"WR6_gUnUj-ztiW07KQcOCnTel9A"/> Notes From Atlanta: 09/02/19

Monday, September 2, 2019

Recent Grammatical Howlers of Nigerian Politicians

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi
I stopped my Sunday grammar column in the Daily Trust after the paper’s "management" (AKA Kabiru Yusuf, its chairman) yielded to Aso Rock’s instruction to stop my Saturday column for being consistently critical of Buhari’s irremediably infernal incompetence. (The stoppage of the column in the Daily Trust paradoxically amplified its patronage and reach on the back page of the Nigerian Tribune on Saturday, which defeats the purpose of stopping it in the Daily Trust!)
Anyway, although I no longer write on English grammar, I can’t fail to notice the multiplication of humorously awkward grammatical boo-boos from Nigerian politicians these past few weeks. I’ll highlight only four, starting from the most recent one.
1. Gbenga Omotoso, Lagos State’s Commissioner for Information & Strategy, in a press statement designed to dispel the notion that the 123 Hausa travelers who were arrested by the Lagos State government were targeted because of their ethnic identity, said, “The arrested suspects have been moved to the State Police Command where they are being profiled."😂😂

When law enforcement officers “profile” people, it means they are judging the people on the basis of their ethnicity, race, religion, etc. instead of their actual conduct. I’m not sure that was the meaning Omotoso intended to convey because it contradicts the core claim of his press release. Was it a Freudian slip or just plain ignorance? Or both?
2. But there’s more. In the same press release, we encounter risible howlers like, "large quantity [sic] of used bikes" [I thought bikes were countable], "speculated cases of Boko haram [sic] insurgency" (what in the world does that mean?), "banditry attacks," "the case on hand," "most preffered [sic] destination" ["preferred" is already a superlative state and doesn't need "most," another superlative, to make it a superlative], etc. And can someone please tell the man that spellcheck is meant to be used; that it's not a mere decorative appurtenance on Microsoft Word?
3. Senator Remi Tinubu repeatedly told woman-beating Adamawa senator Elisha Abbo to “off” his microphone! No one taught the distinguished senator that the proper expression is “turn off.” “Off” is rarely used as a verb. When it is, particularly in American English, it means to murder. Senator Abbo looks like he can murder people in a fit of uncontrolled temper tantrum, but I doubt he can murder a microphone😂.

4. During the senate confirmation hearings of ministerial nominees, which Nigerians erroneously call "screening," senators repeatedly addressed the nominees as “Mr. Nominee.” Where the heck did that come from? “Mr.” is traditionally prefixed either to a man's full name or to his last name alone. There is an undertone of mockery when you call someone “Mr. Nominee,” particularly when you know his real name. I missed if they also called female ministerial nominees “Mrs Nominee” (which would mean they're married to people whose last names are "Nominee") or “Miss Nominee” (which would mean their fathers are called "Mr Nominee"). Or did they just call them "Madam Nominee"?😂
"Mr. President," "Madam President," "Mr. Speaker," and "Madam Speaker" are formal titles of respect in American English for occupants of such offices. It appears that our senators invented "Mr Nominee" on the model of these fossilized titles. But "Nominee" is not a position. We don't even say "Mr. Senator," or "Mr. Representative." So why do we have "Mr Nominee"?

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Buhari’s New SA on Infrastructure is INEC’s Amina Zakari’s Son

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi
When people objected to the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as head of INEC’s committee that would be in charge of the “secretariat for collation of results” of the last presidential election, both the presidency and Zakari lied that Buhari and Zakari had no family relationship until I exploded their duplicitous mendacity in a January 5, 2019 update. (I’ll come to that shortly).
Well, many people don’t seem to notice that Buhari has compensated Mrs. Zakari for helping him to rig the 2019 election; He appointed her biological son by the name of Ahmed Rufa'i Zakari as his new Special Adviser on Infrastructure, a pointless, previously non-existent position specifically created to pay back Mrs. Zakari. Mr. Zakari holds the traditional title of San Turakin Kazaure.

Buhari also reappointed Mrs. Zakari’s brother, Suleiman Hussaini Adamu, as Minister of Water Resources. Adamu and Mrs. Zakari are full siblings, i.e., they share the same father and mother. They are the children of Alhaji Hussaini Adamu (who was emir of Kazaure) and Hajia Hafsatu Hussaini Adamu. The current emir of Kazaure, Alhaji Najib Hussaini Adamu, is their older brother with whom they’re also full siblings.
The immediate past commissioner of education in Jigawa State, Mrs. Rabih Eshaq, is also their younger sister (again, same father, same mother.) So the same family basically monopolizes political appointments in the state. And it’s all due to their Buhari/Daura connections.
Their mother, Hajiya Hafsatu, is the daughter of Alhaji Jibril Daura, a Daura native. More than that, though, Buhari’s biological sister was once married to Mrs. Zakari’s father. That makes her Buhari’s niece. The Oxford Dictionary defines a niece as, “A daughter of one's brother or sister, or of one's brother-in-law or sister-in-law.” Mrs. Zakari’s father was Buhari’s brother-in-law.
But that’s not all. As I pointed out in my Jan. 5, 2019 update, at some point in his youth, Buhari, who lost his father at a young age, came under the guardianship of Mrs. Zakari’s father, the late Alhaji Hussaini Adamu. Buhari continues to nurture his relationship with the Hussaini Adamu family. When he was PTF boss, for instance, he got Mrs. Zakari a consultancy contract with Afri-Projects Consortium (APC), “the sole manager of the PTF projects.”
When Goodluck Jonathan asked Buhari for a candidate for INEC commissionership, he nominated Mrs. Zakari. In my update, I said, “This fact, as I pointed out in my Saturday Tribune column, isn’t enough to vitiate her neutrality. After all, Jonathan defeated Buhari in 2011 while she was INEC commissioner. But deceiving the world by concealing the nature and depth of her relationship with Buhari shows that she’s up to no good this time around.” My predictions materialized.
The appointment of Mrs. Zakari’s son to an utterly purposeless position isn’t just a reward for her help in perpetrating unexampled electoral fraud on Buhari’s behalf; it’s also a continuation of Buhari’s trademarked bald-faced nepotism. I know this isn't anything that will shock anyone--or change anything-- but I just want to put it out there for the records.

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