REVUE INTERNATIONALE DE RECHERCHE EN COMMUNICATION, EDUCATION ET DEVELOPPEMENT

(RIRCED)

Publiée par :

L’Institut Universitaire Panafricain

Autorisation N° 008/MESRS/CAB/DC/SGM/DPP/DEPES/SP du 05 Janvier 2011

Sous la direction du :

 

Prof. Thomas HOUESSOU-ADIN

& Dr. Cyriaque C. S. AHODEKON

 

 

Editions Sonou d’Afrique

Porto-Novo, République du Bénin

 

 

Novembre 2012

REVUE INTERNATIONALE DE RECHERCHE EN COMMUNICATION, EDUCATION ET DEVELOPPEMENT

(RIRCED)

 

 

Publiée par :

 

L’Institut Universitaire Panafricain

Autorisation N° 008/MESRS/CAB/DC/SGM/DPP/DEPES/SP du 05 Janvier 2011

Site web : www.iessaf-universite.com

Sous la Direction du :

Prof. Thomas HOUESSOU-ADIN

& Dr. Cyriaque C. S. AHODEKON

 

 

 

Vol 1, N°02 – Novembre  2012,   ISSN   1840 – 6874

 

 

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Novembre 2012

 

REVUE INTERNATIONALE DE RECHERCHE EN COMMUNICATION, EDUCATION ET DEVELOPPEMENT

(RIRCED)

Copyright : I.U.P. & ESAF

 

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v Dépôt légal, N° 6410 du 6 Novembre 2012, 4ème Trimestre,

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ISSN  1840 – 6874

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Editions SONOU d’Afrique :

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Novembre 2012

RIRCED :

REVUE INTERNATIONALE DE RECHERCHE EN COMMUNICATION, EDUCATION ET DEVELOPPEMENT

Vol. 1,  N° 02,  Novembre  2012,  ISSN 1840 – 6874
1.0. Comité de Rédaction

Nom et Prénoms

Poste occupé dans le comité

1

Prince Théophile G. KODJO SONOU

Président de l’I.U.P. – Université, Porto-Novo, Bénin

Directeur de Publication

2

Prof. Thomas HOUESSOU-ADIN

Rédacteur en Chef

3

Dr Cyriaque AHODEKON

Rédacteur en Chef Adjoint

4

Dr Raphael YEBOU

Secrétaire à la Rédaction

5

Dr. Julien Koffi GBAGUIDI

Secrétaire Adjoint à la Rédaction

 

2.0. Consultants et Conseillers à la Rédaction

 

 

1

Prof. Augustin AINAMON

Département d’Anglais,

Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences  Humaines,  Université d’Abomey-Calavi, République du Bénin.

 

2

Prof.  Taofiki KOUMAKPAI

Département d’Anglais,

Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences  Humaines,  Université d’Abomey-Calavi, République du Bénin.

 

 

3

Prof. Albert NOUHOUAYI

Département de la philosophie, Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences Humaines, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, République du Bénin.

 

4

Prof. Urbain AMOA

Recteur, Université Charles Louis de Montesquieu, Abidjan, Côte-d’Ivoire.

 

5

Prof. Gabriel BOKO

Département de la Psychologie et des Sciences de l’Education,

Université d’Abomey-Calavi,

– Directeur Exécutif de l’IUP, Porto-Novo, Bénin.

6

Dr Cyriaque C. S. AHODEKON

– Institut National de la Jeunesse, de l’Education Physique et du Sport, Université d’Abomey-Calavi ;

-Directeur des Etudes  de l’IUP, Porto-Novo, Bénin.

7

Dr King Rafiou  AMOUSSA

Département de la Communication et des Relations Internationales et de la Diplomatie, Institut Universitaire Panafricain   (IUP), Porto-Novo, Bénin.

8

Dr. Akambi ILUPEJU

Université de Lagos, Nigeria.

9

Dr. Alexandre A. GBECHOEVI

Département de la Communication et des Relations Internationales, Institut Universitaire Panafricain   (IUP), Porto-Novo, Bénin.


3.0. Contributeurs  d’Articles

 

Nom et Prénoms

Articles contributes et Page

Adresses

 

 

1

Dr. Janet Olaide SHEBA,

 

 

Ethnic stereotyping in yorùbá proverbs.

 

Page  9-26

Department of Linguistics and African Languages & Literatures, Ọbáfẹ́mi Awólọ́wọ̀ University, Ilé-Ifẹ̀, Nigeria

 

 

2

Dr. Adeniyi  O. ADEFALA

 

 

Multilingualism in Different Scenarios of Language Contact

Page 27-35

Department of African Languages, Institut Universitaire Panafricain (IUP), Avakpa-Tokpa, Porto-Novo, Republic of Benin.

 

 

3

Dr. Ismaila O. O. AMALI

 

Cultural Pluralism, Reconstructive Educa ion and Nation Building in Nigeria.

Page 36-56

Department of Arts and Social Sciences Education

University of Ilorin

 

 

4

Dr. O. O. E. BALOGUN

 

The International Legal Implication of Entebbe Raid.

 

Page 57-69

Department of Political Science, College of Social and Management Sciences, Tai Solarin University of Education,

Ijagun, Ijebu – Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria.

 

 

 

5

Dr. Albert O. ASHIPA

Culture, literature as tools for national development. a critical study of Ijio-Meso culture with reference togelede.

Page 70-84

Département de Français, (congé sabbatique)

Institut Universitaire Panafricain,  (IUP),

Porto-Novo, République du Bénin.

 

 

6

Dr. Elizabeth E. OGINI

Gender Issue : textual politics in Biakolo’s  l’étonnante

enfance  d’inotan.

 

Page 85-99

Delta State University,

Abraka, Delta, Nigeria.

 

7

Théophile Gbègninou KODJO SONOU

Etude Suscinte de la responsabilité internationale

de l’Etat vis-à-vis de la société interétatique.

 

Page : 100-109

Département de la Communication et des Relations Internationales, Institut Universitaire Panafricain,

Avakpa -Tokpa, Porto-Novo, Rép. du Bénin

 

 

8

Catherine Olutoyin WILLIAMS

Interrogating domestic violence: an analysis of three Nigerian home vidos.

 

Page 110-126

Tai-Solarin University of Education,

Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria.

 

 

9

Kehinde Pedro AMORE

Pidgin English interference in the written English of Nigerian bilingual students : Ogun State experience.

Page : 127-148

Department of English, College of Humanities,

Tai Solarin University of Education,

Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria.

 

10

Mme Bolanle

Mercy TAIWO

Les Problèmes de l’enseignement et de l’apprentissage de la Langue Française au Nigeria.

Page 149-157

French Department, School of Languages

Tai Solarin College of Education,

Omu-Ijebu, Ogun State, Nigeria.


ETHNIC STEREOTYPING IN

YORÙBÁ PROVERBS

Dr. Janet Olaide SHEBA

Department of Linguistics and

African Languages & Literatures,

Ọbáfẹ́mi Awólọ́wọ̀ University

Ilé-Ifẹ̀, Nigeria

Abstract

From the hermeneutical perspective, the paper investigates into the depiction of the various forms of stereotypic images of the different groups of people the Yorùbá have associated with and also those within the Yorùbá ethnic group. The findings show a wide range of stereotypes both within and outside the ethnic community, depicting some as boastful or dishonest, deceptive or extortionist; others as accommodating or hardworking and so on. Though most of the proverbs in question are now obsolete, our interpretation should be taken as a note of the anthropological past.

Key words : Ethnic, Stereotype, Proverbs, Yoruba, Community.

Résumé

Du point de vue herméneutique, l’article recherche au plus profond des variétés des formes des images stéréotypes des différents groupes de peuples qui se sont associés au yoruba et ceux du groupe ethnique yoruba. Les recherches ont montrées qu’il existe un large intervalle de stéréotype aussi bien qu’à l’intérieur qu’à l’extérieur du groupe ethnique communautaire où,  d’une part, des gens sont malhonnêtes, difficiles à comprendre ou d’autre part, on trouve des gens travailleurs qui démontrent une certaine hospitalité,  ainsi de suite. Cependant, la plupart des proverbes en question sont maintenant obsolètes, notre interprétation doit être considérée comme une note anthropologique du passé.

Mots clés : Ethnique,  Stéréotype, Proverbes, Yoruba, Communauté.

 

Introduction

As earlier noted by Zenner (1970:417), information about the traditional forms of inter-ethnic images can be derived from proverbs folktales, jokes etc. In fact, proverbs provider forms into which we may inject many meanings. They also convey images of ethnic groups despite the variation that may be found. They may reveal more of a joking relationship than stable stereotypes, but some images do exist.

Alan Dundes (1994:191) has even argued that:

Stereotypes are like any other generations, they may be false, they may be true, they may be combination of partly false and partly true!

This being the case, it should be noted that regarding the reality of the proverbs used in this paper, they need not necessarily be true for all times or even for today. Generally, some of the proverbs are no more than quarries of facts associated by the Yorùbá with any other groups, mentioning what they detest in their behaviour or observation about their dress, food, private or public life, trading activities, language and their idiosyncrasies. The proverbs may even be considered as a revelation of the Yorùbá view of the psychoanalyst’s theory of repressions providing an outlet for their feelings, which might otherwise have, becomes a dangerous complex. Nevertheless, proverbs tell as much about the people who coin them as they do about the people about whom they are made (See Ojoade, 1980:332)

For long, the various ethnic groups in Nigeria have been relating together. This is more pronounced among the Yorùbá and the Hausa, the Fulani and the Nupe tribes from the northern part of Nigeria than the Igbo from the eastern part. Politics, religion and trade are the most association of these ethnics and even within the different Yorùbá dialects groups. As noted by Johnson (1921), the Yorùbá land was monarchical since. Though each of these cities is independent of the other, yet they all believe that they are descendants of Odùduwà. This therefore paves way for a regular meeting at their source, Ilé-Ifẹ̀. Also those who are neighbours do felicitate with each other on festive occasions. There is also linguistic understanding among them and they do things in common. Roads linking the towns together promote their trading activities too. All these put together affected their inter-relationship and from these observations emanate the proverbs to be examined in this paper.

However, this examination would be approached from the hermeneutical perspective, which involves the transmission of meaning from texts to reader or hearer. It notes that there is no priviledged or ‘correct’ meaning of an utterance. The meaning or interpretation of any utterance depends on the person doing the interpretation based on the lived experience and the consequent forms of utterance of those involved.

Also, it should be noted that the proverbs used in this paper are from this writer’s research collection while attempts were made to translate them literally.

1. Available Literature

Many studies have been undertaken on the collection of proverbs either in Yorùbá or in other societies. Works similar to this one but based on the Indian society are those of Krzyzanowski (1987), Upadhyaya (1987), Srivastava (1987) in which they respectively examine the high caste Hindu; the craftsmen’s and tradesmen’s castes; the untouchables, the Blid and Bhadija casted in Indian proverbs. Also, Zenner (1970) deals with ethnic stereotyping in Arabic proverbs. In the paper, the images of the Kurds, the Gypsies and the Blacks in the Middle East were considered. Ojoade (1980) occupies himself with their proverbs. Alan Dundes (1994) also presents an excellent study on national slurs dealing with such topics as stereotypes, national character, ethnocentrism and prejudice. He calls on folklorists to examine slurs in order to understand what the stereotypes are. He also warns against underestimating the psychological danger of ethnic or national character stereotypes. It needs be pointed out that no one has attempted such study on ethnicity in Yorùbá proverbs and neither do any address the issue of stereotyping. This paper sets out to accomplish the task.

2. Stereotypic Content in Yorùbá Proverbs.

As earlier mentioned, the Yorùbá has relationships with many groups. The various images of these different groups found in Yorùbá proverbs will be summarized in the following order:

3.1       Ethnic groups

3.1.1    Hausa-Fulani

3.1.2    Nupe (Tápà)

3.2       Yorùbá intra-ethnic groups

3.2.1    Ọ̀yọ́

3.2.2    Ìwó

3.2.3    Ẹ̀gbá

3.2.4    Ìjẹ̀bú

3.2.5    Ìlá

3.2.6    Ifẹ̀

3.3.7    Ìlọrin

3.2.8    Ìjẹ̀ṣà

3.3       Religious groups

3.3.1    Moslems

3.3.2    Christians.

2.1. Ethnic groups

The Yorùbá people create the proverbs discussed in this section for the tribes mentioned based on their interaction with each other.

2.1.1 Hausa – Fulani

The Islamic religion and trading activities brought the Hausa-Fulani people to live in Yorùbá land of recent, political activities have tighten the two societies together. In many towns in Yorùbá land, there are settlements or quarters labelled Sabo-gari where the Hausa-Fulani people live. They engage in kola nut trade and other petty and energy sapping works. Initially the Yorùbá do not differentiate between the Hausa and Fulani, they are both referred to as Hausa. In fact the Yorùbá refers to most of the tribes from the areas above the river Niger as Hausa-Fulani. In the earliest period, the immigrants have a low status. The Yorùbá have no regard for them most of the time. There are many proverbs testifying to the disregard for the group. In most of these proverbs, it is revealed that their safety and well-being are not taken into consideration. Let us examine some of these proverbs about them:

(1) Àpọ́nlé ni mọ́là, Hausa ni Hausa ń jẹ́.

(Mallam is an honorific appellation, a Hausa is a Hausa.)

Mọ́là is the Yorùbá translation of mallam, a teacher, in Islamic doctrine. Since most of these Hausas within Yorùbá society are of low status and engage in petty and energy sapping jobs, the term ‘mallam’ is used to address them to boost their ego. The term is considered more honourable for them than addressing them as Hausa which Yorùbá use as a derogatory term.

(2)        Ọmọ tí Gàmbàrí bá bí, okùn ni yóò ran.

(The child of a Gàmbàrí will definitely weave ropes)

This is pointing to the trade the Hausa engage in within Yorùbá land; that is, kola nut trade. The rope weaving refers to the packing process done by them before transporting the baskets of kola nuts to the north. The term, Gambàrí, used here is a more derogatory term than Hausa.

(3)        Wọ́n ní Hausa ó tàkìtì, ó ní ilẹ̀ le, taa ni sọ pé kí ó ta àtayè tẹ́lẹ̀?

(They say the Hausa man should somersault, he complains that the surface of the ground is hard, who prays that he should not fall?)

This proverb is equally testifying to the disregard for the safety of the group by the Yorùbá.

(4)        Kàkà ká dọ̀bálẹ̀ fún Gàmbàrí, bí a kú ó yá

(It is better to die than to prostrate for a Gàmbàrí)

As proverbs do tell a lot about the people who coin them, these proverbs reveals that the Yorùbá are proud and discriminative. But the reason that one can adduce to this is the set of Hausas they first had contact with that were peasants and beggars. As such, the Yorùbá frown at inter-marriage between their children which could lead them to prostrate for an Hausa as it was in the Yorùbá custom. They even detest Hausa leadership in politics. But this has recently turned out to be an irony of life. In the post independence history of Nigeria, most of Nigeria’s heads of state or presidents were from the North and Yorùbá people had worked successfully under such people!

(5)        Ẹni bá ti rí oyún Fúlàní yóò ti mọ̀ pé pupa ni yóò fi bí.

(He who sees the pregnancy of the Fulani knows that a light complexioned child would be born.)

This reveals the complexion of any Fulani to be light. In another vein, an extension of this could refer to the behavioural traits of the Fulani. Light complexioned and skinny people in Yorùbá society are superstitiously linked with ill health. As such another proverb linked to this is

(6)        Fúlàní ṣe bí olókùnrin wọjà, tinú abahun ń bẹ níbẹ̀.

(A Fulani enters the market like a sick person, what the tortoise intends to do is within him.)

The above proverb equally refers to the Fulani as pretenders. As cow sellers, after selling their cows in Yorùbá land, they go about begging for alms as if they are poor.

(7)        Ohun tó jọ ohun la fi ń wé ohun, èso ìyeyè jọ igi imú Fúlàní.

(What looks alike are comparable, the fruit of the hog plum (spondias lutea) resembles the nose of a Fulani)

This proverb is used to describe the physique of the Fulani as one with a long pointed nose.

 

2.1.2 Nupe

The Yorùbá calls the Nupe Tápà. Yorùbá relationship with this tribe concerns the Ọ̀yọ́ people who share the same boundaries with them in the era of the old Ọ̀yọ́ kingdom. Oral tradition has it that both of them inter-marry, trade together and even wage war against each other, thereby, cultural values interchange between the twosome. Some proverbs about the tribe are mentioned in examples (8a), (8b) and (9) below:

(8a)      Àyè gba ògùnmọ̀, ó ránni sẹ́fọ̀ọ́ òdú; àyè gba Tápà, ó kọ́lé ìgunnu.

(Ògùnmọ̀ vegetable is so free that is sends for òdú vegetable, Tápà is free and constructs his ìgunnu masquerade grove)

 

8(b)      Àyè gba ajá ó kọ́lé eérú, àyè gba Tápà ó kọ́lé ìgunnu.

(The dog is free that he prepares the ash place for itself, Tápà is free and constructs his ìgunnu masquerade grove)

Each of the proverbs above reveals the Yorùbá people as generally accommodating. It equally reveals the love the Nupes have for their culture to the extent that they practice their masquerade tradition anywhere they are.

(9)        Ẹni tó gọ̀ níí gbé ìgunnu, ẹni tó gbọ́n, a máa gba owó.

(The foolish one acts as ìgunnu masquerade, the wise one collects the offerings.)

This proverb reveals that the Nupes are not observant. They are unable to detect cheats among them. It also points to the dishonest practices within their masquerade cult.

However, as there are two sides of a coin, the proverbs discussed in this section show how accommodating and observable the Yorùbá can be to their fellow countrymen while at the same time the proverbs point out the careless attitude the Yorùbá can exhibit to people from other cultures too. Such attitudes however make the Hausa-Fulani too to see the Yorùbá as treacherous; therefore, they fear to do business with them

 

2.1.3. Yorùbá intra-ethnic group

The major Yorùbá dialectal groups are treated below.

2.1.4. Ọ̣̀

There are proverbs used for the Ọ̀yọ́ by other dialect groups such as the examples stated below:

(10)      Ẹ̀ẹ̀dẹ̀ ni Ọ̀yọ́ tọrọ, kójú tó mọ́ wọn a ti gbalé lọ́wọ́ ẹni.

(The Ọ̀yọ́ only begs for (the use of) the veranda, before it is dawn they would have acquired the whole house from one)

This proverb depicts Ọ̀yọ́ people as extortionists and this attitude aided their expansion within the Yorùbá land. They also seem to be very cunning and tricky in their behaviour. As such we have:

(11)      Ká sọ̀rọ̀, ká má ba bẹ́ẹ̀ ló bára Ọ̀yọ́ jẹ́

(Speaking the contrary is the habit of Ọ̀yọ́ people)

 

(12)      Ọ̀yọ́ dọ̀bálẹ̀, inú rẹ̀ lóṣòó

(The Ọ̀yọ́ man prostrates while the inside squats.)

 

(13)      Ọ̀yọ́ a yọ́mọọ́ lẹ̀ regbè

(Ọ̀yọ́ man deceptively leaves the child behind and goes for a long journey.)

All these sayings point out that Ọ̀yọ́ people cannot be pinned down on any issue. They are therefore not reliable.

But to exhibit their pride, the Ọ̀yọ́ carved proverbs for them selves to assert that they are model of excellence.

(14)      Ajíṣe-bí-Ọ̀yọ́ làá rí, Ọ̀yọ́ ò níí ṣe bí ẹni kankan.

(We only have the copycats of the Ọ̀yọ́; the Ọ̀yọ́ will not imitate anyone)

This is a show of their egoism and a trace of their attitude of contentment. Also, they can be boastful at times as in

(15)      A kì í bẹ ará Ọ̀yọ́ ní eré sísá, wọn a ní ilẹ̀ ni kò fẹ̀ tó àwọn ìbá sá jù bẹ́ẹ̀ lọ.

(We do not ask the Ọ̀yọ́ man to run a race; they would complain that the little space prevented them from running further.)

2.1.5    Ìwó

(16)      Òdòòdì làá wúre Ìwó. Bí o bá wọn ní pópó, wọn a ní o kú tọmọtọmọ.

(Ìwúre, supplicatory chants in Ìwó are offered to the contrary. If you meet them on the street, they would say you should die with your children)

This is a verbal irony and the use of such is a common feature in Ìwó dialect whereby they say what they don’t mean. The meaning in such usage is contrary to the words. For example, means ‘to die’, whereas, it is mere ‘greetings’ that the speaker is extending to the bearer. So in essence, such usage is pointing out the fact that Ìwó people by nature have an ironic way of looking at things, feeling about them and saying them out.

 

2.2. Ẹ̀gbá

(17)      Ẹ̀gbá kò lólú, gbogbo wọn níí ṣe bí ọba.

(The Ẹ̀gbá have no prime leader, each of them act as a king)

 

(18)Ẹni mú Ẹ̀gbá kò mẹ́rú, gbogbo wọn níí pera wọn lọ́mọ.

(He who captures Ẹ̀gba has not captured a slave, they all call themselves freeborn.)

The two proverbs above refer to the political set up of Ẹ̀gbá land as a cluster of independent small communities with no reference for a singular head. This shows that the political structure of Ẹ̀gbá land is faulty, thereby, gives room for disorder.

Also, to point out the disintegration and segregation witnessed in the Yorùbá society during the 19th C intra-tribal wars, we have

(19)      Akọ̀pẹ Ìjàyè kó má kọ ti Ọ̀yọ́ mọ́, kónígbó kó dá igbó sí méjì.

(The palm taper at Ijaye should not go near that of Ọ̀yọ́ again, let the owners divide the farms into two.)

2..2.1. Ìjẹ̀

(20)      A kì í sọ pé abẹ Ìjẹ̀bú mú, ìgbà náà níí sọ pe ‘ń mà dàì lọ̀ ọ́’.

(We should not say that the knife of an Ìjẹ̀bú is sharp, for it is then he says,‘ I have not sharpen it’)

The Ìjẹ̀bú are known to be proud and boastful in nature. They believe everything belonging to them is the best. Hence we hear such terms like ‘gàrí Ìjẹ̀’ for fine and well-processed gàrí, cassava flour. But people do despise them too by referring to their products as inferior or counterfeit, hence, owó Ìjẹ̀ counterfeit money. In essence, this is a proverb pointing out the need not to praise Ìjẹ̀bú people to avoid any empty boast from them.

 

2.2.2    Ìlá

(21)      Ìlá ò lóògùn, ẹmu lòògùn Ìlá.

(The Ìlá have no medicine, palm-wine is the medicine of the Ìlá.)

This refers to the occupation of Ìlá men and women. The men are good palm-wine tapers; the women are sellers while both sexes are good at drinking palm-wine. The proverb is used to satirize the Ìlá.

2.2.3    Ifẹ̀

(22)      Òwúrọ̀ lọ́jọ́, ẹmu ni wọ́n fi ń mu ní Ifẹ̀.

