Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: Orwellian Doublespeak About Buhari’s Health

Hello Cornelius,
Let us rest the matter here. I have tactically avoided the issue you raised about Biafra secession, and now Ironsi. I am a quintessential Igbo man, and I have been reading you. No matter what I say about issues you raised, youmay never be convinced, because it seems to me that you're already opinionated. You are not Igbo and you don't know how an average Igbo person feels about the Igbo position in Nigeria. But let your people try this for ONE year only and let us know how you feel; 1. close down Lagos ports and open up Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Onitsha, and Warri ports, so that you can clear your goods from there;2. Cancel all direct and major flights to Lagos and Abuja airports, only connecting flights will be allowed, then open up Enugu, Owerri, Asaba, Uyo, and Port-Harcourt to international flights and major connecting flights; 3. Ask all international and diplomatic missions to move their embassies/ High Commissions and Consulates from Lagos, Kano and Abuja to Enugu, PH, and Calabar, 4. All federal government agencies in Lagos and Abuja shall be relocated to Enugu, PH, and Calabar. CBN, NNPC, etc shall and must relocate to PH, Enugu and Calabar; 5. All multinational companies in Lagos and Abuja shall and must relocate their offices to PH, Calabar and Enugu; 6. All oil companies must relocate their head offices to PH as the oil capital of Nigeria. 7. Let the Northern children gain admission into federal schools with 300 score points while the South Eastern/South South states should gain admission with only 20 score points; 8. Let all federal road projects in the North/South West be handled by one local company while those in the SE/SS should be handled by Julius Berger and foreign construction companies without preconditions, ETC .
If these conditions can be fulfilled and implemented for 50 years, we can try one Nigeria and let us see if the North ans SW will like it for just one month. In essence, Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani needing to get visas shall travel to PH, Enugu or Calabar to do that. Same for shipping and importing their goods, ect.
Why is it impossible to open up the regions, so each can development at its own pace? And you're blaming those calling for secession, and think that it is by killing them and threatening them that the problem can be solved. WHERE LIES JUSTICE IN ALL THESE? We are watching!!!
On Mon, 3/13/17, Cornelius Hamelberg <corneliushamelberg@gmail.com> wrote:

Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: Orwellian Doublespeak About Buhari's Health
To: "USA Africa Dialogue Series" <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Cc: sol10ng@yahoo.com
Date: Monday, March 13, 2017, 10:43 PM

Dear Godwin Okeke,
very best news!
I'm with you 100 % about this too.

The absence of any precise information about what was
ailing the
president gave ample room for speculation. This lack of
was aggravated by Mr. President not talking to us directly
that he
was indeed feeling "hale and hearty." When from
her own
privileged position President Buhari's sister exhorted
the nation to
pray for her brother, it sounded as if he was about to give
up the
ghost and I thought that we would be hearing a call to
prayer from people like, on the one hand the Sultan of
Sokoto, the
Emir of Kano and on the other hand, Pastor Adeboye and
Bishop Bishop
Kukah. I feared that maybe some sons of bitches had secretly
him, in which case, long may they rot in the hell-fire.
At some later point there were unconfirmed rumours
that Our Muhammadu had already crossed over the
sirat bridge to the hereafter.

When Chidi asked in his fragments
of poetic thought, whether anyone had seen the president
furthered this ominous enquiry to Adeshina
"Dear Adeshina,

How do you know

That that voice

Have presidential body?"
At that point, many of us feared the worst.
President Buhari has now confirmed that he had not been
"hale and hearty" - on the contrary just a few
days ago he
told us, "I
have never been so sick in my life"
I'm in no position to personally vouchsafe the
integrity of all of
the president's aids.
If the information management had told us " The
president has
never been so sick in his life" that could have plunged
nation into a panic mode - with some of the aids that you
have in
mind trying to "make hay while the suns shines",
jockeying for position as they gather round his successor.

Sadly, the Buhari-Idiagbon duo was overthrown on the 27th
August 1985 whilst Tunde Idiagbon was on pilgrimage to
Mecca, with
his son. The only mistake that Tunde Idiagbon made was to
have told
the scoundrels that he was leaving behind, that he had
rooting out corruption and that they should just wait and
Insha Allah
he would finish the job when he returned from his
pilgrimage. That
must have put the fear of God in the incorrigible lootocracy
and so "they couped" him before he returned.

