EXPRESSION AND OPINION
With Ebere Wabara
“OSINBAJO issues marching order to cement producers” Truth and Reason: marching orders.
“LASAA’s double standards” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Headline, May 16) Fixed expression: double standard.
“This is crucial because our steps have been faulty from the onset (outset).”
The next four blunders are from SATURDAY TRIBUNE of July 1: “…the noise pollution that accompany (accompanies) the use and subsequent rise in the level of stress.”
“I am usually on (in) my farm and I don’t think you….”
“He spoke on Supersports about his achievements and experiences on the saddle of CAF Champions League second round….” SATURDAY Sports: in the saddle.
“Bill Gates: The billionaire with unparallel love for the less privileged” Exceptional philanthropy: unparalleled love.
“UNIBEN alumni commends INEC” UNIBEN alumni commend, but UNIBEN Alumni Association commends. No muddle.
“Sometimes (Sometime) ago, twenty-three wise men met at….”
“As police beams (beam) searchlight on some formal groups, associations and organizations.”
“In his sermon at the occasion.…” Get it right: on the occasion.
“In 1996, ASUU, apart from demanding for the review…” Military and varsity education: delete ‘for’ in the interest of grammatical sanity.
“The Yorubas like I said on this platform last Friday.…” This way: The Yoruba, as (not like) I said, on this platform last Friday….
“…the good foundation laid for take-off and hopefully with what we have (had) read and saw (seen) in the media….”
“He sacked the Shonekan administration and assumed the reign of power as Head of State.” Get it right: reins of government.
“They like parading themselves in state-of-the-art cars, leaving (living) in mansions and dictating the economy (how?) of the country with their loots (loot).” Do we resort to vernacular in the light of the foregoing morphological tragedies?
“Thrown into panic, the driver of my vehicle managed to find a save (safe) haven from the portion of the road lawfully meant for Abuja-bound motorist (motorists).”
“…talkless of (let alone) those actually chased into them by the escorts of the ‘big’ men.”
The next outrageous error is from Vanguard of May 19: “We urge that investigations be launched into the circumstances that led to the embarrassment and ask that those involved be brought to book to forestall a re-occurrence.” Let us foreclose a recurrence of ‘Eze-Goes-to-School’ blunders.
“The Real Madrid coach got the marching order on the 44th minute into the crucial competition.…” Once more: marching orders.
“The last but not the least is….” An extra: the last but not least. That is the correct expression.
“She is an alumnus of the popular….” Standard style: alumna.
The next six blunders are from the sports pages of the Saturday Newspaper: “Flying Eagles (Eagles’) sloppy play bothered (bordered) on the fact that.…”
“I seized the opportunity (sic) to congratulate him for (on) the very great successes at the recent polls.…”
“…the smallish player was the life wire (sic) of the Flying Eagles….” Nigeria ’99: livewire.
“The screening of the prospective footballers continued with the captain playing the role of the ball boy, perhaps with the believe that.…” Change ‘believe’ to ‘belief’.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has joined the bandwagon of progress.” Progressive English: climb or jump (not join) on/aboard the bandwagon.
“Today, the Whiteman’s problem has been fully entrenched in the dark continent, especially south of the Sahara.” Standard expression: on the Dark Continent
“Abia police warns (warn) on tinted windscreen”
“3 state-own industries to begin production soon” This way: state-owned industries.
“Drivers of luxurious (luxury) busses are not so often stopped or extorted.”
“Such accusation (an accusation) leveled on (against/at) the FRSC is, however, an exception rather than the rule.”
“…the commission was poised to enforce all road violations.” This is sheer linguistic monstrosity! Perhaps, it is only in Nigeria–where anything is plausible – that violations (instead of laws and regulations) could be enforced.
“Adebanjo had been involved in a ghastly motor accident that claimed the lives of over five people almost immediately along (on) the popular Ibadan-Lagos expressway.” When lives are lost in any vehicular mishap, it is a fatal (not ghastly) accident.
“Some few years later after I had almost forgotten about the Navy….” ‘Some’ and ‘few’ cannot co-function.
“So when this new uniform group was set up in 1988 by the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida administration, I have (had) no doubt in my mind (where else?) that this would certainly work because of the calibre of people behind it.”
“People in power in this country atimes amuse me by their thinking.” This way: at times.
“…disregard to traffic signs….“ Disregard for/of…depending on context.
“…I always doff my hat for (to) the electoral commission.” Another entry: take off your hat….
“Let me advise a rethink into (on) matter.”
“Let the police remain on its (their) own….”
“…power surge had resulted into (in) sparks which had in turn resulted into (in) sparks which had in turn resulted into (in) fires with dire consequences.”
“A group that has transformed into one of the most powerful thuggish agency (agencies)….”
“…the accounting firms also copy themselves (one another) such that it is difficult to tell the originator of such statements.”
“…tankers drivers (tanker drivers) who can now hold everybody to ransome at the least conceivable excuse.” Petrol watch: ransom.
“Yorubas warm to Buhari” Formal usage: Yoruba worm (take note) to Buhari.
“Ironically, his administration has not fared better with regards to.…” Either: as regards or with regard to.
“Ridiculous as it may sound, employers do lure workers to call off a strike action….” Get it right: a strike or an industrial action (preferably). ‘Strike action’ smacks of illiteracy!
“As at Monday only half of the 36 states in the federation have (had) agreed to pay the minimum wage of….”
