USA Africa Dialogue Series -

EMBERS OF A DYING YEAR

And we arrived unprepared
unto a winter of discontent 
Hearts frozen by change. 
Embers of a dying year
In your final flicker
Warm our cold hearths.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Yoruba Studies Review, 1,1, 2016

Prof. Toyin Falola will always be a pathfinder and a thoroughbred leader of our time. 
You will not die young Aase Edumare. 
Your pen will not suffer dehydration. Aase Edumare. 
People will always appreciate your scholarship, leadership and generosity. Aase Edumare. 
Ogun agbe yin o Aase Edumare. 
We admire the great contributions and commitment of Prof. Akintunde Akinyemi, the man behind the scene. 
Ko ni re'yin o. Aase Edumare. 
SO

Sent from my iPhone 

On Aug 31, 2016, at 3:20 AM, Toyin Falola <toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu> wrote:

 YSR, Vol. 1, No. 1 is now in printfind attached the cover


CONTENTS

 

ESSAYS

Religion and the Future of Nigeria: Lessons from the Yorùbá Case

J. D. Y. Peel

The Interface Between the Written and the Oral in Ifá Corpus

mọ́tádé Adégbindin

A Comparative Study of Olódùmarè, the Yorùbá Supreme Being and the Judeo-christian God

Ṣẹ́gun Ògúngbèmí

The Glocalization of Yorùbá Ọmọlúwàbí Ideology

Adémọ́lá Dasylva

Is Modernity Single and Universal?: Ọ̀làjú and the Multilateral Modernity

Adéshínà Afláyan

The Migration Patterns and Identity of the Okun-Yorùbá People of Central Nigeria

Ilésanmí Àkánmídù Paul

Women and the age-group System among the Ìjẹ̀bú of Southwestern Nigeria

Catherine Olútóyìn Williams and Níyì Ògúnkọ̀yà

Literature and History: A Study of Nigerian Indigenous Historical Novels

Lérè  Adéyẹmí

 

SPECIAL PROFILE: délé jẹ́gẹ́dẹ́: Art and Life

The Masquerade in the Marketplace: délé jẹ́gẹ́dẹ́'s Introspections and Reflections In Colors and Lines

Tóyìn Fállá

Ìkẹ́rẹ́-Èkìtì in Art and Cultural Narratives

délé jẹ́gẹ́dẹ́

Rare Objects and the Rhapsodic World of Yorùbá Elite Art Collectors: Preliminary Notes

Adérónkẹ́ Adéṣọlá Adésànyà

 

REVIEW ESSAY

 

A Voice Sweeter than Salt: Tóyìn Fálọlá and the Construction of Subaltern Narrative Space

Ben Weiss

 

 

Toyin Falola
Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin
104 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712-0220
USA
512 475 7224
512 475 7222 (fax)

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<YSR Vol 1 cover.pdf>

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Passing of Dr. Godwin Ariguzo




From: "Chancellor Helm" <chancellor@umassd.edu
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 2:30:01 PM
Subject: Passing of Dr. Godwin Ariguzo

Dear students, faculty, and staff:

With great sadness, I must report to you that Dr. Godwin Ariguzo, a beloved and respected member of the Charlton College of Business faculty, has passed away while in Nigeria. The University learned of his passing from a family member today.  Those who knew Godwin well describe him as a passionate teacher and mentor, who loved this university and his students, and illuminated any room he walked into with a positive spirit and bright smile. He had recently achieved a major professional and personal milestone when he was awarded tenure and a promotion to associate professor this summer.  His passing is a great loss for our community.

On behalf of the UMass Dartmouth community, I extend condolences to Dr. Ariguzo's wife and children.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  We will share funeral and memorial service arrangements as they become available.

Sincerely,


Peyton R. Helm
Interim Chancellor


_______________________________________________
notifyfac mailing list


Re: SV: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

Hi salimonu,

I don’t know how much time you and others on this list have worked on these questions. They are very complicated, and your examples should really be regarded not as closing down the argument but opening it up. I am not a legal scholar, but have heard a bit from some on free speech. There are universal conventions granting us all free speech, if our countries signed those u.n. conventions. As you probably know, some countries ban hate speech, and others do not. There is a vast difference between the u.s., whose first amendment and general history opposes banning speech, and only prosecutes if there is incitement to violence (which has to be very direct), or libel (where damage is caused), and france and Canada which ban it. I don’t know about African countries, but I bet most if not all signed the u.n. conventions, which accord us free speech.