(Despite the importance of the morning, it is a time to drink palm-wine in Ifẹ̀.)

This is a proverb used by other dialect groups to despise the Ifẹ̀ as lazy people. But Ifẹ̀ people are good farmers with many palm trees on their land. As such palm-wine is their drink for festivities and relaxation.

2.2.4    Ìlọrin

(23)      A bímọ ní Ìlọrin, wọ́n ní akọ-n-bábo, èwo ló dàgbà tí kò ṣe rìkíṣí?

(A child is born in Ìlọrin, people ask whether it is a male or a female, which one is not an intriguer when he/she becomes an adult?)

 

(24)      Ọdún mẹ́ta tí Ìlọrin ti ń yàgbẹ́, kò lè ya ìjàmbá inú rẹ̀ tán.

(Three years after the Ìlọrin man has been excreting, he cannot excrete all the evils in him.)

The two proverbs refer to the intrigue, deceptive and double-dealing attitude of Ìlorin people. The proverbs are allusions to the Yorùbá-Fulani clash in Ìlọrin in the 19thC resulting in the establishment of the Fulani hegemony in the town since then.

2.2.5.   Ìjẹ̀ṣà

(25) Àgbàlagbà tó ra aṣọ òṣómàáló

mọ̀ pé, òun ti kọ̀wé pe àtìkiri.

(The elderly who buys cloth from òṣómàáló has invited the seller to push him here and there.)

 

(26) Ebi ni kò pa Ìjẹ̀ṣà tó lóun ò jẹ

ẹ̀kọ Ọ̀yọ́; ebi pa Súlè ó jọ̀bọ.

(It is when the Ìjẹ̀ṣà man is not hungry that he rejects the Ọ̀yọ́’s corn pap; Súlè was hungry and he ate monkey.)

Proverb (25) reveals the Ìjẹ̀ṣà as traders, especially in textile, and they hawk their goods about the whole Yorùbá country and sell on credit. The approach is pleasant whenever they intend to sell or dispose their wares but the Ìjẹ̀ṣà subjects defaulters at the time of payment to serious harassment. The term ‘òṣómàáló’ which means ‘I will be in a squatting position (until I receive my money)’ is a derogatory term for the Ìjẹ̀ṣà because of their attitude when forcefully collecting debts from their hitherto cordial customers. Proverb (26) reveals that the Ìjẹ̀ṣà who are popularly known for their preference for eating pounded yam any time of the day, do take ẹ̀kọ (corn pap), an Ọ̀yọ́ menu, whenever they are away from home.

 

2.3.      Religious group

The two foreign religious in Yorùbá land, Islam and Christianity and their idiosyncrasies are considered here. The suspicion with which adherents of one faith to another were viewed is usually reflected in the proverbs about them. Also, knowledge about the priests of these groups is reflected.

2.3.1 Moslem

Yorùbá proverbs emphasise the result of going against injunctions for the Moslems.

(27)      Ààfáà tó jẹlẹ́dẹ̀, bó kú láyé kò lè rọ́run wọ̀.

(If the Alfa that eats pork should die, he will not enter heaven.)

This is a reference to the taboo in Islam forbidding the eating of pork. So a leader who breaks such taboo is doomed to perish. Similar proverb is

(28)      Báwo ni wọ́n ti pín itan ẹlẹ́dẹ̀ tó fi kan lèmọ́mù?

(How do they share the thigh of the pig that a part is given to the Imam.)

Concerning the Ramadan period, we have

(29)      Ìmọ̀le gbààwẹ̀, ó lóun ò dátọ́ mì, taa ni ń ṣe ẹlẹ́rìí ọ̀fun?

(The Muslim fasts and says he does not swallow the saliva, who will bear witness for the throat?)

This is usually uttered by the other confessional groups to the Muslims to despise or satirize them most especially because of the sàrì, the meal they eat at dawn, during their fasting period. The saying also has to do with dishonest Muslims. Similar proverbs used to satirize Muslims during this period are:

(30)      Itọ́ dídá mì nínú ààwẹ̀, yóò níbi tí ó ràn.

(Swallowing the saliva during fasting can ease the hunger.)

 

(31)      Ẹni tí ò gbọ́n ni ààwẹ̀ gbò, ẹni tó gbọ́n a gúnyán rúgúdú bọ abẹ́ aṣọ.

(It is the unwise that feels the hunger during fasting, the wise prepares a small dish of pounded yam secretly.)

To point out the various Islamic practices prevalent among Muslims proverb like (32) below exists:

(32)      Torí Ọlọ́run là á fi i jẹ mọ́sà.

(We eat ̣ for God’s sake.)

This refers to the practice of offering, sàárà alms, by bringing ̣, a type of corn cake, to the mosque for the congregation to eat.

For Islamic leaders, the proverbs below point out a unique feature in their appearance, that is, they usually keep long beards.

(33)      Ààfáà jóná, ẹ ń bèèrè irùngbọ̀n; kí ló mú iná ràn?

(The alfa is burning, you are asking of the beard, what aided the burning?)

Also, the priests are above board in all their actions. Only God can deal with them. So, we have

(34)      Bí Ọlọ́run yóò dá sèríà fún lèmọ́mù, kì í ṣojú ọmọ kéú.

(If God will punish the Imam, the Islamic/Quran students will not be present.)

2.3.2.   Christian

Most of the proverbs created for this group have to do with the priest since they are expected to lay good examples. The proverbs are usually used to satirize them.

(35)      Àlùfáà ń sanra, ìjọ ń rù

(The Reverend gets fatter while the congregation get lean)

This is to show contempt for the priesthood especially when he mishandled or mismanaged the church funds.

(36)      Yóò sọ ọkọ rẹ̀ lẹ́nu, ká-le-wí-kan ìyàwó rẹ́fírẹ́ẹ̀nì, tí ń polówó búrẹ́dì lọ́jọ́ ìsi

(He is about to give her husband a bad name, the wife of a reverend who advertises the sale of bread on Sundays.)

This is a proverb for the nominal and the do-as-I-say type of Christians.

 

Conclusion

The proverbs discussed above show a wide range of stereotypes. Some of the ethnic and intra-ethnic group are viewed as dirty, stupid, boastful, poor, dishonest, accommodating, and deceptive or extortionist. There is also suspicion among the religious groups. But we cannot interpret the proverb correctly until other factors and information are considered. It should be noted that most of these proverbs are now obsolete, thereby making our interpretation a note of the anthropological past. Nevertheless, the study of such proverbs can be used to reveal the structure of thought of the people and the changes that have occurred.

 

References

Agbaje, B. (2001):                   Ìfìwádìí sọ̀tumọ̀ ìyánrọ̀ fẹ́ẹ́rẹ́: Àyọlò láti inú ẹ̀sà egúngún. Yorùbá: A Journal of the Yorùbá Studies Association of Nigeria. Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 120-128.

Biobaku, S.O. (1957):             Ẹ̀gbá and their Neighbours 1842-1872. Oxford, Clarendon Press, London.

Don Ihde (ed) (2000):             Paul Ricoeur: The Conflicts of Interpretations. Essays in Hermeneutic. Northwestern University Press, Evanston.

Dundes, A. (1994):                  ‘Slurs International: Folk Comparisons of Ethnicity and National Character.’ in Wolfgang Meider (ed) Wise Words: Essays on the Proverb. Garland Folklore Casebooks. New York, London. pp. 183-210.

Johnson, S. (1921):                  The History of the Yorùbás. C.S.S. Bookshops: Lagos

Krzyzanowski, J. (1987):         ‘Attitude of Indian Proverbs Towards High Castes Hindus’, in J. Krzyzanowski et. al. (ed) Proverbium 1(1965)- 15(1970) edited by W. Mieder: Peter Lang, New York, p. 46-56.

Ojoade, J.O. (1980):               ‘The Whitemen in African Proverbial Sayings’, in V.J. Newall (ed) Folklore Studies in the Twentieth Century. D.S. Brewer & Rowman and Littlefield: Suffolk & Rotowa. N.J., pp. 32-337.

Srivastava, S. L. (1987):          ‘Caste in Indian Proverbs’, in J. Krzyzanowski et. al. (ed) Proverbium 1(1965) – 15(1970), pp. 408-409.

Upadhyaya, H.S. (1987):         ‘Craftmen’s and Trademen’s Castes in Indian Proverbs’ in J. Krzyzanowski et. al. (ed) Proverbium 1(1965) -15(1970), pp. 71-83.

Zenner, W.P. (1970):              ‘Ethnic Stereotyping in Arabic Proverbs’. Journal of American Folklore. Vol. 83, No. 330, pp. 417-429.

 

MULTILINGUALISM IN DIFFERENT SCENARIOS OF LANGUAGE CONTACT

Dr. Adeniyi  O. ADEFALA

Department of Languages and Linguistics,

Panafrican University Institue (PUI),

Porto-Novo, Republic of Benin.

Abstract

Speakers of non-metropolitan minority languages have found themselves historically in various situations of subordination vis-à-vis metropolitan languages, such as English, French, Portuguese or Spanish. In more modern times, other languages of wider circulation have also come to exert increasing pressure on language minority communities such as Swahilli in East Africa, or Creole in Guinea Bissau. In this paper, I shall explore briefly some typical linguistic ecologies found during the colonial and postcolonial eras and address some of the implications that these different ecologies have had on speakers’ use of language and patterns of multilingualism. The paper will conclude by sketching some possible imminent and future multilingual scenarios in the wake of post-industrial globalization.

Key words : Multilingualism, Scenarios, Métropolitain Language,  Non-métropolitain Language.

 

 

Résumé

Les locuteurs des langues minoritaires non-métropolitaines, maintes fois, se sont retrouvés historiquement dans des situations d’infériorité linguistique vis-à-vis des langues métropolitaines telles que l’anglais, le français, le portugais, ou l’espagnol. Dans les temps modernes, d’autres langues majoritaires dans des régions donnés telles que le swahili en Afrique de l’Est, ou créole en Guinée Bissau, viennent aussi exercer une pression croissante sur les communautés de langues minoritaires. Cet article explore brièvement quelques écologies linguistiques typiques trouvées durant les ères coloniales et poste-coloniales et démontre quelques implications que ces différentes écologies avaient sur les locuteurs à l’usage de multilinguisme langue et des modèles. L’article conclu par des sketches de quelques scénarios de futurs multilinguisme dans le sillage de  la globalisation poste-industrielle.

Mots clés : Multilinguisme, Scénarios, Langue Métropolitaine, Langue Non-métropolitaine.

Introduction

1- Multilingualism in colonialism and post colonialism

During colonial times, the regulation and control of languages on behalf of colonial powers was an important instrument of colonial management. Colonial language policies ensured that all-important public societal functions were mainly conduced in the metropolitan languages alone, and that local languages alone, and that local languages were used more or less exclusively in private spheres. Accompanying this division in use was an ideological stance towards local languages as chaotic, imprecise, lacking in abstractness and not at all ‘real’ languages, just ‘dialects’ …. In this way, language policies helped to reinforce the division of material and economic power between colonial master and colonized, and controlled access to scarce resources. One example, taken from pre-independence Mozambique, will suffice to illustrate the ways in which language was used in this way to monitor, control and demographically divide populations.

In colonial Mozambique, Portuguese had a legally stipulated role as the sole language of public life, while indigenous languages were confined to use in private domains. This language policy primarily served to bolster a labour legislation that regulated the definition, organization and control of the work force in favour of the supremacy of white Portuguese labour. The policy also effectively regulated which social spaces blacks and whites could inhabit, and the nature of the different identities and privileges they could aspire to. The notion of assimilado was important in this context. Assimilados were allowed to remain within city limits after nightfall, live residential areas and use public utilities such as cinemas and restaurants that were otherwise reserved for whites. An assimilado, in other words, was a kind of honorary white, and one condition blacks had to meet to attain assimilado, status was to master Portuguese.

More generally, in the postcolonial era, a time of upheaval and change, the status and functions allocated to different languages in multilingual polities were determined primarily by attempts to balance demands for national unity with recognition and Affirmation of diversity. This tension generated language ideological debates and policies of very different natures:

  1. Elevation of a strong internal variety to national/official status
    1. Promotion of a supra – ethnic variety with neutral connotations, but which is still

Indigenous to some degree

  1. Promotion of a standardized version of a widely spoken but dialectally fragmented

Indigenous vernacular

  1. Continuation of a colonial language of wider communication, sometimes in indigenous, local or nativised varieties
  2. Some combination of (i-iv)

Again taking an example from Mozambique at independence, questions of language were intimately tied to the development and consolidation of the new postcolonial nation state. Portuguese was made the official and working language of the state, and ideologically portrayed as a national heritage at the same time as it was taken to represent modernity, order, consensus and a unified nation state. National languages, on the other land, were associated with tradition, ethnic division, and colonial control. Although they were said to be essential for a community’s access to its historical roots, and for preserving traditions and customs, they were given no official formal recognition in modern sectors of Mozambican society. In fact, in the early days of independence, national languages were more or less prohibited for use in formal contexts. One effect of this was that local people were effectively barred from having a say in the running of their own lives – unless they had a knowledge of Portuguese. Ultimately, this linguistic marginalization contributed to their poverty and powerlessness.

At the same time that the governing party FREMILO was ideologically refashioning Portuguese as an integral part of the invention of modern Mozambican society, it was also staking claims to the language. Portuguese was hailed as the language of the FRELIMO party. What this is fact did was to effectively link the people to the party through every a nation –state habitus, and provided FRELIMO with a important strategy in its political legitimacy.

2- Global and the local economies

Today’s post – industrial global economy, an economy” in which capital, production, management, markets, labour, information and technology are organized across national boundaries’’ is radically transforming the linguistic economies of many postcolonial nations in as yet uncharted ways. On the one hand, these processes are reinforcing the de-emphasis of local and regional institutions, ways of life and languages that have been typical of prior colonial and postcolonial developments. One example of this is from Tanzania, where the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, called in to help halt the country’s recession, were able to exert considerable leverage on policy makers to force a stronger emphasis on English. English has also become more important vis-à-vis Swahili with the rise of a parliamentary and representative democracy in Tanzania.

On the other hand, the developments of global markets have led in some cases to a strengthening of local indigenous languages vis-à-vis the official nation-state language.

Speakers of other metropolitan languages, such as Portuguese and French particularly, cannot have avoided feeding the linguistic impact of English no their languages through globalization. In French and Portuguese speaking Africa, the growth of multiparty politics and the opening up trade networks with English speaking neighbours (especially with South Africa since the removal of its apartheid government) has meant that French and Portuguese have lost some of their importance and prestige on local national arenas. If ‘we are right is assuming that the relative degree of subordination of a minority / indigenous language is in direct proportion to the perceived important of the metropolitan language, then the weaker this language becomes, the relatively more stronger local language become.

Another aspect of globalization with potentially positive – or at the very least ambivalent – consequences for minority language is the development of the knowledge-economy. The accumulation of knowledge and information is crucial to product design, production and innovation, and castells’ claims that “the level of efficiency in acquiring, processing and deploying knowledge now constitute the strategic factors in both competitiveness and productivity for firms, regions and counties. A knowledge-economy may hold far-reaching implications for minority languages and their speakers. This type of economy required “new flexible work practices organized around co-operative team work and skills transfer ability or multi-skilling – a “flexible specialization” as well as the horizontal dispersal of control (‘new work orders’. Technological processes need to be integrated into the entire social process. Production and consumption of knowledge – need a highly skilled workforce. The full value of the development of technological and scientific capabilities lies in the extent to which they can be embedded in existing structure and blend in with prevailing traditions and cultures”. At least on paper, a ‘democratic’ knowledge economy should favour the use and development of local language.

Post-industrialism also has a range of potential implications for the teaching of indigenous language. In an information based economy, higher order literacy and communication skills are seen as central for growth, as information sharing, negotiation, consultation and cooperative teamwork require a range of sophisticated communication and literacy skills. These skills frequently involve the formation of new codes, among them multimedia ‘literacies’ …. In order words, new demands are placed on the linguistic skills of workers. The language skills and abilities that speakers of indigenous languages need to cultivate are those that permit ‘horizontal’ creative and problem-solving forms of communication (forms of language modernization that permit the expression of a” culture of divergence”); that can integrate ideas and products into existing social networks (contextualization); that encourage diversity (hybridity); and that focus on multimodality. The types of language and literacy functions that speakers need to cultivate in their languages should centre on developing interpersonal knowledge networks, as well as identity constructions. In order words, teaching in and through local indigenous languages need to centre on difference, change and creativity.

The impact of the global economy on language dynamics and patterns of bilingualism is mediated by the types of networks or life forms that individuals and groups have access to. Factors such as individuals’ gender, neighborhood, profession, and education determine what networks and identities are available to any one single person at any one point in time. Depending upon where community members are located in the urban power matrix, their interactive networks will differ. Physical location and physical territory, for so long the only grid on which cultural difference could be mapped, need to be replaced by multiple grids that enable us to see that connection and contiguity – more generally, the representation of territory – vary considerably by factors such as class, gender, race and sexuality, and are differentially available to those in different locations in the field of power.

This in turn determines what type of language markets an individual will have access to and what type of multilingual practices she will use on a daily basis. This is one important determinant of what the words and ideas (which) actually connect the modes of production and shape their relations toward the inside and the outside. There is a great deal of work that tries to explain local structures of multilingualism with reference to super ordinate political and social structures at the regional and global levels  applies a Bakhtinan conception of language as heteroglossic to the analysis of codes witching and other contact phenomena occurring in the speech of Spanish Mexican speakers. These speakers find themselves participating in both a traditional local economy, characterized by reciprocal relations, and in the peripheral margins of an industrialized and global economy. Hill explores how the juxtaposition of two languages can be understood to be the speakers’ presentation of two” voices”, that is, ways of speaking that foreground and construct specific interested positions and identities. Another researcher, Susan Gal (2009), applies such a perspective to the speech of immigrant youth in Germany, treating codes witching as ”speakers” symbolic responses to the differing political economic positions in the long standing system or core periphery relations” (P.357).

3- Summary

In this paper, I have wanted to present a view of multilingualism as a set of language and cultural practices for negotiating, definiting, constituting, (re) affirming and symbolically representing the social identities of individuals and political relationships of speech communities in contact. Linguistic outcomes of contact may comprise the degree of access speakers have to different languages, the functions that are allocated to these languages, as well as the symbolic value accorded to them. In following chapters, we will see that a range of social, historical, political and ideological factors determines how power relationships between communities in contact become transposed into patterns of multilingualism.

 

References

Bamgbose, Ayo. (2001) Language and the Nation: The language question in Sub-Saharan

Africa. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Cameron, D. (2000). Demythologising sociolinguistics: why language does not reflect

society. J. E. Joseph & T. J. Taylor (eds).

Collier, V. P. & Thomas, W. P. (2008) Acquisition of cognitive-academic second language proficiency: A six-year study. Paper presented at AERA, New Orleans.

 

 


CULTURAL PLURALISM,

RECONSTRUCTIVE EDUCATION

AND NATION BUILDING IN NIGERIA.

Dr. Ismaila O. O. AMALI

Department of Arts and Social

Sciences Education,

University of Ilorin

 

 

 

Abstract

This paper examines cultural pluralism, Reconstructive Education and Nation building in Nigeria. The objective is to present the Nigeria case where cultural diversity and differences play major role in the life of the people. Thus, the paper highlights the Nigeria federation as being hobbled by centrifugal tendencies and activities base on her ethnic grouping and consciousness. In this direction, it provides the problems and also addresses the problem of cultural pluralism that would ensure unity within diversity for a strong, united, virile and democratic society in Nigeria. The paper suggests the way forward that would ensure social integration which is crucial for peace and the development of people and societies in Nigeria. It concludes that to promote national integration, peace and social justice in Nigeria would require the commonly yielding values that hold Nigeria together as a nation. And this is Nigeria rating system expressed in a symbolic way. It recommends Civic or Reconstructive education to promote the much needed values for nation building which would require a global initiative, and to be promoted by the United Nations under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (U.N.E.S.C.O). This would help address the problems of pan Nigeria values.

Key words : Cultural – Pluralism, Reconstructive Education, Nation Building

Résumé

Cet article examine le pluralisme culturel, l’éducation reconstructive et la construction de la nation Nigériane.

L’objectif est de présenter le cas du Nigéria où les différences et la diversité culturelle jouent un rôle majeur dans la vie du peuple. Cependant, l’article met un accent sur le fédéralisme Nigérian comme boitillé par les tendances centrifugeuses et activités basées sur son groupement ethnie et sa conscientisation. Dans cet ordre d’idée, il prévoit des problèmes, mais aussi des solutions du pluralisme culturel qui assurerait l’unité dans une diversité forte, unie, vrille et société démocratique au Nigéria. L’article suggère la voie du progrès qui assurerait une intégration sociale qui est cruciale pour la paix et le développement du peuple et les sociétés Nigérianes.

L’article conclut que la promotion de l’intégration nationale, paix et la justice sociale au Nigéria demanderait d’une manière générale des valeurs positives qui maintiendraient ensemble le Nigéria comme une Nation. Et ceci, est au Nigéria le système d’expression populaire d’une manière symbolique.

L’article recommande l’éducation civique et reconstructive pour faire la promotion des valeurs les plus positives pour la construction d’une nation qui aurait besoin d’une initiative globale et pour être promue par les Nations-Unies sous les auspices de l’Organisation des Nations-Unies pour l’Education, la Science et la Culture (UNESCO). Ceci va aider à résoudre les problèmes, valeurs négatives du Nigéria.

Mots clés : Pluralisme, Culturel, Education, Reconstructive, Nationale

Introduction

Nigeria is a heterogeneous society with ethnic pluralism that is rooted in diverse cultures. There are many different languages such as Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Gbagi, Tiv, Idoma, Nupe, Egbira, Kanuri, Fulfude, Edo, Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio and so on, to be used as yardstick for determining the variability of Nigeria culture. Each of the ethnic groups in Nigeria has language as its element, and as in the views of Tiamiyu (1999) with reference to Kuper (1971), they are self perpetuating biological groups, with identifiable interactive membership, value system, normative behaviour and a particular part of the state territory. Otite (1990) identified 374 ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Reconstructive education as used in this paper is the process in which Nigerians faces response to the challenges of working together to build a stronger nation of unity within diversity. Thus, the paper gives account of the efforts made to address the problems of cultural pluralism that should ensure Nigeria unity. The emphasis is on the processes used to develop programmes that our children understand and from which they would learn to value the differences that constitute Pan-Nigeria values. These issues are presented in the direction of their implication for national integration and nation building in post- independence Nigeria.

