People-oriented Governance?



With Ebere Wabara, 08055001948

“Akwa Ibom State people oriented (people-oriented in proper context, by the way) governance…” (DAILY Sun Front Page Bottom Strip, January 31) Touching lives in past 30 months: Would it have been lizards-oriented governance?

The next two blunders are from a full-page advertorial signed by Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State Governor & Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum, DAILY SUN, January 31): “…a politician per (par) excellence and a highly revered elder statesman.”

“During his lifetime….” Just use ‘life’ or ‘time’—compounding ‘life’ and ‘time’ is overkill!

“Reps give Amaechi 72 hours (hours’) ultimatum on Isreali (Israeli) contract” (NATIONAL NEWS, January 31)

“This is mark (a mark) of double standards (standard)” (Source: as above)

“Oko Poly declares 2 days (days’) holiday for Ekwueme” (SOUTH EAST NEWS, January 31)

“Herdsmen (Herdsmen’s) killings with AK47 assault rifles are daily occurrences.” (Voice of The Nation, January 31)

“Okowa flags off (inaugurates) widows’ social welfare scheme” (SOUTH SOUTH NEWS, January 31)

THISDAY Front Page of February 3 comes next with two errors: “The former president had accused the incumbent of running a government of nepotism and literarily (literally) running the economy aground while….”

“…support not only for his government but also for his re-election come (in) 2019….”

“Whether you choose a personal or group savings plan, you can now meet your financial goals conveniently on your smart device whereever (sic) you are.” (Full-page advertisement by Diamond Bank, THISDAY, SATURDAY, February 3) Are there still computers without automatic spell-check mechanisms? Or is it the slipshoddiness of the copy handlers?

“Kogi senator train (why?), empower (how?) women” (Source: as above)

Still on THISDAY under reference: “Tourism expert sees potentials (potential or potentialities) in Lagos water sports”

Can somebody tell RCCG City of David Sanctuary that the spelling of ‘extension’ is not ‘extention’ and ‘Church (not Chuch) Road…? (Full-page advertisement, THISDAY, February 3) This particular solecism also appeared like this last year! Templates can be corrected.

The next three infractions are from a full-page advertorial by the All Progressives Congress, Nasarawa State, DAILY SUN, February 5): “ while wishing you a memorable stay in the state (a comma)we are hopeful that your visit will serve as a further impetus to our hardworking Governor (sic) as he continue (continues) with his people oriented (sic)programmes.” No, it should have been ‘tuwo-oriented’ programmes!

“We are also confident that your visit will endow more federal presence to (with) the state.”

“Herdsmen (Herdsmen’s) attacks: 8 feared dead in Adamawa”

“Enugu approves consolidated health workers (workers’) salary scale”

“Uyo residents commend gov over (for) 45 new roads”

“Communities blame FG over (for) poor handling of Benue killings”

“Ekweremadu kicks-off (kicks off) 2018 Ikeoha Youth Sports championship” Phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation.

Mail from Adelabu

Mr. Ebere Wabara’s column, although not novel, is a good effort to redress the attenuating standard of journalism in our land.

But since his goal is to call writers’ attention to their mistakes to avoid recurrence and educate readers generally, mentioning errors’ sources are (sic) absolutely irrelevant and unnecessary.

Besides, in his column (January 27) comments such as: “Is The Guardian still the flagship of Nigerian journalism?”  “The self-acclaimed Voice of the Nation (referring to Daily Sun), no standard publication dispenses with it (still Daily Sun),” are scandalous, to say the least. Maybe these snides (sic) are also part of the errors by Wabara’s judgment!

The gentleman of the press even failed to do enough justice to his own paper’s errors. His sharp and piercing eyes could see only one of the numerous! ‘’A court ruled (a comma missing) affirming zoning (another comma missing) but paradoxically dismissing Atiku’s suite,’’ the only one seen by Wabara, that is, suit!

Mr. Wabara should note that independent clauses or sentences connected by a coordinating conjunction such as ‘an’,’or’,’but’,’nor’,’for’,’yet’ and ‘so’ should admit a comma before the conjunction – in this case – ‘but’

Hope Wabara’s life ambition to work in The Guardian was not dashed by the Flag-bearer, denying him employment, hence the bitterness?

Abiodun Adelabu,


…Dialectal misconceptions galore

I must thank Mr. Adelabu for the incoherent feedback which has been perfunctorily and marginally edited. Ordinarily, I should have dismissed this mail and its combative content that reeks of diatribe. But, there is no doubt that there are other readers with his kind of preposterous disposition to intellectual issues who need to be civilized.

This columnist welcomes rejoinders in any form, but let such contributions be in good taste. The media platform is a public space for the exchange of ideas and information. It should not be abused under any disguise, especially when you do not know the background of your audiences. No matter the level of provocation—if that is the right word—we should show maturity and responsibility.

The moment you exclude the identities of publications with highlighted blunders, this column loses credibility as far as I am concerned. What it means, going by Mr. Adelabu’s befuddled thinking, is that I could just concoct errors without any attribution (source)! The essence of the identification is for reference purposes and confirmation. I am not a fictional writer. ‘Wordsworth’ is a scholastic column that strives for language purity (not perfection, as there can be none) in the Nigerian media, particularly. It is not a soft-sell platform for journalistic gossip, mischief and celebration of inanities.

It should interest one and all to know that I do not have anything against any publication by virtue of my robust media pedigree having worked in three out of four national newspapers as a full member of the Editorial Board (among other editorial and administrative assignations), edited one of them almost a decade ago and written award-winning articles that cut across multifarious disciplines in the heyday of Daily Times and beyond. So, when I ask whether ‘‘The Guardian’ is still the flagship of Nigerian journalism’? It simply infers, to those who appreciate etymological and morphological registers, which the publication has fallen below my expectation.   This is easy to understand by any cerebral mind. It is not derogatory at all.

With regard to ‘DAILY Sun’ (one of the places I worked and maintained a racy Back Page column for two years), even the publisher (who is a friend of mine) and the entire directorate know full well that I can never, no matter the circumstance, run the medium down because of my very special relationships with the organization’s management and staff. If I may ask, what is wrong in my questioning institutional self-acclamation?

As for having any employment grouse about ‘The Guardian’, I just laugh at the idiocy! If Mr. Adelabu gets to know my profuse career antecedents and job currency, he would be shocked at his imbecilic ignorance. In my part of country, we say that someone who does not know another contemptuously calls him his friend.

My not correcting all faulty punctuation marks is not an oversight or incapacity. It is to avoid trivialization of this column. As critical as they are to classical writing, they are too mechanistic for me to dwell on. I am interested only in lexical and structural gaffes, not the totality of the grammar of English. If I address all the media language goofs, this column is likely to become stupendously academic, didactic, boring and unappealing. There is even no space for that. My goal is to make it educative and entertaining for pleasurable reading.

I have gone this length to foreclose receipt of shallow, vexatious and baseless rejoinders. I look forward to constructive criticisms, rich contributions, analytical comments and logical observations that culminate in reader enrichment and the columnist’s edification.