Misrepresenting Buhari



By Ebere Wabara

ORIENTAL News banner of July 10 goofed: “Flood, erossion (sic) wreck (wreak) Nsukka communities” Spellcheck: erosion                               

“Kyari was first named Chief of Staff at the onset (outset) of Buhari’s tenure….” (THISDAY Front Page, July 6) There is a distinction between the etymological application of ‘onset’ and ‘outset’.

“Buhari condoles (condoles with or simply consoles) Lagos fire victims” (Source: as above) ‘Condole’ cannot stand alone, unlike ‘console’.

“The Defence Health Maintenance Limited (DHML) felicitates with the Nigerian Army (NA) on the ocassion (sic) of the 2019 Nigerian Army Day Celebration” Get it right: occasion.

“Fast forward to today, through dint of hardwork, diligence, resilience, and self-belief….” Plus: ‘diligence’ and ‘hardwork’ cannot co-function in the same lexical environment.

Still on THISDAY: “Run an all inclusive (all-inclusive) govt, Lawan urges Oyetola”

“Nappy is a Nigerian born (Nigerian-born) rapper….”

“The University of Ibadan trained (Ibadan-trained) actor talks with….”

“Maritime workers suspend strike action” Just delete ‘action’ on grounds of its redundancy here.

Nigerian Tribune of July 2 comes next with the following

four major blunders: “President Buhari had always seized (taken) every opportuned (opportune) moment….”

 “…had while being screened by the Senate as a ministerial nominee passed a vote of no confidence on (in) the nation’s two major anti-corruption agencies….”

Lastly from Oke-Ado, Ibadan: “It is such a wonderful innovation that it is surprising that it never occured to anybody until now.” This way: occurred.

“StanbicIBTC’s gross earnings hits N32bn in June” For lexical profitability: earnings hit.

“TASUED alumni tasks VC on cult group” Is it that most journalists do not read these days that juvenile errors keep recurring? Alumni association tasks, but alumni (plural) task.

“New SANs to be sworn-in (sworn in) September 19” 

THE GUARDIAN Headline, June 31, issued this minimal error: “Talks over minimum wage collapses (why?) again”

“Independence of the press: From whom and for what?” (SUNDAY PUNCH Banner, June 30) Get it right: From whom and what for (not for what?)

“If you are one, who ordinarily shy (shies) away from challenges, then don’t bother meeting her.” (SUNDAY PUNCH Essence, July 7) The subject-predicate dislocation here is preposterous.

“Many women ruin their homes by keeping tabs on their hubby” (SATURDAY PUNCH, July 6) Emotional plurality: hubbies.

“This, I believe, has been and should be the burning issues (sic) in the state.” 

“Access bank (sic) asks court to wind-up oil firm” (Source: as above) Right: wind up.

“Curbing the increasing menace of destitutes on the streets” (SATURDAY TRIBUNE, July 6) Simply the destitute (not destitutes).

“NCC arrests 13 in Benue over piracy” (Saturday Independent Headline, July 6) I will arrest my Marina colleagues shortly for lexical insensitivity.

“Workers resume strike again” (THISDAY Headline, July 2) Let us jettison ‘again’ from that headline to foreclose any industrial action. ‘Resumption’ cannot co-function with ‘again’.

“Islamic banking will break-up Nigeria” (DAILY TRUST Back Page Headline, July 2) Yet on this vexatious matter: phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation! So, break up the phrase.

“The 2018 World Investment Report has indicated that Nigeria is presently enjoying FDI inflow….” (Nigerian Tribune Business, July 2) I do not understand this obsession with the inclusion of ‘currently’ and ‘presently’ in sentences that have structural currency encapsulated in ‘is’—and ‘enjoying’—in this instance. Therefore, Nigeria is enjoying….

Nigerian TRIBUNE EDITORIAL of July 2 “boko harammed” the English language thus: “The deployment of soldiers to serve in the Joint Task Force constituted to restore order in the beleaguered state….” The JTF and Boko Haram: restore order to (not in).

“Why we deploy soldiers to Port Harcourt—Wike” The governor deploys soldiers in (not to) Port Harcourt. 

“…gathered to pay their last respect (respects) to legal icon….” 

“The three gentlemen were obviously having a great time walking almost hand in hand, trading banters over the unfolding drama among humans back on earth.”  ‘Banter’ is uncountable.

“It looks like the IMF is demanding for conditions likely to slow down the pace and the exercise.”  Yank off ‘for’. When used as a verb, ‘demand’ does not take ‘for’, except in the noun form.

“Lagos commissioners sworn-in (sworn in)” 

 “Every decision of government is subjected to the magnifying lenses of interest groups that invariably include ethnic and geopolitical gladiators and champions of all manners (manner) of group interests.” 

“The efforts of the police command in identifying the dangerous areas and in alerting the residents is (are) acknowledged.”

“The damages and loss of lives to NATO and Yugoslavia were unnecessary.”  ‘Damage’ in this context is uncountable.

“An agenda similar to that of Murtala/Obasanjo regime was hurriedly packaged to cleanse the civil service in order to enhance performance and inculcate discipline into (in) our national life.”

“Nigeria and the international community has (have) just celebrated this year’s World Literacy Day.”

“Secondly, it’s (its) legal duty to advise on the….”

“They have not yet established the full processes of their interaction in the chamber too, and the formality of procedures are now still (is still) being developed.”

 “The German African Project which was conceived as a cultural milieu between the two countries….” A review: between the countries.…

“I wish the politicians, especially the elected ones, should feel the pause (pulse) of the people….”

“Part of this quality sense concerns the debate on how best to eat a dish, with cutleries or with the ten fingers.”  Would it have been nine fingers? ‘Cutlery’ is uncountable.

“There has (have) been electoral programmes before, so what is different with this one.”

“I am a product of a system which allowed a poor farmer-cum-fisherman’s son to go through the very best schools…..”  ‘Best’ has reached the end-point of intensification and cannot be inflected (by adding ‘very’). It is an absolutely superlative word.

“During the heydays of Christian missionary activity in the southern parts of Nigeria, communities were actively involved in building schools.” Thoughts on education: ‘heyday’ is uncountable.


Except in cases of attributions, acronyms or expatiation, the words or phrases in brackets comimg immediately after the wrong entry are the right expressions. Feel free to send mails, make calls or use other multi-media channels to seek clarifications and elucidation.