Historically, Nigeria was a creation of British colonial power which became a geo – political entity in 1914, when the Northern and Southern protectorates were amalgamated. From inception, Nigeria was heavily divided along ethnic lines. The Hausa – Fulani being a dominant group in the North, the Yoruba ethnic group dominated the West and the Igbos dominated the Eastern part of Nigeria. Tribal loyalties, Islamic and Christian religious faith has had a great impact on the social life of various ethnic groups in Nigeria. These have implication for national unity after Nigeria’s independence in 1960. Also, the difference that existed between the North and the South in terms of economic resources and opportunities provided the platform for geo-political and economic rivalry soon after independence. This is because; the Southern part of Nigeria had the advantage of better economic development because of its enormous natural resources and access to international water ways. These factors exposed the region to better economic, social and educational growth compared to the Northern part of the country.

Education for Nation Building is a design to improve character and service delivery of teachers, learners and the citizenry. It involves the processes for building and sustaining human relationship by assessing, anticipating and stating the implied needs of the populace. Its essence is quality education for quality assurance towards nation building. In retrospect, UNESCO (2000) stated the type of education as;

  1. Education that supports a right based approach to all educational endeavours, as a human right and must support all of the human rights.
  2. Education that is identified as learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together and  with others, and learning to see the learner as an individual, a family member, community member and a global citizen who should be educated to create individual competition in all the four roles.
  3. Education that uphold and support the ideals of a sustainable world, which is a world that is just, equitable, peaceful and a world in which individuals come to the environment so as to contribute to intergenerational equity.
  4. Education that builds knowledge, perspective, attitudes and values that provides the tools to transform current societies to be more sustainable.

 

Thus, in this paper ‘Nation building’ simply means uniting or bringing together, that is, people, possessing diverse cultures, languages, religion and belief systems into one which eschew parochial and subordinate loyalties and sentiments to the ethnic groups. This should make Nigerians to perceive self, first and foremost, as a Nigerian, before identifying with his or her ethnic group. National integration for Nigeria should thus, promotes systems that would contribute to the preservation, promotion and the education of Nigerians (young and old), the values of their cultural variability. But, how can they be achieved in the Nigeria case?

 

Social and National integration: The Nigeria case

Social integration is a requirement that is of basic necessities to all societies in Nigeria. Merton (1957), Foster (1968) and Banks (1979) opined that social integration should be pre-occupied with social values that bring about cultural homogeneity of traditional societies (such as that of Nigeria). Thus, it should enhance the production and maintenance of social cohesion and unity of people.  This means the progress which is base in the transfer of man’s loyalty in his society to voluntary group using intellectual and moral association as a criterion for social integration and unity of cooperate societies (Murray, 1987).

Nigerian Politicians, such as Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe (1904-1996) used this kind of association to form the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (N.C.N.C) as a strong national political party in Nigeria’s 1st Republic (1960 – 1965), In Nigeria, Educational Institutions as well as Political parties have been used as a base line for cultivating the values and norms which are required for social integration. Thus in the case of Nigeria, like that of other African states Social integration has been used as a genuine cooperative spirit to develop societies (Foster, 1968). Like Duverger (1976) posited, there is no social integration without a development of social solidarities. He explained integration as, the process of uniting a society which tends to make it harmonious, where harmonious society is the elimination of the antagonism dividing it, and the struggle which threatened to tear it apart as an integrated community.

In this context, political executives or political parties ensure that the diverse groups in the society have common political value, while Social integration, looks up to political, and economic, cultural and educational integration of the various ethnic nationalities. Nigeria has addressed most of her cultural pluralistic problems through the use of these processes.

 

Does Cultural pluralism hinder National Integration and Nation building in Nigeria?

The simple answer is yes; because the most difficult task Nigeria face as a nation since independence is the task of processing National pluralism for National integration. The efforts to build one indivisible nation from the several ethnic nationalities have constituted problems as well. Some of the problems that emerged are sometimes not anticipated. They challenge the context to which cultural pluralism is directed for National integration after independence. Most of the problems have mal-integrative elements and still persist. They constitute a clog in the wheel of National progress and development. They infest social solidarity and damage economic and social development. Thus:

 

  1. Ethno-Politico-Religious sentiments are widespread in Nigeria. These, at times, end up in the disruption of peace and order resulting into loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties. There have been incidences of such cases in Kano, Bauchi, Jos, Maiduguri, Aba, Zango-Kataf. The incessant incidents of mayhem and violence in Jos, Maiduguri, Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria have been linked to politico-ethnic problem. However, religions have been employed to ginger a National support to justify incidences leading to violence in Nigeria. It is in this respect that the Arch Bishop of Abuja has condemned the violence in Jos, not as religious but as due to social, economic, tribal and cultural differences (The Nation, March 12th 2010).The Nigerian Senate also said it cannot be a religious problem (Network Senate News, 15th March, 2010).

Added to this, is tribal loyalty and affiliation that have become a way of life of Nigerians’ especially when it relates to political power that dictates the economic wellbeing of the people. This sometimes translates into corrupt political practices as often witnessed in the conduct of elections in Nigeria. The political leadership are usually accused of appointing people that can help influence their chances of winning elections to head and administer the affairs of the Independent National Electoral Commission (I.N.E.C)- a body charged with conducting election to political offices in Nigeria.

The same scenario goes with the judicial system in Nigeria. Where the organs that is supposed to be the moral umpire of it citizens often fails in its responsibilities of upholding justice and when they uphold justice such is often delayed. Thus, the judiciary is ineffective to check abuses in the society, more so that the rate of corruption within the judiciary itself creates doubts about its integrity. Public and media comments on Nigeria judiciary is at best not encouraging as there have been complains and reports of high degree of corruption, favouritism, chauvinism and misapplication of justice based on tribal, religious and geo-political affiliation of Nigerian judges (The Nation, Thursday, July, 17, 2012). To make matters worse, Nigeria, though rich in mineral, natural and human resources is still a poor country and rated as the 43th poorest nation in the world (Wikipedia.org). Her poverty has been attributed to misappropriation of public funds, lack of efficient planning and control of Nigeria economic resources. The rate of national unemployment is high at 24 percent (National Bureau of Statistic, 2012). These are attributes that breeds idleness among Nigeria youths leading to the creation of anti-social vices such as theft, armed robbery, thurgery and so on that is prevalent in the Nigeria society. These are problems that urgently need to be addressed in the efforts to build a united, indivisible and virile nation.

The Boko Haram (Western Education is a sin) saga has equally become a thorn in the flesh of Nigerians. The Nigerian government’s inability to curtail the overzealous Islamic radical and faceless militant group has left the Nigerian nation on the brinks of being called a ‘Terrorist State’. Some fanatical elements have used religious differences to cause troubles that harmed innocent citizens as was the case in Kano, Bauchi and Maiduguri and other parts of the country. Kidnapping is rampant especially in Delta region of Nigeria. The political leadership has been unable to adequately curtail the problems.

Further, every Nigerian is conscious of his origin, place of birth and language spoken. Thus, most problems and crisis are viewed and addressed in relation to these concepts. These are psychic that constitute great problems for Nigeria as a nation. Also, Nigeria educational curriculum has failed to address these problems. Thus, there has not been a desire consciousness that would lead us to a strong and united democratic society has contained in our National Constitution (1999).

From the foregoing, it could rightly be said, that cultural pluralism has caused many problems in the polity and lives of Nigerian people. Many people are aware of its implications and consequences for Nigeria as a Nation state. The crucial question that arises is, ‘what are the mechanisms and system approach at and after independence to redress cultural pluralism for nation building in Nigeria’?

 

Reconstructive education for nation building: the Nigeria experience.

After independence, the desire to achieve genuine ‘Nationhood’ became a matter of concern, since unity is a sin-qua-non to peace, progress and development. In the struggle for National development, there emerged ethno- political rivalries, attributed to social, economic and political gains to be reaped at the National level. This would require political actors to fight for the regional economic parity. But fighting one another will not necessarily result in the resolution of the problems identified about every group and the Nigerian Nation. Therefore, in order to redress and address the parlous situation, some epochal policies were initiated at independence and after independence. These policies ushered in new reforms towards National and Social solidarity. Some of these policies are contained in our National philosophy, National policy on education (NPE, 2004) and in the Nigerian Constitution (1999).

Lawal (2008), summarised that, the overall philosophy of Nigeria is to:

  1. Live in unity and  harmony as one indivisible, undissolvable, democratic Nation               founded through and on the principle of freedom and justice and
  2. Promote the inter-African solidarity and world peace through understanding. He                           opined that these two statements cover essentially the realm of Nationalism.

This would require policy formulation, planning, implementation and evaluation. The framework to achieve the goals of Nation building lie in socialization or educational policies and political engineering that would be guided by constitutional provision. The question would thus be, how to source, store, apply and evaluate the acquired information for the purpose of effective intra and inter cultural harmony and solidarity which would make National integration work in Nigeria. It is on the strength of this background, that the following appraisal is drawn.

But in Nigeria, to ensure national solidarity, there exists a seeming paradox, since each local or geo-political entity manifests its culture in a unique way. The cultural manifestations fill and determine their course of lives and conscious thoughts. As Herskovits (1955), put it, culture is that complex whole which include knowledge, belief, arts, moral, laws, custom and any other capabilities and habit acquired by man as a member of a society. It would require a system approach to reposition Nigerians towards Nation building based on self identity as to who is a Nigerian (i.e. the creation of National consciousness and harmonious co-existence regardless of cultural variability of the Nigerian people). As Lawal (2008), aptly observed after independence inter-ethnic rivalry and struggle for political domination worsened and it later snowballed into internecine war. If it was so, what should be done to ensure national integration among Nigerians?

 

Approaches toward ensuring National Integration among Nigerians at and after Independence (1960)

  1. 1. At independence, Tiamiyu (1999) highlighted some system approaches towards cohesive National integration in Nigeria. He listed a host of good indicators as means towards eventual evolution of cohesive National unity. These include the following symbols of Nigerian Nationhood:
    1. i. The Nigeria Coat of Arms   (1960)
    2. ii. The National Flag (1960)
    3. iii. The National Pledge (1970) after Nigerian civil war
    4. iv. The National Anthem (1960)
    5. v. The Nigerian Currencies (1960), modified in 1978

 

The main import of these indicators is to create unity among Nigerian diverse ethnic nationalities and to put faith in her continued existence and the well-being of every Nigerian.  Expectedly, the end result would be peace and progress in the country. Thus, the National flag and the Nigerian other National symbols have become the symbols of sovereign authority at independence. They represent Nigeria National pride and sovereignty. So also, the National pledge is recited to reinforce Nigerian’s commitment to duty and service. Nigerians are required to serve with strength, defend National unity, and be faithful, loyal and honest in the course of their civic responsibilities.

The National Anthem on the other hand is a clarion call to National duty, which commands the respect and commitment of Nigerian citizens. It is a projection for the inculcation of Honesty, Loyalty, Service, Sacrifice and Good leadership which are considered desirable and important for bridging cultural pluralism for Nation building. It appeals to Nigerian conscience on the need to respect and protect the course for which Nigeria’s past heroes have died.

  1. 2. Not only the National symbols have been used to inculcate National integration, but also Nigeria’s educational, political, economic, cultural and social policies have been reframed             to foster National unity and integration after independence. Some of the educational           policies include:
  2. i. The quota system adopted for admission of young Nigerians into Institutions of learning to address educational gap or inequality across Nigeria.
  3. ii. The encouragement of the use of Mother-Tongue and Lingua Franca to foster understanding and National integration (Olajide (2008), Bangbose (1999).

iii. The Students exchange programme to the various educational institutions across Nigeria, to build students’ national consciousness towards national unity.

iv. The National Youth Service Corp Scheme (NYSC), where young Nigerian graduates are sent to all states of the Federation to foster co-operation and understanding among the various ethnic groups in Nigeria.

  1. v. The establishment of Unity Schools to create an atmosphere for young Nigerians to interact, regardless of ethnic or religious differences (Ijaya & Jekayinfa, 2008).

vi. The curriculum development to educate young Nigerians on wide range information about Nigeria and her people.

vii.The legislative provisions, where government deliberately controls the type and nature of education that is desirable for the country and relevant for National unity and development.

viii. The nationalisation of Nigerian Universities and the Federal Government’s assumption of full responsibility in the financing of Higher Education which was on the concurrent legislative list. The objective is to breed high level individuals who would be conscious and committed to National unity.

ix. The policy on equity to access educational and developmental opportunities e.g. the creation of Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) in the interest of equity in educational opportunities in Nigeria.

  1. 3. Political policies designed towards ensuring national integration among Nigerians’ include:
  2. i. The use of revenue formula for National integration of the military era and of the subsequent civilian regimes in Nigeria.
    1. ii. The secularization of religion which permits freedom of worship enshrined in our Constitution (1999).
    2. iii. The framework of power sharing which follows constitutional provision or political arrangement, creating room for each geo-political zone to present the President for the country.
      1. 4. There were also enlightens policies and these include:
      2. i. The use of Information, Communication and Technology in sensitising Nigerians towards National integration. The use of paid advert in the dailies, visual, audio, and Audio-visual communication Systems, computers, internet, wireless systems etc has helped to transmit information which promotes National unity in Nigeria in recent times.
        1. ii. The organising of conferences, workshops, lectures, seminars, campaigns and organised movements in Academic and Social Institutions have been used as strategies to promote National integration, peace and cooperation among the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.

 

Issues involved in Reconstructive Education and National Integration

It is hoped that relevant component of the National policy on education could foster the desired National unity; bring progress, increase nationalism and patriotism among Nigerians. It was expected that Nigerian culture should be projected through the use of relevant educational curriculum in our schools as well. The example is the Mother-Tongue education with emphasis on Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba, which has been marked as national language for this purpose (NPE, 2004).

Again, the process of balancing political power or the distribution of power in Nigeria has always created problems. It is capable of causing disintegration in a heterogeneous society like Nigeria. In Nigeria, the framework for power sharing follows constitutional or political arrangement. This is with the view of averting monopolisation of political power by single dominant interest groups. Rotational principle has also been used where geo-political zones have been created for elective and appointed posts.  Nigeria thus, has six geo-political zones (North-West, North-East, North-Central, South -South, and South-West). These zones are designed to solve the problems of mal-integration which often constitute problems in Nigeria. Even with this political provision, there have been problems of political mal-integration. There has been problems of unbalanced political power in States where the distribution of ethnic population data is lopsided, e.g. in Benue state where the Idomas feel that the Tivs, a more dominant ethnic group, have persistently refused them political power for the seat of the State Governor. Similar examples abound across the country and there have been agitations to redress it.

Also, the Federal Government of Nigeria has also addressed issues of mal-integration by setting up various revenue allocation committees, charged with responsibility of recommending revenue sharing formula. The examples of such Committees after independence are Binns (1994), Aboyade (1977) and Dina (1968) committees. At present, the Federal Government has a revenue sharing formula (acceptable to all stakeholders) to avert cases that would lead to mal-integration.

Civic Education to install national identity, awareness and integration has been   used through school curriculum in our educational institutions. Also, political education has been used as a tool for national integration. These have been tackled through adoption and the use of multi-cultural forms of education that capture the Nigeria cultural environment. The Nigeria educational policy and curriculum content, is thus, to knit the diverse cultural differences linguistically, culturally, socially and politically. For example, the Nigerian language policy is designed to bind people who speak different languages.

Other crucial issues in Nigeria that are relevant to the concept of this paper, are Sections 10,11, 15(2) and 16(2), of Nigeria Constitution (1999), which prohibit discrimination on the grounds of State of Origin, Sex, Status, Ethnic or linguistic association. Sections 11(13) (a & b) and 16(3), of the Nigerian Constitution deals with free mobility of people and rights for every Nigerian. All these are meant to address issues of National integration.

Further, there have been efforts at Mobilisation for Economic Recovery, Social Justice and Self Reliance (MANSER) established through Decree No. 37 of 1987 during General Babagida’s rule. This was designed to promote new set of attitudes and culture for the attainment of goals and objectives of the Nigerian state. It is to ensure the co-operate unity of the Nigerian Nation.

Thus this study has chosen examples from a limited number of policies used in post Independence Nigeria to address issues which  relate to Cultural pluralism and National Integration because of their unique dimension to the cooperate existence of Nigeria as a Nation State. However, with all the policies adopted, there exist elements of mal-integrative forces that are capable of eroding the cooperate existence of Nigeria as one indivisible Nation. Therefore, the question that remains to be address is: What should be the way forward for creating a better Nigerians?

The Way Forward

The quest to create a united, free and democratic society from Nigeria diverse cultural terrain would require:

  1. A framework for promoting the very sensitive issues that often leads to problems and conflicts among Nigerians. This should include developing the mechanism to address the problems of religious differences, ethnicism, political power sharing, and allocation of economic resources and so on.

2.    Establishment of ‘Co-Associational democracy’ as advocated by Liphard and highlighted             in Olaniyi (1999). This should require leaders of the various ethnic groups in Nigeria to           work together and solve Nigerian problems. This kind of association should be mindful of      the political elites who use primordial public than civil public for their self centred political and economic gains. The lingering crisis in Jos, Maiduguri, Kaduna and Damaturu which   has been largely condemned is the point of reference in this regard.

3.    Having a leader who could put a lid on the paroxysms of rage across the Country and if    the country is not to be dismembered there should be a courageous leader to execute        the required change toward National unity. General Yakubu Gowon has said, that he had             to use force to preserve the  unity of the Nation (The Nation, Tuesday, March 9th, 2010)

4.    Educational curriculum development towards effective means of what would bring about            National integration; should be developed across all tiers of our educational systems. The      school syllabuses, instructional materials such as textbooks and the teaching methods, should be made effective and efficient to meet the challenges of National unity,             integration, economic, political and socio-cultural development.

5.    Adequate plan, implementation and evaluation systems based on Nigeria’s National         political philosophy. The objective would be to create National consciousness and unity.

6.    Issues that lead to mal-integration should be handled with formal and informal      mechanisms, especially through the use of ‘third party’ or ‘neutral interest group’, who          would negotiate with the party at dispute. In this way, Nigeria can harness the values of             her cultural pluralism, by bringing together the values of her cultural norms for National            interest.

7.    Enlightenment programmes on the need for National integration in our Institutions of      learning, Homes, Churches, Mosques, Communities, Local, State and National            Assemblies, to educate and sensitise Nigerians on the need for National unity. The use of Information, Communication and Technology (I.C.T) system as presently being used in         the country is a commendable effort.

8.    Encouragement of inter-tribal marriages for example, The National Youth Service Corp   Scheme should be force-exposé for our young Nigerians to interact with other ethnics   groups thereby promoting intertribal marriages. This would strengthen relationship             among diverse ethnic group in Nigeria.

9.    Encouragement of exchange visit by traditional rulers, to enhance peaceful socio-cultural             harmonious relationship that would bring about unity. The Sultan of Sokoto is noted for            such missions as reported in our Dailies. Also, the Shehu of Borno (February, 2010)          undertook a similar visit to Alake of Egba land in South West Nigeria. These would        definitely have positive National integrative effects.

10.  Organising inter and intra cultural activities at the Local, State and National levels to       promote the values of Nigerian culture e.g. Cultural Festivals and Carnivals  across the   country would help process National integration and Nationhood

 

Conclusion

The quest for Nation building should be based in terms of Nigeria cultural rating systems, which are the commonly yielded values that hold Nigerians together. Like Giddens (2006) stated, this should be expressed in symbolic ways, like the food we eat, the cloth we wear, the language we speak, norms and values that would be relevant to promoting National integration, peace and social justices in Nigeria.

To attain the goal of achieving unity within diversity, there is need for a well planned and modified educational programmes and socialisation process for Nigerian, to address the problems that arise as a result of cultural differences in Nigeria. This should be in the light of how they influence the various cultures, individuals and Nigerians in general. There should be the promotion of social justice and equity, through accommodation and deliberate use of Education for cultural, political, social and economic development of every society and the well being of individuals in Nigeria. Education in Nigeria should integrate and inculcate the norms and values of the various cultural groups, because education that is based on the functions of cultural matrix in which it operates, leads to the creation of consciousness required for social integration and National unity. Unity within diversity is a necessary criterion for peace and the development of people, societies, Nations and the world at large. Nigeria education policies and programmes should be the one that children must be made to understand and from which they would learn the values of the differences in our cultures. In this respect, the paper suggests a global initiative toward the development of citizenship education programme not only for pan-Nigeria values but also universal values. A world wide initiative that would support and facilitate the inculcation of universal norms and values of the various cultural groups across the globe and leading to universal unity within diversity is recommended. This kind of initiative as recommended should be promoted by the United Nations under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (U.N.E.S.C.O). This would help address the problems of pan Nigeria values to bring about social integration and National unity.

References

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Banks O (1979). The Sociology of Education. London, BT Batsford.

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Duverger M (1976). The Study of Politics in Kenya, Thomas, Nelson and Sons Ltd

Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999). The Nigeria Constitution –Abuja: Government press.

Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004). National Policy on Education –Abuja: Government Press.

Foster PJ (1970). Education and Social change in Ghana. Chicago: University press.

Giddens  A (2006). Sociology 5th Edition, India: polity press

Handwork on NYSC Scheme (1980). Abuja: Federal printing press.

Herskovts MJ (1958). Cultural Anthopology. New York, Alfred A Knolf.

Iyaiye NYS, Jakayinfa AA (2008). Public-Private Partnership Initiative and the            Management   of Unity Schools in Nigeria; To Be or Not To Be. In Lawal  A.R. et al .In            Education       reforms in Nigeria (past, present and future) Lagos: Stirling-Horden           Publishers Ltd.

Lawal, AR (2008). A Cybernetic Appraisal of Reforms in the Nigeria Educational Sector         (1999-2006). In Lawal AR, et al (eds) In Education Reforms in Nigeria (past, present     and future). Lagos Stirling-Horden publisher Ltd…

Merton RK (1957). Social theory and social structure. Towards the codification of theory        and research. Rev. ed. Glneceo Ilinois: Free Press

Muhammed MN (1999). Ethnictism and National Integration in Nigeria in Issues, A journal   of African Studies Group – University of Ilorin, Department of the Modern European       Languages

Murray AV (1967). The School in the Bush. A critical study of the theory and premature of     Nature Education in Africa, London: Frante Cass

National Bureau of Statistic, Nigeria (2012), Unemployment 2011.        http://www.nigerianstat.gov.ng

Obidi SS (2005). Culture and Education in Nigeria. An Historical analysis, Ibadan. University            Press PLC.

Olajide SB (2008). Reforming the Mother Tongue Content of Nigerian Education for sustainable National Empowerment. In Education Reform in Nigeria (past, present and        future). In Lawal A.R. et al (eds), Lagos :Stirling-Horfden Publisher Ltd.

Olaniyi IO (1999). The Nigerian Military and National integration. In Issues, A Journal of      the African Studies Group, Department of Modern Languages, Ilorin, University of Ilorin.

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THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL

IMPLICATION OF ENTEBBE RAID

Dr. O.O.E. BALOGUN

Department of Political Science,

College of Social and Management Sciences,

Tai Solarin University of Education,

Ijagun, Ijebu – Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Abstract

Our concern in this paper is to discuss the general legal implication of the Israel, raid on Entebbe Airport on the 4th July 1976. A lot of questions have been raised on the legality of the raid.  Opinion and views are divided on the question of its legality. While some world acclaimed Jurists have argued that the Israeli action was morally and legally justified on certain stated grounds which we shall later discuss in the body of this paper, others hold the belief that the action was legally wrong, and therefore unjustified. Those two subscribe to the latter argument based their judgement on the fact that the action contravened some sections of the United Nations Charter and even the principle of International Law.

