Flurry of Complaint

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SATURDAY EXPRESSION MEDIA GAFFE

With Ebere Wabara; ewabara@yahoo.com, 08055001948

DAILY Sun Editorial of September 25 leads in the abuse of the English language this week with four introductory infractions in just the opening paragraph: “Last week, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that the bank is currently investigating (was investigating) some high-profile cases of insider abuse (abuses) by members of the board (boards) of directors of the (otiose article) commercial banks and other financial institutions in the country (would it have been outside the country?).” This egregious paragraph should just have ended at ‘institutions’!
“In Ibadan, eminent Nigerians honour Bola Ige’s memory…as Akeredolu’s wife commissions (inaugurates) school facility”
Power & Politics: “In Nigeria, the poor is (are) subsidising (subsidizing: latest trend) the rich…”
International News: “Two (2, for headline purposes) UK oil executives charged over (with) $400m fraud in Nigeria”
Wrong: “Obituary announcement”; right: Obituary (which impliedly is an announcement
“Happy birthday to a kind hearted (kind-hearted) husband”
The next two solecisms are from DAILY Sun Editorial of September 29: “…we enjoin health workers to find other amicable and non-disruptive method (methods) of resolving trade disputes in the country.”
“Government must remove Nigeria from the league of countries with high disease burdens in the African continent and the world.” Voice of The Nation: on the African continent and in the world.
“Reps: Dorothy Mato ‘ll be sworn-in soon, says spokesman” National News: phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation.

“Okowa commended over (for)Ndokwa land power project”
Finally from DAILY Sun Editorial of October 2 which offered readers seven howlers: “The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (another comma) who voiced the concern of consumers at Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State during the commissioning (inauguration, launch, introduction, kick-off, et al…) of a metering factory, lamented that the problem of irregular power supply currently being experienced in the country….” ‘Currently’ and ‘being’ cannot co-function in the same environment
“…consumers have good cause to demand for prepaid meters.” Delete ‘for’ from the extract.
“We recall that government had in August stated that it will (would) not oppose the wishes of electricity consumers willing to purchase their own meters outside the Discos.”
“However, he gave assurance (an assurance) that government would….”
“The minister said that (sic) government decided to intervene following a flurry of complaints from consumers.” This way: a flurry of complaint or flurries of complaints. Here end the editorial blunders from DAILY Sun this week
“To be concluded next week Saturday” Short story: next Saturday or Saturday, next week
“Out of control (Out-of-control) Boko Haram kills dozens in Kano Mosque” Preferable: uncontrollable
“But we should never lose sight of the fact that like every voracious entrepreneur who has invested billions of dollars on (in) cement plants….” “Credit Bureaux records (record) 26 million registered borrowers”
“The health workers strike” Conscience, nurtured by truth: workers’ strike
“Monetary policy committee at crossroads” This way: at a/the crossroads
“Having served under a military regime…he needs to bath in the Yoruba River for forgiveness.” Noun: bath; verb: bathe.

