"WR6_gUnUj-ztiW07KQcOCnTel9A"/> Notes From Atlanta: January 2020

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Economic Summits, and Homogenization and Inferiorization of Africa

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

It’s now customary for self-important countries in Europe, North America, and Asia to summon African heads of state to “summits” in their countries’ capitals. The UK-Africa Investment Summit, for example, just ended in London on January 20, 2020.

These summits have now been institutionalized as periodic jamborees to “solve” African problems with African leaders outside Africa. Apart from the UK-Africa Summit, there’s the USA-Africa Summit, Canada-Africa Business Summit, France-Africa Summit, China-Africa Summit, Japan-Africa Summit, Russia-Africa Summit, Turkey-Africa, and even India-Africa Summit.

At this rate, there'll probably be Vietnam-Africa Summit or even Afghanistan-Africa Summit someday! Just about any country that organizes a “summit” with African leaders outside Africa is guaranteed full cooperation and attendance.

Yet we insist that Africa is NOT a country but a continent of more than 50 sovereign, independent, distinct countries with diverse, unique characteristics—like every other continent in the world. My friend Pius Adesanmi even wrote an award-winning book titled, “You're Not A Country, Africa: A Personal History of the African Present.”

If we resent the ignorant, simplistic homogenization of Africa by non-Africans, why do African leaders collectively accept invitations to summits with wealthy and not so wealthy non-African countries as if Africa were a single, monolithic, undifferentiated country?

Why can't there be, for instance, a UK-Nigeria Summit? Or an India-Kenya Summit? Or a South Africa-China Summit? Or, for that matter, a European Union-African Union Summit, an Association of South-East Asian Nations-Economic Community of West African States Summit, a NAFTA-East African Community Summit, etc.?

I get that because African countries are collectively at the bottom of the totem pole in the global economic prosperity index, it’s easy for wealthy nations to infantilize and inferiorize African leaders into attending these humiliating “summits” in non-African capitals. It becomes even more complicated when you add the fact that most African countries haven’t overcome the holdover from colonialism. In fact, Francophone Africa is still almost literally being colonized by France.

Yes, it can’t be denied that colonialism and economic backwardness are implicated as the foundational psychological mechanisms for the internalization of inferiority by African leaders, but how do we account for India-Africa Summit?

India, like Nigeria and other Anglophone African countries, was colonized by Britain and also struggles both with inferiority complex and economic problems, but the fact that India can invite African heads of state to its capital for a summit as if it were equal, or even superior, to all of Africa combined shows there's a gradation in the psychology of colonially inspired internalization of inferiority.

Until Nigeria overtook it in 2018, India used to be the poverty capital of the world. Even so, according The Week, an Indian English-language news magazine, more than 360 million “Indians still cannot afford three square meals a day, which is why the World Bank continues to bracket India with Nicaragua, Honduras, Kenya and Kiribati. On an average, even people in war-torn Libya and sanctions-plagued Cuba continue to earn more than Indians.”

Yet India invites all African heads of state for periodic summits, and they all rush to New Delhi, attired in laughably gawdy Indian clothes specially sewed for them by the Indian Prime Minister, like excited little kids in a candy shop.

To be sure, the sort of inferiority complex that leads people to uncritically valorize the foreign and despise the local, which I have called xenophilia or xenophilic inferiority complex in past articles, isn’t unique to Africans. American sociologists Donald Kent and Robert Burnight called it “xenocentrism” in their 1952 paper in the American Journal of Sociology titled "Group Centrism in Complex Societies."

European Australians, for example, are said to be beset by an inferiority complex that sprouts from their self-consciousness that most of their ancestors were convicts from England. An Australian social commentator by the name of A. A. Phillips coined the term “cultural cringe” in a 1950 essay to capture the tendency for Australians to “dismiss their own culture as inferior to the cultures of other countries.”

Brazilians are also said to suffer a collective inferiority complex called the “mongrel complex,” which supposedly comes from the insecurity that their racial and cultural hybridity activates. The term was neologized in the 1950s by Brazilian writer Nelson Rodrigues, and now means more than the inferiority Brazilians feel for being racially mixed to the point of not having a unique identity; it also encapsulates the inadequacies Brazilians feel when they compare “Brazil and its culture to other parts of the world, primarily the developed world (such as Europe or North America).”

The term “Malinchism” is also used to describe the collective inferiority complex that Mexicans supposedly suffer. It captures the worshipful reverence that Mexicans demonstrate in their attitudes toward things that are foreign and their corresponding contempt toward things that are indigenous. Malinchism comes from La Malinche, the name of an indigenous Mexican woman who helped imperialists from Spain to conquer the Aztec Empire. She later went ahead to marry and have children with one of the Spanish conquistadors.  

Africans’ collective inferiority complex is obviously a consequence of their colonial experience. That complex disposes them to be attracted to and to imitate anything foreign, even if the foreign is not European. That’s why even India, which shares enormous socio-historical experiences with many African countries, can have its own India-Africa Summit.

I call our xenocentrism colonially inspired self-esteem deficit.

If African leaders continue to authorize the simplification and caricature of Africa as one country through their participation in every summit they are invited to, our colonially inspired self-esteem deficit will only balloon, and hopes of salvation will continue to dim.

When African heads of state continue to affirm the misrepresentations of Africa as a geographic and cultural monolith, whenever there’s a problem in any part of Africa, people outside the continent will always continue to assume that it affects all parts of the continent.

For instance, when the Ebola epidemic broke out in 2014, parents in Mississippi withdrew their kids from a school because the school’s principal had visited Zambia that year. The principal’s effort to convince the parents that Zambia is miles away from Liberia did nothing to convince the parents to let their children continue at the school. The principal was forced to resign his job.