 

I understand the desire to prohibit the ugly speech you cite below, but strong arguments could be adduced against them. In its simplest form, an oppressive, autocratic state will prevent its citizens from criticizing the govt. chidren in Burundi were arrested—dozens—for drawing over the image of the president whose election was highly controversial.

Not to mention zuma and art mocking him in s Africa.

 

Who gets to decide, in cases like that? You and I know: the police, the agents of the state.

 

On the other hand, I (against the views of bill Clinton) favored bombing radio milles collines in Rwanda that advocated genocide in 1994. Clinton wanted to stay out of it, to let genocide run its course. That was criminal.

 

We all have different views here. What I find truly distasteful, simply, is those who argue so forcefully against freedom of speech, assuming it is some Eurocentric notion that goes against African values. As anyone who has joined in the open spirit of a palaver knows, Africans value the right to speak out as much as anyone else. We can legitimately debate its appropriate limits, as you begin to do. But taking it to the next level, arguing basically for state repression, is to limit us all.

I believe we need to be able to criticize governments freely—100%. You can’t have that right and still be told not to insult anyone.

I like your last question a lot. It is a good summary. But it is not an answer. Try answering it, and you’ll find it is very very very complicated.

ken

 

Kenneth Harrow

Dept of English and Film Studies

Michigan State University

619 Red Cedar Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-803-8839

harrow@msu.edu

http://www.english.msu.edu/people/faculty/kenneth-harrow/

 

From: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Salimonu Kadiri <ogunlakaiye@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: Wednesday 31 August 2016 at 13:08
To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Subject: SV: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

 

Provocations can be prohibited if they are born out of hatred which can incite and lead people into violence and lost of lives. A moustached and brown uniformed German wearing swastika symbol around his neck cannot travel to Israel and throw a pig head into the Synagogue without repercussion. Netanyahu cannot address a state visiting German Chancellor in Israel by saying, "Welcome to Israel, Mrs. Eva Braun" without hell breaking out. Is there a free speech that allows pale-skinned Americans to call dark-skinned people, Niggers? What is the difference between free speech and hate speech? Can one man's free speech not be another man's hate speech? If your free speech constitutes hate speech for me, how do we resolve the ensuing melee? 

S.Kadiri   

 


 

 


Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Kenneth Harrow <harrow@msu.edu>
Skickat: den 31 augusti 2016 03:09
Till: usaafricadialogue
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

 

To what extent do you want the state to prohibit provocations?? What is a free society, in your view? A woman should have the right to cover herself on the beach, without imagining the French will go nuts. It is pure islamophobia that is at stake, and tomorrow, believe me, it will be Africans who will suffer, muslim or not. Racism is the ugly side of ultranationalism, xenophobia, rightwing extremism, the true sickness here

 

Kenneth Harrow

Dept of English and Film Studies

Michigan State University

619 Red Cedar Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-803-8839

harrow@msu.edu

http://www.english.msu.edu/people/faculty/kenneth-harrow/

 

From: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Ayo Obe <ayo.m.o.obe@gmail.com>
Reply-To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: Tuesday 30 August 2016 at 16:02
To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

 

The phrase that is running through my mind as I read this thread is the one about "Freedom of speech does not include the right to shout 'FIRE!' in a crowded theatre."

Ayo

I invite you to follow me on Twitter @naijama


On 30 Aug 2016, at 4:18 PM, Kenneth Harrow <harrow@msu.edu> wrote:

I love this point obi is making. And just returning france I found exactly the same thing—blaming the victim—to have been true in the laws and persecution of women wearing the burkinis on the beach in france. this is not a small point: it is a question of tolerating different cultural forms of expression for women

ken

 

Kenneth Harrow

Dept of English and Film Studies

Michigan State University

619 Red Cedar Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-803-8839

harrow@msu.edu

http://www.english.msu.edu/people/faculty/kenneth-harrow/

 

From: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: Tuesday 30 August 2016 at 09:51
To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

 

 

