Vote of Confidence


By Ebere Wabara

PAGE 2 BUSINESS sub-headline oversight of October 9 welcomes us today: “…Deficit hits N2.8trn, as Works and Housing, Transportation, others get lion’s share” Three or more ministries cannot simultaneously get the Lion’s share of something (budget)! If there is parity in the allocation, there should be other ways to express the various revenue receipts. ‘Lion’s share’ simply refers to ‘the largest part (of something)’.

The next omission is by DAILY Sun Editorial of the above edition: “Among the controversial recommendations was the creation of more states at a time many states are (were) having difficulties meeting their recurrent expenditures, including monthly salaries.”      

“The emergence of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the country’s number six citizen under (on) the platform of the ruling party, (otiose comma) has consequently strengthened the foothold of the APC in the Niger Delta.” (DAILY SUN OPINION Page, October 9)

“…as heads of MDAs most times ignore the summons (summonses) of the parliament and treat its resolution (resolutions) with levity, while the lawmakers watch helplessly (haplessly).” (Politics & Power, DAILY SUN, Page 19, October 9, 2019)

The next offence is by Oriental News of October 9 which offered readers a meaningless centre-spread headline: “Residents seek urgent help as pupils evacuated”

SOUTH SOUTH NEWS headline of October 9 rounds off the copious mistakes from DAILY SUN under review with this juvenile misunderstanding: “Group seeks govt’s attention on (to) dilapidated roads in Anambra”

PAGE 2 BUSINESS of October 7 circulated a headline misprint: “Savannah Bank set to resume operation (operations)”

“In the aftermath of its suspension of business, several deposit (depositors) and staff of the bank….” (Source: as above)

From NATIONAL NEWS of October 7 comes this schoolboy misapprehension: “ASUU splits, new union emerge (emerges)”

The next two headline lapses are from SOUTH EAST NEWS of October 7: “Erosion swallow (swallows) 200 buildings in Anambra”

“LG stakeholders pass vote of confidence on (in) Ugwuanyi”

“Fire outbreak on NNPC’s OML 20 oil asset” Delete ‘outbreak’ on grounds of its redundancy

Access this grammatical inexactitude from my bank: “Call…to report an incidence (incident) of fraud or any suspicious activity on your account” (Full-page advertorial by Access Bank, THISDAY, October 12, 2019). Certainly, writing is more than banking and transcends figures!

GLOBAL SOCCER of October 12 disseminated three inaccuracies: “…that a football rivalry between the two (sic) countries was truely born” What type of computers do some journalists use that they do not experience automatic spell-check, which is inbuilt? ‘Truly’ does not accommodate ‘e’!

“That is why Sunday’s encounter between the Selecao and the Super Eagles will be more than a friendly and the roll call (roll-call) of players billed for the match attest (attests) to that.”

“Stakeholders gear-up (gear up) for…”

Finally from THISDAY, THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER, of October 12 under focus: “Sultan advocates stiff penalty for out of school (out-of-school) children’s parents” Guardians, too, should be penalized. 

THE BUSINESS REPORT of October 14 takes over the baton with this lexical inaccuracy: “It is simply not possible because cost of meters have (has) already been fixed by NERC.”

“BEDC to rollout (roll out) 572,392 prepaid meters in 2 years” (Source: as above)      

“How corruption among govt agencies cripple (cripples) ports’ revenue”

“Barca swoops for (on) Nigerian whiz-kid” (SPORTINGSUN Headline, October 16)

“Organizers assure on 2019 Lagos Women Run” (Source: as above) Who did they assure?

SOME media professionals ignorantly use the phrase “armed bandits” as done by the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH in its October 13 edition: “The Zamfara State Government’s effort towards finding lasting solution to armed banditry and cattle rustlings suffered a setback as…” The dictionary defines a bandit as “a member of an armed gang that robs people”. It means a bandit is usually armed; therefore the word “armed” to qualify him is out of place. On the contrary, a robber is someone who “takes property from a person or place illegally”. A robber may or may not bear arms. If he does, he is an armed robber liable to the death penalty upon conviction. As we can see, the distinction between a robber (armed or unarmed) and a bandit is clear.

THE nation’s premier independent radio station, RayPower, reported in the business segment of its Nigeria Today newscast on Tuesday, October 15,
2019, that the country “SLIDED into recession…” Its editors and correspondents, and indeed media professionals, should note that SLID is both the past tense and past participle of SLIDE. It is not in the
same word class as GLIDE and GLIDED.

NATIONAL NEWS of October 16 disseminated this inaccuracy: “He said the salvation of the country cannot (could not) be found in any of the existing political parties.” 

From the preceding diseased headline to this juvenile slipshodness: “Doctors suspend stike in Kaduna, Ebonyi” Even the computer underscored this strike carelessness from the same page as above! Do we still have editorial bastions (proofreaders) this time round? 

“The facility will result in improved security profile of the Internet traffic and save the nation of the embarrassment of….” Info-tech: save the nation the embarrassment of….  

“Renowned filmmakers will converge in (on) Nigeria next week for….”

“Politically, experts in IT advocated for the use of e-voting system….” Once again, ‘advocate’ when used as a verb does not admit ‘for’.

“There will be what I call enriched mobile communication experience come 2020 through mobile money….” ICT development: experience in 2020.

DAILY Sun COMMENT, Front and OP-ED Pages of January 13 darkened the English language copiously: “PDP in make or mar primary” (Special Report Bold Front Page and Cover Headline) Self-acclaimed Voice of The Nation: make-or-mar primary. The hyphenation confers class. No standard publication dispenses with it. The same tragedy trailed the accompanying rider, too: “State by state analysis (sic) of how delegates may vote” As above: State-by-state analyses….

“…today’s presidential primary may be riddled with so much (many) underhand deals and sharp practices.” What is the difference between ‘underhand deals’ and ‘sharp practices’? The latter should subsume the former! An aside: ‘much’ instead of ‘many’?

“In doing so (a coma) some of the government’s supporters may certainly have overstepped the bound of propriety….” From the other side: the bounds of propriety.

“Reactions to this position have been pouring in, and it’s highly elating that most share same position.” This way: most share the same position.

“Majority of Nigerians are of the opinion that a country roundly blessed has no business tottering at the brink of disintegration and collapse.” A/the majority of Nigerians….