“Just before you ponder about this Owerri revelation….” ‘Ponder’ may take ‘on’ or ‘over’, not ‘about’. It’s even more economical and elegant to use it without embellishments.
“When we hear of people talk about glory….” Get it right: hear of people talking…or hear people talk about glory
“Lack of facilities threaten course accreditation at LACOED” The verb here should be singular.
“What is good for the goose can equally be said to be good for the gander.” What is sauce (not good)…
“Out of 57 years of the nation’s political independence, the military had been on (sic) the leadership saddle for 25 years.” Democracy In the saddle. “CPC to clampdown on illegal microfinance banks” Phrasal verb: clamp down (two words).“An acknowledged scholar, a distinguished statesman and a team leader per excellence” Get it right: leader par excellence.
“New trends in electioneering campaigns” Politics Today: just electioneering or political campaigns. ‘Electioneering campaign’ is sheer verbiage! ‘Electioneering’ encompasses campaign and other related electoral issues.
“INEC chair asks SSS to crackdown on violent politicians” Noun: crackdown; phrasal verb: crack down (which applies here).
“Some countries have taken tobacco manufacturers to court for the damages their products cause.” The will to die: ‘damage’ is uncountable, except in reparative applications for indemnity.
“With the launching (launch) of the poverty alleviation (a hyphen) programme by the Federal Government, not a few Nigerians desire to see it effectively in place.“
“…what happened was that somebody filed a writ of summon.“ This way (singular): a writ of summons; plural: summonses.
“It is the Federal Board that is always guilty of that, because it is them who take riff-raffs as welfare officers.” (Nigerian Tribune, August 22) ‘Riff-raff’, just like ‘stuff’, is uncountable.
“Modern technology has reduced the world into (to) a hamlet where the inhabitants are their brothers’ keepers.” This way: brother’s keeper (fixed idiom), irrespective of the number of people involved.
“The coincidence in the timing of all those sleazy gossips in soft-sell magazines and the beginning of his fashion parade….” ‘Gossip’, in this context, is uncountable.
“More overaged players for youth soccer“(Sunday Tribune, August 20) Get it right: overage players.
“Residents of some of the troubled spots in Libya in disarray” (SATURDAY CHAMPION, August 26) Witness to lexical mayhem: trouble spots.
“…rummaging all the bags and ransacking every nook and corner.” (Source: as above) Stock expression: nook and cranny.

Leadership of August 21 disseminated seven improprieties: “The police requires (require) a redeemer who can uplift the Force from the battering it (they) suffered during the long years of militarization.”
“I inquired from those that appear to know and they said that the president is (was) roaming the country in the name of campaigns.”
“There is (are) no electricity, no security, no water, no roads, no health facilities in Nigeria.”
“Foreign companies will be falling over themselves (one another) to come and invest here if we get the 2019 elections right.”
“…given the lame-duck posture of the opposition parties, the APC simply held sway from the onset (outset).”

National Pilot Newspaper Ruffles Feathers in Kwara State
It ranks high among the hottest titles on the newsstands across the Kwara state capital. With alluring penchance for exclusive stories, National Pilot newspaper with headquarters in Ilorin, the state capital ruffles feathers at will, especially around corridors of power. However, in this report, Hammed Shittu in Ilorin x-tray the potentialities of the newspaper, the journey so far, challenge, the ways out among others

W
ith the addition to rich editorial package of the newspaper, that makes it a first choice of most members of the Kwara state populace ,including top government functionaries and teeming members of the public in the State of Harmony called, Kwara, National Pilot Newspaper began its climb to prominence about five years ago, yet this regional paper had been in circulation for about a decade and half. As the title indicated, the vision behind its set-up then was to report the nation as most newspapers in this part of the world preferred to do. The motive, however was purely political. The succession gubernatorial battle of 2003 in Kwara created the need for alternative platform for opposing views and opinions, given the blatant partisanship of state owned Media.
National Pilot stepped in to meet this need and instantly became popular. It’s circulation spread across South West and North- central states including Lagos and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Post 2003 election period however saw the paper taking a downward slide.

For about a decade, the paper tottered, losing readership and relevance until a new helmsman was brought in to restore its bounce and vitality.
In repositioning National Pilot, the new kid on the block, the new Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, Alhaji Billy Adedamola took over the mantle of leadership in the year 2007 and changed the focus of the paper from national to regional.
Adedamola, a veteran journalist who had made its distinct in the journalism profession decided that for the paper to make the desired impact it has to move away from the national traffic which has already become congested, and explore the less traveled roads of community, metropolitan and regional reporting.
According to him, , “the propensity for national focus by most Nigeria newspapers has left the communities and most of the states grossly under reported”.
“I believe every city or town should have it’s own publication to cater for the information needs of the hosting community as obtained in developed and most of the developing countries,” he said. With the repositioning, Adedamola has successfully restored National Pilot’s lost glory.