Tinubu’s Both-Sides-Of-The-Mouth Statement on Amotekun
Tinubu’s run-with-the-hare-and-hunt-with-the-hounds statement on Amotekun pretended to be statesmanlike and evenhanded but it actually only cleverly concealed its attempt to please the Aso Rock cabal.

Why didn’t he exercise this sort of even temper when he asked “where are the cows?” after Chief Reuben Fasoranti’s daughter was murdered in cold blood by people alleged to be herders? Tinubu might well have been right that the woman wasn’t murdered by herders, but he couldn’t have known that for sure since no investigation had been carried out. And he said it when emotions were still aflame.

Plus, herders who choose to murder don’t take cows to the murder scene, which made his sarcastic question at once pointless, insensitive, and unstatesmanlike. Incidentally, it's the intensification of senseless, unresolved murders such as the one he taunted that inspired the formation of Amotekun.

Tinubu’s neither-here-nor-there statement mirrors the duplicity and opportunism of his symbolic actions on Amotekun. For example, neither Sanwo-Olu nor his deputy, who are both beholden to him, attended the formal launch of Amotekun, and Lagos was the only Southwest state where an Amotekun solidarity rally was disrupted by the police. These actions clearly typify opposition to the security outfit.

At the same time, Tinubu’s minions in the intelligentsia and his battering rams in the news media have come out strongly against the federal government’s—and some northern politicians’—opposition to Amotekun.

In wanting to opportunistically appease both sides in the service of his illusive 2023 presidential bid, Tinubu will appease none in the long run.

The cold, calculating inner circle in Aso Rock is intensely aware that Tinubu’s fence-sitting is an insincere, self-seeking political maneuver to appease them, and the Southwest people who were compelled to embrace Amotekun by the escalating sense of siege that unceasing mass murders by homicidal thugs have activated would be unimpressed by his ambiguity and lack of moral clarity.

People who are neither here nor there end up being nowhere, and, with time, nowhere becomes somewhere untoward.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

#SaveOurJudiary Protests: Medicine After Death

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

First shared on my Facebook and Twitter handles on January 20, 2020.

The protests against the unexampled judicial roguery of illegal CJN Tanko’s evidently compromised Supreme Court, which has ruled that the fourth shall be the first, is a classic instantiation of the proverbial closing of the stable door after the horse has bolted.

In other words, the protesters are fighting a battle that has already been lost. If a critical mass of consequential people had demonstrated when Walter Onnoghen was being harassed for an offense Buhari is even guiltier of (no copy of Buhari’s asset declaration form, for instance, can be found at the Code of Conduct Bureau because, being the scammer that he is, he took it away), illiterate and easily malleable Tanko might not have been CJN.

I warned in several social media updates and newspaper columns that Onnoghen was being illegally removed in order to appoint a slavish yes-man as CJN who would give judicial imprimatur to Buhari’s fascistic takeover of the democratic space. But the ever complacent, cowardly, prayer-dependent Nigerian public ignored early warnings of what is now unravelling.

Yes, there’s a precedent for the Supreme Court overturning its previous flawed rulings, but Tanko’s Supreme Court isn’t a conventional Supreme Court; it’s a remote controllable extension of Buhari’s boardroom. Well, good luck with the protests because you’ll need it.

Tinubu’s Both-Sides-Of-The-Mouth Statement on Amotekun

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

Tinubu’s run-with-the-hare-and-hunt-with-the-hounds statement on Amotekun pretends to be statesmanlike and evenhanded but it actually only cleverly conceals its attempt to please the Aso Rock cabal. Only people with subnormal cognitive capacities will fail to see this.


Why didn’t he exercise this sort of even temper when he asked “where are the cows?” after Chief Reuben Fasoranti’s daughter was murdered in cold blood by people alleged to be herders? Tinubu might well have been right that the woman wasn’t murdered by herders, but he couldn’t have known that for sure since no investigation had been carried out. And he said it when emotions were still aflame.

Plus, herders who choose to murder don’t take cows to the murder scene, which made his sarcastic question at once pointless, insensitive, and unstatesmanlike. Incidentally, it's the intensification of senseless, unresolved murders such as the one he taunted that inspired the formation of Amotekun.

Tinubu’s neither-here-nor-there statement mirrors the duplicity and opportunism of his symbolic actions on Amotekun. For example, neither Sanwo-Olu nor his deputy, who are both beholden to him, attended the formal launch of Amotekun, and Lagos was the only Southwest state where an Amotekun solidarity rally was disrupted by the police. These actions clearly typify opposition to the security outfit.

At the same time, Tinubu’s minions in the intelligentsia and his battering rams in the news media have come out strongly against the federal government’s—and some northern politicians’—opposition to Amotekun.

In wanting to opportunistically appease both sides in the service of his illusive 2023 presidential bid, Tinubu will appease none.

The cold, calculating inner circle in Aso Rock is intensely aware that Tinubu’s fence-sitting is an insincere, self-seeking political maneuver to appease them, and the Southwest people who were compelled to embrace Amotekun by the escalating sense of siege that unceasing mass murders by homicidal thugs have activated would be unimpressed by his ambiguity and lack of moral clarity.

People who are neither here nor there end up being nowhere, and, with time, nowhere becomes somewhere untoward.

Tinubu Has "Spoken" on Amotekun

First shared on my Facebook and Twitter handles on January 21, 2020

Days before Amotekun was declared "illegal," Tinubu was in the Villa. His stooge in Lagos didn't attend the official launch of the outfit.