In the main, this paper is divided into three broad sections. Section one attempts to examine the circumstances in connection with the raid.  Section two will deal with justification of the Israeli action as it was presented and the general world opinion. And lastly, section three offers the legal implications in connection with the raid.

Key words: International, Legal, Implications.

Résumé

La rédaction de cet article vise à l’implication légale générale d’Israël, l’attaque à l’Aéroport d’Entebbe le 04 Juillet 1976. Beaucoup de questions ont été soulevées sur l’égalité de l’attaque. Les points de vue et opinions se sont partagés sur la question de sa légitimité. Cependant certains juristes admiraient et ayant disputé que l’action d’Israël était moralement et justifié légalement sur certains faits déclarés dans lesquels nous pourrons en parler après dans le corps de ce document. D’autres ont la croyance que l’action était légitiment faux et par conséquent injustifié. Ces deux souscrivent aux derniers arguments basés sur leur jugement du fait qu’une action en enfreint des sections de la charte des Nations Unies et Même le principe de Droit International.

En général, ce document est divisé entre trois vastes sections. La section une essaie d’examiner les circonstances en connexion avec l’attaque. La section deux parviendra avec justification l’action d’Israël comme présenté et l’entière opinion du monde. Enfin, la section trois offres les implications légitimes en connexion avec l’attaque.

Mots clés : International, Légal, Implications.

Introduction

It has rightly been recorded that on Sunday, June 1976, an Air France Airliner bound for Paris (flight 139) from Tel Aviv, was hijacked over Greece after leaving Athens Airport by a group of Palestine Liberation Organisation (terrorists) with 256 innocent passengers aboard in addition to a crew of 12. It is strongly believed that the terrorists capitalised on the lax security measure obtaining at Athens Airport and brought on board weapons with which they carried out the act (a number of pistols and approximately 20 grenades). The hijackers forced the French Pilot to first land in Benghazi.  On Monday, 28th June, the airliner landed at Entebbe where it remained for almost seven days.  Immediately the airbus landed, there was a reinforcement of the hijackers who were armed with submachine guns and explosives. A move which in no small way implicated the President of Uganda, Field Marshall Idi Amin.

On Tuesday, 29 June 1976, the hijackers spelt out their demands.  These included the release of about 53 terrorists imprisons in various countries including Israel. (Israel, West Germany, France, Switzerland and Kenya). A deadline of 2p.m. on 1st July 1976 was given, failure which the hostages were to be put to death if their (hijackers) were not met.  On the 30 June, after a short discussion with Ugandan President, some of the hostages believed to be national other than Israel were released. Meanwhile, Ugandan government that appeared to be playing a mediatory role was in actual fact known to be aiding the hijackers at least from evidence available.  Negotiation efforts otherwise known as Track A option embarked upon by the Government of Israel proved abortive as the hijackers and their collaboratories seemed indifferent to diplomatic option of negotiation. The deadlock situation prompted the Israel to embark on what they termed “Operation Thunderbolt”. This according to the Israeli chief of staff was an “operation unprecedented in history…. it was a unique test of democracy under siege”. According to him “it was a rescue mission of the kidnapped nationals of Israel”.2

During the operation, a number of people were killed and properties destroyed. These included seven of the ten Palestinians, about forty – five Ugandans, three hostages and the leader of the commando team. Some other people were also wounded. The radar system at the airport was destroyed, so also was the expensive Russian – made equipment removed.

 

REASONS ADVANCED TO JUSTIFY THE RAID AND WORLD VIEWS

Having examined the circumstances surrounding the raid on Entebbe, it would be of immense help to examine what the Israeli said prompted the action they had to take and what the world opinion was in connection with the raid.  This to some extent will help us in the last section to determine, and examine the legality or otherwise of the Israeli action. In doing this, recorded statements of parties concerned will primarily be focused upon.

 

On the 4 July, just before the operation was carried out, the Israeli Prime Minister issued a statement justifying the action that was to be taking.

The time of expiry of the ultimatum drew increasingly closer. The release of non – Israeli passenger more and more exposed the evil conspiracy against Israeli citizens. The political efforts bore no fruit……under these circumstances, the Government of Israeli decided unanimously to take the only way left to rescue our people……3

 

The Israeli Defence Minister Shimon Peres described the operation as the farthest in range, the shortest in time and the boldest in imagination.

 

During the United Nations security council debate on the raid, Chaim Iterzog, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations submitted that efforts and moves to separate Jews from other nationale heightened Israeli’s fear that a similar experience of the horrifying holocaust as it happened during the World War I was again iminent. According to him:

…….when this ominous reminiscent selection began, when the separation of the Jews was undertaken, it became apparent to the government of Israeli that there was no alternative but to conduct a rescue operation to save the lives of its citizens.

From the above statements, it is reasonable possibly, to argue that the Israeli acted purely on nationalistic and humanitarian grounds to save the imminent danger of threat on the life of its nationals. In other words, on the surface of its there couldn’t have been any option other than the step taken by the government of Israel.

 

However, Uganda, which was the other party directly involved in some other countries have argued against the reasons tendered by the Israeli government.  They considered the act an aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda.  According to the Ugandan Foreign Minister Lt. Col. Juma Oris Abdullah, who presented the case of Uganda before the security council:

…….By this act of naked aggression against Uganda, the Zionist Israel who were trying to protect the hostages….5

 

Malawi, one of the African countries condemned the attack as an act of aggression and terrorism. Also in the telegram transmitted by Siad Barre, President of Somalia, to President Idi Amin, the former stated:

I have followed with great shock and dismay the dastardly act of aggression perpetrated by the troops of Zionist Israel terrorists and imperialist forces at Entebbe Airport on July 4 1976 ….6

 

There is no doubt that the major case being presented by Uganda and its sympathizers was that Israel had by its act of aggression breached certain sections of the Charter of the United Nations which argues against jeopardizing or undermining another country’s territorial integrity and political as well as legal sovereignty. (Articles 2(3) and (4).

 

LEGAL IMPLICATION

So far, we have examined the fact of the case we need now go into the subject matter of the issue.  What is the legal implication of the Israeli action?  Legally, was the action justified? Could the peaceful diplomatic option have succeeded? Could the raid have been prevented? Was there any alternative to the raid? Could the raid be postponed for sometime to enable a third party (the United Nations in this case) intervene? To what extent did Uganda play a mediatory role? Are there enough proofs to conclude the Uganda was actually taking side with the terrorists? Could Uganda have played a more feasible role? These are the questions that will help us determine the legal implication of the action.  However, in trying to find answer to the questions, we shall need to examine a bit some concepts in the Principle of International Law. These are the concepts of right of self defence; use of armed force; intervention in the domestic affairs of states; and the protection of their independence, and lastly protection of foreign nationals.

It is important at this stage to note that the Israeli action was morally justified. But the morality of an act does not make it legal. In other words, what is morally right may not be legally justified.

The Israeli action is dealt with at considerable length in International Law. Hijacking inordinately referred to as air piracy itself is a form of terrorism and terrorism as it is known is abhored by the United Nations. (The Gen. Assembly Resolutions 2645(XXI) of K170 adopted in document S/10705). On the other hand, the raid itself amounts to aggression which is equally condemned by the United Nation. Furthermore, it can be said that Uganda behaved in a manner which constituted a gross violation of the 1970 Hague convention on the suppression or unlawful seizure of Aircraft. This convention which both Uganda and Israel were parties to maintain that:

upon being satisfied that the circumstances so warrant, any contracting state in the territory of which the offender or the alleged offender is present shall take him into custody and other measures shall be provided in the law of that state but may only be continued for such time as is necessary to enable any criminal for such a time as is necessary to enable any criminal or extradition proceedings to be instituted.

Article 9 states that:

1.         when any of the acts mentioned in Article 1(a) has occurred or is about to occur, contracting states shall take all appropriate measures to restore control of the aircraft to its lawful commander or to preserve his control of the aircraft.

2.         in the case contemplated by the preceding paragraph, any contracting state in which the aircraft or its passenger or crew are present shall facilitate the continuation of the journey of the passengers and crew as soon a practicable and shall without delay return the aircraft and its cargo to the persons lawfully entitled to possession.

There are other international treaties declaring the act of hijacking a crime, and punishing offenders. Among them is Tokyo Convention on Offences and certain Acts Committed on Board Aircraft 1963: 8 The Montreal Convention for the suppression of unlawful Acts against safety of Civil Aviation 1971. 9 Morever, the O.A.U. council of Foreign Ministers in 1970 also condemned aircraft hijackers and recommended that they should be apprehended and punished in order to ensure the safety of international air travel. 10

Thus far, it can be seen that the government of Uganda to some extent refused to comply with certain world agreements. It had gone against world reached agreement on how to stop air piracy, and some other forms of piracy.

It is to be noted that the right of a state to take military action to protect its nationals in mortal danger is recognised by all legal authorities in International Law. Professor Bowett in his book             “Self – Defense in International Law” subscribe to the fact that “the right of the state to intervene by the use or threat of force for the protection of its nationals suffering injuries withint he territory of another state is generally admitted, both in the writings of jurists and the practice of states.” Bowett states that:

in certain cases, where diplomatic protection in the sense of diplomatic interposition or of the presentation of a claim on behalf of a national by his state has either failed or is inadequate to prevent an immediate danger to life or property which would otherwise be irremedial, states have resorted to the threat or use of force as a means of protection. 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

He cited the case of Great Britain and Spain in 1925 as a classic example to buttress the above fact.  In the arbitration, judge Huber as Rapporteur of the commission state:

However, it cannot be denied that at a certain point the interest of a state in exercising protection over its nationals and their property can take precedence over territorial sovereignty despite the absence of any conventional provision”….it must necessarily be exceptional in character and limited to the case in which no other means of protection are available. It pressurizes the inadequacy of any other means of protection against some injury, actual or imminent, to the person or property of nationals, and moreover, and injury which results either from the acts of the territorial state and its authorities or from the acts of individuals or groups of individuals which the territorial state is unable or unwilling to prevent. 12

Briefly in his book “The Law of Nations” also gave the condition under which the landing of detachments of troops to save the lives of nationals under imminent threat of death serious injury owing to the breakdown of law and order is permitted. This according to him is “when there is sheer necessity of instant action to save the lives of innocent nationals in circumstances where the local government is unable to unwilling to protect”. 13 He goes on to say that if the United Nations finds it difficult to intervene in time and the need for instant action is urgently necessary, then it could be difficult to deny the legitimacy of action in defense of nationals. However, he stated, the action must strictly be limited to securing the safe removal of the threatened nationals.  In the opinion of Browiley. “……a government faced with a deliberate massacre of a considerable number of nationals in a foreign country would have cogent reasons of humanity for acting and would also be under great political pressure”.14 And then Oppenheim writes “the right of protection over citizens abroad, which a state holds may cause any intervention by right to which the other party is legally bound to submit. And it matters not whether protection of life, security, honour, or property of a citizen abroad is concerned”.15

So far, we have argued that the Israeli action even though was against the spirit of Article 2(3) which states that:

All members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice, are not endangered. 16

and article 2(4)

All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political indepence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations .17

Yet, on certain grounds, the Israeli took the right action to salvage the lives of its threatened citizens. The grounds are failure of Uganda to protect the lives of Israeli nationals on its soil and sheer necessity of instant action to save the lives of innocent nationals. Since the breach of duty violates a substantive right, failture of the Ugandan government to protect the lives of Israeli nationals no doubt led to the breach on Ugandan territorial integrity. Thus, Article 2(4) of the  United Nations Charter should be interpreted as “prohibiting acts of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of nations, and not to prohibit a use of force which is limited in intention and effect to the protection of a state’s own integrity and its national’s vital interests, when the machinery envisaged by the United Nation Charter is ineffective in the situation,” Self – defense which is a particular form of self help is the rights of the subjects of the legal order to use force against an illegal use of force. In other words, circumstances justified the landing of troops to protect the lives of Israeli nationals, this use of force was confined to the requirement of self-defense and was never primarily aimed at impairing the territorial integrity and the political independence of Uganda.  At least this can be attested to by the statement of Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister, Lt. Col. Juma Oris Abdullah. If only it had had that aim, then it would have ceased to be an act of self-defense and by then it would have transgressed Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter.  Essentially, the right of self – defense as exerted by Israel is enriched in International law and in the Charter of the United Nations. The well known issue of the Caroline case is a good test case of instances under which the right to self – defence is permissible. The Caroline case as we know was a case of “necessity of self-defence, instants, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation18 This was exactly the situation the Government of Israel was faced with.

Another dimension to the issue of self –help is Article 51 of the United Nations Charter which attempts to restrict narrowly the measures of self – help permitted member state by attempting to establish a centralised force monopoly of the organisation.19 The Article  restricts the exercise of self – defence to the sole contingency of an “armed attack19. This particular Article has been subjected to different schools of interpretation. In fact, the Article can be said to be faulty on the ground that it does not define the actions that may be included within this term (As there are a number of ways in which force may be interpreted as constituting an armed attack).

 

In as much as a state has certain right to self – defence, such right in itself should however be guided jealously by certain principles in the international law. These principles otherwise known as Webster’s test must be able to provide evidence of earlier breach of Law, proof of imminent danger and moreover, the action to be taken should be proportional to correcting the earlier breach. In the words of Mr. Webster.

Action in self – defence must be conditioned by respect for the euqal rights of other states and it must not be, in the words of Mr. Webster unreasonable or excessive ….(but) justified by the necessity of self – defence….limited by that necessity and kept clearly within it.20

Proportional

Granted that the Israeli satisfied most aspects of Webster’s test, however, the principle of proportionality with regard to the raid is suspicious. If the principle was to be strictly adhered to, one would have expected the Israeli to, limit the extent of their action purely to releasing the hostages. However, it would be seen that they carried their action beyond reasonable bound. Of what justification was the airport radar system destroyed? And what was the rationale behind the removal of some other expensive equipments at the airport? These are enough evidence to buttress the fact that the principle of proportionality to justify an act of self – defence undertaking by the Israeli is suspect, and infact questionnable.

Granted that the Israeli action was illegal (even though it is not been uphold here) could Israeli have capitulated to the demands of the hijackers thereby defusing the tension at stake? It is a known fact in International Law that no state is required to yield control over persons in lawful custody in its territory under criminal charges.  Moreover, it would have been a self – defeating and dangerous policy to release prisoners convicted in some cases of earlier act of terrorism in order to accede to the demands of terrorists.

Moreover, to the extent that Israeli action was able to justify the principles of Webster’s test, then it was legal.  Permitted that the Israeli action was adjuged to be wrong, then undue and unnecessary encouragement would have been given to hijackers all over the world as this case would have served as a perfect instance to be cited in case of future occurrence.

 

Kenya’s Action

It is also important to mention the external connection with regard to the raid.  It has been argued that Kenya, an African country had a Prior Knowledge of the raid and that the operation would not have succeeded without outside help.  The Hercules planes used were known to have stopped at the Nairobi Airport in Kenya to refuel.  This complicity of the Kenyans is known to be against the principle of International Law which forbid a state form allowing its soil to be used by troops of another country in case of imminence of war or when tensions are high.  In other words, it is assumed that Kenya did not play a neutral role expected of her, rather she was a party to the raid on the territorial sovereignty of another nation, an act which is condemned in the United Nations Charter.

Besides, the act is also against the spirit behind the principles of the Organisation of African Unity, especially as Uganda is a fellow African country. According to M.A. Ajomo in a paper presented in 1976, “the alleged complicity of Kenya, if proved conclusively is, we submit not in conformity with the principle of good neighbourliness which the Africans are trying to promote”. He continued, such pitting of Africans against Africans tend to divide rather than unite the continent”. 21

On the last note, the fact that there was no concrete action taken to punish Israel or compensate Uganda once again bring into focus the role of the United Nations.  It is been speculated that the United Nations due to some circumstances beyond its control” is nothing other than a “passive International Organisation. As serious as the case was, the United Nations could not play an important role just as it finds it difficult to implement some of its resolutions on the question of South Africa. This is of course has spill – over effect in the sense that the world would / could witness an increase of such action.

 

Conclusion

This paper has examined he various arguments in connection with the legality or otherwise of Israeli action. It has directed its attention to key phenomena in the international scenario: Thus along this line, it has sought to argue that if the rules stated on paper are to be strictly adhered to, then the raid on Entebbe could be condemned, but when interpretation is being given to the rules and when circumstances under which the action was carried out, and the proparsity of the action itself, then it was legally justified. However, the problem that this action may raise once the action is legally stamped is that such similar action may be on the increase just as we are witnessing in the world today.

 

Notes and References

 

Ajomo, M.A.(1976) The Entebbe Affair Intervention in International

Law (Lecture delivered under the anspices of the Nigerian

Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos – on

Monday,  October 25,.

Brierly, .(1968). The Law of Nations 6th Edition, London, Longmans.

Bowett, D.W.(1958) Self – Defence in International Law, (Mauchester

University Press,) p.88

Charter of the United Nations and statues of the International

Court of Justice, New York, United Nations.

Ibid., U.N. Charter

Harris, D.J. (1979). Cases and Materials on International Law (2nd

Ed.), London, Sweet and Maxwell,  p.685

Oppenhiem, International Law .(1967). London, Longmans, 8,

Edition Vol. 1, p. 309

Ofar, Yeluda .(1976). Operation Thunder: The Entebbe Raid. (Penguin

Books,) p.28

Stervenson W. .(1976). 90 Minutes in Entebbe (New York: Bentom

Books, p.55

Ibid., p.96

Ibid., p.197

Ibid., p.198

 

 

CULTURE AND LITERATURE AS TOOLS FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. A CRITICAL STUDY OF IJIO-MESO CULTURE WITH REFERENCE TO GELEDE

Dr. Albert O. ASHIPA

Département de Français, Institut Universitaire Panafricain,  Porto-Novo, République du Bénin.

(En congé sabbatique)

Abstract

In spite of the prominence of traditional festivals as an established institution in our indigenous education system, there has not been any serious attempt to look into in each festival with a view to determining their worth or value especially as they affect the general development of youths and the Nation. In this study therefore, I have attempted a pedagogical survey of Gelede festival in Ijio-Meso with a view to describe its impacts on the socio-political and educational development of the youths of that town in particular and the Nation as a whole. I have described all the features of Gelede; (a cultural play) discussed its values as an institution of informal education; discussed its merits in relation to the socio-political and educational development of youths; and finally offered suggestions as regards how Gelede festival could be put into best use for the socio-political and educational development of youths in Ijio land in particular and Nigeria in general. Thus as every community has its culture, this piece of work will show how anybody who engages in Gelede performance for making contrastive analysis, could borrow a leaf from it and work towards the development of our Nation.

Key words: Culture, Literature tools, Development, Critical study, Gelede

 

Résumé

Malgré de nombreuses fêtes traditionnelles déjà établies comme institutions dans notre éducation traditionnelle, il n’y a jamais une étude profonde de chacune de ces fêtes dans leur localité afin de déterminer leurs valeurs surtout comment ces fêtes (fête de sango, fête de ogun, fête de egungun, fête de glede etc…) influencent généralement le développement des jeunes et celui de la nation. Dans cette étude, nous avons essayé de faire un survol pédagogique de Glede à Ijio. Meso avec l’intention de décrire ses effets sur le développement socio-politique et éducationnel des jeunes d’Ijio en particulier et ceux de la nation en général. Nous avons aussi décrit toutes les qualités de la fête de Glede, discuté ses valeurs comme une institution de l’éducation informelle, discuté ses mérites en relation avec le développement socio-politique et éducationnel des jeunes. Finalement nous avons fait des propositions sur comment la danse de Glede (danse culturelle) pouvait être mieux utilisée pour le développement politique et éducationnel des jeunes à Ijio et  des recherches soient faites sur comment d’autres danses culturelles pouvait être employées dans le même domaine dans de diverses communautés.

Mots clés : Glede : danse culturelle, Ogun : dieu du fer, egungun : mascarade, sango : dieu du tonnerre.

Introduction

Ijio is a town that can be located in the Western part of Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo State. It is next to the border town between Federal Republic of Nigeria and her neighbouring Republic of Benin. Small in size and population but very richion her quality in cultural display.

The town is first among the equals as demonstrated in her varieties of dramatic and cultural performances. Ijio people are notable for their richness in their cultural displays more than any other town and villages in this locality and perhaps in the Nation. For instance, like some towns, the Ijio people annually observe the following festivals: Egungun, Oro, Sango, Ifa, to mention just a few and foreign festivals like Christmas and Id-el-Kabir. These traditional and foreign festivities witnessed great events and very important indeed in the life of the Ijio people.

According to historical sources every festival generated from social beliefs of the people, which later turned into religious beliefs.

For instance, Egungun, Oro, Ogun, Sango, etc were human beings who were defiled by their followers for their andestanding heroi prowels in their life time, thus, became gods and goddesses to be worshiped by their followers. For instance, in Ijio, today, some people regard Gelede as god especially the Christians and Muslims because majority of the Gelede dancers are the worshippers of local gods, but to the Ijio youths, Gelede is a mere social entertainment activities which involves singing, drumming and dancing for aesthetic and didactic purpose. As such they do participate in the social aspect of it rather than the ritual and sacrificial aspect of the festival. However, there is no doubt that the festivals mentioned above played and are still playing dominant roles in the life of the youths.

Of all these festivals, in Ijio, Gelede is indeed the most popular and tradionnaly sophisticated for which the Ijio community is notal locally and nationnaly. Every indigene of Ijio irrespective of their sex, religion or age proudly  ………. Gelede.

Gelede show is staged or performed as special occasion, not only at festivals or as annual events like other cultural dances. It can be performed at any special occasions at which the Gelede troop of dancers are sponsored by private individuals, or group. Such may be formed for private entertainment perhaps to accompany a ceremony like naming, marriage, funeral, coronation and chieftaincy ceremonies.  On such occasion, monetary and other rewards are given to the troop dancers. Gelede is performed to mark the end of the year in Ijio. This usually comes up every 25th December of the year and of recent to mark the beginning of the annual Ijio day scheduled for every 26th December. It is an occasion which all sons and daughters of the town would not like to miss. It serves as a rallying force for the indigene of Ijio as they come home with their friends to have a glimpse of Tetede, Efe and Igi Osan (Masquraded actors for Gelede dance), during …………, everybody plays an active role in the Gelede dance, Glede groups meet often to compose and rehearse songs in readiness for their internal and external engagement locally… at national level.

 

Language, culture, literature and national development

A tripartite relationship between or among languages, literature and culture (whether foreign or indigenous) has been well established and documented (Olaoye 2002, Isyaku 2004).

