The Nigerian Politician And Thieving Bigmanism; Honorary Degrees And Traditional Titles For Sale And

The typical Nigerian Politician never frowns or looks away at any and every opportunity at getting one award, two degrees, several chieftaincy titles and multiple commendations, he includes in his CV several countries he has visited even if some of those nations are those he passed on transit, and he cares less. He adds his boys scout achievements and church and mosque donations as leadership credentials. Allah save us! I love Nigeria, wish I had a choice, but happily I do not, my nation gives me so many reasons not to, I am sure it is the only nation where all I have to do to have the prefix Dr. added to my name is to smile towards the pockets of the ‘right' people, embark on one project and gbam, the next convocation I will certainly be assured one of the many papers with ribbon called degrees. And the next day I would award a contract to the government printer to reflect the new status.

Not that I lost sight of these mad development of degrees for sale and buy, but the recent madness of Abdullahi Adamu of Nassarawa and the probing of one of my readers made me decide to take another swipe on our psychiatric patients called leaders.

As of the last court there were ninety-four pages of ad in four major newspapers congratulating the Nassarawa State helmsman on his conferment of honorary doctorate of Law by Nnamdi Azikwe University and that of the University Of Port Harcourt. At an average of one hundred and sixty thousand Naira per page, some one should do the calculation and tell me if this is not sheer madness. I would not have bothered about the figure but for the fact that ¾ of that figure is from government coffers-self praise for failure.

It is sad to note that there is no Governor apart from the new Anambra helmsman who is Mr. Something, Fayose of Ekiti once was but has since joined the bandwagon of the titled men and men of degrees. I am still waiting to see if the Federal Government would withdraw the national honours done to Tafa Balogun and other disgraced honour holders, like others before him, how do the communities, religious organisations that give these honours feel when it is discovered that the recipients are simply crooks. Let no one misinterpret me, I do not condemn the honorary degree thing in totality but what I advocate is some level of sanity. I do not want to believe that Abdullahi Adamu cuffed out 44.7 million Naira to get a doctorate degree but then how about Peter Odili that expended some 82 million Naira for celebrating the conferment of some chieftaincy thing on him by the Ooni of Ife.

There is presently a serving government official that has a store for plagues, four filling cabinets of 11 drawers for all manner of certificates from Tom, Dick and Harry Universities. If Emeka Anyaoku, or Wole Soyinka, Leo Stan Ekeh or known business persons get this honour it is understandable but when government officials spend scarce federal and state resources for the whole show it is saddening.

During the last University of Jos, convocation, the whole of Benue and Jigawa States relocated to Jos because their governors were to be robed as doctorate degree holders by honour, Akume bought a bus for Benue Students on campus, gave any undisclosed amount of money to the Students, There was a standing order for all state functionaries to be in Jos at government's expense, as government activities in both States were brought to a halt. Even a life was lost during the thanksgiving service that followed.

The pages of newspapers have lately been filed with the faces of the likes of Kalu, Abdullahi and co looking like new masquerades from the turbanning ceremonies they have participated in just to score cheap political points. When the electorates whose votes they claim put them there (we know better) suffer hunger and deprivation.

Certainly because we all went to school to some certain level either walled school or street school, it is easy to play with words, these chieftaincy titles and Honorary Degree are given for selfless services to humanity to persons whom we all know the only self they profess to is that which has 'fish' at the end. Congratulations to an achiever but their only claim to achievement are the lies they always cannot get published so they resort to supplementary adverts and commercials which are based on pay, write and are carry by our Nigerian newspapers (not all).

If a Governor, a public official wants to be chief, he should go back to his village and play traditional politics, if he wants a doctorate he should go to the classroom and do as others have done and graduate with dignity and integrity. Show me a Governor, Minister or top shot since the inception of this our free spending democracy that has not collected one traditional title or one doctorate degree or the other and I will show you Angel Gabriel's twin.

When a United States University is not deceivable, they go as far as Isle of Man or Port Novo for the degrees and with States Universities debuting here and there, it would be easier. Only months ago both IBB and Buhari were turbaned in Abia state. The idea is that you must be either a dr. or chief to be a complete leader so we have an astonishing number of chief Dr, or Dr chief so, so and so of so, the whole thing is total rubbish, a Muslim addressed as Alhaji Musa Ik (JP) the JP which stands for Jerusalem Pilgrim, I also know of a 'common' local government chairman who was given the fellowship of a polytechnic and had been to Jerusalem twice insist that he be addressed as Alhaji, fellow ABC, JP x 2, he had been to Mecca on an official assignment once the reason for the Alhaji, even though he was a deacon in Church.