Today, Lagos became the only Southwest state where an Amotekun solidarity rally was disrupted by the police. Why are people asking Tinubu to speak on Amotekun? He has already spoken. Some silences-- and actions-- speak louder than words.

Tinubu is more in dread of offending the cabal and missing out on his illusory 2023 presidency than he is of the wrath of his own people.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Imo Judicial Abracadabra and Illegalization of Amotekun Are Linked

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

The bewilderingly illogical and indefensible Supreme Court judgement that handed over the governorship of Imo State to APC’s Hope Uzodinma— who came fourth in the actual election— may appear to have no connection with the Federal Government’s January 14 declaration of Amotekun as “illegal.” But they are both parts of a well-rehearsed political choreography.

The Machiavellian political hawks around Muhammadu Buhari are not prepared to allow the presidency to rotate to their informal coalition partners in the Southwest in 2023—contrary to the gentleman’s agreement they reached in 2014. What to do? Dissolve the coalition with the Southwest and build a new one with the Southeast.

Northern politicians who want to retain power in the region are now actively courting Southeast politicians to be junior partners in a 2023 coalition—like the Southwest has been since 2015. The brazenly immoral capture of Imo State for APC using the instrumentality of the Supreme Court, which is now indistinguishable from the Buhari Presidency, is part of this plan.

The judgement was, of course, predetermined. It didn’t even pretend to be fair and just. It was merely the acting of a script that was written in the Presidential Villa. Notice that since Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad was illegally imposed as Chief Justice of Nigeria, most, if not all, Supreme Court and Appeals Court judgments regarding elections have been "unanimous." There're no longer dissenting opinions or minority judgments.  

In his interview with AriseTV in January 2019, Buhari confessed that he rewarded 84-year-old retired Justice of the Court of Appeal Sylvanus Nsofor with appointment as Nigeria’s ambassador to the US because he wrote a “minority report” in his favor when he challenged his loss at the polls in a previous election. Now, Buhari doesn’t want even minority reports or dissenting opinions in favor of his opponents from judges.

We have an unprecedentedly total fascist takeover of the judiciary, the kind that compelled the Supreme Court to award nullified rigged votes to APC’s Hope Uzodinma even if by doing so the Supreme Court created an astonishing numerical incongruity where the Supreme Court’s final vote tally is now greater than the number of people INEC accredited to vote!

Brazenly pre-planned electoral heists are now the new normal, which honchos of the regime had foretold before now.  Recall that Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha had on January 12, 2019 assured his audience in Gombe State during a campaign speech that APC had already “won” the election that hadn’t yet taken place. “We are only waiting for the announcement of the results,” he said.

 That wasn’t rhetorical hyperbole; it was a classic Freudian slip, the type APC chairman Adams Oshiomhole committed when he said, in the aftermath of APC’s INEC-assisted rigging in Osun State, that democracy could only thrive when the opposition is ready to “accept the pain of rigging.”

The Imo Supreme Court judicial rascality was a well-practiced plot by the regime’s henchmen to make incursions into the Southeast in preparation for 2023. And it might well work if Nigeria survives till 2023. People in the Southeast— and in the South-south— are so aroused to deep resentment by the Southwest’s support for Buhari in 2015 and 2019 that they might be willing to be strategic underlings of an opportunistic political partnership with the North if only to spite the Southwest.

And Amotekun has provided an opportune moment for the cabal to dissolve its crisis-plagued political marriage with the Southwest. There are few things into which Southwest politicians and electorates alike have invested enormous emotional energy in recent times as Amotekun. And it’s easy to see why. It’s about life and death. Self-preservation is the first law of nature.

It’s irrelevant if Amotekun is constitutional or unconstitutional. You need to be alive to read the constitution. Only the living debate legality and constitutionality. The seemingly never-ending widening and deepening of the theaters of bloodshed in the country, occasioned by the unrestrained sanguinary fury of homicidal marauders, in the face of the inability or unwillingness of federal security forces to protect lives has made Amotekun an issue on which most people in the Southwest won’t compromise.

The Buhari cabal loves this because heads or tails the Southwest politicians will lose. If they come out strongly to support it, as Governors Fayemi, Akeredolu, and Makinde are doing, they will be framed as regional bigots who can’t be trusted to lead the country (never mind that members of the cabal have themselves elevated retrograde regional chauvinism to an art).

And Southwest politicians who oppose, are indifferent to, or choose to speak from both sides of their mouth about, Amotekun will automatically be cast as traitorous bastards by their people. A Southwest politician who is rejected by his own people can’t be in contention for the presidency in 2023 since Northern Christians, the Igbo, and ethnic minorities from the South are unlikely to support a Yoruba candidate in 2023—if that Yoruba candidate supported Buhari in 2019.

This is different from former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s case in 1999. His rejection by the Southwest actually aggrandized his pan-Nigerian credentials and caused him to be accepted by other parts of the country. A Southwest politician who is seen as a betrayer by his own people and who, in addition, worked to install Buhari, easily the most divisive figure in Nigeria’s history, would be a political burden in ways Obasanjo wasn’t in 1999.

As I pointed out in a December 22, 2019 social media update, the cabal is toying with Bola Tinubu like a yo-yo—and he is naively, if gingerly, playing along— in readiness for his eventual political incineration by or before 2023. And the cabal is being ruthlessly Machiavellian about it.

Tinubu has been given a fake promissory note that he’ll be APC’s presidential torchbearer in 2023. On the strength of this worthless promissory note, they’ve sought his permission to destroy some of his most trusted foot soldiers.

