Saturday, March 25, 2017



On 24/03/2017, 'Adekunle, Julius' via Yoruba Affairs
<> wrote:
> Congratulations to Prof. Ochonu. We wish you success in your new
> assignment.
> Julius
> ________________________________
> From: Sati Fwatshak <>
> Sent: Friday, March 24, 2017 9:56 AM
> To: Toyin Falola
> Cc:; Paul T. Zeleza; Gbenga Dasylva;
>; Gbenga Akosile; Mickie Koster; Olajumoke
> Yacob-Haliso; Chap Kusimba; bayo; ab Assensoh; mario.j.azevedo; Abosede
> George;; Tanure Ojaide; arinpe adejumo; dialogue;
> Omowunmi Sadik;; Jimoh Oriyomi; agwale Agwuele;
> mimikofemi;; Odugbemi Ibrahim; Yvette M
> Alex-Assensoh; Felicia Ohwovoriole; Osondu, Epaphras; M Buba; Abayomi Ola;
> Bukola Adeyemi Oyeniyi; Nasong'o_Shadrack; odey ODEY; Ayobami Salami; Wale
> Adebanwi; agbetuyi; Ropo Ewenla; Segun Ojewuyi; Afolayan, Funso; Alexius
> Amtaika; deity:; Anene Ejikeme; adeyemi_bukola_oyeniyi oyeniyi; Mosadomi,
> Tola; Tunji Olaopa; Ashafa Abdullahi; Admin; Babs Sobanjo; kolawole adekola;
>; Aribidesi Usman; Sifiso Ndlovu;
>; Bolaji Akinyemi; Odia Ofeimun; Ademola Araoye;
> obasa; Bello Maryam;; scot; Bamitale Omole; Nemata Blyden;
> Akinloye A Ojo; Jalloh, Alusine; fallou ngom; Babatunde; Martin Shanguhyia;
>;; Steiner Ifekwe;
> Mukhtar Bunza; ZALANGA SAMUEL; Udogu; Dawuni, Josephine;
>; Oyeniyi, Bukola; Gloria Chuku; Caroline Tushabe;
>; Bode Ibironke; Yoruba Affairs; tunde
> jaiyeoba; Kenneth Kalu;; Philip Akpen; Abimbola
> Asojo;;;
>;; Ochayi Okpeh; DOYIN
> AGUORU; Uzoma Osuala; ogun Ogundiran;; dele jegede;
> Adekunle, Julius; Carina Ray; Femi_Osofisan Osofisan; Micheal Afolayan;
>; Emmanuel Babatunde; Olasope Oyelaran; aaa adesanya;
> ogundimu;; Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso; Adenle, Adewale;
> nikeajayi_52; Vusi Gumede, Prof; Chima Korieh; Abdul Bangura; Uyilawa
> Usuanlele;; Ademola Dasylva; ebunoduwole2k2; aka;
> Akinyemi,Akintunde; Oladele Balogun; Chukwuemeka Agbo;;
>;; Egodi Uchendu; AdeěleěkeĚ
> AdeěeĚňkoňě; PHILIP_OGUNDEJI OGUNDEJI; Olufunke Adeboye; Bessie
> House-Soremekun; Adeleke_Adeeko Adeeko;; Yusuf Adedayo
> Hauwau Evelyn; Vik Bahl;; MOLEFI K. ASANTE; Stephen
> Akintoye;; kwame Essien;;
> Victor Ekpuk; SamuelOloruntoba; lekan pearce; Afolabi, Omoniyi;
>; olatunji oyeshile; Abidogun, Jamaine M; Pamela
> Smith; Michael Vickers; nimi; bimbola adelakun; Yemisi Obilade; Saine,
> Abdoulaye; dijiaina;; Ogungbemi; samson ijaola;
> Akinjide OUNTOKUN; REGISTRAR REGISTRAR; Shennette Garrett-Scott; Wale
> Ghazal; akinlabi; M Insa Nolte;; Adeshina Afolayan;
>; Gaf Oye; Saheed Aderinto; Oluwole 2 Dasylva; Tade Akin
> Aina; tony agwuele;;; Olukoya Ogen
> (;; Bisola F; Adejumo, Christopher
> O; dele Ashiru
> A very big congratulations, Moses, for this achievement. I rejoice with you
> and wish you all the best, as I look forward to you receiving more honors in
> future. Sati
> On Mar 24, 2017 11:40, "Toyin Falola"
> <<>>
> wrote:
> I thought we use a comma in a sentence because we have more to say, and we
> detour via semicolons, colons, dashes, brackets, and other punctuations
> before we get to the king of them all, the period. And if you misuse one, as
> in failing to recognize that a semicolon is the husband of a comma, on top
> of it with a longer orgasm, but declimbed to become the heir to a period, do
> not blame me if Farooq, the friend of Moses, hammer you on the head. And
> please do not say that because English is a foreign language, semicolon can
> replace a colon. Not so, as one lives in the village and the other in the
> city, meeting once in a while to quickly depart.
> Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, this is no more than a comma, as
> more words will pour in a deluge (I need not add rain or flood to a deluge!)
> as foretold by that Prophet, whose name I cannot remember at this time.
> Moses was surprised at his news, as he put it on his Facebook that one of
> his admirers sent to me.
> Since I got into this profession, holding an endowed chair has been my
> ultimate goal. It is the highest institutional academic recognition and I
> dreamed of one day attaining that height. Glory be to God; that dream has
> come true. Although I aspired to it, I did not think that it would come this
> soon, making it even sweeter. Moses Ochonu
> As an aside, I am not on Facebook, perhaps because I don't know what a face
> is doing in the company of a book! An Eyebook, yes, but one is yet to be
> created. And even when some friends created one for me, I asked it to be
> taken down. And my son works for Facebook in London! Thank you all for
> supporting his daily bread. But Moses forgot to add, even as huge
> achievements, that he has declined offers from Columbia and Yale! Unknown to
> him, whenever those searches commence, names are solicited, as universities
> must do, that his name, from our own end, is always there. Always there!
> I predicted it would happen: for him, for Clapperton, for Ibhawoh, for Nimi,
> for Wale, for Chika, for Ugo, the Nwokeji Of Ugoland in Oakland country.
> Ibhawoh's own came at the speed of light, becoming a national figure. I have
> one or two other names to add, and one name to delete as I play God with the
> future of His own creation.
> I have the unusual privilege, a few of which I share with Salah Hassan and
> Paul Zeleza, of compiling names for all the biggest awards. Some get it,
> some miss it, but I keep re-nominating, adding more lines, more evidence,
> more arguments. I have even spent hours without end to promote deserving
> people like Ama Ata Aidoo, thinking that if we failed with Ngugi we should
> move to another person. One missed what I once nominated him for, and I am
> completing a book on him just to re nominate him! This is our own Victor
> Ekpuk who has missed the MacArthur genius award for reasons that baffle me.
> The story of Moses is about to begin; what he sees as the end, I see as the
> beginning. So, I can only compose a comma on his sweet achievement, my own
> sweeter dreams!
> It is no secret that I admire Moses, and that I see him as ten times more
> talented than me in terms of the ability to conceptualize and complicate,
> not to talk of his refined use of language. I don't have his language, not
> even close. He is a better historian than me. Even all my graduate students
> in the last ten years know that I see him as my intellectual superior. I
> have invited him to Austin to speak to my seminar; and to Nigeria to give a
> Keynote. I have visited him, and I enjoyed a good meal at his place in
> Nashville. He once invited me to his campus to engage in a stimulating
> dialogue, pairing me with Mamdou Diouf. What a great conversation! I have
> sold him where it is possible to, recently inviting him to give a talk at
> the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
> We sometimes disagree on intellectual grounds, as I occasionally initiate
> debates in private email messages different from those on Dialogue where I
> don't want anyone to accuse me of corrupting my role as a moderator. Even my
> occasional intervention to ask people to stop talking is greeted with "Am I
> using your mouth?" All what I can do is to say "No sir!" I am an incurable
> Pan-Africanist, and Moses, Farooq Kperogi, Akin Ogundiran, Augustine Agwuele
> and a new breed of African intellectuals do not always see things my way. It
> is precisely because they differ, for creating alternative paradigms, that I
> actually worship them. A scholar who operates only in the company of those
> who always agree with him is a mediocre. We flourish because we have
> critics. Once in a while, one of them will be angry and send me a rude
> private message; but I will smile, saying that the future of Africa that I
> imagine does not leave me with the luxury of a fight. Conflict requires two
> people for it to work—I know of those who engage in conflicts with me, but I
> do not know of any human being that I engage in conflict with.
> This achievement, as much as Moses would like to think of it as his, belongs
> to us all, the fulfilment of my own dream for Africans and Africa. And
> because this is a dream comes true, our register must respect the registrar
> of language.