In Nassarawa, it is easy for the Governor to continue to beat his chest about setting up a University, to me the truth is that if you provide education that is unaffordable and you have education without health, roads, infrastructural development, then it is just showmanship because nothing will cahnge.

On a good note the Cross River State government has banned civil servants from being conferred with or certified as chieftaincy holders. This me thinks is good and I think this can be improved upon by the larger society which includes the Universities , communities and bodies that confer these honours.  

These craze for titles and recognition is breeding a form of corruption that we have decided to close our eyes to and only Allah can save us from this ignorance.




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Re: .The Nigerian Politician And Thieving Bigmanism; Honorary Degrees And Traditional Titles For Sale And
Tochukwu posted on 03-30-2006, 16:10:29 PM
Good job Mr. Dickson. But if I may ask is "Prince" your first name or the dizzying title that you wrote against? Your response will be appreciated as my father is the king of our little family of ten. And this qualifies me as a prince but I rarely used it.
Re: .The Nigerian Politician And Thieving Bigmanism; Honorary Degrees And Traditional Titles For Sale And
Naija In diaspora posted on 03-30-2006, 18:52:53 PM
My brother Dickson,
I beg make you suffry, suffry, we were laughing like crazy after reading your article. It is quite astounding to me that Nigerians who are suppose to be educated are so ignorant to this menace. I think our stupid corrupt leaders think that, in order for them to be distinguished from the common man, they have to have those useless titles attached to their names. They see their conterparts in places like England, were they are conferred with the title "Sir", so they feel they have to have the same thing also. The Nigerian case is very disgraceful, can't they see "Bill Gates", does he have any title attached to his name? And he happens to be the richest man in the world. Nigerian leaders and those people who sell those titles to them would all perish in "hell". God will judge all of us one day, let them keep stealing the money and buying useless titles, it does not guarantee them anything, but fire in hell. Please keep writing, maybe they will start to learn something. Nigerians please wake up to this manace and shame!
Re: .The Nigerian Politician And Thieving Bigmanism; Honorary Degrees And Traditional Titles For Sale And
Senabdalla posted on 03-31-2006, 03:51:29 AM
I believe the Nigerian Class suffers from Grandoise Syndrome (GS). I am very sure you didnt buy your 'Prince' title from Katako.
Re: .The Nigerian Politician And Thieving Bigmanism; Honorary Degrees And Traditional Titles For Sale And
2knodtruth posted on 03-31-2006, 10:24:24 AM
Alright O...for those who want to know...Prince is not a title..as of the last time i checked my father was still the humble king of his small empire of me, three other siblings and a loving wife...I am just Prince by name not acquisition.
Re: .The Nigerian Politician And Thieving Bigmanism; Honorary Degrees And Traditional Titles For Sale And
Gwobezentashi posted on 03-31-2006, 14:18:46 PM
The predilection for vacuous titles is an environmental condition rather than an institutional one. Only in Nigeria do you hear about people called Engineer this or Architect that. You will even hear of Quantity Surveyor this(What is that?). I am yet to hear of Geologist or Biochemist this and that or Geophysist this though. Even our specialist medical doctors still append the "Dr" title instead of "Mr" to their names so you don't think they are quacks. Very soon, we will have Electrician this or Agbegilodo that, then we will know that even the poor man can also be titled.

The interesting thing is that when our titled people go out of the country, they leave their stupid titles behind before they embarass themselves. So even they know how ridiculous it must be.
Re: .The Nigerian Politician And Thieving Bigmanism; Honorary Degrees And Traditional
Abraxas posted on 04-03-2006, 04:46:33 AM
The most annoying and bogus titles in circulation in Nigeria are: "General", "Colonel", "Traditional Prime Minister", "Sir", "Lady", "Dame", "Chairman", "Golden Governor", "High Chief", "H.E. (i.e. His/Her Excellency), "Olori", "Otumba", "Lolo", "Onwan" and "General Overseer".
Re: .The Nigerian Politician And Thieving Bigmanism; Honorary Degrees And Traditional Titles For Sale And
Senabdalla posted on 04-03-2006, 08:05:30 AM
Please can someone start compiling the list of title names we know of in Naija? Maybe we should start with:
Prince, Alhaji, Chief, Dr Iroko JP NYSC Samaru, LLB Lokoja, MD Toronto
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