The point we miss is that Chinakwe has committed no crime. He may be insensitive, opinionated, and all what not, but there is no conduct warranting his arrest, and the charges brought against him. Anyone has a right to name their dogs after Azikiwe, Ojukwu, Okpara,  or Awolowo, Gowon, and so on, and they'd be within their rights, for as long as they do not set these dogs after anyone to commit violent crimes. Chinakwe clearly did not physically attack his neighbors. He however was the victim of brutal physical attack. Rather than charge his attackers for battery, the police charged the victim for acts capable of causing public disturbance. And that act is one already protected under Nigerian laws: free speech. The only act of speech capable of causing injury in law is "libel." And this man is not charged for libel, but for "acts capable of causing public disturbance." It is a charge that validates intolerance, and that criminalizes the victim. It is the same kind of intolerance that permits the killing of 8 people in Zamfara for expressing different religious opinion. It is the same that permits the killing of the female pastor in Abuja for publicly proclaiming her god early on a Friday morning. It is the same impulse that permitted the lopping off of the head of Gideon Akaluka, or the killing of a 70-years old Elizabeth Agbahareme in Kano for blasphemy. Those who defend it today may become victims tomorrow.

Obi Nwakanma

 


From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of blargeo.dekeye@gmail.com <blargeo.dekeye@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 12:43 PM
To: Rex Marinus
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

 

Dear all,

 

What's in a name? 

 

When I proposed to name my son Habakkuk, his mother looked at me in horror and told me:

 

You cannot ridicule God.

 

How would I ridicule the Almighty by appropriating a name from his Holy Writ? I asked. 

 

But there are other good names in the bible, Habakkuk is far out ridiculous and a mockery of my church going. She retorted. 

 

In such arguments, the rock cannot win against the egg. Especially when the holy ghost and other saintly phantoms are invoked and involved. It is simply no contest. David defeats Goliath again.

 

So I gave up and we settled for the bible's own Poet Warrior - David. Twitter profile: Slayer of giants. Harpist. Psalmist. Great Adulterer. King. Father of Solomon the wise.

 

But she was right. It was an irresponsible attempt at satire, a childish rebellion against the naming of people after biblical characters and the culture of pastors or imams officiating at naming ceremonies. I'm not a church goer, I do not need a priest to name my child, his mother however needs. She is as fanatically attached to the church as I am to football. 

 

Perversely, I also wanted to see the reactions, the whole shebang of emotions; from shock to disbelief and derision when the naming priest mouths the thunderously onomatopoeic Habahabakakakukukkkulus. And that of the bunch of churchified relatives, neighbours and friends, some who I suspect harbour dark suspicions that I must have slipped and fell in the bathroom as a kid, the way I carry on.

 

I did defer to the woman, not because I'm not a chauvinist pig but because of the infant adonis involved. I can imagine the burden of him living his life with a name that is pointless, apocryphal in its ugliness, pugilistic in its suggestions and jaw crunching in its uttering. A name that elicits laughter. That conjures an image of long beards, robes, the wrath of Jehovah and the wilderness. I was not going to take responsibility for such a scarlett name that'll make him a target for bullies and sniper clowns. A name rejected by a church loving prayer warrior is a name the society cannot tolerate, would not condone.  

 

Lil tots have a very human right to be given responsible names by their parents. Responsible parents do not name their kids Hitler, Judas or Caliban. (Osama has become quite the rage though, but we all know why). And so I backed down, waiting for another opportunity to strike another blow for secularity.

 

Now let us imagine that in the pursuit of freedom and happyness, one Shehu Bagudu, a resident of Amuwo Odofin, buys a white Ram and decides to name it Achebe and then goes to great lenght to boldly tattoo that legendary name on the spotless animal. Will shehu retain his Bagudus still ?

 

What if an Ogbeni Kadiri names his chicken Azikiwe and posts a video of the overweight bird with its feathers festooned with that saintly name on this forum? What will Jesus do?

 

Or imagine me, the gods forbid, naming my rat (a white wooly guinea pig) Ikemba Ojukwu and printing those names loudly in blood red letters all over the lab rodent and after all my exertions take a swaggering stroll down the streets of Enugu. Would it be still be peaceful on the eastern front?

 

There's hell in a name? 

 

In all these back and forth on Names, Naming and an Emerging Tyranny, we have failed to address the Tyranny of Names and Naming. 

 

How does a mullah who has vowed never to associate with alcohol address Senator Heineken Lokpobiri in full? 