According to them, there is no literature without language. Culture and language too are inseparable and the trio are intricately interwoven. They play vital role in man’s education and national development as will be seen in Gelede performance. Literature is an art which entertains and instructs. It warns people of danger, and instructs by opening people’s eyes to a wide range of experiences and a deeper understanding of these experiences. According to Fatokun (1992) Literature presents situations, interactions and oppositions. It suggests a wide range of value and attitudes. To understand a people and their culture one may have to turn to their oral and written narratives, their drama and poetry. A good piece of literature can be regarded as an authentic mirror/image of a society and time. Through satire, proverbs and symbolism, literary artists communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings about social ills in the society which they criticize with prussic diction. Proverbs, for instance, are a lesson in prudence, generosity, patience and wisdom all of which are indispensable to the guidance of mankind and the stability of the society. Literary artists use literature and languages to ridicule or condemn anti-social behaviours such as corruption, assassination, political thuggery, religious intolerance, oppressive rule or dictatorship, any form of human degradation and undemocratic practices.

Through historical literature, our knowledge of the society is widened. According to Asade (1991) we learn from historical literature about seemingly immortal despots and their ignoble and sorrowful end, and that their mysterious death was engendered by the in executors. This knowledge helps people in charting new and humanistic, sociopolitical and economic course, which leads to a new world order. This is the contribution of hemany acts like Glede to national development.

Culture is defined as the particular systems of art, thought and custom of a society. It is the whole way of life of a people, the social heritage that the individual acquires as a member of his group. It is the entire attitude, perception and specific traits of civilization that confer to a people and its place in the universe. These traits are speech norms, etiquette, ideologies, ethics, stereotypes, artifacts, technologies, intellectual production, etc.

Traditional values embedded in honesty, transparency, respect for institutions, constituted authorities and the sanctity of human person and life. These core values are reflected in the people’s identity, cultures, traditions and systems, most times encapsulated in their languages. “A child that grows up, guided by the positive values of the society will possess a healthy and progressive mind in adulthood” (Opega, 2004). Therefore, the teaching and learning of languages, literature and culture will afford the learner an understanding of the problems of the society, and indeed, Nigeria. We cannot, therefore, overemphasize the importance of languages literature and culture as three interrelated sociolinguistic variables from whose milk human beings must drink in order to develop a healthy soul in a healthy body.

There is no literature without language. Asade (2000) asserts that “literature is the matrix of the socio-cultural ethos of the people, and the weapon of sustenance”. In literary language, satire is an artistic weapon for sanitizing the society. Literature through language, warns people of dangerous and anti-social practices, ridicules people mean and despicable character, criticizes such evils like corruption, injustice, nepotism, bribery,         economic and political sabotage, oppression, colonialism and neo-colonialism, dictatorship, racism or colour segregation, literary theft, money laundering, examination malpractice, cultism, armed robbery, militancy, abduction, drug peddling, human trafficking, political thuggery, election rigging, arson, sectarian crisis, looting, extra-judicial killing, etc. Good poetry, songs and music, especially those philosophical ones which extol good virtues and deride ignoble course or action are capable of correcting societal ills. “Gelede” is best known for this. For instance in a Gelede songs ………………….

Mo lo ye ka fimoran sokan/2x

Eni nko’se a kose yanju

Ewo lamulumala se bise nla ni eko/2x

E wa wa ‘kose yanko

Dudu nwa pupa ko je ji osun, ona

Meje mejo len nkose,

A daro, daro fun e yin omoge

It is better to concentrate on one thing/2x

Those that are learning a trade

Should learn it properly/2x

What a mixture!

Since you are asked to learn a trade.

Come and see a learner – husband- selection/2x

And while blacky are coming

Yellow are disturbing your trade,

We feel sorry for you ladies.

 

This song is specially composed to ridicule ladies who are apprenticed to learn a particular trade but are flirting around with boys rather than concentrating on their business.

Language behaviour is rule-governed, and any breach of language and cultural rules attracts sanctions. People’s world view is determined by one’s language and culture, and this lends credence to Sapir-Whorfian hypothesis of cultural relativism and linguistic determinism, language is a shaper of ideas. We dissect the world through the instrumentality of our indigenous languages. Language adaptation however brings about language growth and development, and this in turn affects man’s language and cultural re-orientation, socio-political and economic cosmopolitan out-look and modernism. Father still new words and expressions have entered into the lexicon of our indigenous languages through “Gelede”, communication and information technology, and all these lead to advancement in science and technology which have a formidable re-branding role to play in nation building. Computer appreciation is now being made easy through the construction of indigenous languages keyboard which has linguistic facilities such as tone markers-diacritics, circumflex, tildes, cedillas, umlaut, special orthographies, etc. the youths become empowered through all these linguistic facilities. An empowered youth is a re-branded youth ready to develop his /her nation.

 

Gelede and its role on the socio-political and educational development of youths in ijio

The role of Gelede in Ijio community is beyond that of a mere entertainment, it informs the Ijio people in general and the Ijio youth in particular about the current event in their immediate and the larger society.

Ancient, historical accounts are revisited. As such, the youth were instructed of their tradition customs, history, folklore etc.

Gelede songs also praise, warn, condemn or advice the youth in particular depending on the situation and circumstance that is prevalent in the society. This is the case of the action of the people that violated the traditional value, these people are condemned, satirized and criticized so as to serve as a warning to others. Character development is very important in the traditional African setting,   with us in Ijio where every one wants his child to be sociable, honest, humble and conform with the norm of the society, Gelede song is one of those ways of educating and socializing the people of Ijio in general and the youth in particular. For instance, in this  Gelede’s song:

Tetede mo ni iyan yi o se/2x

Ile kiko nise ojumo yin

E nwole onile

Olosa bowo loot e yin efe

Eyin o fimu yin dan

Olosa bowo lo teyin ewon

Eyin o fimu yin dan rin

Eyin ti e n jale e lafun o

Tetede I say this drought is terrible/2x

Stealing has become your daily job

You stole yam from the market, lateere

(a flat hill)

You went to stole lafun (a cassava flour)/2x

You break into different peoples houses

You thief, if you are unfortunate to be caught,

A jest you will suffer a lot.

Those of you that have stolen lafun (cassava flour).

This song reveals the act of stealing that has become very rampant in the community especially because of the experience during the past year of drought.

The youth are encouraged to be actively involved in the activities of the Gelede on or before the annual Gelede festival. Of recent, the Gelede festival has been modernized to be part of the activities for making the annual Ijio-day celebration.

Socially, the exposition of any act of immorality and indiscipline in the Ijio society by Gelede is made during its dramatic performance series as a means of maintaining moral standard of the society. The Ijio youth in particular are conscious of their actions and therefore conform with the laid down pratices of the society so as to avoid being publicly ridiculed by Gelede. Furthermore, Gelede performance serves as a means of promoting the cultural value of the Ijio people. It is indeed an important aspect of the cultural display of Ijio people. The annual performance is a rallying force for every Ijio men and women, young or old, home or abroad to celebrate his/her cultural heritage. Every Ijio indigene come from far away to celebrate and to watch, dance and memorize Gelede songs. It can be said that gelede performance is a socializing and educating agent in Ijio. This is reflected in the cordial relationship displayed between male and female Ijio youth during annual dramatic show.

Politically, the Ijio people are notable for their roles and contribution especially in their locality during the aborted first, second and third republic, because their ligh moral standards.

The Ijio people are politically- minded and this factor among others, has shown a discord among the people because of the differences in their political ideologies and political affiliations. Politics with bitterness, hatred, animosity etc is the order of the day especially among the youth and the elders. Hence for unity and development to prevail among the Ijio youth, Gelede deals with contemporary issue like politics so as to educate the Ijio people on how to put an end to political bitterness, hatred that characterize the Ijio politics. In this song:

Ijio e je ka fara mora /2x

Benikan n l’ emo gbogbo wa ka gbajo kale

Kenikan ko ma lafe

ileele, mo fibe yin kee dakun

Mo be yin eje ka fara mora,

Awon alejo ko ma woroo wa,

Mo be yin e je kafara mora,

Awon alejo ko ma woroo wa,

Mo be yin e je ka fara mora.

Ijio people, let us tolerate one another/2x

If a group is chasing ‘emo’ (a brown rat)

Let us all unite to chase it,

rather than another group chasing ‘Afe’

(a white rat)

I beg you in Ileele’s name

Please, let us come together and avoid

Leaking our weakness to strangers

Please let us come together.

 

This is one of the songs of appeal to Ijio youths and the entire Ijio people when political parties come to town Calon during this fourth republic.

More to act, the Gelede also serves as a medium of dissemination of political information to entire Ijio people. Through songs composed by Gelede during the annual Gelede performance, the political realities of the country is revisited, exposed, appraised, condemn or praised, therefore Gelede enables the Ijio youths and the elderly to be current socially, educationally and politically.  In this song for insfance :

Agogo mejo ale ni mo gbo

Pe isele kan se o

Gbogbo aye n pa ro gbodiyan

Oku Abiola Moshood

Enu ko sa gbaa royin

Araba nla subu lule

Gbogbo egbe SDP

E seun o mee ja

Ke si peju ika kop e

Osan to ti gbalumo lo oke

Ki o gbee pada wale o

O sika tan lo saa lo

It was 8.00pm in the evening that

The sad news was broken to me

The whole world became worried about

The sudden death of Abiola Moshood

It is unspeakable that the tree has fallen

All SDP party members please take it easy

And come together. Evil is unprofitable

The storm that has carried the waves up

Must carry it down

You evil doers that fled away.

This song was composed to lament over the death of Late Basorun Moshood Abiola who died during a peace meeting settlement.

Another song is;

E kilo fomo yin lati kekere/2x

Nibi afowora – ka maa jibe lao

die die lole nbo  mo be yin-in

eje ka komo de o

mo se bawon lo n fara gbota

Warn your children from infancy

against petty stealing – like consuming

soup secretly little by little,  robbery started

from here (Because) they are those who receive

bullets. They are the robbers who back the barbeach.

They are those who receive bullets

(on their bodies)

 

This song was composed when armed robbery was rampant and the subsequent promogation of armed robbery and fire arms decree which led in a to the execution of the most notorious bandit Lawrence Anini (aka Origbo) and his gangs in Nigeria.

Research method used

In this study, stratified random sampling procedure was used. The Ijio youth were specifically used for the purpose of this study. In this town (Ijio) there were numerous youths by the time this study was carried out. Out of all these youths, only fifty (50) of them were selected randomly.  Interviews were also been conducted with certain elders in the society.

 

Percentage analysis of the respondents to the questionnaire used.

S/N

ITEMS

YES

%

NO

%

1.

 

Have you ever observed or partaken in the Efe-Gelede cultural display.

 

50

 

100

 

 

2.

As an indigene of Ijio could you regard Efe-Gelede to be a mere social activities.

 

35

 

70

 

15

 

30

3.

Efe-Gelede display mainly perform aesthetic functions.

12

24

38

76

4.

Efe-Gelede performance teaches morality by entertainment.

45

90

5

10

5.

The annual Efe-Gelede performances usually play an important role in the social life of the Ijio youth.

46

96

4

4

6.

Ijio people in general and Ijio youth in particular benefit socially, politically and educationally in the annual Efe-Gelede performance.

45

90

5

10

7.

Ijio youths (male and female) are not actively involved in the Efe-Gelede songs and dancing competition.

3

6

47

94

Conclusion

Gelede festival is perhaps the most popular traditional festival among the Ijio people. It is a kind of dance which every Ijio Sons and Daughters irrespective of their religion, age, sex would like to be associated with. Gelede songs are featured in different occasions, like funeral, matrimonial, naming, chieftaincy, coronation, house warming ceremonies at any part of the country, notwithstanding the end of the year festival, scheduled for every 25th December annually, is very important to the Ijio people at home and abroad. Furthermore, the social and political value of Gelede performance in Ijio can not be overemphasized; loyalty to constitute authorities, awareness of current affairs, political, education, teaching of moral value, condemnation and satiring immorality which is prevalent in the society, immaculate love and fraternity among the natives during the annual performance are worthy of emulation. Gelede songs and dance centre around all the above. A Yoruba proverbs says “Oju tori Gelede ti dopin iran” meaning that “the eye that watch Gelede have watched the best of all scenes” such is the case of Gelede cultural dance in Ijio, scenes that educate socially, politicall, culturally and that correct, warn, condemn or advice for National Development.

Based on the findings of this study, this important cultural display that promote the socio-cultural cum political and educational hamony in Ijio community should be continued; politics, religion, social differences should not be allowed to hamper this highly educative dramatic performance. Youths, the promising leaders of tomorrow should be encouraged to be more actively involved in Gelede performance or in any cultural activities in their own location.

The notion that some people have about the Gelede or any traditional feast which is ritualistic, should not dis….. them from participating in the cultural display. They should be more interested in the social, educational aspect of the cultural display.

This study is only restricted to gelede festival among Ijio community, further researcher should endeavour to consider their traditional festivals and Gelede cultural display of other communities especially that of Awaye and Ibarapa Division (Oyo State) and that of the Egbado people in Ogun State and their neighbouring towns like Ketu, Ajase and Save in the Republic of Benin so as to make a comparative analysis of the similarities and differences in their festivals.

 

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Olaoye, A. A. (2001). Sociolinguistics of language of Religion in Nigeria. In: journal of Arabic Studies (JARS), University of Ilorin. Vol. 15  pp17-25.

Olaoye, A. A. (2002). Sociolinguistics of Communication Skills.In: Linguistics and Literature for Language Art. Kano: Rainbow  Royale publishers.

Olaoye, A. A. (2004). Modern Approach to Classroom Learning: An  Andragogical Exploration. A commissioned paper presented at ETF  workshop 8th – 25th July, COE, Argungu, Kebbi State.

Olaoye, A. A. (2007). Introduction to Sociolinguistics: Text in Applied Linguistics. Abuja: Israel Ogunleye Publisher.

Olaoye, A. A. (2009). Language and the Rebranding Project in Nigeria. A paper presented at the National Conference of the School of Languages, FCE. Obudu, Cross River State.

Opega, R. O. Y. (2004). The teaching of language and Literature: Relevance to and reactions of a younger Nigerian generation.

In: language and Literature in Education for a better Society.

Oral information collected from Pa. Salami Oniketu of Ketu’s Compound, Ijio on December 24, 2001.

Oral information collected from Pa. Nasiru Alamu of Idiroko Compound, Ijio on December 25, 2004.


GENDER ISSUE: TEXTUAL POLITICS IN BIAKOLO’S  L’ÉTONNANTE

ENFANCE  D’INOTAN

Dr. Elizabeth  E. OGINI

Delta State University,

Abraka, Delta, Nigeria.

Abstract

The theoretical framework of this discourse is based on Showalter’s perception of gynocritique. It casts some of the male and female charaters of L’étonnante enfance d’Inotan in a binary relationship of opposition which implicitly belittles the dignity of the women, especially Omakama and the nurse. The two poles of this gender dichotomy are traditionalism and modernism. Most men in the novel uphold the outdated traditional African values of phallic dominance and oppression, while a few women try ineffectively to assert their moderm status and dignity. The inevitable conclusion is that most of the male charaters are far too phallocentrist and traditional, while the women are mostly too submissive to be self – assertive.

Key words: Politics, Sexual, textual.

 

Résumé

Le cadre théorique de cet essai est base sur la perception de gynocritique chez showalter. Il encadre certains des personnages masculins et féminins de L’étonnante enfance d’Inotan de Biakolo dans une relation binaire d’opposition qui minimise implicitement la dignité de ces femmes, spécialement Onakama et l’infirmière à l’hôpital. Les deux pôles de cette dichotomie sexuelle sont le traditionalisme et le modernalisme. La plupart des hommes dans la roman soutiennent les valeurs africaines traditionnelles périmées de domination et oppression phalliques, alors que quelques femmes tentent ineffectivement d’affirmer leurs statut et dignité modernes. La conclusion inévitable est que la plupart des personnages masculins sont de loin trop phallocentristes et traditionalistes, alors que presque toutes les femmes sont trop soumises pour s’affirmer.

Mots clés : Politique, Sexuelle, Textuelle

Introduction

Anthony Biakolo’s L‘étonnante enfance d’Inotan (1980) trans. Wonderful Child (1993), portrays African tradition in conflict with western civilization. The essential conflict is between European ‘Civilization’ and African tradition. The birth of the child Inotan is set in the typical African traditional milieu, with medical dexterity of the native doctor (obo) highlighted and the Western trained gynecologists expertise down-played. The tacit triumph of traditionalism runs through the novel Anijula and Onakama, two central female characters in the novel, feel cultural sanctions through insignificance, humiliation and poverty. Anijula has been in labour for two days. Onakama shed tears for her lot. The reader asks-what manner of life is this in post independence era? This article is an examination of Biakolo’s novel in terms of textual analysis of the male view of the female in literary history. 1 argued that the set of opposition such as native, non-native or outsider corresponding to the underlying opposition man/woman value system form the structural premise of Biakolo’s creative production.

 

Status

In the novel, the traditionalists question first all of all, the status of the woman right from the onset with the intension  to force the woman to keep quiet and be silent. Secondly, they put the blames on the white man’s manner of western education and religion  in the society.

 

Depuis quand les femmes font-elles Ia loi sur cette terre? Riposa le même ancien qui avait pris la parole après hiedu. Je constate que depuis I’arrivée du blanc avec sa religion étrange nos coutumes se perdent. L‘étonnante enfance d’Inotan p. 11

 

[Since when have women started dictating the law on earth? rejoined the same old man who had taken the floor after Inedu. I  observe that since the arrival of the white man, our customs have been losing grounds]. Wonderful Child p. 3

 

The traditionalist’s speech in the meeting of elders shows the notion that the females are not all that important. In his view, they are not capable beings. in other words, the females are considered as others, not recognized as part of the original inhabitants in the land. The implication is that in this locality, the females are classified as the “them.” Not ‘us”. Therefore, they (female) should be kept at a distance in decision-making. In Biakolo’s L’étonnante enfance d’Inotan humiliation, insignificance and poverty constitute largely the female experience.

In this paper, gynocritical discourse, a socio-stylistic literary framework is adopted in the text, the focus is on characterization; plot structure and interactive use of language. We examined how these three aspects have led to the stages in gynocritical operations: the rejection of fixed positions, liberating actions and the provision of free and hannonious situations between the male and the female in line with Elaine Showalter’s view of gynocriticism.

 

Fixation

Gynocriticism is a new theoretical model based on the study of female experience, rather than to adapt male models and theories in literature. It tends to break male fixation of the female status asunder and neutralize women’s victimization. Gynocritics struggle to bring women to limelight, and give voice to the women. Elaine Showailter says:

 

Gynocritics begin at the point when we free ourselves from the linear absolutes of male literary history, stop trying to fit women between the lines of the male traditions and focus instead on the nearly visible world of female culture Newton, K. M. (1993: 269)

 

Showalter’s view on gynocriticism functions as the theoretical base of this study of Biakolo’s novel. Showalter, the first to propound the theory., adapted the French term “La gynocritique”, ‘gynocritics’ for such specialized discourse in literature and in other fields of knowledge. Newton, K. M. (1993: 269). The approach displays a confrontational perspective in relation to fix status on. women. She and her co-researchers and critics in this angle, aimed at reconstructing the status of women to project authenticity, selfhood and true life-likeness. It is believed that if we study stereotypes of women, the sexism of male critics, and the limited roles women play in literary history, we are not learning what women have felt and experienced but only what men have thought women should be. Elaine Showalter (1990: 189). ‘This is in line with Josephine Donovan’s view in ‘Beyond the Net: feminist criticism as a moral criticism’ in Twentieth Literary Theory (1993), showing that women have brain. They are ‘selves not others. Josephine Donovan (1993: 246). Gynocritical analysis probes the ascribed status, femininity, occupations, interactions and consciousness of women in various situations and relationships.

 

In Biakolo’s L’étonnante enfance d’Inotan (1980), there are four female characters Anijula, Onakama, Mume’s mother and the nurse. Onakama and Anijula’s private lives are visible from the beginning of the novel and their presence engage the reader as enduring elements. The dialogue between Inikpo and Onakama concerning Anijula, the woman in prolonged labour is an instance of such.

“Toi Onakama, tu ne cesses de débiter des bêtises

Emmenons – la donc à I ‘hôpital, reprit Onakama

Tu divagues encore. Où se trouve l’hôpital?

A Warri …. Tu sais que je suis … Je vais maintenant à cette réunion. L‘étonnante enfance d’Inoian pp. 7-8

 

[ Onakama, you never stop uttering rubbish

Let’s take her then to the hospital, said Onakama

There you go again rigmaroling. Where is the hospital?

In Warn … You know that I am. -. I am going right now to the meeting. Wonderful Child p. 1

 

Verbal violence

This is meant to be a problem-solving conversation between Inikpo and his wife Onakama on behalf of their neighbour Anijula. Anijula has been in labour for two days. The structure reveals that Inikpo assumes the status of interviewer, who is accusatory in utterance, as if Onakarna has committed a crime. His reply to her accurate suggestion to rush the pregnant woman to the hospital is confrontational, thereby trying to show that Onakarna is remote, out of order and a stranger to the point of discussion while he is a native to it, the all-knowing. This is a case of phallic oppression. Inikpo is at the ‘you’ stage structured to belittle, destabilize, ridicule and frustrate her. He says: “Onakama, you never stop uttering rubbish”. “There you go again rigmaroling” meaning foolish talk, nonsense talk, blunder, error. The word “betise” means imbecile, lack of intelligence, a speech without value and without importance. This case reminds us of the assessing adjectives, using the theory of the component of women in a fixed situation, their features include weak minded, narrow and Donovan’s other (1993). The term ‘you’ is associated with the cultural identity to distance women or marginalize them. ‘While lnikpo is at the ‘you’ stage, distancing himself, Onakama is at the we stage. Here we are faced with two different poles of thought.

The woman here, has sensory awareness. Onakama is problem solving, not minding the man’s verbal violence. Her utterance depicts such: “Let’s take her to the hospital” without delay – an invitation to solve the problem together within a short-term goal. Onakama is trying to depict harmonious co-existence, but Inikpo ignores the proposal of immediate collective action. lnikpo moves to ‘1’ stage and leaves the women to go and drink udi, ogogoro, eat kolanuts, bitter kola, alligator pepper and joke in men’s group. He returns home before night (12), thus causing a further delay, ridicule and frustration for the women. In his group, based on sex not ethnic background, the woman is further ridiculed because of her suggestion. Anijula’s prolonged labour is secondary while traditional procedure or practice of exhausting drinks and jokes, is more valued by Inikpo. This situation thereby causes frustration, delay and ridicule for womanhood, even at the point of complicated delivery. This contrasts with Achebe’s presentation of the opportunist traditionalist in Anthills of the Savannah (1987). Elewa’s mother exposes him for greed: drinking, eating and joking at a wrong time. He apologises and accepts correction. Biakolo here tolerates irresponsibility and non-chalant attitude in tradition.

