By Dele Sobowale
Truth eludes us if we do not concentrate total attention on its pursuit â€”Aleksander Sozhenitsyn, Vanguard Book of Quotations p.254
ONE late Professor Hayakawa, a Japanese American who was once the president of a university in southern California, was also a great semanticist. Semantics, by the way is the study of how people react to words and symbols.
I was privileged to read two of Hayakawaâ€™s books while compiling the Book of Quotations.
One thing I learnt from my detour into semantics was the fact that the person who writes a lot or delivers many speeches runs the risk of being misunderstood, even by those who are well educated and also articulate.
Some, of course, misrepresent what they read or heard because of congenital bias; others, on account of carelessness fostered by generalization.
Thus, if you write that you endorse a particular statement by an official, it is interpreted that you are in support of everything he says or does.
So a lawyer wrote to accuse me of swearing never to criticize Sanusi. Evidence? None. Yet, that is a professional wordsmith.
For instance, when I wrote in â€œRebranding Akunyili and Ohakimâ€ that â€œthe matter of the 2.3 GHZ palaver between the minister and the NCC chairman is still hangingâ€, I expected any one without a biased mind to realize that none of the two contestants had been judged in the wrong.
When Mr Sunday Dare, writing on behalf of the minister wrote his â€œrejoinderâ€, â€œYou canâ€™t debrand â€¦Â â€œ, he made two errors. First de-brand and re-brand are two different subjects; second, he was offering a defence where no accusation had been made.
I know that semantics is not on the curriculum in Nigerian schools, but I also hope that reading and comprehension have not been thrown out of the window also.
At any rate as a senior manager for over three decades in Nigeria, I know the sort of graduates coming out of our tertiary institutions these days. Unfortunately, many work for government as spokespersons. As it turned out, I went out of my way to find out the truth about the wave length controversy and by now, the entire world knows the truth.
The President of Nigeria, Yar Adua waded into the matter and delivered a just verdict â€“ that the NCC did not follow due process in awarding the wave length and even did not have the right to award it unilaterally.
That information could have been made available to the public in a short note by Dare, as is now being done. It is quite possible that prÃ©cis had also gone out of the school curriculum.
In the end, we now know that Professor Dora Akunyili stood for probity and due process in this matter. For this she deserves to be commended. Surprisingly, Engineer Ernest Ndukwe, for whom I have the greatest respect, had not done the gentlemanly thing. He should have apologized to the minister, for putting her through the trauma of negative publicity while there was doubt about who was right.
As for me the matter is no longer hanging, I doff my hat to the honourable minister.
Changing designer suits? time to become a tailor
When we do proper forensic audit, weâ€™ll find a reason to hold human being for their actions.. they can fight against being removed, and they may also fight against being put in jail â€”Lamido Sanusi, governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.
Volat ambiguis Mobilis alis hora, nec ulli Praesta velox Fortuna fidem (Latin)
Translation: On fickle wings the minutes haste And Fortunes favours never last â€”Seneca, 5-65 A.D, Vanguard Book of Quotations pp.65 and 66
SOME of Nigeriaâ€™s â€œFortuneâ€™schildrenâ€ who found themselves at the top of great banks, as chairman, managing directors, executive and non-executive directors, might be on their way to jail â€“ if the â€œclean sweepâ€ reportedly ordered by Yarâ€™Adua does not suffer the fate of emergency on power and disclosure of the names of militants sponsors.
And among the winners arising from this self-induced misfortune will be tailors engaged to provide new â€œdesigner suitsâ€ for those who hitherto had them custom made from Italy, France and London. Donâ€™t expect to see those creations on the pages of ALLURE though. Indeed â€œfortuneâ€™s favour never lastsâ€.
0805-495-9619: Sir, the problem of Nigeria is not its leaders but its citizens of which you and me are among. Why do you support ex-governor Attah against Akpabio.
Because Attah favoured you while in office. If not why are you fighting Akpabio in more than two papers of which you are a columnist. Are you his media assistant? Don’t bother to reply. â€”Agbonmeire Ogbeide.
WHEN one stateÂ Â aloneÂ out of 36 states and the FCT – Akwa Ibom – collects 10 per cent of the federally allocated revenue; and four states – Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa – collect 33.3 per cent of the same revenue, and their people still complain about lack of amenities, how the governors spend the money is everybodyâ€™s business.
Otherwise what were militants doing bombing Atlas Cove in Lagos. Nigeria is one entity at least for now. The waste in Akwa Ibom is simply monumental. Nobody will be spared. I have started work on other states. Just wait and see.
I will go from Akwa Ibom, to Rivers, to Delta to Bayelsa and to Lagos whether someone calls me a thief, a lunatic or whatever. They are only exercising the rights for which we in the media have been fighting and will continue to fight.
Your text message has been well-publicised in order for you to know that no view is censored here. After all, if I canâ€™t stand the heat, I should get out of the kitchen. At any rate what what do Area Boys do but â€œstealâ€?