By the way, quite another matter, you do know that Ironsi's
father was Sierra Leonean, not Nigerian, Senegalese ,
Gambian or
"Pray for the forest, pray for the tree, pray for
the fish in
the deep blue sea.

Pray for yourself and for God's sake, say one
for me, poor wretched unbeliever." (Gaia)

From the Chocolate

On Monday, 13 March 2017 13:26:21 UTC+1, Godwin Okeke
wrote:Well taken Cornelius,

But the issue is not much as in Nigerians wanting to know
the type of ailment the President is suffering from, than
the President talking directly to the people from wherever
he was receiving treatment. This would have defused tension
and all the unwarrantable speculations that it triggered.
Rather is was senate President and Speaker House of Reps.
toady, and Mr. ABC tomorrow, who saw the President, coming
to tell us that he is hale and hearty. The question is if he
is hale and hearty, why does he need prayers? Unless for a
different purpose. Information management is key here!
Don't be surprised that some of his Aids may use this
opportunity to loot the treasury. Remember during Yar
Ardua's health crisis, it was reported that even the
security vote was traced to someone's private account.


------------------------------ --------------

On Sun, 3/12/17, Cornelius Hamelberg <cornelius...@gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: Orwellian
Doublespeak About Buhari's Health

 To: "USA Africa Dialogue Series" <usaafric...@ googlegroups.com>

 Date: Sunday, March 12, 2017, 12:14 AM











 Dear Godwin Okeke,

 That was cute of you signing off as "Mr. Know it


 How to explain? In this life I have been assigned to play

 the role

 Cornelius - nobody else - and I'm writing my own

 just as you

 are writing yours.


 Like Ray Charles, I'm fresh

 out of tears.

 My friend Menachem told me yesterday when I complained to

 him, he

 said " Well, you know that the Germans like


 The Germans like titles and some people don't like the

 Germans, all

 because of the führer

 - and so you see, for some  people, sometimes, one bad

 represents the whole bunch. You could even extend that one

 bad apple

 to someone like this


 ex-Hitler Youth


 I like your name  - just as I liked the name of our


 teacher Vidal

 Godwin in the third form of secondary school.

 It's a good

 name, as good as other names such as Good-luck,


 Patience, Blessing; the Almighty has multiplied us into

 millions of

 souls to serve him and so Besserwisser

  (good German word), I love you too, I love our people

 and this

 means that your problems are also mine, really. It's

 as if should

 I be the weakest link in the chain then the problem is

 and not

 yours also

 According to another besserwisser, "We

 get the governments we deserve" - this is

 unarguably the

 case with one-man-one-vote Nigeria, so, in my opinion, if

 some people

 don't agree with this and want to become

 as an

 independent nation to be known as e.g. Biafra, that 's

 absolutely OK

 with me as long as they go for it peacefully, starting


 referendum, because I don't want to countenance any

 wanton killing; I

 don't want anybody to die just because they ask for a

 divorce from

 being married to Nigeria.

 Question : Shouldn't

 we all be having a good time?


 I understand that you asked a rhetorical question.

 In Sweden, we have a parliamentary system of government

 and a

 prime minister, not a president. Here, transparency is a

 reality and

 not just a slogan  - so if our prime minister were to

 ill for an

 extended period of time - to the extent of not being able


 his duties as prime minister, I do believe that it would

 in place

 for us to know about it (unless of course - God forbid it


 something like HIV  - which has such a stigma) - but


 privacy laws and so normally my medical journal cannot be


 and made public just like that, not to talk about that of

 our King or

 our prime minister.  No one's extended illness has to

 cause a crisis

 in government or a constitutional crisis; I'm sure

 there are

 provisions in our constitution and in the Nigerian

 constitution as to

 how to how to deal with such an eventuality.