With his consent, they’ve consigned Yemi Osinbajo to symbolic Aso Rock jail. Tinubu endorsed Tunde Fowler’s replacement at the FIRS and is in on his impending trial for corruption. He also stamped his imprimatur to Muiz Banire’s unceremonious ouster from AMCON. He’s giddily approving everything the cabal tells him it wants to do to his “constituents” and foot soldiers.

Also notice that he was summoned to the Presidential Villa just a few days before Abubakar Malami declared Amotekun “illegal” and “unconstitutional.” It won’t surprise me if it emerges that he endorsed Malami’s statement. After all, he once asked “where are the cows?” when a prominent Yoruba politician’s daughter was murdered last year.

He has now fallen out of favor with almost all Southwest governors except his dutiful stooge in Lagos and his nephew in Osun. Of course, he is a bête noire to Afenifere. At this rate, Tinubu would divorce his wife and disown his children if the cabal tells him to do so—just because he’s told that he’d be president.

This is a strategic, Machiavellian demobilization of his base, but one in which he is a willing participant, using the illusory promise of APC presidential nomination. When he is eventually denied the APC presidential slot, he would have no one of political consequence in his natal region to fall back to for counterattack other than his battering rams in the Lagos media.

Before his eventual political annihilation, he would be thoroughly unpopular in the Southwest. His fate would elicit no mass sympathy from the region when the cabal finally bares its fangs publicly and devours him.

To be sure, Tinubu is sensing danger, as we can tell from the newfound, unaccustomed critical commentaries in his paper, but he is like a moth that is irresistibly and fatally attracted to the flame that will eventually burn it alive. The flame is the promise of the presidency.

Once he is politically crushed, and his opponents are cast as provincial champions who can’t be trusted with the presidency, the cabal would be justified to seek new collaborators from the Southeast—and the South-south. In essence, the cabal would revive the North’s First Republic and Second Republic alliances with the Igbo and Southern ethnic minorities and return the Southwest back to opposition.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Amotekun May Be Nigeria’s Moment of Truth

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

The federal government's declaration of Amotekun as "illegal" was predictable. But the declaration may well precipitate unpredictable seismic national tremors that could convulse the very foundation of Nigeria.


For one, it will certainly ignite soul-searching conversations, such as why the federal government has no problems with Hisbahs and so-called civilian JTFs in the North, which are no different from Amotekun, and why people who feel unprotected by evidently compromised and inept federal security agencies shouldn't band together to preserve their lives.

Self-preservation is the first law of nature. No sentient humans voluntarily choose to make themselves defenseless victims of armed, murderous criminals, irrespective of what the law says.

A government that has shown itself, time and again, to be either unwilling or unable to protect lives is taking umbrage at people’s decision to safeguard their lives, to refuse to be collective sitting ducks to homicidal marauders. The cheek!

This may well turn out to be the moment Nigeria has been waiting for. It may be the jolt we need to get out of our accustomed national complacence and self-imposed suspended animation. Or not.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Hanan Buhari and Unprecedented Abuse of Presidential Powers

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

The Presidency said it isn’t a legal violation or even a subversion of convention for Buhari’s daughter to use a publicly funded presidential jet for private purposes. That’s flat-out untrue. But even if it were true, things don’t always have to be illegal for them to be condemnable. Something can be condemnable because it’s unethical or immoral, even if it’s legal.




Making a tax-funded presidential jet available for the private use of Buhari’s daughter is straight-up unethical, even borderline illegal. Of course, it’s entirely defensible, even expected, for Buhari’s family members to get on a presidential jet WITH him. That’s one of the perks of the presidency. But Buhari’s daughter, not being a Vice President, a Senate President, or a Speaker, cannot, on her own, use a presidential jet—certainly not for private purposes.

Plus, there’s no precedent for this in Nigeria. None of Obasanjo’s children ever used a presidential jet for personal vanity trips. We definitely never heard of any Yar’adua children use a presidential jet for private functions. And most people never even knew Jonathan had children. We barely heard of or saw them, and surely never ever read that any of them used a presidential jet without their dad in it.

No one in Nigeria’s history has personalized governance and murdered age-old expectations of basic decency in governance with as much impunity as Buhari has. Most members of his extended family not only hold key positions in his government, his children intrude on our national consciousness in the brashest and crudest ways imaginable.

The “corrupt” Second Republic politicians that Buhari overthrew and jailed in 1983 weren’t nearly as reckless, nepotistic, corrupt, and irresponsible as he has been. Shagari’s wife and children, for instance, were barely seen. None of them ever used the presidential fleet for personal trips. None of Shagari’s family members officially worked in the inner recesses of the Presidency.

The 1999 constitution says, “A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities." Buhari violates this on a regular basis.

Recall that in 2015, Buhari wondered why a Nigerian president would need a fleet of aircraft when even the British Prime Minister used “the same public aircraft like an ordinary Briton.” He said he would sell off the aircraft in the presidential fleet if he became president. When we pressured him to make good his pledge, his spokesman claimed on Oct. 5, 2016 that the government had put two jets up for sale. As usual, it was a lie fabricated to repel scrutiny.

But giving an entire presidential jet to a 20-something-year-old recent graduate to go take photos of an event is a low we had never reached in our entire existence as a nation.

Uberization and Keke NAPEPization of Presidential Jets

Premium Times just reported today January 12, 2020 that Hanan Buhari visited Bauchi with the presidential jet-- at the cost of millions of naira-- "on a study tour... as part of her academic programme" at a London university where she's enrolled for a master's degree!

It also turned out that Hanan had actually used TWO presidential jets in the past to visit Kebbi State for her BA project on the Gwandu emirate.