 

What about the Yoruba father who names his child "Otaibayomi, Sasaeniyan, Moboriaye ". (roughly translated as: Enemies couldn't defeat me, Very few people,  I triumphed over the pricipalities, ) How would his enemies feel, a little slighted? 

 

How would the French welcome the British Ambassador Mr. Frank Waterloo in Paris? 

 

What would happen to the white historian Professor Sam Nigger, with his very bold white name tag on a sharp black suit on the streets of Queensbridge or Compton?

 

How will Cardinal Sin be welcomed by the Arch Angel at the pearly gates, will he be allowed to gaze at the singing Seraphs and the choir of Cherubs?

 

And finally, why has nobody shown an iota of consideration for the feelings of the canine, even our feminists? Doug E. Doggs do have feelings too and all animals do have Animal rights too. There are laws against cruelty to animals and naming can be cruel or downright fatal to animals. To endanger ones own life is a privilege but to expose a pet, not a bedbug or mosquito, to mortal danger is irresponsible. What is the point to owning a pet? My dogs don't guard me, I am their guardian. We claim at every turn and bend that a dog is man's best friend. Does the name Buhari befit that friend?

 

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

From: Rex Marinus

Sent: Tuesday, 30 August 2016 1:54 AM

To: USAAfrica Dialogue

Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

 

Dr. Aluko, your reactionary and fascist instincts cannot stand a young "colored" man "making fun of the "Oba" of his country?!! O ma bloody se o! There are those who actually hoped that you, of all people, should stand up and defend "free speech" and civic protest, and a difference of political and cultural views, wherever they're expressed. You were once on the books for treasonable felony for simply backing your favorite political horse. And meanwhile, we are not in a "traditional village." We are in the 21st century with its rapidly urbanizing ethos. And Buhari is nobody's "Oba." We, the Igbo belong to that country, and give no fiddler's fart for that medieval aberration, which civilized people dispensed with about 300 years ago. Nigeria is a republic with citizens. Not a monarchy with subjects - even if your reactionary soul cannot stand that fact of human equality and civilized conduct. Chinakwe's act is the fullest expression of his rights to free speech, and it is satire at its best. It is the same kind of satire Soyinka used to deadly effect at the height of his career. It is the same kind of theatre that only really nuanced, and sophisticated imaginations can comprehend and be amused by, but which heats up the collars of dunces and reactionaries! I think you guys should give this oppressed Nigerian, Chinakwe, a break.

Obi Nwakanma

 

 


From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Mobolaji Aluko <alukome@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2016 10:27 PM
To: USAAfrica Dialogue
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

 

 

 

Shola Adenekan:

 

I did not watch the video - my African sensibilities cannot stand a young "colored" fellow abusing a 70-year-old man (the "Oba"of his country) - making millions of dollars doing so.  You cannot make fun of an Oba's dick like that in a traditional village and get away with it.

 

But your commentary below about Trevor Noah and Zuma's dick in a modern democracy seriously lacks context.  That is political SATIRE, which is EXPRESSLY protected in America's Constitution, and may be also covered in South Africa's.  If Zuma does not sue Trevor Noah, then Noah can go on.

 

But Chinakwe's naming of a dog was not about Muhammadu Buhari - that would also be political satire - but about his neighbor's father's name - who happened to be Buhari.  That Father Buhari is NOT a political figure, and his son COMPLAINED, and the local Police man at the station considered the complaint sufficiently weighty to detain Chinakwe, arresting him for "possibility of breach of the public peace."  It is thereafter up to the court to say whether Chinakwe is guilty or not.

 

It is as simple as that, and all this harrumping about Western democracy and the onslaught of tyranny because of tyranny smacks of something more grieving of you commentators than the dog.  I think that you are just smirking secretly that a dog has been named after Buhari, which happens to be the President Buhari's name, the foe-du-jour.

 

And there you have it.

 

 

Bolaji Aluko

 

 

On Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 4:40 PM, Shola Adenekan <sholaadenekan@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Mr Kadiri,

 

There you go again, not answering the question. You write without relying on facts. That is the difference between when Farouk writes and when people like you write. Farouk does his research, you sir, do not.

