Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

Chuks Egbede

The Ondo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday knocked the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, over the alleged purchase of two bullet – proof jeeps by the latter. The opposition party alleged that each of the vehicles cost a sum of N 750 Million , saying the governor was squandering the state resources…

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     When I called him the “doyen of African linguistics”  in my valedictory lecture at the 

University of Ibadan in July 2005 (a celebratory oriki which, to my greatest delight, has caught on since then),  I did so with not the slightest fear of exaggeration or effusive adulation. Pioneer, pathfinder, scholar, teacher, administrator, relentless researcher, and organizer par excellence,  Ayo Bamgbose has shown us how to teach by learning and how to learn by teaching. Hardly any of us in the linguistic and literary fields can deny being touched, one way or another,  in the past six decades by the scholarly output of this giant as well as his total, infectious dedication to the cultivation of the faculty of the mind. A thorough teacher and demanding supervisor, Bamgbose is also endowed with a robust sense of humour and capacity for that kind of witty laughter that is capable of lighting up the darkest mood. He possesses a curious combination of the gravity of the sage and insatiable inquisitiveness of the aspiring learner. 

     An agent of innovation and also its ardent practitioner, Bamgbose is always in the forefront of current trends in language studies and the scholarly enterprise. If he hears of the publication of a new book in faraway Bora Bora or Outer Mongolia relating to these fields,  he will spare no effort until he has that book securely on his shelf.  In this and other ways, Bamgbose has enriched our intellectual culture with a single-mindedness and profound, unwavering commitment  lamentably rare today. His life and legacy have taught us how to pursue the intellectual vocation with dignity, pride, total commitment, and supreme sense of purpose.

      In Bamgbose’s legacy, we  have the antidote to mediocrity and opportunistic careerism whose current spread has reduced Nigeria’s  Academe to a House of Hollow Rituals. Bamgbose-ism is both a rebuke of our present state and a vision of our positive possibilities.   For this Agbedegbeyo, this scholar-teacher who upholds the beauty of our tongue and the grammar of our values; this Olukoni Agba who makes learning so desirable by making teaching so purposeful, here is a song from many seasons ago, whose content, tone, and circumstance are still as true as the day it came into being. 




      (Ojogbon, Agbedegbeyo)

In the Beginning was the Void

And the Void was Silence

And Silence spawned Seven Intimations

And Seven Mists, and the form-

Less Inarticulacies of errant Winds

The Sun knew not yet its sky

Earth was flat fare and liquid riddle


And the Universe quaked into Chaos;

From the liquid loins of the Wind

The Vowel was born

And the Vowel was all flesh, all flair

From the silent bone of the Mist

The Consonant erupted into being,

All hard, intemperately mute


And the Consonant quaked into the Vowel

And the Vowel melted into the Consonant


     And the Syllable was born


*                       *                  *

And the Syllable begat the Word

And the Word begat the Phrase

And the Phase begat the Clause    

And the Clause begat the Sentence

And the Sentence begat the Paragraph

And the Paragraph begat the Discourse

And the Discourse begat Meaning

And Meaning begat the Universe. . . .


Behold, the Vowel wed the Consonant

And Chaos quaked into Cosmos

And Language was born


              *                 *


And Language begat its own pupils

And the pupils matured into pundits

And the pundits blossomed into scholars:

Between pragmatic Firth and mathematical Chomsky

From the systemic ‘statement of meaning’

To the generative calculus of ‘deep structure’

Bamgbose pitched the African tongue

In the centre of the global fair

His vision delicately clear

His method assiduously indigenous;

This doyen who doctored our silence,

And gave us the language

For talking about our tongue

To this man of primal flair

Ninety Consonants & Ninety Vowels!


                                  Niyi Osundare

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US biotech company Moderna announced on Wednesday that it has begun clinical trials of a booster dose of vaccine designed specifically to combat the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.  The trials will involve a total of 600 adults — half of whom have already received two doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine at least six months…

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Hungary’s 2000 Olympics gold medal-winning gymnast Szilveszter Csollany has died of Covid-19 aged 51, local authorities said on Monday. Csollany fell sick in December and was hospitalised and put on a ventilator. While Csollany had shared several ‘anti-vax’ posts on his Facebook page, he had been vaccinated in order to work as a gymnastics coach,…

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Coach Lionel Scaloni will miss Argentina’s World Cup qualifier away to Chile after testing positive for Covid-19, he told reporters on Wednesday. His assistant coach Pablo Aimar will also stay in Argentina for Thursday’s clash in Calama. “Pablo has been at home for several days because he is a close contact. I finished quarantine several…

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Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals fixtures (all times GMT): Saturday, Jan 29 Gambia v Cameroon, Douala (1600) Burkina Faso v Tunisia, Garoua (1900) Sunday, Jan 30 Egypt v Morocco, Yaounde (1600) Senegal v Equatorial Guinea, Yaounde (1900) Semi-finals Wednesday, Feb 2 Burkina Faso or Tunisia v Senegal or Equatorial Guinea, Yaounde (1900) Thursday, Feb 3…

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Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has reacted to a report by Transparency International indicating that corruption was on the increase in Nigeria.