This is what I call the Uberization or, if you will, the Keke NAPEPization of presidential jets by Buhari's family. Buhari has perfected the art of governance by outrageousness.

Friday, January 10, 2020

If Asset Declaration Isn’t Public, What’s Its Point?

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

In response to the request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that all elected public officials publicly declare their assets, presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said on January 7, “The president will do what the law requires of him and I can say for a fact that the president has declared his assets. Declaring that publicly is not in our law but voluntary. Therefore, he cannot be compelled to do so.”

Adesina’s reaction conveniently ignored the fact that it was Buhari who voluntarily said he would publicly declare his assets—like the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua did without prompting from anyone—in 2015.

The Punch of February 20, 2015 reported Buhari to have said: “I pledge to PUBLICLY declare my assets and liabilities, encourage all my appointees to publicly declare their assets and liabilities as a pre-condition for appointment.”

This was the first promise Buhari broke upon his ascension to the presidency. In the early days of the regime, when I still cherished the illusion that his incipient drift was salvageable, I frantically reached out to people in the presidency with whom I had a personal relationship and begged them to prevail upon Buhari to make good his campaign promise.

When they weren’t forthcoming, I wrote a column on June 13, 2015 titled “Mishandling of Asset Declaration May Doom Buhari’s Presidency.” I republished it weeks later.

The very first paragraph of the column, which seems pretty prescient in retrospect, read: “Although many of us still nourish the hope that President Buhari’s administration will represent a substantive departure from the blight of the past, Buhari has so far done little to inspire confidence that he will live up to the hopes we have invested in him. Perhaps the biggest germinal error he has made, which might haunt his administration, is his seeming reluctance to publicly declare his assets, contrary to the promise he made during his campaigns.”

I added: "The social and cultural basis of Buhari’s legitimacy and popularity revolve around the notion of his transparency and incorruptibility. But the secretiveness, disingenuousness and overall informational poverty of the handling of the asset declaration issue is eroding Buhari’s very credibility and giving people cause for what psychologists call post-decision cognitive dissonance. If this issue is not handled artfully and transparently, it will set the tone for his entire presidency."

After the column was published a second time, one close aide of Buhari’s told me in confidence that Buhari would NEVER publicly declare his assets because it would demystify him. I asked why and he said it was because the man was very wealthy and that his base in the North and his supporters down South would feel betrayed if they knew how much he was actually worth.

He said Buhari declared close to a billion naira in his asset declaration form and had choice property all over the country worth billions of naira. What was worse, he said, Buhari didn’t even officially declare everything. That was when it dawned on me that Buhari was a deodorized and carefully packaged scammer.

He was also the sole signatory to the donations that everyday Nigerians made to his campaign through scratch cards between 2014 and 2015. The money was never used for the presidential campaign, and it has not been accounted for up to now. (An old woman in Kebbi State donated her entire life saving of N1 million that she got from selling kosai (bean cake) and died in penury a year later.)

In December 2014, Buhari had said, “I have at least one million naira in my bank, having paid N5.5 million to pick my form from my party APC. I have around 150 cattle because I am never comfortable without cows. I have a house each in Kaduna, Kano, and Daura which I borrowed money to build. I never had a foreign account since I finished my courses in the USA, India and the UK. I never owned any property outside Nigeria. Never.”

They say a liar must have a good memory. But Buhari is a bad liar. After so much pressure from many of us, Buhari’s strategists came up with a plan to deceive Nigerians and deflect attention from Buhari’s asset declaration fraud. His spokesman was told to issue an intentionally vague and incomplete “public asset declaration” that would leave room for plausible deniability in case he is caught.

That was why there were no specifics other than unhelpfully broad claims that the president had a house in Abuja (which he didn’t acknowledge during the campaigns), Kano, Kaduna, Daura, and Port Harcourt; some cattle and livestock; “not less than 30 million naira” (how more deceptively vague can you get than that?)

 Recall that a few months earlier, he said he had “at least one million naira” left in his account. He went from “at least one million” to “no less than 30 million” in less than a year!). The “declaration” also said he had “a number of cars” (we weren’t told how many); and so on. Compare Buhari’s "public asset declaration" with the late President Umaru Musa Yar'adua's or Governor Seyi Makinde’s more transparent, public declaration and the face of Buhari’s fraud will become even more starkly apparent.

Many Nigerians weren’t deceived by the fraud, though. They asked that he make public a copy of his declaration like Yar’adua (and later Makinde) who didn’t even campaign to publicly declare their assets did. In response, the president’s spokesperson said, “As soon as the CCB is through with the process, the documents will be released to the Nigerian public and people can see for themselves.”

 It’s been more than three years, and the asset declaration form still hasn’t been released to the public. To make matters worse, Adesina now says Buhari won’t declare his assets publicly because the law doesn’t require him to do so. Well, we’ve always known that. Even perpetually “unaware” Buhari knew that when he promised he would publicly declare his assets.

This double-dyed fraud becomes even more infuriating when you remember what Buhari says when he is asked to publicly show his asset declaration form as he promised he would. For instance, during the one and only media chat he did as “president,” he challenged journalists to use their skills in “investigative journalism” to find the form.

Well, I used my “investigative journalism” skills to find the form and discovered that there is no paper trail of his asset declaration form at the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Other journalists invoked the Freedom of Information Act and requested the CCB to release Buhari’s asset declaration form to them. On September 21, 2016, Code of Conduct Bureau Chairman Sam Saba said the Bureau couldn’t release Buhari’s asset declaration form because the law that set up the bureau forbids him from making the forms public without Buhari’s consent.