 

Anyway in other societies, people are not gunned down if they name their dogs or monkeys after their president. Here is a discussion about a person who named their dog Obama - http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-578765.html

 

Here is Trevor Noah - before he became famous - making fun of President Jacob Zuma´s dick, scroll to 1.30min - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v41uKgTxHNE

 

And here is him mocking Zuma again - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awimlo60jls

 

I think you, like the rest of our politicians, need to re-learn what democracy entails.

 

Be well, sir!

Shola

 

On 29 August 2016 at 16:10, Salimonu Kadiri <ogunlakaiye@hotmail.com> wrote:

Dear Mr. Adenekan,

You have asked me to tell, "Who are these Americanized and Europeanized people you are referring to?" Your question is superfluous because you failed to read the complete sentence, which is as follows, "Americanised and Europeanised Nigerian intellectuals are known for their being exaggerated democrats who always dress themselves in the beautiful garments of democracy only in words and not in practice." The underlined part of that sentence answers your question, who are these Americanized and Europeanized people?

 

With regards to your lecture on the aspect of freedom of speech, I agree with you that not in any circumstance should it be contained. However, you should not confuse freedom of speech with freedom of action. Mr. Chinakwe did not utter any word to the effect that anybody bearing the name Buhari is a dog rather he dressed up his dog with a printed inscription of a human name, Buhari. Any human being bearing the name,  Buhari, and irrespective of the person's status in the society, is likely to react violently to Chinakwe's freedom of action during encounter. Similarly, if you buy a monkey and dress it up with a printed inscription of Obama in the United States, the probability that you will be gunned down with your monkey is hundred per cent. Yes, you can call Obama monkey in the public but you cannot print the name, Obama, on a monkey and walk around with it in the public.

 

Your assertion that the current administration *has bent the rule of law* in Messrs Kanu and Chinakwe's case is totally false. A law is either applied or misapplied. It is up to you to tell readers which law has been misapplied in the case of the aforementioned law breakers. While it might be true that I criticized Jonathan's regime for one thing or the other, it might be wise to cite what aspect of those criticisms are relevant to your current reference.

S.Kadiri    

 


 

 


Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Shola Adenekan <sholaadenekan@gmail.com>
Skickat: den 29 augusti 2016 12:58
Till: usaafricadialogue
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

 

Dear Mr Salimonu Kadiri,

Have you actually read your intial response to Farouk´s piece? Perhaps, you want me to copy and paste it again? Here it is:

"Americanised and Europeanised Nigerian intellectuals are known for their being exaggerated democrats who always dress themselves in beautiful garments of democracy only in words and not in practice. That explains why they dissipate so much energy on the fate of Mr. Joe Fortemose Chinakwe, who is being arraigned in court for behaving in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace. Our exaggerated democrats are saying that in Europe and America, one can name animals anyhow and as such there was nothing wrong in Mr. Chinakwe's naming his dog *Buhari.* But a name given to a pet animal in Europe and America is only known to the owner of the pet animal and his/her immediate close relatives or friends. Unlike Mr. Chinakwe the name given to a pet animal in Europe or America is never inscribed in print on both sides of the animal. If Mr. Chinakwe had named his dog Buhari without inscribing it in print on both sides of the dog, nobody would have cared to report him to the police as a plaintiff had done against Mr. Chinakwe. We must not forget that there are people who bear Buhari either as a surname or first name beside President Buhari. In fact, a man whose father's name is Buhari in the neighbourhood of Mr. Chinakwe's place of abode has threatened to kill him if he could lay hands on him for insulting his father. In Europe and America, one is stung if one touches the wasp-net with the head, as in Nigeria.

Mr.Chinakwe has been granted bail by the court, but he has not been able to fulfil his bail condition of N50,000 as his family has been able to raise only N20,000. Therefore, he has been remanded in police custody. If Mr. Chinakwe had been in Europe or America, there is likelihood that he might have been jailed for not taking proper care of his dog. A person who could take proper care of his dog should be able to fulfil a bail condition of N50,000. For now, what the Europeanised and Americanised Nigerian intellectuals who sympathise with Mr. Chinakwe should do is to send him money to fulfil his bail conditions and pay his defence lawyer. It is very disgusting to see that the degree of energy dissipated by the democratic pretenders have never been witnessed in the cases of treasury looters whose trials have been buried by the corrupt judiciary. Nigerians wallow in abject poverty and destitution today because of the backwardness imposed upon the country by those who held the lever of power in Nigeria from 1999 to 2015. Taunting Buhari in this wise is an invitation to argue about nothing and to learn nothing.

