Ogboru: Uduaghan’s Rejoinder and Grammar

It is no longer news that my piece “Take a Trip to the Three Warri LGAs” published in the Vanguard of Tuesday February 7, 2010 has attracted a balderdash full-page rejoinder from Emmanuel Uduaghan and his Consultant, Public Communication and Strategy. Much of that balderdash has received counter response elsewhere. Besides the fact that the rejoinder is understandably ninety-nine point nine percent evasive of the cogent and irrefutable points raised in my piece and a bundle of false and hollow claims; it is grammatically error-riddled. This observation, an unexpected angle, is what concerns us here presently.

For a rejoinder done by a consultant, public communication and strategy to one who claims to be governor of a state the language or grammar must be something you thought should be enthralling. This Vanguard February 8, 2011 full-page advertorial was far from that. After reading this Consultant, Public Communication and Strategy to ‘Governor’ Emmanuel Uduaghan I seemed to squirm, and then muted: Which type of English are these!

Let’s take few. “Albeit, some people perhaps don’t know when they are going be dissimilar to their conscience and that is why we have to call such people to order”. No, I have no quarrel with ‘dissimilar’ for at the least he must let us know he went to school, but even an elementary student will jerk at least twice reading that sentence. Then another: “Although, the author claims patriotic instinct and his conscience as license for the write-up.” Yes, Mr. Consultant stamped a period; he has finished his sentence! Now, to assert that one claims patriotic instinct and conscience as license for the piece, you must be able to locate such a claim in the piece. Even though there is nothing wrong in such a claim if actually made, you really cannot find such a claim or anything that approximates it in my piece. Our man was learning to tap or import good phrases and expressions but representing them badly on paper. He also wrote: “… his real intentions which is (sic) to promote Ogboru …”

Then you come to his choice of words: Again, we shall take a few. He represented this writer as “emergent jingoist” who “has taken enough liberty with the truth in his zealous quest to please his present master”. What has jingoism, a near synonym if you will of patriotism and nationalism got to do with his tribal defense of Uduaghan, which his rejoinder is actually? In our modern world, those words are associated only with countries. If by jingoist he intended to say critic then Mr. Consultant revealed gross ignorance by his qualifying word: emergent.

May I introduce an apparently uninformed Consultant, Public Communications and Strategy to my writing career even at the risk of sounding immodest! Where went him when old Daily Times severally published me? He is not aware that Vanguard and The Guardian have robustly published me over the years (decades actually). What do I say of Daily Independent! The list runs ad infinitum. And even though on the international scene my works have been highly and widely published; even though leading science groups and websites such as Scientist of the Year, Access Learning have got me published; and even though my science-related research work have been published in Science by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, this consultant is abusing the word ‘emergent’ back home. He may want to know too that yours sincerely arguably remains the only Nigerian who has doubled as secular and Christian columnist in two different national dailies at the same time: I refer to the Daily Independent and Daily Mirror respectively. Mr. Consultant may well be another President OBJ who doesn’t read Nigerian papers. Consultant my foot!

Bigotry, I suppose, is the word he wanted to use given the tenor of his ad. But then it will still be equally absurd if reality and truth are what you are looking for, because it will be a case of the black pot calling the brilliant gold black; this writer being the gold and Mr. Consultant the pot. Why? He was the mouthpiece of one tribe against others especially the Ijaws in his weird and almost completely evasive rejoinder. He signed for a ‘governor’ of a state, but wrote for Uduaghan the Itsekiri man. And he had his Consultant’s Ghana-must-go from a treasury commonly owned by all the tribes in the state, including the Ijaws he openly argued against with his ‘we’ and them approach that dotted his ad. It is apposite to state here that yours sincerely is not an Ijaw man.

The last word Mr. Consultant abused is provoked. He said conclusively, in bold letters and with an exclamation: “We refuse to be provoked!” By doing a rejoinder are Uduaghan and Mr. Consultant not provoked already? What is ‘provoked’, and what is ‘rejoinder’? Does he know that provoke means to incite something, cause activity, stir somebody to response or to elicit response? Has my piece not caused them to do all of that already: incited them, caused them to act, stirred their response and elicited their response? The piece prompted or provoked them to react. They acted! Okay, let’s take it they mean they do not want to feel angry, another meaning we can associate with provoke. But that was what they actually revealed all through the full-page ad. They were angry and agitated all through. They paraded irritation throughout from intro to final period!

But hold it: Mr. Consultant may mean another level of anger that reveals itself in assassination and bloodshed! Because this has been the rule in governance in Delta State since 1999 and which made some of us fled the state, and that included yours sincerely who started writing then from Lagos as a result and that before he could settled down again in Delta State he has lost all his businesses in the state, the Nigerian Police and SSS must here be notified! For our sake let the Federal Government security agencies endeavor to be on the qui vive (alert and vigilant). But let this be well understood however: We refuse to be cowed! After all the one (their grandmaster) who then made us run for our dear lives is today receiving just retribution just as his flight violently collided with the long arm of the law and dumped him at ‘point of no return’.

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