So why did Buhari ask journalists to deploy “investigative journalism” skills to find his form even when he knew only he has access to it? On his own volition, he promised to publicize his asset declaration form. Then he took it away from the only place it’s legally supposed to be, and then he turned around to challenge journalists to use their investigative skills to find it. Did he want reporters to invade his home, hold him at gunpoint, and force him to produce it?

So, get this: Buhari is the ONLY elected public official whose asset declaration form does not exist at the Code of Conduct of Bureau. Of course, it’s because he wants to hide his fraud and intentional lies from public scrutiny.

The Bureau also declined requests to release the asset declaration forms of other higher-ups in the Buhari regime. Now, how did Dennis Aghanya, Buhari’s former media aide and current SA on justice, get access to former CJN Walter Onnoghen’s asset declaration form when the law forbids the public disclosure of public officials’ asset declaration forms without their consent?

Why was Onnoghen isolated for punishment for an offense that everyone, including the people meting out the punishment, is guilty of?

What is the point of asset declaration if it isn’t public, if it can’t be used to determine if public officials have corruptly enriched themselves? Why is Buhari in dread of publicly declaring his assets even when he proclaims to embody “integrity”?

Germans Are More Crazy about Titles than Nigerians Are

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

Nigerians are severely self-deprecatory about their obsession with titles, but Germans are infinitely more fixated on titles than Nigerians can ever be. I experienced this firsthand when I visited Germany a little over a year ago.

I was invited by a German university to deliver a paper on cross-border journalism. The conference organizers paid for almost all my expenses, which I found unusual since my university has a dedicated budget to fund all my research trips.

Anyway, because they paid for most of my expenses, including my train tickets (a sample of which is screenshot here), my air fare, hotel reservation, intra-city transportation, etc. they determined how my name appeared in receipts. In every document they sent to me, three titles were simultaneously prefixed to my name: "Herr Prof. Dr. Farooq Kperogi."

“Herr” is a title of esteem for German men. Its addition to “Prof. Dr.” struck me as hilariously self-important titular overkill. But it all made sense to me when I got to Germany. Because I used a Nigerian passport to travel, the immigration lady who attended to me was initially a little rude, even condescending. She wanted me to provide evidence that I would leave Germany after my one-week conference.

I handed her the printed copy of my train ticket that would take me back to the airport a week from that day. When she saw “Herr Prof. Dr.” on the receipt, her attitude toward me changed dramatically. She went from ice-cold contempt to exaggerated admiration and respect.

“You teach at a university?” she asked. I answered in the affirmative. “Where?” I told her. Suddenly she wanted to start small talk about the US, Germany, the conference I was going to attend, etc. I’m sorry, but I was already too pissed to be bothered. Just because of freaking titles?

Well, I later discovered that Germans are so enamored with titles that they even affix them to the doors of their homes! And stacking of multiple academic titles? That’s so German, too! A person can be addressed as “Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. Somebody.” It means this person has three doctoral degrees in addition to being a professor.

People who have more than three doctorates in addition to being professors usually prefix the following titles to their names: “Prof. Dr. mult. Somebody” The “mult.” in the titles indicates “multiple” doctorates.

“Prof. M.D.” indicates that someone has a medical doctorate and is also a professor. If “Prof. Dr. Ir.” is prefixed to someone’s name, it means the person is a professor, has a doctorate, and has a master’s degree in engineering.

And you thought only Nigerians are obsessed with stacking multiple titles to one name! Abeg leave my Naija people alone jare!

Note that not addressing Germans by all their titles is often interpreted as unprovoked personal aggression. According to the Wall Street Journal of November 16, 2016, “Germany’s federal labor court ruled in 1984 that the incorrect or incomplete use of an academic title at work represents an attack on an employee’s personal rights.” Ha!

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Who Should be Called a "Dr"? A Physician or a PhD?

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

There was an interesting Facebook conversation among a group of Nigerians last week on who, between medical doctors and PhDs, are more deserving to be addressed as "Dr." I've written about this before, so let me share my thoughts once again with people for whom this sort of thing is interesting.

By convention, both medical doctors and PhDs can prefix “Dr.” to their names. But, here, there's a clash between etymology (origin and development of words) and pragmatics (how words are actually used by speakers of a language).

The word “doctor” was historically used for teachers because it’s derived from the Latin verb docēre, which means “to teach.” So “doctor of philosophy” meant “teacher of philosophy,” where “philosophy” meant what we now know as the sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, that is, disciplines other than law, medicine, and theology which, as I showed two weeks ago, used to be called the "learned professions."

To insist that words must mean what they always meant from the beginning is called etymological fallacy. Language doesn't work that way.

In contemporary uses, people tend to first think of medical doctors before PhDs when the term “doctor” is mentioned. For instance, when I visited Nigeria after completing my PhD years ago, several of my mother’s friends came to ask that I give them medicines for all sorts of illnesses. 

When they heard that I had become a “doctor,” they assumed that I was a medical doctor.

I will never forget my mother’s response to her friends. She said, “This doctor doesn’t treat illnesses; he cures ignorance.” She said this even when she didn’t know that, etymologically, “doctor” meant one who teaches, in other words, one who cures ignorance, although I think it’s a bit arrogant to assume that any one person, however knowledgeable, can cure all ignorance—or that you need a doctorate to cure ignorance.

But the point is that modern usage associates “Dr.” more with medical practitioners than it does with PhDs.

That’s why the New York Times style guide reserves “Dr.” only for medical doctors and uses “Mr.” for doctoral degree holders. If the doctoral degree holder’s qualification is relevant to the story, the paper would write something like, “Mr. Smith, who has a doctorate in physics, said…”

Other American newspapers suffix “PhD” to the names of doctoral degree holders in news reports, as in, “John Smith, Ph.D., said it was unwise to let that happen.”