Today, the paper is widely accepted as far as this part of the world is concerned and one of the most popular newspapers doing very well.
In a chat with our correspondent, the MD/Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, Alhaji Adedamola identified some of the challenges the paper has had to surmount.
Said he , “Although, there is no business enterprise without its own challenges, the first challenge that confronted National Pilot and almost brought it down to it’s knees was when it suffered bomb attack in the year 2002 ,few months after it was set up. A panel of inquiry was set up to probe the bomb attack, but not unexpectedly nothing came out of the probe.”

According to him, “With the repositioning of the paper and the single minded pursuit of truth in line with the motto of the paper which seeks truth and justice, we have faced lots of issues”.
He said, “The environment we operate in Kwara is more or less a conservative one and there is no way you want to pursue truth in this part of the world that you will not step on toes.
“We have stepped on a lot of toes because most of people are not comfortable with what we are doing and they are those that have the power of patronage in terms of advert. Some have tried to stifle us with needed funds in this regard by refusing us adverts. We have had instances where we were threatened, intimidated and encountered lot of hostilities.
“We are not pointing any finger at any direction, but it’s been there. It is the same in every society both in Nigeria and the rest of Africa which says a lot about our level of development. Some have even tried to intimidate us through court actions and many other means”.

Adedamola stressed that, “But we have remained undaunted because we know a newspaper is held in public trust. The good thing about all these it is that our reading public appreciates what we are doing and they have stood solidly behind us.
“We have received a lot of awards of recognition from newspaper distribution association, state correspondents chapel, student unions and other numerous organization attesting to the fact that it’s the people’s paper”..
He added that, “It is the number one grassroots paper around here today. No paper reports Kwara like National pilot. “When we took over in 2012, we tried to resuscitate our presence in places like Ekiti, Osun and the north central states of Kogi, Plateau and the likes. When the present governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom was gunning for the office during the 2015 election, he was faced with the incumbent and he needed a platform. National Pilot was one of platforms used then.
“There was a story we did on him and one thousand copies were booked and sent to Markudi. Another personality there also booked 700 copies and about 100 copies were ordered from Ekiti in reaction to one of our reports. For a long while now people will always book copies ahead of our editions up to five, six hundred copies”.
Adedamola noted further that, “There was a time we did a story and somebody there in government in Kwara ordered for 2000 copies that were distributed at the stadium. We can go on and on. Part of the reasons why this is so is that we have adopted a policy where our lead stories and 70 percent of our news content are exclusive stories you can’t read anywhere else. It has helped the paper to be so loved and accepted by the people”.
On the way out to address some of these challenges, Adedamola said, “We have been working hard and we all know that the downturn being experienced across the nation today is affecting all the facets of the economy and the publishing sector is not exempted”
He said, “ The cost of production has gone astronomically high and we have been struggling.
“ We wanted to increase our cover price like many other papers did recently in the country but was stuck to the amount we have been selling over five years ago because Kwara is not one of the rich states. But in terms of sales, there is no paper that is selling like us especially in our area of coverage”.
Adedamola added that, ‘I must say the future is very bright because we are not resting on our oars and we continued to explore all possible avenues to take the paper to the next level.

“ We are not satisfied with where we are and never satisfied with what we are doing. We still believe the best is yet to come and there are other areas out there like the online aspect which we need to further explore.
“Currently our online is doing well and we are working very hard to make it comparable with any of the best in the country. We are still working very hard on revenue generation especially on issue of adverts.
“We have come out with a lot of ideas and incentives for our patrons and readers because it’s a continuous battle. Newspapering in this period is not just about what is being sold on the newsstand, a lot of other activities need to be explored which entails giving something back to our community and readers.
“We are exploring all these to really put the paper in a way that it will continue to grow on its own and outlived those behind its formation”.

By and large, it will be noted here that, this newspaper has brought a new direction to the day to day governance of the state be it local and state level in view of the way and manner it has been serving the entire community. Today, National Pilot newspaper has set agenda for every political office holders and other individuals in the state.
With the development, it is very hard for anyone be it in government or outside government to behave with impunity in the day to day administrations or social activities in the community as the newspaper is there to blow the whistle. Be that as it may, it should be noted that, there is abundant opportunities that need to be exploited in order to break even which the management should rise up to attend.