The communicative utterances and actions as shown, are contrary to gynocritical guidelines because here in the traditional set-up, the life of the woman is insignificant. No wonder, Cixous says that the couple’s home is a battlefield and in it, death is closer to the woman. The situation in our text exposes the underlying opposition between man and woman in patriarchal thought. The binary oppositions are heavily embedded in the patriarchal value system. There is hierarchy and the ‘feminine’ side is negative and powerless. This corresponds too with Jacques Derrida’s word based on fundamental couple, the male and female oppositions, in Toni Moi’s Feminist Literary Theory: Sexual Textual Politics (1986:104).

Onakama’s utterance shows that delivery period is a time to act fast to save the lives of the mother and the baby. Unfortunately, she could not effect a change even though her suggestion is accurate because it is the faster way to stop Anijula’s immediate suffering, pain and sorrow. If in this case, Onakama is pushful enough to make her suggestion come to pass, or has the means, acts fast, stops the suffering, gets Anijula delivered in spite of the men’s non-chalant attitude, Onakama would have been a gynocritical positive element. Her determination, pushfulncss and prompt action would have changed situation. Within the gyriocriticai framework, positive self-determined action is a value as it changes situations. Such quality amounts to demonstration of selfhood. In the text, Onakarna suggests, but nothing follows.

Consequently, Onakarna and Anijula remain static at the lowest rung of the gynocritical ladder. immersed in frustration and sensing a negative cultural sanction, she asks: [What do we do?) ‘Que faire? (p.8). The question portrays an element of childlike regression. It is renunciation. It is inaccurate at this crucial moment and she knows it. Onakama and Anijula could not manoeuvre within their limits to achieve some degree of self determination. Gynocntics quarrel with such alteration of sense of judgment, a situation whereby one regresses to do the wrong thing, just to follow the multitude when the person knows better.

Male verbal violence against females reigns throughout the novel. Here are three situations out of them. As the native doctor arrives and administers treatment to Anijula, he tells Onakama to place her fore-waist against Anijula’s but the latter demands to know his motive. He says to her:

 

“Ecoute femme, puisque ta stérilité et ton manqué d’imagination te rendent bête … Je vais t’expliquer” L’étonnante enfance d’Inotan p. 15

[Look here, woman, since your sterility and your lack of imagination make you stupid  – I am going to explain to you] Wonderful Child p. 6.

 

Words like stupid, lack of imagination and sterility are selected to humiliate the woman. In gynocritical term, the words are used to deny her selfhood. Look here, woman is a hate speech, void of politeness towards the woman. As Anijula tries to pack from Orherhe, Onakama comes to help arrange the luggage in the pick-up van and plays with child. The driver interrupts snatches the child from her and Onakama begins to cry (54) “Il lui arracha l’enfant. Onakarna se mit à pleurer” (83).

 

The driver’s verbal and non-verbal action shows disgust and makes Onakaina deeply  humiliated; she feels that she is insignificant and she sheds tears for her lot. On their way to Warn, as the pick-up van gets to a bridge, the driver stops and Auijuhi tries to know why. He replies:

 

“Vous ne voyez pas ce pont en bois? Croyez-vous que nous puissions le traverser ? Descendez! vous allez fléchir un peu!

Faites ce que je vous dis, . . Ne me posez pas de questions  inutiles” L’étonnante en lance d’Inotan p. 87

 

[Don’t you see that wooden bridge? Do you think we can cross it?

Look here, put on your thinking cap a bit. Go down … Do what

you are told … Don’t ask me unnecessary questions]

Wonderful Child p. 57.

 

The speech shows disagreement, the words Don’t you see, do you think, put on your thinking cap, portray that Anijula’s neuro-system is dysfunctional and thcreftre she is not a capable being. This is to say that. She is not capable to observe and make meaning out of the situation. Werdan, Anijula’s husband,, speaks to her too, in the same manner. When she talks to him of her proposed visit to her cousin, Wardan says:

 

“Femme, assez de tes ripostes stupides, va tout de suite mettre de I ‘eau dans le cabinet” L’étonnante enfance d‘Inotan p. I 61

 

[Woman, enough of your stupid retorts! Go and put the water at once inside the bath enclosure] Wonderful child p. 108

 

Anijula adds “forgive me big oga. “Her words of apology to him here, is exaggerated evaluation and adoration of a person on whom her welfare depends, while (oga) Wardan’s hate speech addressed to her emphasizes her domestic function and equally emphasizes that she is not sensible to engage in conversation with him. Here, Wardan employs epithets and terms, which convey visceral hate or contempt for Anijula. In hate speech, the speaker insults or stigmatizes on the basis of characteristics such as / gender or sex orientation or race. Here, it is on the basis of male superiority.

The statements quoted here, function as historical ideological evidences of intention to be little, globally, the black women folks. In history, the male is the lord and master. He dictates what she should do, say and where she should be. The opposition is penitent too. It has an element of hatred in speech and action. The driver pulls away the child from Onakama and he compels Anijula to gel down at once. Sensing her insignificance, Onakarna sheds tears.

Theoretically, the existing relationship between the male and the female in the text, lacks harmonious co-existence. There is no gynocritical amplification but redundancy. The traditional or historical stand in the text is abusive to the image of womanhood. L’étonnante enfance d’Inotan of Biakolo promotes the suppression of dignity for the female. We conceive that in the text, hate speech as verbal remarks or statements are intended to put down women or subject them. It demoralizes, humiliates and demeans. In the text, the men: lnikpo, Obo, driver, include (traditionalists and other men who are native to tradition) dominated. They tend to play the role of parents but they lack parental insight and have not looked at any issue from the women’s angle. They prolong the ordeal and burden of Anijula through domination. Domination here, can be equated with relation to power that are systematically symmetrical: the hierarchical construction of social reality in terms of systems of exclusions; mainly founded on the criteria of ‘high’ versus ‘low’ (Thompson, 1984: 130 — 131). The men’s verbal violence, which they use here as a weapon of domination serves as a weapon to defend masculinity. It serves as a role of ideology, an inverted or distorted image of reality, in the text, it is a construction of action, which is absolutely primitive and ineluctable (Ricoeur, 1986, 77). Eagleton refers to such structure as pre-symbolic and therefore pre-ideological. The man’s line of action about Anijula’s case portrays ignorance of the experience of the sufferings the woman is going through. Discarding Onakama’s accurate suggestion amounts to distortion and the woman suffers deeply in it because it results in oppression, humiliation and denial of selfhood for the women. In gynocritical term, Biakolo’s text is a negative literature. It is inauthentic.

The plot in Biakolo’s text focuses on a series of accidents, both inside and outside, concerning the child Inotan, which makes the mother panic. Inotan bums his toe, (103) Inotan jumps on the road and is almost crushed by a car (136) but he is later found among the warriors. The warriors are all men. This suggests that the action of war is uniquely for men and the bone of contention here is land dispute in Warri kingdom between the Urhobo and Itsekiri. The Urhobo won the case.

The composition of the female characters — house wives, mistress and mother, corresponds to character building common in pre-colonial literature in Africa. Anijula, Onakarna have no career, no education and no money. The mother here contrasts with the mother in Ousmane’s “The Mother” an aged woman, who against huge odds, achieved socio-economic and political freedom for the subjects in the kingdom. The nurse and the doctor on duty engage in romance indicating that they lack sense of duty. All the female characters are flat. The women are nonentities and the males bully them indiscriminately, even when they suggest something positive in a critical situation.

Within the couple’s action, utterance, hospital episode, there are evidences of contradiction and confliction. The writer has not reflected life accurately, consider this:

Vous êtes Anijula Mewor, pourquoi vous êtes vous sauvée la dernière fois sans régler la facture pour la guérison de ton enfant? Eh bien, réglez d’abord la dernière facture avant qu’on s’occupe de votre enfant une seconde fois

L‘étonnante enfance d’Inotan p. 109

 

[You are Angula Mewor, why did you escape last time without settling the bill for your son’s treatment … Well settle first your former bill before we attend to your child again] Wonderful Child p. 72

 

Words like “sauvée” [escape], “sans regular” [without settling] mean that Anijula had earlier on disappeared from the hospital without payment after receiving treatment for his son. The husband is aware. Régler d’abord” means settle your debt first before treatment. This nurse, being observant, detected and she made them to pay. It is a signal of consciousness on the part of the nurse but there and then the Werdan tag the nurse a ‘thief who may not render account. “Crois tu que l’infirmier va vraiment noter les cinq livres”? (112). Such utterances from the Warden are contradictory to their action because they are not transparent in their earlier dealing in the hospital. This is an indication that the procedure of the originality in the writer’s mental act is murky. The implication of such procedure is that, it amounts to indignity for the nurse, western trained professional. It seems an intention to belittle her. It is a rejection of positive image for womanhood in the fiction.

The reader is tempted to believe the romance episode, which follows, as a fixed up, fixed and as retaliation because the nurse exposes them for insincerity and dishonesty. The Werdan sensing their ego at stake, proceed to tarnish the professional’s image as a way of revenge. Here, the romance is doubtful because it is noted by Werdan only after the nurse had exposed the fraud the Werdan committed. The romance episode is wrongly placed. It is an instance of in authenticity in fiction. In the text, the writer has not instilled a positive sense of woman’s identity and the presentation has down graded the image of womanhood.

The language used by the men to address the women shows hostility, callousness and menace. Consequently, the society in Biakolo’s text offers no vision and the women cannot project a unique self. The society makes them domestic and sex objects only. The only aspect, which provides womanist reading, is the cordial relationship, which exists between Onakama and Anijula, the spirit of sisterhood, but they have no courage and consequently are not outspoken against oppression or their state of dependence. They are contrasts of Aida and Noumbé in Ousmane’s “Her Three Days” (1962). Ousmane gives voice to the women and they speak and act against male oppression and male conjugal negligence and it brings a change. In Biakolo’s text, none of the female characters wages any crusade against out-of-date customs or traditions or indignity for the women. None of them calls the men to order. They are mute in that sense. The nurse has no name. The writer has dogmatically presented African tradition against European civilization. He has not diagnosed the evils that weigh down the society at the family levels or traditional levels. He has not looked at lack of effective dialogue or relationship at the level of the couple and the others.

 

Conclusion

Biakolo gives a fixed image to the women in an exaggerated manner. The author is protradition as can be seen and there is the reliance on traditional healing method. Though, one may say that the writer has freedom to write, and that the society needs accord him some respect but Biakolo here, is biased against western culture as epitomized by the hospital. The author’s defence of tradition therefore controls the women’s position. In the text, the women are fixed into background, they lack evolution and consequently they are not models in gynocritical terms. The underlying structural principle of Biakolo’s L’étonnante enfance d’Inotan (1980) is a recontextualising of tradition and culture focused to ensure the revival of phallucentrism, a long journey backward. The structure of binary opposition is reflected in the social dispensation. The image of Onakaina and Anijula are thwarted through the manipulation of men because in the text, the women lack the freedom to enable them creates their image in a marvelous way.

References

 

A. Primary source

Biakolo, Anthony  Omoghene  (1980):  L’étonnante enfacne

d’inotan, Paris

 

Biakolo, Anthony  Omoghene           (1993): Wonderful Child,

Ibadan, Patriotic

African  Series  Novel Famsond

 

Chinua Achebe (1987):          Anthills of the Savannah, London William Heinemann Ousmane Sembène (1967):Voltaïque Paris, Presence Afriaine

 

B.        Secondary sources

Altaman, Andrew:       “Liberalism and Campus

Hate Speech: A Philosophical

Examination in Ethics” Vol. 103, No. 2 Chicago

University of Chicago Press.1993, p. 302.

 

Donovan Josphine:      “Beyond the Net: Feminist

Criticism  as a moral

Criticism” in Twentieth Century Literary Theory e.d.

Newton, K. M.

Macmillan London P. 246.

 

Karin Cattel (2000):“Ideology and Utopia in the

Early Van Wyk Louw:

A preliminary investigation”  in Journal of Literary

Studies Volume 16 No. 2

June 2000. Pretoria Saval Pp. 23 – 37.

 

 


ETUDE SUSCINTE DE LA RESPONSABILITE INTERNATIONALE DE L’ETAT VIS-A-VIS DE LA SOCIETE INTERETATIQUE.

Théophile G. KODJO SONOU

Département de la Communication et des Relations Internationales, Institut Universitaire Panafricain,

Avakpa -Tokpa, Porto-Novo, Rép. du Bénin

Résumé

Dans le droit international, l’Etat a une responsabilité importante. Cette responsabilité lui confère le pouvoir de négocier et de coopérer avec d’autres Etats du monde selon les règles du droit international. Cette responsabilité est caractérisée par l’acceptation d’entrer en coopération inter Etat que par un reconnu comme tel son acceptation de reconnaître des fautes (fait illicite) au cas où et d’accepter de faite les sanctions venant de la communauté internationale.

La responsabilité s’oppose ici à l’irresponsabilité. Tous les Etats du monde devraient normalement se comporter en Etat responsable. Mais force est de constater que quelques Etats s’organisent à  promouvoir l’irresponsabilité malheureusement.

Notre article, en effet, dénonce ces genres de comportement. Il se propose d’étudier de façon suscinte la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat vis-à-vis de la communauté internationale. Le respect et le droit à l’existence des autres Etats.

Mots clés : Etude suscinte, Responsabilité, Internationale

Abstract

The international law, great is the responsibility of a State. The responsibility in powered the state to negotiate and to cooperate with other States of the world following the nules of international law that responsibility is characterised by the neediness of the State to inter in to cooperate on with other states and to accept it faults where in fault and to also accept sanctions from the international community. The responsibility opposes unlain full actions. Normally all the states of the world are supposed to be responsible.

But that is not the case as some states promote irresponsibility.

This article denounced those practices its studies globally the international responsibility of the state vis-à-vis the international community, in respect and the aright for others to exist.

 

Key words : succinct study, Responsability, International

Introduction

Dans le droit international, l’Etat est définit comme une entité politique, économique, juridique et sociale constituée essentiellement d’une population stable, d’un territoire délimité et d’un gouvernement.

Il doit également avoir pour critère fondamental la souveraineté. Ce dernier confère à l’Etat un caractère suprême et indiscutable dans sa représentativité internationale. La souveraineté attribue à l’Etat une compétence interne, c’est-à-dire des prises de décisions indépendantes des autres Etats.

Selon cette compétence internationale, l’Etat a la capacité de négocier et de ratifier des traités ou accords avec les autres Etats. Mais aussi de mener une politique étrangère propre à lui. L’ensemble de ces actions ou activités internationales au sein de la communauté des Etats est défini et régi, réglé et établi sous l’égide du droit international. Ainsi on peut définir cette compétence comme un « pouvoir juridique conféré ou reconnu par le droit international d’un Etat (…) de connaître une affaire, de prendre une décision, de régler un différend ».

La compétence internationale de l’Etat lui confère tant de droits que d’obligations ; d’où la question de la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat. La responsabilité internationale de l’Etat sous-entend les conséquences rattachées à la violation des obligations internationales par l’Etat. D’où la question de savoir comment est-ce que la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat est engagée où quel est le fait générateur de cette responsabilité ? Et qu’en est-il des modalités de sa réparation? A la lumière de ces questionnements, notre travail consistera à présenter (I). Ensuite, nous analyserons les différentes modalités de réparation des responsabilités internationales (II).

 

I.         Définition et conditions de la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat

En guise de définition, nous pouvons dire que la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat est le lien de cause à effet entre un acte (fait illicite) ou une omission constitutive d’un manquement à une obligation internationale (factuelle ou juridique), d’une part.

 

Il faut également, pour engager la responsabilité de l’Etat, que ce fait illicite internationalement lui soit imputable et pour cela qu’il émane soit d’un de ses organes soit d’un de ses ressortissants, d’autre part.

 

Donc, il faut trois conditions pour que soit engagée la responsabilité internationale d’un Etat. A savoir : Un fait illicite, un préjudice et une imputabilité.

 

Ainsi, notre analyse portera d’abord sur les conditions de la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat (A). Ensuite, nous parlerons de son contenu (B). Enfin des approches.

 

A)        Le fait générateur de la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat

Pour que la responsabilité de l’Etat soit engagée, il faut qu’il y ait un fait international illicite (fait sanctionné par le droit international), ensuite, que ce fait occasionne un préjudice. Et enfin que ce préjudice soit imputé à l’Etat (lien de causalité entre le dommage et l’Etat). Sans la réunion de ces trois conditions, la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat ne peut être «évoquée».

Quand est ce qu’un fait est internationalement illicite ?

Il y a un fait internationalement illicite lorsqu’un comportement de l’Etat consiste en une action ou en une omission est attribuable à l’Etat, d’après le droit international à l’Etat» et «que ce comportement constitue une violation d’une obligation internationale». L’illicéité internationale découle d’une violation du droit international ; c’est-à-dire «soit dans la violation d’une obligation conventionnelle, soit dans la violation d’une obligation coutumière, soit encore dans une abstention condamnable». La doctrine fait une distinction entre «les obligatoire coutumière, soit encore dans une abstention condamnable». La doctrine fait une distinction entre «les obligations passives par lesquelles l’Etat s’interdit d’agir et les obligations actives par lesquelles il s’oblige à le faire.

 

Il en ressort que la violation peut provenir d’une action ou d’une abstention dont l’auteur est l’Etat. Le fait internationalement illicite s’entend comme «une atteinte à la sécurité des rapports juridiques» entre sujets du droit international. C’est-à-dire que sans base légale, la communauté internationale aura du mal à mettre en évidence la responsabilité de l’Etat en cause.

 

Le préjudice

Le préjudice, quant à lui, est la conséquence du fait internationalement illicite. «Le préjudice comprend tout dommage, tant matériel que moral résultant du fait internationalement illicite de l’Etat c’est-à-dire que ce fait doit porter atteinte à un droit juridiquement protégé, un droit dont il est titulaire». Il ne peut donc y avoir fait internationalement illicite, que si et seulement si ce fait découle de la responsabilité, ou de l’absence d’une atteinte à un droit d’un tiers de la part de l’Etat.

 

L’imputabilité

Le fait illicite au regard du droit international ayant causé un préjudice à une victime doit être attribué à l’Etat qui en est l’auteur, c’est-à-dire qu’il doit avoir un lien de causalité entre le fait illicite et l’Etat en cause.

 

Le procédé d’imputation a pour fonction «de rendre possible le rattachement de la conduite d’un sujet interne à un sujet international, aux fins de détermination de la responsabilité». Ainsi, «aucune distinction n’est à établir entre les autorités centralisées et décentralisées, entre celles qui sont spécialement en charge des relations extérieures de l’Etat… et les autres, non plus qu’en fonction du caractère législatif, exécutif, administratif ou juridictionnel des activités de l’agent». L’Etat peut voir sa responsabilité engagée alors que le fait est imputable à son agent «même s’il s’agit d’un agent subalterne» et quel que soit l’organe qui a agi.

 

B)        Le contenu de la responsabilité

Internationale de l’Etat

Ici, nous mettrons l’accent sur l’objectif que vise la responsabilité étatique, mais aussi, les différentes modalités et réparations.

 

L’obligation de mettre fin au fait illicite

Premièrement, l’objectif « mettre en évidence la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat » est de faire cesser le fait international illicite entre en conflit ; d’éviter à l’avenir le non-respect des obligations  entre les Etats. Enfin, de s’assurer que ce fait illicite ne se reproduise pas à nouveau entre les autres Etats.

 

Toujours dans le cadre de mettre fin à ce fait illicite, en cas de fait international illicite portant violation grave de norme de jurisprudence, la communauté internationale, sous l’égide des Nations Unies, peut faire usage de la force pour faire cesser la manifestation de ce fait.

 

L’obligation de réparer le préjudice

Avant de prononcer la sentence, la cour de justice internationale (CJI) prend le temps d’analyser la nature et l’éventualité du préjudice.

 

Concernant la nature du préjudice, elle peut être matérielle ou morale:

–           Préjudice matériel : Dommage subi par un Etat portant sur un bien ou une chose dont l’Etat victime y joint d’un droit absolu.

–           Préjudice moral : Dommage subi par un Etat sur certains usages ou coutumes dont le droit international le reconnaît à ce dernier comme un droit. Concernant l’éventualité du préjudice, il peut être immédiat ou médiat.

 

Les modalités de la réparation

– La restitution en nature: Elle signifie que l’Etat ayant commis le fait illicite peut procéder à une réparation dans la même proportionnalité que le fait illicite.

La réparation par équivalent: dans ce cas, l’Etat fautif répare le préjudice sur la base d’une compensation fixée par la sentence.

 

–           La satisfaction: le but de la réparation est de combler le trou créé par le fait illicite afin de redonner confiance dans les relations entre ces Etats en conflit.

 

Mais comment la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat est-elle dénoncée?

 

 

 

II Mise en œuvre de la  responsabilité internationale de l’Etat

Ce titre portera sur l’action proprement dite (A). Ensuite, nous analyserons les causes exonératoires de la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat (B).

 

A) L’action en responsabilité internationale de l’Etat

En matière de poursuite internationale, c’est la Cour de Justice Internationale (CJI) qui est compétente pour connaître des litiges internationaux.

 

Elle règle les différents entre les Etats et donne des avis consultatifs à l’Organisation et à ses institutions spécialisée. Son statut fait partie intégrante de la Charte des Nations Unies. La cour a pour membres  tous les Etats parties à son statut, à savoir tous les Etats Membres de l’ONU.

 

Seuls les Etats ont qualité pour se présenter devant elle et lui soumettre des affaires contentieuses. La cour ne peut être saisie par des particuliers ou par des entités ou organisations internationales.  L’assemblée générale et le Conseil de Sécurité peuvent demander à la Cour des avis consultatifs sur toute question juridique. Les autres organes de l’ONU et les institutions spécialisées peuvent, avec l’autorisation de l’Assemblée générale, lui demander des avis consultatifs sur des questions juridiques entrant dans le cadre de leur activité.

 

Toutefois, avec l’apparition de nouveaux acteurs sur la scène internationale à savoir les organisations internationales, les ONG et les firmes transnationales, de nouveaux mécanismes ont été mis en place.

 

Ces acteurs internationaux ont créé à leur niveau des instances judiciaires compétentes en cas de litiges internationaux et ce, selon les domaines de leur relation (commerce, travail, économique etc.).

Ces tribunaux constituent des recours particuliers de règlement des litiges internationaux.

 

Ainsi, même des particuliers ou des personnalités morales n’étant pas des sujets du droit international peuvent voir leur responsabilité engagée.

 

B) Les causes exonératoires de responsabilité de l’Etat

L’exonération est un ensemble de principe libérant l’Etat de sa responsabilité internationale.

L’exonération peut dépendre du comportement de la victime ou d’un fait étranger à la victime.

Concernant les faits liés à la victime. Nous pouvons en citer trois:

–           Le consentement de l’Etat: Il se peut que l’Etat subissant le fait illicite ait volontairement accepté que ce fait se déroule sur son territoire.