Related Articles:
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Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Buhari Propagandocracy and the Rhetoric of “Fake News”

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

A few days after he was sworn in as president in 2015, Muhammadu Buhari jetted off to London, his favorite city on earth, to renounce two of the signature campaign documents that helped propel his improbable electoral triumph. The documents are “One Hundred Things Buhari Will Do in 100 Days” and “My Covenant With Nigerians.”

He said the documents were a “fraud.” In other words, he admitted that the very foundation of the government he was elected to lead was a classic bait-and-switch scam. His campaign baited Nigerians with saccharine but intentionally fraudulent promises and then switched to repudiate the promises immediately they got what they wanted.

This germinal fraud, borne out of the Buhari regime’s heightened self-awareness that it had absolutely no capacity or plans to rule for the benefit of the people of Nigeria, became the basis for the shameless propagandocracy it runs. In my March 4, 2017 column titled “Propagandocracy and the Buhari Media Center,” I defined a propagandocracy as “a government conducted by intentionally false and manipulative information.”

Early in the life of the regime, it inaugurated a shadowy troll farm called the Buhari Media Center, which now goes by other names. The BMC started with only about 40 people who have multiple fake social media accounts. But it's now an entire propaganda and mind-management industry that employs thousands of people and sucks up millions of naira monthly. Thousands of N-Power beneficiaries have now been incorporated into it.

Their remit is to flood online comments with pro-regime propaganda, smear and libel government critics, invent slanderous falsehoods against critics, magnify the slip-ups of critics and use that as a crutch to deflect focus on the government's unending fraud, etc.

Another tactic of the regime’s troll factory, which someone said should properly be called an online “human swine factory,” against critics is to borrow a leaf from Donald Trump and label any news that makes them look bad “fake news.” Never mind that the regime and its paid online flame throwers subsist on real fake news.

For instance, on February 18, 2017, the Buhari regime lied that Nigeria was the “second largest producer of rice in the world” and attributed this information to CNN. Premium Times found that Nigeria was not even among the top 10 rice producers in the world and that the reference to CNN was a prevarication.

 Lauretta Onochie, Buhari’s social media aide, has been caught countless times passing off stock photos of road construction in other African countries as evidence of the regime’s infrastructural upgrade of Nigeria.  In October 2018, APC’s official, verified Twitter handle passed off a photo of a rice farm from India to tout Buhari’s “rice revolution in Nigeria.”

In February 2018, former Agriculture minister Audu Ogbe lied that the Thailand ambassador to Nigeria had told him that Buhari’s government was responsible for the collapse of seven rice mills in his country. The ambassador told the Nigerian news media he never had any such conversation with Ogbe. TheCable also found out that, outside of the ambassador’s disavowal, Ogbe’s claims were totally made up.

In October 2018, Festus Keyamo, now a minister in the Buhari regime, downloaded a photo of an abandoned rail track in the Middle East and said it was a photo of a rail track in Nigeria until Buhari came to the rescue.

Much earlier in 2014, Kayode Ogundamisi, one of the best paid diasporan Buhari Media Center (BMC) trolls, intentionally shared a fake photo of Congolese trekkers and said it was Boko Haram refugees fleeing Adamawa.



The examples are almost limitless. The regime and its paid trolls subsist on fake news yet smear critics who unintentionally slip up and immediately correct themselves.

While I was away from social media last week, the Buhari regime’s online human swine factory had a feeding frenzy over a screenshot of a February 23, 2019 Facebook status update on Dasuki’s alleged death that I deleted within minutes of posting.

The update was informed by a recorded phone conversation. The recorded phone conversation in which someone said Dasuki had died because he had been denied access to his medications and that the Buhari regime was hiding news of his death because of the election had been wildly shared on the Hausaphone WhatsApp sphere—and on some websites—before it got to me.

I received it on WhatsApp from at least 10 people, but I only took it seriously when someone who had shared reliable information with me in the past also shared it with me. He told me one of the people in the recorded phone chat was his colleague in the intelligence services.

Within minutes of sharing it on Facebook, Dasuki’s family friend and biographer Yushau Shaibu told me it wasn’t true. So I took it down and made another status update to clarify why I had taken it down. But Buhari apologists who monitor my social media feeds like monitoring spirits took a screenshot of the first update before I deleted it and, of course, ignored the subsequent one where I disclaimed the earlier one.

Now, here are the issues. In journalism, you can never always get it right the first time. Dan Rather, one of America’s most accomplished journalists, fell for inauthentic documents that claimed George W Bush received preferential treatment at the Texas Air National Guard in 1972–73 because of his father’s influence. He apologized and retracted the story after the documents were found to be entirely false.

Even Washington Post’s reporting of the famous Watergate scandal (from where every scandal is now suffixed with a “gate”) had series of what people would have called “fake news” today. Some sources lied to and misled Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and the Nixon admin seized on this to call the entire reporting of the scandal into question. At a point, Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee wanted to withdraw the reporters from the story. But the Washington Post was mostly accurate, and it brought down Nixon.

That’s why we say journalism is only the first rough draft of history. Others say it’s history in a hurry. Carl Bernstein famously characterized it as only “the best obtainable version of the truth.”

Like other ethical journalists, when a piece of information I share is not true, I say so. But these are few and far between. All other bits of information I've shared about the Buhari regime’s moral putrefaction are accurate. Here’s a partial list:

1. I was the first person to expose the existence of the Buhari Media Center (BMC). They initially said it was “fake news.” Now they admit it exists and have even incorporated beneficiaries of N-Power into it.