S.Kadiri"

 

Read the opening paragraph again. You are the person who pointed out that there are Europeanized and Americanized Nigerian interllectuals, not me. Pray, tell us, who are these Americanized and Europeanized people you are referring to? And how does their interpretation of democracy different from Nigeria´s version of democracy.  I think Kenneth Harrow has aptly commented on this: There is only one democracy, it´s either we practice democracy in Nigeria or we choose dictatorship. There is no in-between. Culture is not an excuse. As a matter of fact, the slogan of "this is our culture" has always been the precursor to tyranny. We have seen this in Nigeria, Uganda, Turkey etc.

One of the essential aspects of democracy is the freedom of speech and the protection of that freedom is paramount and more important than protecting the honour of President Buhari. Democracy also requires that the government follows the rule of law. In both Mr Kanu and Mr Chinalwe´s case, the current administration has bent the rule of law. 

I have archived most of your submissions over the years on this list. I remember you criticising the Jonathan´s government for not following the rule of law. I guess now that your man is in power, that same criteria no longer applies.

Be well, sir!

Best wishes,

Shola

 

On 29 August 2016 at 08:59, Kenneth Harrow <harrow@msu.edu> wrote:

Abdul, I liked your post, but a small set of reflections. If it is democracy you really want, then you must accept that a president is no more important than one else, and we are all free to use speech, even in offensive ways. That may not apply to a private usage, like this list, where we participate having agreed not to insult each other. But we can’t have meaningful criticisms of public officials without feeling free from theburden of their office. In other words, why criticize American democracy and yet complain about freedom of speech?

As for American democracy, well, in a real sense  it is a democracy. We all vote, etc. but it is an imperfect democracy, exactly in the ways you indicate

ken

 

Kenneth Harrow

Dept of English and Film Studies

Michigan State University

619 Red Cedar Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

517-803-8839

harrow@msu.edu

http://www.english.msu.edu/people/faculty/kenneth-harrow/

 

From: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Abdul Salau <salauabdul@gmail.com>
Reply-To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: Sunday 28 August 2016 at 17:00
To: usaafricadialogue <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

 

Farooq

I don't know where you got your sensibilities from but naming a dog after a president of the most populous Black  country in the world is offensive and is distasteful culturally not because of the president because he is a mortal like all of us.   But because of institution of the presidency.   You may rationalize all you want about demoncrazy a wood that stays in the river cannot become crocodile.   United States is not a democracy it is plutocracy governed oligarchs it is the same way that the elites of the United States named cars, helicopters Apache after native Americans.

You can borrow ideology but we have to responsibilities to use this ideology in a culturally acceptable ways.

Abdul Salau

 

On Sun, Aug 28, 2016 at 2:03 AM, Shola Adenekan <sholaadenekan@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Mr Kadiri,

I guess you do not have any concrete response to the issues Prof Kperogi raised in his piece, so instead you decided to insult him and those of us who believe in genuine democracy.

 

You started with "Americanised and Europeanised Nigerian intellectuals are known for their being exaggerated democrats who always dress themselves in beautiful garments of democracy only in words and not in practice."

 

Please tell us, what sort of democrat are you as a Nigerianised democrat? How is your interpretation of democracy more ´real´ than our version of democracy?

 

I remember those days when you used to point out some of the undemocratic mistakes of Goodluck Jonathan´s government´-  when you were running for office a few years back. Is it not right for people who truly care about democracy to discuss Buhari´s mistakes?

 

Now on Mr Chinakwe´s case, you said: "But a name given to a pet animal in Europe and America is only known to the owner of the pet animal and his/her immediate close relatives or friends. Unlike Mr. Chinakwe the name given to a pet animal in Europe or America is never inscribed in print on both sides of the animal."

 

Are you telling me you know a lot more about the rule of dog ownership in Europe and America more than those of us who live in these places? Do you know how many times people have called Obama unprintable names and the president - because he believes in the First Amendment - just laughed these off as part of what makes democracy great?

 

You obviously did  not  do your research about Prof Kperogi. This man does not write without doing his homework. He takes his writing very seriously and that is why many respect and admire him. Did you ever look up what he wrote during Jonathan´s government and during the election that brought Buhari to power?