> Age gives me the privilege to offer a sermon, the register that I just
> mentioned. Here is one. It is so sweet to sleep and have sweet dreams. In
> some cases, the dream is so sweet that you wish you never woke up,
> interrupting it! Someone once wisely counselled, however, that no matter how
> sweet your dreams may be, if you do not wake up and pursue them vigorously,
> they will remain just that – dreams! – nothing concrete at all to show for
> the dream. Waking up years later with the taste of ashes in the mouth
> because time was spent dreaming, no time was spent working, no dream life to
> show for it.
> A sermon must have its application. Our brother, colleague, and friend Moses
> did not make that mistake. From his days at Bayero University, Kano, where
> he obtained his BA History, he showed his acumen for dream-making and
> achievement. For the entire duration of his studies there, he held the
> Bayero University Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Performance,
> eventually also scooping up the Michael Crowder Prize for the Best Student
> on Modern African History and the Best Graduating Student in the Department
> of History of the class of 1997. His department did not hesitate to offer
> him an immediate graduate assistantship the same year. With such stellar
> early achievements, no future political detractors can ever say Moses did
> not graduate from the Department of History at Bayero!
> An application must become motivational. Having started so well, it is no
> wonder that his career became studded with one starry achievement after the
> other. Obtaining subsequent degrees in African History from the University
> of Michigan at Ann Arbor, he was appointed assistant professor at Vanderbilt
> in 2004, becoming associate professor in 2011 and then professor in 2015. He
> has published three books, with two others forthcoming, numerous articles in
> refereed journals and chapters in books, and is a sought after keynote
> speaker and guest lecturer. His research in this time received various
> recognitions including various grants and fellowships. Many would have
> rested on their laurels at this point but Moses wanted the Chair, and never
> relented for one day. He knew what he wanted when he stepped into the
> American academy: the almighty endowed Chair!
> A motivation must turn into a testimony. Professor Moses Ochonu is indeed
> deserving of this most recent and highest recognition of his university. He
> has established for himself the distinguished reputation of being one of the
> leading scholars of northern and middle belt Nigeria today, joining the
> ranks of the like of Smith, Adeleye, Mahdi, Usman, to mention but a few
> since I am just in the comma mood. His important 2014 book, Colonialism by
> Proxy: Hausa Imperial Agents and Middle Belt Consciousness in Nigeria, the
> finalist for the prestigious ASA Herskovits Prize for the Best Scholarly
> Book in African Studies in any Discipline in 2015, subverts the accepted
> understandings of the mechanics of indirect rule in British colonial Africa,
> and especially in northern Nigeria. He argues there that it was
> "subcolonialism" and not indirect rule that dictated British policy because
> the Hausa-Fulani overlords of the non-Muslim people of the middle belt
> negotiated their domination of these populations by recourse to claims of
> superior authority conferred on them by the Jihads of the early 1800s. His
> fine and sophisticated analysis of these dynamics are major contribution to
> the corpus of Nigerian history, setting him apart and above his peers.
> A testimony goes with a confessional. Moses is passionate about Nigeria, and
> this is evident in his continuous and numerous commentaries about Nigerian
> affairs. He is deeply engaged in puzzling the challenges and proposing the
> solutions for the country's progress. We know him here on the USA Africa
> Dialogue Series forum, as a voice that brings gravitas to any conversation
> he is engaged in, nuancing his analysis with uncommon insight, an eye for
> the fine points, and an attempt at objectivity on many divisive topics. On
> Facebook, he has already reached the limit of the number of friends that he
> can accept because thousands are so keen to read what he has to say on the
> various issues of the day! His essays have appeared in major Nigerian
> newspapers in print and online and his provocative article "The Shattering
> of the Buhari Mythology" in African Arguments was voted by readers as the
> 2016 Best Article of the Year. He is not a Nigerian academic that observes
> and comments about the country from a distance; no, he takes time out to
> visit, navigating pot-holed roads, locating the latest and best chicken suya
> spots in Abuja, and even taking time to appreciate Big Brother Nigeria on
> TV!
> A confession ends in a blessing. This March, Moses already celebrated his
> birthday, and the news of his appointment to the Cornelius Vandebilt Chair
> must be perhaps the best birthday gift he has ever had. We celebrate with
> him, and wish him bigger dreams, above all.
> This is a comma in the long sentences that I need to write on Moses, the
> intellectual messiah of our time, just one of the commas before I reach the
> end with a period.
> TF
> Toyin Falola
> Department of History
> The University of Texas at Austin
> 104 Inner Campus Drive
> Austin, TX 78712-0220
> 512 475 7224
> 512 475 7222 (fax)
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