2. The memo instructing the police to extend the tenure of Buhari's nephew is true. Even the Punch verified it.

3.The memo instructing the posting of senior DSS officers to Ilorin to rig the last election is accurate.


5. The screening of ministers after Senate confirmation, instead of the other way around, is true.

6. The auctioning of ministerial appointments to the highest bidders is true. Many people have confirmed it.

7. The meeting with youth leaders in Aso Rock to attack anti-regime protesters is accurate.

8. Buhari’s personal call to ask that Danjuma Goje be let off his fraud trial as a compensation for not running against Ahmed Lawan for the Senate Presidency is wholly true.

9. The appointment of INEC commissioner Amina Zakari's son as SA to the president on infrastructure as a compensation for the role he played in helping Buhari rig the 2019 election is true.

The list is endless. Several people within and outside the regime who fear that giving information to the domestic media would endanger their lives reach out to me daily. When I can verify their information, I share it.

One or two slip-ups, which I publicly rectified within minutes, don’t change these facts. I will never intentionally tell a lie. Never. Because the Buhari regime feeds on and perpetually shares fake news, it imagines everyone is like it.

Related Article:
Propagandocracy and the Buhari Media Center

Thursday, January 2, 2020

BMC Trolls Think They Can Get Me Fired From My Job

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

I just recently became aware that hordes of headless online trolls of the Muhammadu Buhari regime are writing-- or have written-- an online petition to get me fired from my university. 🤣🤣🤣I didn't realize I'm that much of a threat to Buhari's decaying autocracy.

But the stupidity of Buhari's inept regime-- and the idiotic minions it hires to troll critics-- is truly boundless. These low-IQ twerps think America is Nigeria. I'm now even more energized than ever before to expose the fetid fraud that is this regime.

You're a BMC Troll? I'm Your Employer!
Sometime in 2017, a long-time acquaintance of mine who works in the Presidential Villa told me I had become a "big-time employer of labor in Nigeria." I was puzzled until he explained that I was one of the major reasons the Buhari regime inaugurated a shadowy troll farm called the Buhari Media Center, which now goes by other names.
The BMC started with only about 40 people who have multiple fake social media accounts. But it's now an entire propaganda and mind-management industry that employs thousands of people and sucks up millions of naira monthly. N-Power beneficiaries have now been incorporated into it.
Their remit is to flood online comments with pro-regime propaganda, smear and libel government critics, invent slanderous falsehoods against critics, magnify the slip-ups of critics and use that as a crutch to deflect focus on the government's unending fraud, etc.
But the unhealthy fixation the Buhari regime has on me is flattering, frankly. This must either mean that, in their cluelessness, they hyperbolize my influence on Nigerians or that my exposes of their malfeasance is achieving the intended effect. Or both.
Whatever it is, I'm glad to be one of the reasons a swarm of thoughtless and unemployable online trolls have a monthly paycheck.
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Three Years Without My Dad

By Farooq Kperogi
Twitter: @farooqkperogi

This was first posted on Facebook and Twitter on December 31, 2019

Exactly three years ago today [December 31, 2019], my father, Adamu Kperogi, breathed his last after more than 90 years on this earth. December 31 has now come to represent the most somber day of the year for me.

He was my most consequential moral and intellectual influence, my most important emotional fortress, and by far the most important reason I am who I am today.

He was an iconoclast, a disrupter of staid, disabling traditions, and a passionate warrior against ignorance and superstitions. Although he lived all his life as an Arabic and Islamic Studies teacher, he fought against entrenched "Muslim" traditions in my community that pretended to derive inspiration from Islam.

For instance, right from the early 1970s, he taught that, contrary to widespread practice, people didn’t have to slaughter a ram to celebrate the naming of their children. He pointed out that the idea that children would use the slaughtered rams to ride to paradise in the hereafter was theological fraud invented by greedy mallams. When I was born, he slaughtered no ram.

In my community, people used to isolate and designate certain parts of the community as “evil land” that people must not cultivate. My father was the first person to disrupt and discredit this tradition. To gasps and intense revulsion, he farmed in all the “evil lands” in the community and lived longer than all the people who said he would die for “violating” the abode of jinns.

He was also a man of irrevocably strong convictions. For example, he was a teetotaler, i.e., never drank any intoxicating beverages for any reason. This was, of course, inspired by his strong Muslim faith, but in bringing us up to also be teetotalers, he used the resources of logic. He taught us that being drunk deprived one of control over one’s consciousness—and one’s environment—and that such a state could birth so many untoward things.

One day, in my early teens, he took so seriously ill that everyone thought he was going to die. A traditional “medicine man” brought an alcohol-based herbal concoction to him. He refused to take it even after his fellow mallams reminded him it was halal to take it in light of his circumstances. It appeared cruel that he preferred death to tasting alcohol.

But, when he recovered, he told us he knew the medicine was just herbal junk that wouldn’t have saved him if he was going to die. He added that he wouldn’t know how to morally justify teaching us not to drink alcohol after seeing him drink it even in sickness.

Because he studied Arabic throughout West Africa, he was cosmopolitan and broadminded in ways that weren't typical for a mallam. To the shock of his colleagues, he allowed me to be friends with--and even have sleepovers in the homes of--Christian Eastern Nigerians in my community, who are the most culturally distant from us. He was confident in his parenting and had no anxieties that anyone would dilute it.

The most abiding lesson I learned from my dad, though, is to stick to the truth and to my moral convictions even if it appears the whole world is against me. That was what he did all his life.

People who think they can blackmail me into silence against unjust and inept autocracies have no idea where my activism springs forth from. Continue to rest in peace, dad!

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