 

If you actually care about knowledge, you will sit down and Google his work and also research how things actually work in a true democracy, and then you can come back on this forum and criticise Prof Kperogi. What you sir, have done is a very lazy job.

 

Best wishes,

Shola

 

 

 

 

On 27 August 2016 at 22:26, Salimonu Kadiri <ogunlakaiye@hotmail.com> wrote:

Americanised and Europeanised Nigerian intellectuals are known for their being exaggerated democrats who always dress themselves in beautiful garments of democracy only in words and not in practice. That explains why they dissipate so much energy on the fate of Mr. Joe Fortemose Chinakwe, who is being arraigned in court for behaving in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace. Our exaggerated democrats are saying that in Europe and America, one can name animals anyhow and as such there was nothing wrong in Mr. Chinakwe's naming his dog *Buhari.* But a name given to a pet animal in Europe and America is only known to the owner of the pet animal and his/her immediate close relatives or friends. Unlike Mr. Chinakwe the name given to a pet animal in Europe or America is never inscribed in print on both sides of the animal. If Mr. Chinakwe had named his dog Buhari without inscribing it in print on both sides of the dog, nobody would have cared to report him to the police as a plaintiff had done against Mr. Chinakwe. We must not forget that there are people who bear Buhari either as a surname or first name beside President Buhari. In fact, a man whose father's name is Buhari in the neighbourhood of Mr. Chinakwe's place of abode has threatened to kill him if he could lay hands on him for insulting his father. In Europe and America, one is stung if one touches the wasp-net with the head, as in Nigeria.

 

Mr.Chinakwe has been granted bail by the court, but he has not been able to fulfil his bail condition of N50,000 as his family has been able to raise only N20,000. Therefore, he has been remanded in police custody. If Mr. Chinakwe had been in Europe or America, there is likelihood that he might have been jailed for not taking proper care of his dog. A person who could take proper care of his dog should be able to fulfil a bail condition of N50,000. For now, what the Europeanised and Americanised Nigerian intellectuals who sympathise with Mr. Chinakwe should do is to send him money to fulfil his bail conditions and pay his defence lawyer. It is very disgusting to see that the degree of energy dissipated by the democratic pretenders have never been witnessed in the cases of treasury looters whose trials have been buried by the corrupt judiciary. Nigerians wallow in abject poverty and destitution today because of the backwardness imposed upon the country by those who held the lever of power in Nigeria from 1999 to 2015. Taunting Buhari in this wise is an invitation to argue about nothing and to learn nothing.

S.Kadiri   

 


 

 


Från: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> för Farooq A. Kperogi <farooqkperogi@gmail.com>
Skickat: den 27 augusti 2016 15:51
Till: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Ämne: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Naming a Dog and Buhari’s Emerging Democratic Tyranny

 

My column in today's Daily Trust:

 

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

 

Buhari’s administration is shaping up to be perhaps the most intolerant and petulant civilian administration in Nigeria. But it isn’t the intolerance and petulance in and of themselves that are disquieting; it is the crying incompetence of this government’s handling of dissent, which often ends up popularizing and lionizing nonentities.

 

It started with Indigenous People of Biafra’s Nnamdi Kanu. He was spewing his rib-tickling inanities on the fringes of the Internet and on a barely known radio station. Then, suddenly, when he started attacking President Buhari, Nigerian authorities moved in swiftly to contain him. They announced that they had successfully jammed his radio station, but came back a few days later to refute an alleged libelous falsehood the station made against Buhari!

 

Of course, news of the “jamming” of the radio and the press release refuting what the station reportedly said against Buhari (after it was supposed to have been jammed!) caused the station—and the ideology it espouses—to make national and international headlines. And there was an enormous spike in the number of searches for “Radio Biafra” and “Nnamdi Kanu” on Google and other search engines.

 

This, combined with Buhari’s unambiguous antipathy toward the southeast, has sparked a resurgence of Biafran and neo-Biafran movements and periodic sanguinary communal upheavals. This was completely avoidable. If the government had ignored (or quietly diluted)  Kanu and his Radio Biafra and demonstrated even token large-heartedness toward the southeast (and the deep south) in the immediate aftermath of Buhari’s epochal electoral triumph in spite of opposition from the region, we wouldn’t know of Kanu and IPOB. But Nigerian authorities couldn’t stomach an insult at Buhari.

