Just as I anticipated, my last week’spiece with the above title was very controversial. While most people agreed with the thrust of my sentiments in the piece, others thought I went overboard in registering my displeasure against Mr. Kusa’s “tribute.” Still others thought I had no dog in the fight I inserted myself into. Below is a sample of the responses I received from readers through email, by Facebook, and on my blog.
I read your article on Mr Femi Kusa's article on the late Alex Ibru with interest. I am linked to the issue in three ways. I worked at The Guardian when Kusa was there. I am currently a member of The Nation's Editorial Board, and in that capacity wrote the paper's editorial on the passing of Alex Ibru (published on November 25, 2011). Even though I may be mistaken, I believe I did a good job, and adhered to many of the prescriptions for obituary writing laid out in your article.
However, I was surprised to see that Dr Tunji Dare, in his weekly column of the following Tuesday (published on November 29, 2011), appeared to deliberately contradict many of the points made in the editorial. He was not as crude as Mr Kusa, in my opinion, but I feel he certainly attempted to damn the late publisher with faint praise. May I request that you examine the Ibru editorial and Dr Dare's column and honour me with your thoughts? Both can be found at The Nation’s website. If there is any difficulty in locating them, I can e-mail them to you.
Candidly, you are a rational, free mind. I’ve been reading you from the first time I saw your column in Weekly Trust, and all the time I’m always impressed with your open-mindedness and logical rationality towards every issue, especially what you love to do most: correcting grammatical errors. But Dr., I’m puzzled that you took on a fight that wasn’t yours.
Perhaps, it’s for the sake of posterity and not to set a bad precedent. You gave Kusa a treat from the same journalistic pot. I know you won’t be surprised. After all of these guys talk from both sides of their mouths. If one day we hear Rueben Abati wearing the garb of Kusa, I expect you to be a big heart who will call a spade just a spade. Kusa is nothing more than a coward; if not, why couldn’t he say all that when Ibru was still alive? Well, tongue and faith may differ, but in true journalism you stand
Engr. Ibrahim Mustapha MNSE, Minna
Thanks, Dr. Farooq. Though it hurts to make bad comment against the dead, it seems Femi Kusa has suffered in the hands of Ibru. By the way, let them kill themselves. They are in the same boat. I believe if it [were] a Northerner that wrote that ungrammatical write up as Kusa did, they would disturb us with nonsense that we are semi-literates.
Ibrahim Musa Gwammaja
This will be the first time I will disagree will Kperogi. I just finished reading Kusa's write-up and from my understanding of it there is nothing offensive therein. Lo, when has it become an offense for one to narrate personal experience with others? My surprise is that Kperogi could stoop low as to devote his popular column to an innocuous tribute. May be there is more to it than we know!! However, I agree with Kperogi that the timing is wrong and badly written by the standing of Kusa in journalism profession.
|The late Alex Ibru and Bill Clinton|
I just finished reading the write-up on Kusa's article on Ibru. Well, I did not read the original article by Femi Kusa, but I took away some stuff from Kperogi's article: narcissistic, vacuity, mortifying solecisms, swellhead, inebriated, apotheosis, nonpareil, traduce, swath, trammel, sybaritic, pestiferous, facticity....OK. I know you are a prof. of English but sometimes, it's necessary to carry some of us along...especially those of us who are a little bit challenged in the Queen's language. I knew a Kperogi in Okuta, Kwara State. Are you related?
Thank you, Prof. It's very fortunate and apt to remind people how to maintain decorum, especially when a man has unwittingly decided to expose his cowardly disposition in print. However, I doubt the quality of education some of these writers have in journalism. A simple principle of sensitivity was blatantly ignored. What a poor piece!
Like Farooq said in his very articulate piece, Kusa basically waited for Ibru to die to get his pound of flesh. He tried to persuade us that he is a paragon of professional and private virtue but what came across is a man who is small minded and bitter. I have worked for Alex Ibru twice so I know that he was no saint, but there is no excuse for that Kusa's rambling exercise in posthumous assassination...
Paul C. Nwabuikwu
It's an interesting read. People usually show their worst side when you least expect it. It's unfortunate.
Mr Kusa just hung his dirty linens for the world to see. Such a show of shame and heartlessness!
Fascinating piece. There is always mirth in negative occurrences.
Hey, learn not say or write dirty things about the dead. Farooq, more ink to your pen. There will be the greatest peace when every bad mouth and hand padlock is hung.
Thank you, prof. Don’t get bored. Keep dishing out the stuff. You are simply great.
Someone drew my attention to the fact that Femi Kusa does not work with The Nation.
I have just read your piece with the above title. I am glad.
Femi Kusa's Perverse Dance on Ibru's Grave
Femi Kusa's Perverse Dance on Ibru's Grave