 Check this out : US

 presidents who concealed ill health

 Concerning the mystery enveloping President Buhari's

 state of

 health  and the question, of transparency about the

 our own

 Oga, Professor Falola has explained that it's cultural

 mark his

 words: "Africans

 don't like to report their health, whether it's a poor

 farmer or

 the president"

 . Africans. All


 Africans, generally? Is Godwin Okeke an Oyinbo or an


 Mainland or




 is that as far as I know, no one has yet asked President


 exactly what the matter is.  When he took time off and

 off to

 London to fix his ear

 everybody knew that it was an ear problem . Now it's


 something more serious than just his ear. Bottom line, I

 think that

 in Sweden too a person  whether a poor farmer or the


 has a right to privacy and even if he is a public servant,

 he/ she

 does not have to make his ailment public.







 On Saturday, 11 March 2017

 13:57:23 UTC+1, Godwin Okeke  wrote:Cornelius,


 May be that is the way the President of the

 country you reside is hidden away from the people who put

 him in power when he's facing any health challenge.

 of you can never see anything wrong with the manner the

 country is administered because of reasons best known to

 you. Mr know it all.






 ----------------------------- -



 On Fri, 3/10/17, Cornelius Hamelberg <cornelius...@gmail.com>





  Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re:

 Orwellian Doublespeak About Buhari's Health


  To: "USA Africa Dialogue

 Series" <usaafric...@



  Date: Friday, March 10, 2017, 8:45 PM


























  Sami allahu liman hamidah - rabbana lakal







  Buhari returns to Nigeria !


  This has laid to rest the many ugly

 rumours and the




  unhealthy speculations by the

 ne'er-do-well, about the


  whereabouts of


  the President.




   Since President Buhari is the president

 of all


  Nigerians, I wish


  that I knew exactly how to express the

 same sentiment of


  thanks and


  gratefulness to the Almighty for bringing

 him back safe and


  sound to


  our Nigeria in all the indigenous Naija

 dialects and all of




  varieties of Nigerian English - of which

 there are many




  varieties - and in terms of indigenous

 language interference


  - as I


  pointed out to a dear friend this

 afternoon, there must even


  be a


  variety of jargon known as "Biafran

 English"  - if




  should ever want to

 "nationalise" that speech




  within and even without imaginary

 borders. As to exactly how




  sounds - as with all languages, with

 special lexical




  prosody, thought patterns and usual modes

 of expression, we




  ask those who speak it fluently and fully

 understand the






  It was frail looking Muhammadu Buhari

 that we saw getting


  off that


  plane on TV - but  - another Baruch

 Hashem - his eyes




  bright. May the Almighty fortify him

  and shine His light


  upon him is


  our prayer,  according to His will. We

 heard his spokesmen




  Garba say on BBC  Focus of Africa that

 the President will be




  some more time to rest and heard the


  voice of President Buhari himself confirm

 his intention to


  do so  




  It should be strictly, doctors orders -

 in this case


  peace and






  The advice that one usually gives to the

 Brethren - the




  includes yours truly and all those who

 believe that when the




  orders complete rest for two or three

 months he only has the




  toubabs / oyinbo  in mind  and that

 real Africans are


  usually back in


  the field  playing football again after

 a mere  two or three




  I guess that rest in this case should

 include rest from


  the little


  jabs from certain sections of the

  always oppositional and




  Naija press that would like to torment

 him even now. May


  they never


  be satisfied!




  Good thing that the vice president is

 already performing


  at peak










  On Monday, 13


  February 2017 08:43:08 UTC+1, Farooq A.



  wrote:My "Politics of


  Grammar" column in today's


  Daily Trust on Sunday


  By Farooq


  A. Kperogi,






  Doublespeak is intentional manipulation



  language to conceal uncomfortable truths

 or to cleverly tell


  outright lies. The term came to us from

 George Orwell,


  although he didn't use it himself. The

 term he used in his


  famous book titled 1984 is

 "newspeak," which he


  said consists in limiting the range of

 words people use and


  in stripping language of semantic

 precision in order to


  facilitate government propaganda and mind




   The mainstreaming of Orwellian



  in Trump's America is already causing

 an enormous spike in


  the sales of Orwell's 1984, which was



  published in 1949, especially after a

 Trump administration


  official by the name of Kellyanne Conway

 defended habitually


  intentional falsehoods by the Trump

 administration as merely


  "alternative facts."