–           La légitime défense: Etant un principe du droit international, la légitime défense désigne une réaction de force qui peut être illicite permettant à un Etat de se défendre face à une éventuelle agression.

 

Les contre-mesures: Initiative prise unilatéralement par un Etat pour faire respecter ses droits, en réponse aux agissements licites ou illicites d’un autre Etat qui lèsent ses intérêts.

 

Concernant les faits étrangers à la victime qui sont au nombre de deux (02):

–           La force majeure: C’est un évènement irrésistible, imprévisible et extérieur qui dégage la responsabilité de l’Etat ayant commis le fait illicite.

–           L’état de nécessité: Il suppose qu’un fait illicite soit commis intentionnellement par un Etat tiers afin d’éviter qu’un autre fait illicite plus grave ne soit commis.

Conclusion

Enfin, nous pouvons affirmer que la responsabilité internationale de l’Etat est une conséquence directe de la compétence externe de l’Etat. Ce dispositif permet d’empêcher une éventuelle domination des Etats puissants sur ceux qui sont de plus en plus faibles.

A partir de la responsabilité internationale, les Etats sont tous soumis au même principe juridictionnel et aux mêmes obligations. Malheureusement, la responsabilité internationale présente quelques défauts dans son application, car elle a toujours tendance à favoriser les Etats puissants.

En plus, avec la modification du recours à la force dans les relations internationales présentées par les USA en Irak, la question de la sanction de responsabilité internationale demeure un autre problème sur lequel la communauté internationale doit se pencher.

 

 

Références Bibliographiques

Ouvrage généraux:

Dictionnaire Le Robert. (2005).

Langue Française, Paris, p. 158

CORNU Gérard. (2008).

Vocabulaire juridique, Paris,

Dalloz. (2007).

Lexique des termes juridiques, Paris,

Ouvrages spécifiques:

ATTENOUKON Serge Armel. (2006).

Institutions internationales, Mémento

SONOU KODJO. Gbègninou Théophile. (2009). Langue Française et les Organisations Internationales. (ESAF). Porto-Novo. Editions Sonou d’Afrique.

ADELOUI A. Joël. (2008). Droit international public, Cotonou.

Internet:

www.un.org

www.ledroittsuisse.com

www.memoireonline.com

www.oodoc.com

 

INTERROGATING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE :

AN ANALYSIS OF THREE NIGERIAN HOMEVIDEOS

Catherine Olutoyin WILLIAMS

Tai-Solarin University of Education,

Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Abstract

Until recently, little was written about domestic violence. It was not identified as a major societal problem (especially in Africa). Most battered women have come to accept the situation as part of what the “woman” must endure. This is because there seem to be no institution where they can seek redress. Violence against women is, however, attracting attention all over the world. Experts agree that family violence is a widespread problem, but the extent of its occurrence is difficult to measure, because most cases of violence are never reported. Home-video, (in Nigeria) has presented itself as a veritable tool to arouse public interest and debate on various aspects of violence against women. It is being used to break the silence, the pretence, to demystify myths and challenge the cultural norms, made in favour of patriarchy. This paper seeks to examine and challenge the socio-cultural paradigms that encourage domestic violence.

 

Key words: Interrogating, Domestic violence, Analysis, Nigerian Homevideos, Women

 

Résumé

Jusqu’à ces derniers temps, peu était écrit sur la violence domestique. Ce n’était pas identifié comme un problème majeur sociétal (particulièrement en Afrique) La plupart des femmes battues vient d’accepter la situation comme un mal leur semble qu’il n’y ait pas d’institution où elles peuvent chercher sa réforme. Cependant, la violence faite sur les femmes attire l’attention partout dans le monde. Les experts acceptent que la violence familiale est un large problème, mais, l’ampleur de cet évènement est difficile ne sont jamais reportés. Le feuilleton (au Nigeria) est présenté lui-même comme un véritable instrument pour exciter l’intérêt public et le débat sur divers aspects de violence faite sur les femmes. C’est aussi utilisé pour rompre le silence, la simulation, pour démystifier les mythes et défier les normes culturelles, firent en faveur patriarcale. Ce document cherche à examiner et défier les paradigmes socio-culturels qui encouragent la violence domestique.

 

Mots clés: Interrogatoire, Violence Domestique, Analyse, Vidéofilms Nigérian, Femmes

 

Introduction

For much of history and throughout the world, social and legal traditions have tolerated or even promoted the physical assault of women by men. Punishment of wives was called chastisement, a term that emphasized the corrective purpose of the action and minimized the violent nature of the behaviour. Since the 19th Century, women have acquired greater legal and political rights (Suffrage 1919). As the status of women has improved, attitudes towards domestic violence have changed. The change is as a result of efforts made by women to improve their lot. Such efforts gave birth to Feminism.

Feminists all over the world are united by the idea that women’s position in society is structure d in such a way as to benefit men to the detriment of women, politically and economically. Central to liberal feminists’ argument is that all hitherto existing societies have been patriachally organized around the oppression of women by men, and that women’s oppression has cultural rather than biological roots (Miller, 1994:iii). Feminists believe that oppression exists because of the way men and women are socialized through the process of upbringing. This socialization is in support of patriarchy which keeps men in positions of power. Liberal feminists believe that women have mental capacity as their male counterparts and should be given the same opportunities in political, economical and social spheres. Women should have the right to choose and not be chosen for. It is this idea or notion that informs de Beavoir’s feminist theory. The various questions raised by the status of women in society also inform de Beavoir’s theoretical framework. Such questions

  1. 1. How is it that human nature character quite fundamentally by radical freedom in which humans make themselves only conscious in practice can nonetheless be betrayed into the bad faith of un-freedom?     
  2. 2. How can it be that woman a free autonomous being like all human creatures…. finds herself living in a world where men compel her to assume the status of the other. (Miller, 1994:iii).

 

She further explains feminity as a masculine project in which men construct women as objects. And that whatsoever power or status accorded women in a given culture is in comparison to men devalued as the second sex. This idea of cultural subordination of women forms the central thrust of de Beavoir’s argument in The Second Sex (1952). de Beavoir seeks to deconstruct the social construction of gender and the cultural paradigms that support it. This social construction takes place through the system of beliefs. One of such is the belief that procreation and child rearing is the responsibility of the woman.

Theoretical Approach

Literary theory is the study of the principles of literature, its categories and criteria. The literary opinions of critics are buttressed and developed through critical examination of literary works. For the purpose of this work, therefore, Greene and Khan’s Liberal feminist theory had been adopted as a theoretical base.

Greene and Khan, (1985: 1-3) on their part take gender as fundamental organizing category of experience. They look into two related premises about gender inequality. One is that the inequality of the sexes is neither biologically given nor a divine mandate, but a cultural construct. The second is that male perspective presumed to be universal has dominated fields of knowledge, shaping their paradigms and methods. To Greene and Khan (1985) feminist scholarship has two concerns. The revision of the concept previously thought universal but now seen as originating in particular cultures, serving particular purpose. (Here, the purpose is is patriarchy). Their effort i.e. Greene and Khan’s, is geared towards liberating women from the structures that have marginalized and oppressed them. As a result, domestic violence has been recognized as a major form of human right abuse. Violence is the unlawful use of force, or threat to use force on fellow human beings. It is any action, behaviour, or attitude against other people based on anger and frustration. It could lead to injury or harm, denial of human rights, harassment, intimidation or forcing people against their will to do what they would ordinarily not do. In everyday existence, any such behaviours, actions and attitudes which instill fears in the minds of women either in respect of an object, or a belief system amount to violence against them.In the attempt at examining domestic violence, three Nigerian homevideos are purposively selected for critical analysis, from the liberal feminists’ perspectives. Social norms and mores (culture) are discussed as the factors permissive of the perpetration of domestic violence. The homevideos used are:

  1. 1. Azubike, S. (ND) Pains of Womanhood. Lagos: Chuks

Anyiam and Associates.

  1. 2. Aberuagba, R. (2006) Aye Opo Lagos: Nasinma Universal

Studio

  1. 3. Ikechukwu, O. (2007) A Woman’s Honour Lagos: Nasinma

Universal Studio.

 

Domestic Violence

Women abuse can be at various levels. These levels are domestic, physical, psycho-emotional, social, financial, threat and coercion.

Domestic violence, for instance, represents for the woman another form of challenge as it is the intimate form of violence committed against women in the domestic sphere by their partners or other family members. Domestic violence is less visible, but very pervasive. It is considerably a mechanism of patriarchal control of women which is built on male superiority and female inferiority.

Violence against wives is a function of the belief, fostered in many cultures, to the effect that men are superior, and that the women they live with are their possessions and could be treated the way men wish. Some men, through violence seek to deny and destroy the power of women. Examples of domestic violence include, threat and coercion, physical and psycho emotional abuse, social abuse and financial abuse. Forms of physical abuse include, hitting, punching, kicking, slapping and throwing things at the woman. Psycho-emotional abuse is applicable in a situation of the feeling of constant fear of physical violence. This is indeed what engenders the most challenging pressure on the women, such that, if she does not speak out, no one would know. And sometimes when she does speak about it, blames are heaped on her by the society, especially the female folk whom one would expect should understand better. Situations which engender psycho-emotional abuse include being told repeatedly that one is not good enough, a bad mother/wife and such other regular accusation s that implicitly suggest that on one is useless, incompetence, ugly etc. in any of these cases, the victim’s self esteem is gradually eroded and so would the ability to leave her violent partner as she must have suffered loss of confidence.This is an extension of domestic violence wherein a man limits his partners’ contact with family members, friends and the larger community. He may lock her inside the house; monitor phone calls made to and from her. He may abuse the woman’s family members and friends until they no longer visit her. He may even humiliate her before friends and family members.

There is also a form of domestic violence in which a man assumes a total control over finances. This may entail forbidding the woman to have a job, or insisting she hands over her entire pay packet. He may give her tiny allowance demanding that every dime she spent be accounted for.

Threat and coercion manifest in the forms of intimidating statements from the man in order to enforce submission or compliance from the woman. Such statements as “I will send you out of my house”. “I will abandon you and marry another wife”. I will abandon you and your children are not uncommon in such circumstance.

Domestic Violence : Past and Present

Experts agree that family violence is a widespread problem, but the extent of its pervasiveness is difficult to accurately measure because most cases of violence are never reported. (Goldberg, 2006: 5). Victims of family violence in nearly all the cases are women and children. (Giles, 2007). Gender based violence has also been conceived to reflect the particular role that women’s and girl’s unequal status plays in the society in perpetuating and condoning this abuse. Currently, combating such violence is one of the seven key strategies for the achievement of women’s empowerment and gender equality. (UN, 2005).

However, this concept of basic human right abuse (as it affects women) is no longer new in many parts of the world. In many African communities, however, the concept of domestic violence is an aberration, because, such actions so referred are not seen as crimes in the African context, rather they are accepted forms of social control within the family. Hodges, (2001) and Ogundipe-Leslie, (1990). Because men are generally stronger than women, they are often socialized to using violence as a method of control. Buttressing this view, Gottman and Jacobson, (1998:10) opine that:

Domestic violence is not just physical and emotional aggression; it is physical and emotional aggression with a purpose.

 

The purpose is to intimidate and to subjugate one’s intimate/close partner through the use of violence. In our society, spouse and child abuse occur daily behind closed doors and are largely considered a private matter. In line with this assertion, Garcia (2006: 120) states;

Research in developing countries confirms the magnitude of violence against women. Such violence takes many forms -physical, sexual and emotional. It also refers to sex trafficking. Violence takes place in many settings, in the home, in the community or in custodial situation. Family members, acquaintances, strangers or agents of the state may all perpetuate violence, but data on prevalence have shown that most often women experience violence at the hands of their own intimate male partners.

 

Copelon, (1994: 117) identifies two major obstacles to the treatment of domestic violence as a human right violation. The first of the two is the role played by public private dichotomy in international law. Traditionally, public structures are male structures. It exudes power (leadership position etc). Women are, however, banished to the private sphere. The family is the paradigm of the private sphere. This private sphere is protected and sanctioned by a form of trado-religious authority with man at the apex. Man is the recognized leader. He has the final say over all matters within the family i.e. (private sphere). Copelon, (1994: 117). The second of the obstacles has to do with societal perception. This is to the extent that intimate violence tends not to be viewed as violence. It is seen as “personal, private, domestic or family matter”.

Copelon (1994) further argues that the aims and consequences of intimate violence are obscured and justified as chastisement or discipline. Although there is a growing awareness among government and policy makers in developing countries about the magnitude of domestic violence, little or nothing is being done to stop or prevent it. This is largely due to the fact that such acts often go unreported. Those who are ready to seek redress have nowhere to lodge their complaints. Heise, (1999) confirms the unavailability of data to show the extent of the problem.

 

Textual Analysis

The analysis will be focused on the dominant level of domestic violence in the selected home-videos. These home-videos vividly capture the agonizing experience of women in patriarchal societies. All the women in the three home-videos are un-empowered to liberate themselves from their male oppressors for many reasons.

Firstly, none of them is economically capable to do so. Secondly, the depicted cultures i.e. (Igbo and Yoruba) assume that “violence is part of the strategies to keep the marriage”. So many women do not view domestic violence as a reason for seeking redress, or getting out of an abusive relationship. Neither do they see it as necessary to fight back in order to claim what rightfully belongs to them. They have accepted the culture of violence. However, there is a noticeable difference with the widow in Pains of Womanhood, who as a result of the empowerment conferred on her by little education and her exposure, leaves for the city where she is able to develop herself, earn a living and take good care of her two daughters.

Subordination of women to men throughout history is the force behind women’s oppression. Worlds and African cultures have been patriarchal as far back as one can trace them. The rules governing what one sees and what one is blind to in the course of living are deeply rooted in society and culture. These rules according to Hall, (1997) include subject and activity, the situation and ones past experiences. Reuben in Pains of Womanhood lives in a patriarchal society where right of inheritance is conferred on the male child. He is a land owner without a male child to inherit his vast expanse of land; hence he frequently refers to his daughters as “economic waste”. The patterns that govern the ways man behaves are learned early in life; and are taken for granted. The cultural habit in Reuben’s community holds that a man without an heir apparent neither partakes nor have a share of the community’s material things (Lands inclusive). So each time Reuben is deprived of what he feels belongs to him in the society, he feels victimized. After a while, the fear of the future set in.

The sight of his five daughters thus becomes a constant reminder of his inability to have a male child that will continue his lineage and consequently attract to him social respect and acceptability. It is this fear that turns Reuben into an abusive, impatient and aggressive husband and father. It is also this socio-cultural pattern of patriarchy that compels him to take the second wife. And it is this same quest for a male child that causes the problem for the widow (who is simply referred to as our widow) in Pains of Womanhood.

 

Following the death of the husband, the widow’s in-laws attempt to enforce it on the widow to marry her late husband’s younger brother (Azubuke) in order to produce an heir for her late husband. This marriage by inheritance is also necessary to sustain the societal tradition of wife inheritance. The widow’s refusal is perceived as a taboo and an affront to the custodians of traditional norms (the elders). This act leads to her violent ejection from her husband’s house. She is manhandled, kicked and pushed out and her belongings packed and thrown out. Her two innocent young daughters are pushed out of their father’s compound.

What man chooses to take in either consciously or unconsciously is what gives meaning and structure to his world. Reuben; (popularly referred to as Dad) in A Woman’s Honour chooses to agree to the suggestion of his business partner, and builds a structure of defense round his monstrous acts, while hiding under societal definition of incest. He now convinces himself and justifies that his continuous rape and emotional abuse of Natash has no consequence. According to him both of them are not blood relations and so he is not into an incestuous relationship. He also ensures that Natash is constantly watched by his body guards. Justin’s happiness now depends on Natash’s perceived sensual body. Life can only be meaningful as long as he can ravage Natash mentally and sexually. This is why he becomes so distraught and puts a ransom on her when she dares to escape. He even orders the drowning of Natash’s boy friend.

Battery has been said to be physical aggression with a purpose; That purpose is to control, intimidate and subjugate another human being. Battery is always accompanied by emotional abuse and often leads to injury. It is virtually always associated with fear and even terror on the part of the victim. These emotional and physical abusive behaviours can be extremely intimidating and destructive. This kind of abuse in A Woman’s Honour puts Natash in constant fear. She becomes an emotional wreck. She is overwhelmed with sorrow and a sense of hopelessness. Justin on the other hand becomes more violent towards her. His exercise of violence begins with the use of vulgar and abusive words on her in the presence of her only girl friend and an innocent boy who shows interest in her. This is a form of societal abuse. This act, Justin uses to scare the friends away, to humiliate and keep Natash, away from the outside world. Consequently, he starts beating and kicking her. He even goes to the extent of having her legs and hands tied to the bed post in order to make her available for his unregulated sexual orgy. At this point Natash is subjected to psycho-emotional abuse.

However, steps taken to get out of an abusive relationship could further endanger the victim as any foiled attempt in that regard will attract stiffer measures. The risk of severe assaults and even homicide are some of the attendant consequences. Jacobson & Gottman, (1994). In the context of A Woman’s Honour Natash’s first attempt to escape leads to a brutal assault and her being kept under lock and key. Her surrogate father now takes pleasure in hitting and taunting her before subjecting her to rape. Her second attempt at escape leads to the drowning of her boy-friend. She is physically assaulted the more, with bruises all over her body. When she refuses the third abortion within eleven months, her legs and hands are tied apart and the doctor is invited to carry out the abortion. The doctor, however, refuses to carry out the abortion because of the condition in which he finds Natash. Justin becomes enraged and jumps on Natash’s stomach several times until she becomes unconscious. Internally built up tension often leads to an explosion of violent rage. Justin is used to free and unchallenged sexual pleasure, and so he violently resist Natash’s attempt to stop him. To expose the extent of evil in this act of continuous rape, the director of the home-video, presents Justin as a beast and a negatively emotional man who sees Natash as his property. He is not bothered that her womb could be damaged due to frequent abortions. His wickedness found expression in the act of repeated jumps on Natash’s, following the doctor’s refusal to carry out the abortion.

Looking at Pains of Womanhood on the other hand, Reuben’s agonizing and persistent thoughts of not having a male child, the stigma and ridicules this situation exposes him to in the community, predisposes him to violent outbursts and actions, each time he comes in contact with his daughters. He goes as far as chasing them with cutlass.

Viewing these selected home-videos, the scriptwriters use culture as a fulcrum for the permissive force under which domestic violence is perpetrated. All perpetrators of domestic violence hinge their vicious acts on the fact that society condones it. Justin’s behaviour towards Natach is ignored by the doctors. The body guards and the gateman seem not to care about her feelings; Justin repeatedly justifies his actions by claiming that, he is not related to Natash. In Pains of Womanhood, the in-laws find justification for their behaviours by claiming that they are preserving tradition. As for Reuben, he must marry another wife who will bear for him a son. He keeps reminding his daughters that they are not valuable to the society. He constantly refers to them as “economic waste”. It is quite evident that tradition and culture are being manipulated to justify patriarchy, greed and selfish ambition.

Confirming that domestic violence originated from culture and traditional ways of life Philips (1987:72) says:

There is no simple explanation for violence against woman in the home. Certainly, any explanation must go beyond the individual characteristic of the woman and the family and look to the structure of relationship and the role of society in understanding that structure.

In the end analysis, it is perhaps best to conclude that violence against women is a function of the belief fostered in all cultures that men are superior and that the woman they live with are their possessions or chattels that they can treat as they wish and as they consider appropriate.

 

It is also important to note that one of the functions of culture is to provide a selective screen between man and the outside world. Culture, therefore, designates what people pay attention to and what they ignore. The screening function of culture provides structure for the people and the nervous system from “information overload” Hall, (1997: 45-47) explains information overload as:

A situation in which the system breaks down when it cannot properly handle huge volume of information to which it is subjected.

Natash until the night of her twenty first birthday was a happy, vibrant, young, innocent lady. The ordeal of losing her virginity in the hands of her foster father leaves her a traumatized lady. Since her system cannot cope with this predicament, she becomes a ghost of her former self. From this home-video it is noted that the society is ordered upon sexual imbalance in which pleasurable look has been divided along active male and passive female gaze dichotomy. The male gaze projects its fantasy on the female figure by which it is naturally aroused (Mulvey, 1992:348) Natash’s appearance which is coded for strong visual and erotic impact in A Woman’s Honour predisposes her to abuse. Her body is consequently explored as an object of sexual gratification.

Deduction

Every form of human behaviour that is sometimes regarded as voluntary is a product of past and present events in the environment. Human beings from whom behaviour ensues are products of some cultural and historical experiences. It is this culture or history that helps to explain how humans respond in particular situations. Human behaviour, therefore, is basically explainable from the point of view of culture and history. Amidst this seemingly overbearing relationship to human behaviour is a question of choice. This relationship is explainable from the point of view of individual preference or choice. The issue of choice here has to do with the availability of several options against which individual choice is related. (Jacobson & Gottman, 1998) Domestic violence therefore, is not a compulsive action.

Domestic violence is dependent on a choice in the manner in which all other voluntary actions are. Justin’s actions are voluntary. He only takes advantage of the permissive nature of his culture to perpetrate his deliberate act of wickedness. Watching these home videos, it is evident that the major constraint on the part of the woman is culture. This is because culture, by the nature of its formation is not sensitive to the conditions of women. Other factors responsible for the inability of the victims (women), in the home videos, to seek redress include loneliness and fear of homelessness (for instance Natash has no family to run to, lack of economic power and concern for the children. Each time Reuben’s wife (Rhoda) thinks about her plight, she concludes by asking herself “but what can I do”, can I leave my children? Most women cannot afford to leave their abusive partners, because they are economically dependent on their husbands. After being subjected to physical and emotional abuse, women are systematically stripped of their self esteem as is the case with Rhoda. She resigns to fate and dies in the process of looking for a male child. Natash becomes an emotional wreck and withdraws from the public.

Marriage is a major factor in women’s subordination. African men seem to be pre-occupied with gender roles which they are interested in maintaining at all cost. In their perception, men and women are not equal essentially. The woman seems to be subordinated in her very essence, to the man in quality and in marriage. This is why domestic violence has been ignored. It has been overlooked due to what is referred to as the public and private dichotomy in law. The public and private legal divide is deeply rooted in culture and tradition. The contention here is that what happens within the private sphere (at home) should not be made the concern of law. The right to privacy has been expanded to include non intervention in what goes on behind closed doors.

The home videos examined exemplify the above notion. Reuben in Pains of Womanhood could not come to the aid of the widow (who is Reuben’s sister). Instead, he asks her to wife inheritance tradition. He also blames her for not having a male child. In A Woman of Honour, the doctors and the bodyguards pretend as if the situation which Natash finds herself is a normal one. In Aye Opo (Life in Widowhood), family members keep mute while the widow is subjected to various dehumanizing treatments.

It is important to say that men who are violent towards their family members are not violent to their friends or fellow men. And that most women are forced to say in an abusive relationship because they lack the means of independent existence. The social stigma attached to single parenthood cannot be overlooked, it is one of the factors holding down the woman from withdrawing from an un-working relationship.

