooq, and done. That way there shall be linguistic peace in the land, and Boko Haram will vanish. Shikena. Ire o.
On Monday, 20 March 2017, 1:03, Samuel Zalanga <> wrote:
In one guest lecture I gave for a cross-cultural psychology class, I came across a research where Japanese women who were fluent in both English and Japanese and married to U.S. servicemen in Japan. The women were interviewed the same set of questions in English and Japanese. The amazing result was that when they responded in Japanese their responses were more "traditional" and collectivistic. But when they answered the questions in English they were very individualistic in their reasoning. My problem with language is how it significantly shapes a person's person of reality and imagination, a point that proponents of linguistic relativity hypothesis asserted long ago.
Long ago also while I was teaching in the School of Agriculture of Bauchi State Polytechnic in Nigeria, I encountered a situation that I continued to reflect on. It was only later that I would make sense of it. I was proctoring an exam and one student I noticed translated the exam questions into Hausa, in order to understand the questions very well and think deeply and freely. He answered the questions in Hausa before writing it in English. I thought that was quite a lot of work. People think more deeply and freely in a language that they are comfortable with,which can influence one's perception even if subconsciously.
I remember also as an undergraduate reading a debate that emerged during the Algerian Revolution where Fanon played a very important role. During the revolution, there was a debate on whether they should use the French language for propaganda in defense of the revolution. French as the colonizer's language. Some disagreed, but Fanon argument was that the problem was not the language per se but who is using it and the purpose of using it. In Habermas' language: what is the human interest behind using the language? Is it to maintain an elitist standard, which can facilitate control or is it aimed at creating greater cross-cultural hermeneutical understanding?
In one of the documentaries I cited earlier, there was a funny story about John Locke, being the rationalist he was, wanting to initiate a project where all words and rules of usage in the English language would be strictly defined so that in the future there would be no debate owing to confusion in the use of language. Of course from a sociological point of view that sounds very naive. The use of language is highly mediated by other factors apart the mere question of technicalities.
But a key issue that came out in the "Do You Speak American" documentary is how one group of scholars who are elitist, believe that the use of English in the United States needs to be policed otherwise it will just lead to a decline of civilization. This is the school that believe dictionaries should prescribe language as decided by the elites. Another group thinks this is a misguided project because the people own the language (the shareholders). How the language is meaningful to the majority of people who are ordinary, to them is what the language is, and not what some elites with a monopoly of the language decide is correct. It is clear also that other regions of the United States, resent the East Coast elitism in this respect with regard to the use of English, and insist they will use their language the way they feel is desirable to them and anyone who wants to interact with them must take them seriously.
One African American in the documentary said that he cannot just speak the way some White people speak, but he warned other Black people by making a point that David Laitin long ago made in his book "Language Repertoires" (
Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics): David D. Laitin: 9780521033275: Books<>
Buy Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) on ✓ FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders
where he argues that language has market value. The main reason why many are learning English and Mandarin is because of the market value of those languages which give the speakers some special status compared to others. People would not spend such time learning a language that is not known by many, such as many of the small languages in Africa and varieties of Mayan language in places like Guatemala.
In Malaysia, the government realized long ago that not
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Osakue S. Omoera, Ph.D, CIMIM, M.Sonta
Department of Theatre and Media Arts
Faculty of Arts, Ambrose Alli University
Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
Editor, EJOTMAS: Ekpoma Journal of Theatre and Media Arts

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The secret to having everything you want out of life is the realization that you really don't want most of the things you think you want. (Bo Bennett)

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