 

Now another man by the name of Joe Fortemose Chinakwe has become an international celebrity. He has been arrested, detained, imprisoned, and charged to court just because he named his dog Buhari. This is the height of petty intolerance.

 

Worse bile was directed at previous civilian presidents in the country. Tafawa Balewa, Shagari, Obasanjo, Yar’adua, and Jonathan were often at the receiving end of so much thoroughgoing hate, but the world didn’t know about this because no one was arrested and imprisoned. (Comedian Ali Baba said he named one of his dogs “Obasanjo” during Obasanjo’s administration and publicized it. In northern Nigeria, Jonathan and Attahiru Jega were called some of the vilest names I have ever heard—and in songs, too.) Public office is not for huffy crybabies.

 

 

I have read many Muslim commenters point out that giving a dog a Muslim name was offensive in and of itself. I agree. The problem is that the name wasn’t given to the dog to spite Muslims; it was given to make a political statement. If Buhari’s name was Smith Punapuna, the dog would be named precisely that.

 

But Buhari isn’t even a Muslim name in the strict sense of the term.  As I pointed in previous articles, the name Bukhari (which we render as Buhari in Nigeria because many Nigerian languages don’t have the guttural consonant that the phoneme “kh” represents), is derived from Bukhara, which is the name of a town in what is now Uzbekistan in the former USSR.

 

The person who popularized the name is a 9th-century author of hadith collections known as Abū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Mughīrah ibn Bardizbah al-Ju‘fī al-Bukhārī.

 

In Hebrew, Arabic, and Farsi, “i” is added to the name of a town to indicate descent from the town. So “Bukhari” simply means someone from (the town of) Bukhara, what Hausa speakers would call “Dan Buhara.” It’s like someone taking offense because someone named his dog Dan Kano, Dan Daura, Dan Hadejia, etc., which, though names of towns, are borne by some northerners as last names (without the “dan”).

 

But that’s not even the most important point. How many people will the Buhari administration arrest for getting under the president’s skin? In other words, how many people will this administration make undeservedly popular because of its intolerance and incompetence? Many frustrated people who feel they have nothing to live for in light of the present economic crunch in the country are going to name their dogs after Buhari. Watch out. It’s now the surest way to cheap popularity, and the intolerance and incompetence of this government will ensure that they get all the attention, and possibly financial benefits, they crave. 

 

But it isn’t only after Buhari that dogs will be named; dogs will also be named after key ministers of the government.

 

As I am writing this column, I read that a woman by the name of Ada Ogbonna has named her dog after the comically loudmouthed Lai Mohammed. “Meet my dog, Lai Mohammed,” she wrote on Facebook. “I named it after someone I admired.”

 

There will be several such publicity baits. A competent government with some clue won’t swallow such easy baits. This is all part of democracy. I live in America where the president of the country is called all sorts of dreadful names without consequences.  For instance, many racists named their dogs Obama, but Obama disarmed them by naming his dog Bo, which is short for Barack Obama.

 

We can’t pretend to be practicing democracy and clamp down on people for merely saying hurtful things that get on our frail nerves.

 

This is particularly telling coming from a government that is caught flatfooted in almost everything, a government that daily inflicts misery on its poor citizens while its power structure feeds fat on the misery of the poor. It’s troubling when a government that took six months to appoint a predictable cast of characters as ministers wastes no time to arrest a person for naming his dog Buhari. It is concerning when a government that is mute in the face of the horrendous mass murder of hundreds of Shiites in Zaria arrests inconsequential people because they got under the skin of the president.

 

Maybe Buhari is not even aware that someone has been imprisoned because he named his dog after him.  Maybe. But people who are close to and love the president should tell him that the emerging pettiness and intolerance of his administration are becoming intolerably embarrassing.

 

You can’t be paying over-sized attention to minor, inconsequential irritants while the country burns under your watch.

 

Related Articles:

 

Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Journalism & Emerging Media
School of Communication & Media

Social Science Building 

Room 5092 MD 2207

402 Bartow Avenue
Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, Georgia, USA 30144
Cell: (+1) 404-573-9697
Personal website: www.farooqkperogi.com

Twitter: @farooqkperog

Author of Glocal English: The Changing Face and Forms of Nigerian English in a Global World

"The nice thing about pessimism is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised." G. F. Will

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