Next on feature is THISDAY of May 18: “The euphoria among workers over this year’s May Day find (finds) expression in the fact that they can now take their destiny in their own hands.
“It was an unenviable task given the palpable hostility that rented (rent) the air.”.
“The lack of adequate knowledge of the areas have (had) often made past exercises to be.…”
“…execute programmes and policies which they promised the electorates (electorate preferably) before being voted for.”
“The redeployment of the sports administrator comes in (on) the heels of sweeping changes presently (sic) going on in the federal civil service.” Yank off ‘presently’ in the interest of purity!
“…we are assuming that among the privileged specie (species) of homo sapiens….”
“A major platform under (on) which banking regulation has been carried out in Nigeria over the years has been through the use of statutory regulation.”
Banire and The Generation of Hypocrites
The unattainable grape is sour, especially to the leaking lips of ingrates. One is talking about the category of people driven purely by ego or selfish whims and caprices, rather than the overall interests of their political parties, communities or the country at large. Those propelled by the evil of ingratitude also do so because psychologically they overrate their worth.
That may perhaps explain the vile vituperations and the perfidious hypocrisy employed by Muiz Banire in the recent interview he granted Sunday Punch of July 1, 2017 as a fallout of the APC primaries for the forthcoming local council elections.
Reading through, it comes as a veiled attempt to demean and denigrate the globally acclaimed status of the political colossus in the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Progress (APC). Indeed, it turns logic on its head that the beneficiary of endorsement from the same Asiwaju should now turn round to cast aspersions on the same benefactor.
While it is no crime for anyone to emerge from humble beginnings, such should be utilised, to better the lot of man. That is especially when the person has actualised his professional dreams. Both Jesus the Christ and Prophet Muhammad shared such background but went ahead to positively impact on the quality of lives of the people they met and served.
Unfortunately, Muiz Banire, with roots in down town Mushin, Lagos has gradually evolved into a stinking brand of crass ingratitude. No thanks to his vaulting ambition to become the governor of the Centre of Excellence.
Ever since Asiwaju refused to endorse him as one of the credible aspirants to be tested and become the APC candidate in 2014 – a decision which made him to bang the door on the political stalwart, all hell has broken loose! Caution has been thrown to the wind. Decorum has gone to the dogs. In self conceit, he went ahead to boast and beat his chest that “APC may lose Lagos in 2015”.That was in the interview he granted Premuim Times precisely on November 9, 2014. But his doom prediction never saw the light of day. Instead, APC conducted one the best primaries that threw up Gov Akinwumi Ambode now regarded as the shining light of the party because of his exceptional performance in the last two years.
It is such braggadocio mindset that has given him the guts to state in the Punch interview that “I don’t recognise any other person as the person controlling the party machinery in Lagos”. He added that “I do not have a problem with anyone pulling so much weight, but my problem is where there is no compliance with the rules”. Surreptitiously to rub it in he said that “I do not see Asiwaju as a godfather”.
But if memory serves, Banire should be reminded that but for the political influence of Asiwaju he would not have become the legal adviser to the party that he is today. If the party had conducted primaries for interested candidates, he would not have scaled through, would he? Was it not Tinubu’s insistence that the position be zoned to Lagos State and the National Vice Chairmanship to Ondo State that caused the altercation between him and Rotimi Akeredolu, the current governor of Ondo State?
And despite Banire’s claim to legal intelligence, he has been unable to distinguish between ‘endorsement’ and imposition. To rejig his memory, the former rent collector for Alhaji Olatunji Hamzat may have to answer some pertinent questions. Was it not Tinubu that made him his Special Adviser on Special Duties while he was the state governor between 1999 and 2007? Did he not also enjoy the enviable positions of Commissioner for Transport/ and later /Environment under Babatunde Raji Fashola? But insatiable as he is, he had to expand his coast by allegedly carrying outright imposition of his choice candidates in Mushin. From candidates for local government councils to chairmen of the LGA through to the Federal House of representatives, Saint Banire’s hands were there literally pulling the strings. Not satisfied, he ensured that one Mrs. Olayinka Olagundoye from Epe became the Commissioner for Education during BRF’s second term.
Truth be said, the negative traits of hypocrisy and betrayal have always manifested in him from the outset. Tinubu might have noticed these in the unknown entity, a 27-year-old graduate assistant of UNILAG, brought to him by Hamzat back then, when he initially refused his candidature as the Special Adviser on Special Duties. But what did he do thereafter? Banire, characteristically ditched Hamzat!
It is little of a surprise therefore, that the betrayer extraordinaire is now claiming that the two-time Senator Afikuyomi for Lagos is not politically relevant in the state. Who interviewed and cleared him for the Special Adviser status under Tinubu? It was the same Afikuyomi. That is Banire for you. But he should take note of the wise words by Vasilios Karpos that “Ingratitude is poison to the soul, remorse is part of the diagnosis”.
For instance, a neighbour sympathised one day with a little, wrinkled old lady because she had only two teeth left. But the smiling old soul answered, “One’s lower, and the other’s upper, but thank God they meet!” Not much was heard about her soon after. Similarly, Andrew Carnegie, an American multi-millionaire, left $1 million to one of the relatives, who in turn cursed Carnegie thoroughly. He never invested it wisely and did not rise to become a billionaire. Banire should therefore realise that whoever abuses grace will certainly eat grass!
That is one lesson of life for Banire and his co-travellers that are beating the drum of betrayal for him right there in Abuja. A word should be enough for the wise.
–––Kashim, a public affairs analyst writes from Mushin, Lagos.