- Category: ARTICLES
- Published on Monday, 01 October 2012 14:15
- By Phrank Shaibu
A little after I had put Farooq Kperogi and his phony claims behind me, he did another missive. This time, his focus was to defend the many allegations that have arisen regarding his long romance with plagiarism. Instead of articulately defending himself, he found new ways of smuggling my name into the discussion. In my initial
response to Kperogi’s accusations, I had begged him to go to court but he seems to have luxury of time for trivialities which at present my busy engagements do not permit.
In any case, after holding extensive discussions with my lawyers, I have decided that my best option for now is to sue Farooq Kperogi over his false allegations on plagiarism, unnecessary distraction and deliberate defamation of character. Instead of wasting mental space and energy on a man with very questionable mental stability, I have referred to my lawyers all the bogus allegations and falsehoods churned out by this pen-for-sale mercenary called, kperogi , including sham plagiarism, character assassination of my person, friends, clients and associates.
I strongly believe that Farooq Kperogi did what he did in his Dailytrust newspaper column to deliberately destroy my reputation and wickedly extort money from me. For the first time, I will disclose details of Kperogi’s cheap blackmail and the very unethical approach he engaged in, which is very disreputable and highly unacceptable of a scholar that he claims to be.
For emphasis, I do not claim and would not be arrogant to claim like Kperogi that all the contents of the Mind Your Grammar (MYG) facebook group and other related programmes are mine because I did not create the English language but I am only a second language learner of the English Language and I learn every day. Time and time again, I have told readers and listeners of my programmes that most information that I use are sourced from books and scholarly documents but this never included Farooq Kperogi’s intellectual claims. Indeed, I can only take responsibility for what I did but not what Kperogi imagines I did. My deep sense of humility informs me that if Kperogi’s grudge was strictly on the non acknowledgement of alleged use of his ‘grammar’ on the "Mind Your Grammar group" on Facebook, I will rush to do that provided he gives sufficient information to debunk the many accusations that he copied from existing work of other people and other issues that will be raised in court.
When Farooq Kperogi commenced discussion with me on this twisty issue of plagiarism, I had one thing in mind, blackmail! In fact, it did not take long for Kperogi to drop all his jargons on plagiarism and replaced them with request for a specific amount of money. Then, I knew that Kperogi’s academic gown was a camouflage for conducting dubious practices and perhaps blackmail. This UBA account number 04590680001597 in favor of SURAKATU IBRAHIM was given to me by Kperogi to deposit the sum of five million naira. My refusal to oblige his request gave birth to the seeming plagiarism battle and endless abuses by Kperogi on me. I stop here until I meet ‘Prof’ Farooq Kperogi in court.
It is however expedient to state clearly that as much as Kperogi would try, his claims are baseless. I have considered it necessary to equip him with facts for his future story telling episode. "Mind Your Grammar" was initiated by Phrank Shaibu in 1996 (14 clear years before he started his column) on NTA Channel 2 Lagos as a weekly TV programme, not Channels TV as he wrongfully stated. In 2000, "Mind Your Grammar" was used as a weekly column in Diet newspapers (Now Daily Independent), in 2003, New Age newspapers adopted it as a weekly column and in 2004 it was made a weekly column for Business day newspapers. Between January to 31st August 2009, "Mind Your Grammar" was on Kogi Radio 94.0 FM as ‘grammar, music and style’. All these happened before Kperogi Farooq started writing for Daily trust newspapers as a weekly columnist in 2010. From this simple analysis, it is obvious that Kperogi Farooq is on a dubious agenda which unfortunately portrays him as being half clever.
In fact, I consider Kperogi’s many fake claims groundless because some identified books where he sourced his ideas and information for his weekly column are public knowledge . Though, I believe that this should not impact negatively on his work, nevertheless, without being unnecessarily defensive, I want to say that Silas Ejiofor’s disclosure that Kperogi is not what he claims is as clear as the sun!
That, there exist a true source of ideas and information which ‘Prof’ Farooq Kperogi lays claim to, is considered an academic dilemma but I consider it highly unnecessary at present to join issues with him on this obvious issue of intellectual theft because I understand the consequences to his scholarly pursuit, academic antecedent and his present psychological circumstances.
While I have in my modest wisdom discovered the need to stay focused by objectively addressing the many falsehoods written on me and showing respect to those that agree and disagree with me, however, I urge everyone interested in this matter to concentrate on the major issues relating to plagiarism rather than get carried away by Kperogi’s antics of introducing very unrelated topics into this issue. If one may ask, what is the connection between this weak issue of plagiarism and Phrank Shaibu being winner of spokesman of the year 2009, what has the relationship between Phrank Shaibu and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan got to do with Kperogi’s wild claims? Or is there any direct link between the issue of alleged plagiarism and my involvement in PDP politics?
As much as I admit that Kperogi is entitled to freedom of speech and liberty of expression, what is certain from his unrestrained insults on me is that he has a defined agenda coated in anger and jealousy to destroy my reputation. Even when one does not feel a sense of worry for the abuses on Phrank Shaibu, I think it is time our newspaper columnists learnt to use the privilege of writing in newspapers to discuss things that will build our communities than fake issues that destroy individuals.
Interestingly,Kperogi won't seize to amaze me with his deficient writing style. His recent piece on the appropriateness of the naming of a street in highbrow Maitama district in Abuja after the state of Mississipi in the United States as published in the Weekly Trust of 29th September,entitled:"What’s a “Mississippi Street” Doing in Abuja" can be best described as raising illiteracy to an ontological level. Hear him:
"However, when I went to Nigeria this summer and discovered that one of the most conspicuous streets in Abuja is named after Mississippi, I couldn’t help wondering: “why Mississippi street in Abuja”? I became even more curious when I discovered that no other street in Abuja is named after an American state. What is special about Mississippi?Have we run out of names to give streets in Abuja? Even if we have, what connection does Mississippi, a state that has a history and present of oppressing black people, have with Nigeria, the most populous black nation on earth? Somebody, help me!" he continued.
Well for the purpose of enlightening Mr Kperogi, the name Mississippi was derived from the famous River Mississippi and not the state of Mississippi as alleged. We also have Nile, Amazon and Ganges streets in the same Maitama district,all famous Rivers in the world just like Mississippi. This isn't absurd to say the least.
If his strength of argument were that streets in Maitama and by extension Abuja were named after European and Asian rivers, without any mention of any of the rivers in his village, it would have been understood. But as a scholar that he claims to be,to go to press without verifying his information or seeking clarification or even researching is most worrisome and I pity the students in his classroom.
My experience with Kperogi rightly informs me that he does not come across as a dynamic intellectual but a man that is controlled by his temper, troubling personal circumstances and has no capacity to manage little irritations like my refusal to meet his fraudulent financial demand of five million naira. While I hope Kperogi will see reason to meet me in court, I hope he learns how to control his terrible temper before he resumes writing in his presently suspended weekly column "Politics of Grammar" in Sunday Trust newspapers.
I refuse to be provoked!