  All governments lie, but the brazenness



  consistency of the lies of the Buhari

 government are simply


  remarkable. It competes favorably with

 the Trump


  administration in prevarications and

 loud, bold defiance of


  basic ethical proprieties. Nowhere has

 this become more


  apparent in recent time than in the

 information that


  government officials share with the

 Nigerian public about


  President Muhammadu Buhari's




   I have no evidence for this, but my



  tells me that Buhari isn't nearly as

 sick as his


  detractors make it seem, but the illogic,



  deceitful and mutually contradictory

 language of government


  spokespeople in explaining away the

 president's prolonged


  absence from Nigeria have conspired to

 fuel unhealthy


  speculations about the state of his




  As I told the BBC World Service in a



  7, 2017 interview, the labyrinth of

 tortuous lies, fibs,


  half-truths, and conscious deceit that

 emanate from the


  government make it impossible to even

 guess the




  The president's media advisers admit



  the president is in London on a

 "medical vacation"


  (which is doublespeak for "he is sick

 and needs medical


  attention"), and his latest letter to

 the National


  Assembly said he was awaiting the results

 of medical tests,


  but the Acting President and the Minister

 of Information say


  he is "hale and hearty" (which means

 he is vigorous and


  doing well). No one can be simultaneously

 on a "medical


  vacation," be awaiting the results of

 medical tests, and


  be "hale and hearty." That's a





  It gets even stranger. Senator Abu

 Ibrahim, a


  senator from Katsina State who said he

 was in touch with the


  president, told newsmen that the

 president was neither on


  medical vacation nor hale and hearty, but

 only "exhausted


  by the weight of the problems the country

 is going


  through." So London is the

 president's destination of


  choice to rest, while millions of people

 who voted him into


  office squirm in the severe existential

 torment his


  administration either deepened or caused?




  On February 7, Presidential Media Adviser


  Femi Adesina also told Channels TV that

 he was


  "daily" in touch with the

 President, but


  doesn't "speak with him

 direct." How does one


  "keep in touch" with someone

 thousands of miles


  away without "directly

 speaking" with




  Well, Adesina said he does that by being


  "in touch with London daily." I

 am not making this


  up. You can watch the interview on

 ChannelTV's YouTube


  channel. But it gets worse still. He

 added: "People


  around him will speak daily. Daily."

 You would think


  the word "daily" was in danger

 of going out of


  circulation and needed to be verbally

 curated on national


  TV.This doublespeak recalls my grammar

 column of


  December 10, 2009 on the late President



  health. It was titled "Yar'adua's

 Health: Amb.


  Aminchi's Impossible Grammatical

 Logic." Read it below


  and note the similarities with what is

 going on now.


  Enjoy:Nigeria's ambassador to Saudi



  Alhaji Garba Aminchi, was quoted by an


  Abuja newspaper to have fulminated



  the unnervingly prevailing buzz that

 President Yar'adua is


  in a persistent vegetative state and in

 grave danger of


  imminent death. "And all these

 insinuations are lies,"


  he was quoted to have said. "To the

 best of my knowledge,


  I see him every day, and he is




  To the best of his knowledge, he sees the


  ailing president every day? So our

 ambassador is not even


  sure if, indeed, he sees the president

 every day, but he is


  certain nonetheless that the president is

 recovering. Huh?


  This is a supreme instantiation of a case

 where thought,


  language, and materiality have parted




  At issue here is the idiom "to the best



  my knowledge," which is also commonly

 rendered as "to my


  knowledge." This expression, according



  the Macmillan


  Dictionary, is used for saying that you

 think something


  is true, but you are not completely

 certain, as in, "To


  the best of my knowledge, the President

 has not decided if


  he will resign because of his failing



  The Free


  Dictionary defines the idiom thus: "as



  understand it." The Oxford Dictionary

 also defines it as,


  "from the information you have,

 although you may not know




  So, the idiom is deployed principally to


  express thought-processes that reside in

 the province of


  incertitude, of inexactitude. If, for

 instance, someone were


  to ask me (and somebody did indeed ask me

 a couple of days


  ago) if Yar'adua was dead, I would say

 "well, to the


  best of my knowledge he is alive."

