Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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

Dear Godwin Okeke,

Ai beg, please do not involve me in the Naija tribalism business/ busyness because I am not part of it.

I'm in this mostly Nigerian-dominated forum as a Pan-Africanist. When you say that I Cornelius Hamelberg don't know how the average Igbo person feels about the Igbo position in Nigeria, I wonder what is the basis of your thinking so? On the contrary, I know how the average Igbo person feels both in Nigeria and in Sweden, because I am constantly in contact with Igbo friends and to some extent -and I'm no solipsist - I feel it too! For example, Chidi Anthony Opara phoned me from that the thick of the first demonstration in Port Harcourt some time ago - and I could hear the turmoil, some gunshots and the general clamour in the background. I felt it. I feel it and have great sympathy for the Igbo peoples cause, albeit maybe, not as passionately as you, but I'm listening and always available, if and when needed.You can count on me

What does GSM mean?

Please tell me.


On Tuesday, 14 March 2017 10:52:20 UTC+1, Godwin Okeke wrote:
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 <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>
 Cc: sol...@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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