TI's Corruption Index ranked Nigeria as the second most corrupt in West Africa and 154 out of 180 countries globally.

File Photo

According to the 2021 ranking released on Tuesday by the agency, Nigeria dropped five places.

In reaction, the caucus said the report simply validates its views that the All Progressives Congress government under President Muhammadu Buhari was corrupt. 

This was included in a statement by Ndudi Elumelu, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday.

The caucus claimed that, “The report is a direct validation of the position of the minority vaucus that the All Progressives Congress and its government are hopelessly corrupt and lacking in ideas and programmes that would positively impact on our people.

”The TI report also validates the stance of the minority caucus that the APC is a sanctuary of corruption, which provides cover for its corrupt members to continue in looting our national treasury; a development that has brought infrastructural stagnation and economic hardship in the country.”

It also stated that Nigeria had continued to decline in corruption rating since the APC took over in 2015, adding that the situation will worsen as long as the APC remained in power.

The statement added, “Such proclivity for corruption is complemented by fake promises and false performance claims, which have been the stock-in-trade of the APC and its government. 

”As representatives of the people, the minority caucus has intensified its checks mechanisms particularly in our strict monitoring of all provisions in the 2022 budget to ensure the delivery of all approved items.

“Furthermore, the minority caucus assures that it will never relent in fighting for the wellbeing of the people and urges Nigerians to remain focused in their determination to vote out the APC in 2023 and usher in a government that truly cares for their interest.”

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Seven-time African champions, Egypt, has eliminated Ivory Coast at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon on Wednesday. 
Egypt beat Ivory Coast 5-4 on penalties to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament following an enthralling 0-0 draw.

The North Africans got the upper hand in the shoot-out when substitute goalkeeper Gabaski saved Eric Bailly's effort in the third round of spot kicks.
Egypt's captain, Mohamed Salah, netted the decisive penalty to send them to the last eight. 
Egypt will face their North African neighbours, Morocco, in the quarter finals in Yaounde on Sunday by 5:00pm.

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The Senate has summoned the management of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited over the company's alleged refusal to pay compensation for lands acquired from 73 host communities in Rivers State. 
The NLNG is expected to appear before the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions within a week or face the consequences of failing to do so. 

The summon was issued on Wednesday by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, following a report by the committee. 
The report was premeditated on a petition by one Chief Enyinna Onuegbu on behalf of the communities located in Obiafu, Soku to Bonny, respectively. 
According to the petition, the NLNG had failed to pay N18billion to 73 communities and over 200 families whose hitherto agrarian source of livelihood was negatively affected by the acquisition of their lands by the company. 
Lawan, who issued the petition said, “Instead of just saying NLNG should go and pay N18billion and at the end of the day nothing happens, let us give NLNG one more chance, and this should be by the Senate itself, not our committee. 
“I am sure NLNG is listening. NLNG should appear within one week before our Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions with their evidence of compensation.
“If they fail, the Senate will take a decision on NLNG in this respect.”  
Chairman of the Ethics Committee, Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central), in his presentation, said that, “Following the incorporation of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, it acquired landed properties in Rivers State in 1996 spanning over 210 kiln for use as its pipelines Right of Way which ended at the export terminal of the NLNG in Finima Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“That there were over 73 communities and over 200 families whose hitherto agrarian source of livelihood were negatively impacted upon by the said acquisition;
“That NLNG neither proved nor showed evidence to the committee that it paid compensation to the 73 communities for loss of use of their land to pipelines Right of Way, and that there was no Memorandum of Understanding signed between the communities and NLNG on future obligations in the name of corporate social responsibility with the impacted communities.
“That there was evidence that other oil companies such as Shell Petroleum Development Company, Totalfina Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd, Agip Oil Corporation paid compensation for loss of use of land to their host communities and that the communities were claiming the sum of N18,448,842,500,00 being compensation for the loss of use of their land as at May 2020.

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Oil prices increased to $90 a barrel on Wednesday for the first time since 2014.
This comes amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Over the past months, oil prices have continued to rise as there had been an increasing demand for the commodity across the globe.
Brent, global oil benchmark, topped the latest milestone while U.S West Texas Intermediate crude futures also witnessed a corresponding increase of 1.96% to $87.27 a barrel.
The current price is $28 higher than the $62 per barrel put in the 2022 budget of the Nigerian Government.

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