 Here, the phrase "to


  the best of my knowledge" admits of

 both the possibility


  that he could be alive or dead. In other

 words, it betrays


  the uncertainty and tentativeness of the

 information I have


  about the query.


  Now, for Ambassador Aminchi to use the



  "to the best of my knowledge" (which

 admits of


  uncertainty) in the same sentence as "I

 see him every day


  and he is recovering" (which connotes

 cocksure certitude)


  evokes an eerily bizarre disjunction

 between thought,


  speech, and reality, one that is

 impossible to conceive of


  even with the wildest stretch of fantasy.

 This is as much a


  grammatical slip as it is a logical




  One perfectly legitimate interpretive


  possibility from the ambassador's

 statement is that he


  actually sees a figure in Saudi Arabia in

 the likeness of


  President Yar'adua that is convalescing

 from a sickness,


  but is uncertain if this is merely the

 apparition of a


  spooky specter masquerading as Yar'adua

 or if it's


  Yar'adua himself. In spite of this

 dubiety, however, he is


  positive that the real Yar'adua is




  This is obviously not what the ambassador


  wants to be understood as saying. So, one

 or two of three


  things are happening here. The first is

 that the ambassador


  is being barefacedly mendacious in order

 to conceal the


  graveness of the condition of

 Yar'adua's health. And


  this won't be out of character. After

 all, English


  diplomat and writer Henry Wotton once

 famously defined an


  ambassador as an "honest man sent to

 lie abroad for the


  good of his country." Only that, in

 this case, our


  ambassador is lying abroad for the bad of





  The second possibility is that the



  is simply clueless about the meaning of

 the idiom. And a


  third possibility is that he has been

 misquoted or


  mistranslated by the reporter who wrote





  Now, this isn't an idle, nitpicking



  of an ambassador's innocent slip by a



  self-appointed grammar police. This issue

 is not only about


  the health of Yar'adua; it is also

 about the health of our


  country. Since Yar'adua took critically

 ill, the nation


  has been in even much graver illness. In

 somber moments such


  as this, we cannot afford the luxury of



  intentionally deceitful and irresponsible

 political language


  from public officials.




  between Bad Language and




  In his famous 1946 essay


  titled "Politics


  and the English Language," George



  railed against this very tendency among

 the public officials


  of his day. He wrote: "Political speech

 and writing are


  largely the defence of the indefensible.

 Things like the


  continuance of British rule in India, the

 Russian purges and


  deportations, the dropping of the atom

 bombs on Japan, can


  indeed be defended, but only by arguments

 which are too


  brutal for most people to face, and which

 do not square with


  the professed aims of the political

 parties. Thus political


  language has to consist largely of



  question-begging and sheer cloudy




  Do you see any parallels here between


  Ambassador Aminchi's illogical

 grammar—and indeed that


  of most Nigerian public officials—and

 the public officials


  of Orwell's days?


  Interestingly, the problem endures to



  day even in Britain. On Nov.

 3, 2009 the Guardian of


  London reported that a British


  parliamentary committee excoriated

 "politicians and civil


  servants for their poor command of the

 English language"


  epitomized in the "misleading and vague



  language" of prominent




  Tony Wright, chairman of the committee,



  "Good government requires good

 language, while bad


  language is a sign of poor government. We

 propose that cases


  of bad official language should be

 treated as




  Maybe the committee chairman's



  are a bit of a rhetorical stretch, but

 someone should tell


  Ambassador Aminchi that he cannot

 simultaneously be unsure


  that he sees the ailing president and yet

 be certain that


  the president is recovering. That's

 impossible grammatical


  logic. And that can only sprout from a

 mind that is wracked


  by psychic






  Farooq A. Kperogi,




  ProfessorJournalism & Emerging




  School of Communication &


  MediaSocial Science


  Building Room 5092 MD


  2207402 Bartow Avenue




  State University


  Kennesaw, Georgia, USA




  Cell: (+1) 404-573-9697


  Personal website:

 www.farooqkperogi.comTwitter: @farooqkperogAuthor of

 English: The Changing Face and Forms


  of Nigerian English in a Global World




  "The nice thing about pessimism is



  you are constantly being either proven

 right or pleasantly


  surprised." G. F. Will


















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