It is also worth mentioning at this juncture that the Widow in Pains of Womanhood is not referred to by her name. She is simply “our widow”. The implication is that her being as a wife and mother is hinged on her husband’s existence, even as a dead man. This is a further confirmation of the subordinate position of the woman in African society. The widow and her daughter in Aye Opo were exploited, and subjected to physical and emotional torture. Also, the house maid in A Woman’s Honour could not help Natash. She only whispers words of encouragement to her and encourages her to resist her oppressor.

 

References

Primary Sources

Aberuagba, R. (2006). Aye Opo Lagos: Nasinma Universal

Studio.

Azubike, S. (ND) Pains of Womanhood. Lagos: Chuks Anyian

and Associates.

Ikeuchukwu, O. (2007). A Woman’s Honour Lagos: Nasinma Universal Studio.

 

Secondary Sources

Amnesty International (2004). Maaking Violence Against

Women, Facts and Figures, news.amnesty.org.retrieved, July 14, 2007

Campel, J. C. (2004). Health Consequences of Intimate

Partners Violence. New York: lanner inc.

de Beaviours, S. (1992). Absent Bodies, Dancing Bodies,

Broken Dishes: Feminist Theory. Post Modernism, and the

Performing Arts in Signs Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Illinois: University of Chicago Press.

Garcia, M. et al (2005). The WHO Multy-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic. New York: Population Council Inc.

Gells, J. R. (2007). Domestic Violence. Microsoft Encarta Reference Library.

Greene, G. and Khan, C. (1985). Making a Difference: Feminist Literary Criticism. London: Methuen.

Golberg, R. (2006). Living up to Their Name Pro-Familia takes on Gender based Violence, New York: Population Council inc.

Gottman, J. M. Jacobson, S. N. (1998). When Men Batter Women, New Insight into Ending Abusive Relationship. New York: Simon and Schister.

Hall, G. T. (1997). Context and Meaning in International Communication: A Reader (ed) Samova, L. A. and Porter, R. E. New York: Wordsworth Publishing Company.

Heise, L. M. (1999). Ending Violence Against Women. Baltimore: John Hopkins Hospital University Press.

Hodges, A. (2001). (ed). Children and Women’s Rights in Nigeria: A Wake Up Call, Abuja: National Planning Commission and UNICEF.

Miller, A. (1994). Contemporary Cultural Theory; An Introduction. London: UCL Press.

Ogundipe-Leslie, O. (1990). Stiwanism; Feminism in an African context in Recreating Ourselves. African Women and Critical Transformation, New Jersey, African World Press inc.

Phillips, A. (1987). Feminism and Equity, London: Blackwell Press.

Ramphele, M. (1994). Empowerment and The Politics of Space in Transforming Societies in Sub-Sahara Africa and Caribbean Perspectives, N. Y.: Radcliff College.

Sufrage (1919). Feminism in Microsoft Encarta reference Library 2007.

Stacey, J. (1992). Are Feminists Afraid to Leave Home in Feminism: A Reader (1992) (ed) Hunm, M. London: British Council.

 

 

PIDGIN ENGLISH INTERFERENCE

IN THE WRITTEN ENGLISH OF NIGERIAN BILINGUAL STUDENTS :

OGUN STATE EXPERIENCE.

 

Kehinde Pedro AMORE

Department of English, College of Humanities,

Tai Solarin University of Education,

Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Abstract

This study was embarked upon to find out the influence of Pidgin English on students’ performance in Standard English, to find out the aspects of Standard English affected by Pidgin English in students’ written English composition and to suggest ways in which Pidgin English could be effectively managed and suppressed. One hundred and eighty (180) students from four schools were involved in the study. Three groups (experimental group with Pidgin background, experimental group without Pidgin background and a control group) were randomly selected from each of the four schools. Instruments used to collect data were a self-constructed questionnaire and an achievement test. The study adopted the pretest-post test design with a treatment for the two experimental groups after the administration of the pretest. Data collected were analyzed by using statistics like mean, standard deviation, t-test and point biserial correlation coefficient and coefficient of variation. Among other findings, it was discovered that those students without Pidgin background performed better than their counterparts who have Pidgin English background. It was equally established that there is no significant relationship between senior secondary students’ performance in written composition and interference of Pidgin English Lexis, morphology and syntax; that there is a significant relationship between instruction and performance of senior secondary students with or without Pidgin background; that there is a significant relationship between English Language background and performance of senior secondary students in written composition.

Key Words: Pidgin English, Interference, Written English, Nigerian Bilingual Students.

 

Résumé

Cette étude s’embarquait à faire de l’influence du pidgin sur la performance des étudiants en anglais classique, pour faire ressortir les aspects de l’anglais classique affecté par le pidgin dans la composition anglaise écrite des étudiants et pour proposer les voies et moyens dans lesquels le pidgin pouvait être efficacement géré et être réprimé. Cent quatre vingt étudiants de quatre écoles étaient inclus dans l’étude. Trois groupes (expérimental avec le fond pidgin, groupe expérimental sans le fond pidgin et un groupe contrôle) étaient par hasard sélectionnés de chacune des quatre écoles. Les instruments utilisés pour collecter les données étaient les questionnaires construit soi-même et une réalisation d’épreuve. Après l’administration d’un pré examen, l’étude a adopté une épreuve proposée désigné avec un traitement de deux  groupes expérimentaux. Entre autres retrouvés, c’était découvert que ces étudiants sa ns le fond pidgin ont mieux fait que les contreparties qui ont le fond pidgin.  C’était  également établi qu’il n’y aura pas de relation insignifiante entre la performance des étudiants de l’école secondaire supérieure dans les compositions écrites et l’interférence du pidgin lexis, morphologie et syntaxe ; qu’il y est une relation signifiante entre instruction et performance des étudiants de l’école secondaire supérieure dans les compositions écrites et l’interférence du Lexis, Morphologie te syntaxe, qu’il y est une relation signifiante entre instruction et performance des étudiants de l’école secondaire supérieure dans les compositions écrites.

Mots clés : Pidgin Anglais, Interférence, Anglais écrit, Etudiant Bilingue Nigérian.

 

Introduction

Nigeria, as a geographical entity today, is by nature multilingual, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. Nigeria is a crucible in which diverse and multi-farious languages and dialects are spoken. Oyetade (1995) aptly described Nigeria as a linguistically fragmented country. Adelola (1997) puts the number of languages in Nigeria at almost four hundred. This figure tallies with Bamgbose’s (1991) figure. Bamgbose puts the population of Nigeria of that time at 95.19 million. Nigeria’s population as of now is put at over 100 million people, with about four hundred (400) indigenous languages. This chaotic and fragmented language situation is not peculiar to Nigeria alone but to all African countries.

African linguistic heritage being so heterogeneous, so hopelessly fragmented and none of these languages being vehicle of inter-ethnic communication, there was serious language problem especially in the pre-colonial era. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Europeans made increasing contact with the people of the continent to trade in manufactured goods, for slaves and materials. The coming of the European colonial masters/ missionaries brought about the amalgamation of the different units or regions in Nigeria to what we have as “Nigeria” today. The advent of these colonial masters / missionaries marked the advent of the English Language since they were predominantly turned to this European Language “English” as a common language used for inter-group communication.

When these Nigerians, like other Africans, spoke this language, African idioms and varieties of pronunciation were carried over. The grammar of such varieties of language was completely recast so that they had few structures in common with the original European language. These new varieties of speech that were created are what have come to be known as “pidgin” (Yusuf, 2000). The origin of Pidgin English in Nigeria, therefore, dates back to this early contact between European missionaries, traders and colonial masters with the people of southern Nigeria. It was initially restricted to the coastal regions but soon spread to the interior. Pidgin English, not only enjoyed wide acceptance among the different tribes but it has undoubtedly assumed the role of the “link” language that has transverse the socio-cultural, political and economic milieu of the nation.

Pidgin English is widespread and in fact could be said to be the lingua-franca in most industrial cities, oil cities and business nerve centres. The multi-lingual state of these cities makes the use of pidgin fundamental for communication purposes. Children born in these cities like Warri, Benin, Lagos, Aba, Port Harcourt to mention a few, acquire and use pidgin as their mother tongue though at times alongside an indigenous language.

Pidgin is the commonest language spoken both by the literate and illiterate, elitist and non-elitist alike. As such, children in such areas use pidgin in and out of school. More importantly because many families often live in the same compound and if they differ in linguistic background, Pidgin English then serves as a community lingua-franca. Therefore, the tendency for these children, from the areas mentioned above, to have their expressions greatly influenced by Pidgin English when exposed to Standard English in school is very high. These influence would be noticed both in the written and spoken forms. This is so because the internalized features of the Pidgin English come into play as they invariably interfere with the student’s ability to put language in actual and correct use (Greene, 1971, Dadzie; 1983; and Mukoro, 1991).

These scholars and researchers into the influence of pidgin and first language on English as a second language disclose that the interference is more pronounced at the phonological, lexical and syntactic levels for instance, lexically, pidgin influence noticeable in Standard English expressions are in areas of vocabulary transfer through the use of reduplicative e.g “that thing pained me bad-bad”

Bad-bad, here, signifies the intensity of pain.

“He did the work small-small”. “small-small” is a sort of emphasis, emphasizing the degree to which the work was done.

Syntactically, Standard English pidgin influenced syntactic structures like;

“John likes trouble too much”. “Okocha too like dribbling”

These imbibed Pidgin English features find their way into these students’ composition even in standardized examinations as their writing are often greatly impaired and punctuated with Pidgin English lexis, syntax and morphology, thereby making the written work “an admixture” of Standard English and Pidgin English. This study is therefore embarked upon to establish the influence of Pidgin English on written English composition of Nigerian bilingual students with specific reference to Ogun State.

 

Literature Review

Status of Pidgin English in the Nigerian Society

The pre-eminence of Pidgin English above all other languages used or spoken in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. The popularity as well as the wide range of functions it performs in the Nigerian Society may account for the acceptability, widespread and continuous use of Pidgin English even in very formal gatherings.

Contrary to Fishman’s (1979:42-52) assertion that pidgin is only used by a section of the population for work contacts with other people that they do not have any other means of communicating, pidgin English in Nigeria is even used among people with common language.

Adeojo (2000:5) contends that Pidgin English, in Nigeria, is used by both literate and semi-literate Nigerians. He stresses the fact that Pidgin English has grown to become a powerful language of communication for economic, socio-cultural, inter-personal and professional transactions and relationships in Nigeria though not studied in any formal way.

Romaine (1988:46) observes that contrary to the fact that pidgins by definition are generally used for restricted communicative purposes, Pidgin English in Nigeria, like Tok pisin and other West Africa English, are expanded pidgins. He opines that they show a wider range of uses, and in some cases they may be equivalent to those which a native speaker of a non-pidgin language might command. He further asserts that both Nigerian Pidgin English and Tok Pisin, however, have viable creole communities while continuing to serve as second language for most of their speakers. Probably to further confirm the fact that Pidgin English is used by both literates and illiterates alike, Mafeni (1971:112) writes of his own language skills:

I have the feeling I speak pidgin more fluently than any other Nigerian language which I know and use. Although my mother tongue is Isako, Yoruba seems to be the dominant substrate in my variety of pidgin.

Mafeni, therefore, talks about primary language and secondary language(s) in the case of a bilingual. He uses the term “primary language” to refer to the language which is best mastered by a speaker (this is not necessarily the first acquired language or mother-tongue). All other languages of a bilingual person, to him, are secondary languages.

As cited earlier in the review, Mukoro (1991:21-35) sees the Nigerian pidgin as a genuine alternative vernacular. He contends that the Nigerian pidgin has the familiar native ring or persuasive force of Nigerian indigenous languages which is accidentally using English words that become manifest when we consider the fact that pidgin at its best and most persuasive form is endowed with “the vivid picturesque images of Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba etc. He refers to this as “the life blood of persuasive pidgin” in cities like Warri, Port-Harcourt, Jos etc.

In fact, Egbe (1980:53) observes that Pidgin English is spoken in the major cities of Nigeria and that it “approaches something of a first language in some of the coastal cities of the country.

Mukoro (1991:21-35) opines that Pidgin English functions as a lingua franca between people in habitual social contact and that the children of such people become so familiar with pidgin from an early age. The result of this is that some of such children have pidgin as their mother-tongue. He says this may further result in the use of pidgins as a medium of instruction in schools. This is, however, true of most people in cities like Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Aba, Jos etc.

Mukoro further declares that pidgin is also used for commercial transaction especially among people with less than high formal education. In fact, these days, it is very common to find the use of pidgin as a language of advertisement of commercial products, services, government propaganda on radio and television. This is perhaps done to get the message across to a wider audience. It is equally not uncommon to see pidgin being used as language of literary works and as means for entertainment, especially, in soft sell magazines, columns or cartoon strips in some dailies and weeklies e.g Ikebe, Super Story etc.

Some scholars have come to see the case of Standard English and Pidgin English in Nigeria as being diglossic. That is, a sort of vertical bilingualism; a situation where a standard language together with a distinct but related dialect co-exists within the same society or the same speaker. They see Standard English, as the “high variety” while the dialect (Pidgin English) is the “low variety”. This view is upheld because Standard English is used in formal situations. (Romaine1993; Crystal, 1997)

Bamgbose (1991:29) perceives “pidgin” as “an alternative candidate for national language status in Nigeria. To Bamgbose, this is so because it does not suffer from the elitism associated with English; hence, it satisfies both the requirement of authenticity and vertical integration. He posits that in Nigeria, pidgin is the unofficial language of the armed forces and the police; it is also spoken in the coastal areas as well as in some urban centres. Bamgbose, however, sees as one of the drawbacks of pidgin English’s candidature for the status of national language hence language of education, the fact that English is still required for nationism, and pidgin cannot function in that role. Therefore, he argued that Standard English should still be retained rather than exchanged for an English based pidgin. By and large, it is no-gain saying asserting that Pidgin English is the most spoken language and widely used language in Nigeria apart from being a language that makes communication easy between and among the various ethnic groups; literate and non-literate alike.

 

Features of Pidgin English Grammar in Nigeria

The monogenetic theory of pidgin origin upholds that all pidgins are genetically related to one proto-pidgin. Thus, one accounts for their similarities by virtue of the fact that at some distant points in time they had a common ancestor from which they are descended. The differences are accounted for by appealing to the process of relexification, which as Hall (1966:183) puts it, consists of the “substitution of vocabulary items for others with the maintenance of a stable syntactic base”.

Waudhaugh (1986:59) confirms the above view by asserting that pidgins from very different parts of the world exhibit remarkable similarities in structure even when the standard languages with which they are associated are quite different. He went further saying pidgins and Creoles based on the same Standard English but found in places far distant from one another may have a high degree of mutual intelligibility. This should be so because all pidgins apparently share some of the same features, no matter which languages they are based on.

Mukoro (1991:21-35) sees the Nigerian pidgin as a genuine alternative vernacular. He contends that the Nigeria pidgin has the familiar native ring or persuasive force of Nigeria indigenous languages which is only accidentally using English words that become manifest when we consider the fact that pidgin at its best and most persuasive form is endowed with “the vivid picturesque images of Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba etc which Mukoro refers to as “the life blood of persuasive pidgin” in cities like Warri, Port-Harcourt, Jos etc”. This may go a long way to show pidgin persuasive influence on the performance of students in the Standard English.

In other words, one can rightly posit that Nigerian Pidgin English is a living, vibrant and alternative form of indigenous oral communication. It is equivalent in content, form and persuasive character to Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba etc. Nigerian pidgin makes use of English vocabulary which makes Nigerian pidgin have its significance as a parallel to standard English. As a direct consequence of its handler’s means of spontaneous self expression, Nigeria pidgin is now used in electronic media advertising as Mukoro contends and this may have gone a long way to affect the use of Standard English for literary purposes.

There are certain features common to most pidgin world over. These could be termed the universals of pidgins. Different scholars, based on their different studies, have identified some of these features.

Adetugbo (1988) and Trudgrill (2000) identified features such as mixture of vocabulary, reduction in the number of phonemes (i.e units of sounds) and the entire system of morphology (i.e word formation) being changed. Romaine (1988) examining the mixture of vocabulary characteristics of pidgin says thus:

The vocabulary of pidgin is usually drawn primarily from the prestige language of the dominant group in a situation of language contact. The grammar, however, retains many features of the native language of the subordinate groups. The prestige language which supplies the bulk of the vocabulary is the one which is usually thought of as being pidginized.                                            (Romaine, 1988:3)

Wardhaugh (1986) in his own view stated that pidginization usually involves the simplification of a language, for example, reduction in morphology (word structure and syntax), grammatical structure, tolerance of considerable phonological variations (pronunciation), reduction in the number of functions for which the pidgin is used and extensive borrowing of words from local mother-tongues. Waudhaugh (1986:59) further talks about lack of inflections in nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives. He states that nouns are not marked fro number and gender while verbs lack tense markers. He observes too that pronouns do not have “I-me” “we-us” “he-him” (subjective / objective) alternation. He stresses further the fact that there is a complete reduction of inflection in pidgin thus differences as “one book/two books”, “he bakes / he baked”, big/bigger are all quite expendable. These features are common areas of problems in students’ compositions in Standard English. The above identified features of Pidgin English are equally observed by Decamp (1977:3). He identified what he called “the formal characteristics of pidgins” as restricted vocabulary, absence of gender, true tenses, inflectional morphology etc.

Muhlausler (1986:155-65) lists nine features which are salient for stable pidgins: SVO word order; invariant word order for questions and statements; sentence-external qualifiers; lack of number in the noun; pronoun systems; prepositions; lack of derivational depth; bimorphemic wh-questions words; and anaphoric pronouns.

Eze (1980) reported in Romaine (1988:107) describes what he calls superserialization in Nigeria Pidgin English. He (1980:17-81) gives examples of three or more verbs which are concatenated together across a multiple clause structure:“Dem come take night carry di wife, go give di man”

(They came in the night and carried the woman to her husband)

“A come enter train, come find one place, sidon, come dey happy.”

(I entered the rain and was lucky to find a seat).

Schneider (1988) is of the opinion that Pidgin English has lost the bound derivational and inflectional forms common in English and has substituted reduplication, which is the repetition of all parts of the difficult elements. Among the examples he listed are:

Mumu           deaf and dumb person

Fufu                food made of cassava or yam

Bia-bia            hair pelt

On Pidgin English lexis, Mafeni (1971:95-112) notes that three different ways Pidgin English increases its lexicon include direct borrowing of lexical items, reduplication and compounding. On reduplication in pidgin, he explains that it is used as a word derivation for extension in meanings thus we have:

Pidgin English English Origin Pidgin meaning

i.          / Ben-ben /                            Bend Crooked / shaky

ii.         / kata-kata /                          scatter confusion

iii.        /waka-waka/                         walk to wander

Mafeni, further notes that plurality is indicated in Pidgin English by the use of independent particles such as “dem” in (dem drayva) for “drivers”. He explains that there is no inflection in Pidgin English and so tense and aspect distinctions are made by the use of articles or auxiliary elements in the verb phrases.

This view of Mafeni (1971) is shared by Bickerton (1975:48-9). He illustrates this thus:    a bin rait

–           “I wrote”

a de rait               –           “I am writing”

a bin de rait           –           “I was writing”

a don rait           –           I have written’

a bin don de rait          –          ‘I had been writing’

He continues by stressing Schneider’s view that reduplication in Pidgin language is used to express plurality in nouns, continuity and repetition in verbs and adverbs. Dadzie (1984:83-94) points out the fact that there is a relatively sophisticated system  for showing tense and aspect that takes care of simple and complex sentences by indicating the perfective and progressive tense patterns for instance, we have in the affirmative “don” and “neva” in the negative e.g

I don see di manager. (I have seen the manager.)

I neva see di manager. (I haven’t seen the manager.)

For the progressive aspect, Dadzie says that the helping verb referred to as ‘dummy’ (i.e “do”) in the Standard English is substituted by ‘de’ or ‘di’ in pidgin and used for the progressive aspect, for example:

“You de read.” (You do read or you are reading)

“A de rait” (I do write or I am writing.)

Whereas the unmarked form of the verb represents both the simple present tense and simple past tense, for example “A cook am.” (I cooked it. Or I cook it.)

Dadzie added that “kon” or “con” is also used to express action in the simple past tense e.g.“When a con cook am” (When I cooked it.)

He went further adding that the future time is expressed with “go” as in:

“He go tell your father”. (He will tell your father.)

“Dem go come tomorrow.” (They will come tomorrow.)

This particle ‘go’ is equivalent to ‘shall’ and ‘will’ in Standard English.

 

Research Hypotheses

Ho1: There  will be no significant difference between the performance of senior secondary students who use and do not use pidgin English in written composition.

Ho2: There will be no statistical significant relationship between senior secondary students’ performance in written composition and interference of pidgin English.

Ho3: There will be no significant statistical difference in the performance of students with preference for pidgin English and those without preference, before and after instruction.

 

Research Design

This study adopted the causal-comparative (expost-facto) research design. This design was chosen since the study was out to find out the influence of Pidgin English on students’ performance in written English composition. The researcher cannot control the language background of the students since it is not manipulateable, hence, he could only systematically select the subjects in his sample, such that each sample represented each category of the variable of interest i.e students with Pidgin-preference and non-preference. Each sampled school was composed of three groups:

Experimental Group 1 (preference for pidgin)

Experimental Group 2 (Non-preference for pidgin)

Control Group (Randomized group)

The first and second groups were pre-tested and later exposed to a period of teaching after which a posttest was administered, whereas the third group (control group) received no treatment at all. This can be illustrated thus:

Group 1: Y1 x Y2 (experimental, with preference for pidgin)

Group 2: Y1 x Y2 (experimental, without preference for pidgin)

Group 3: Y1 x Y2 (control, randomized).

Where: Y1 = pre-test, Y2 = post-test, X = treatment (teaching)

Instrumentation

This study employed two basic instruments: a self constructed questionnaire tagged “Questionnaire for students on Pidgin English interference in students’ performance in written composition” (QSPEISPWC) and an achievement test for students on written composition tagged “Achievement test on written composition” (ATWC).

The questionnaire had two sections. Section 1 was made up of six items on respondents’ personal details such as name of school, class, sex, age, state of origin and language(s) spoken. Section 2 was composed of ten questions closed-ended on options of Pidgin English, Standard English and Indigenous Language. This was used to sample respondents’ language background as well as preference and non-preference for Pidgin English. The responses from this instrument formed the basis for grouping of the respondents.

The second instrument, an achievement test, tagged Achievement Test on Written Composition” (ATWC), was an adaptation of WAEC English Language, Paper 1, Section A past questions. Respondents were required to answer one questions, which included letter writing, argumentative and expository essays. It was a test of students’ ability to communicate in Standard English through the medium of writing. This achievement test was used to find out the level of influence of Pidgin English lexis, morphology and syntax on Standard English use. (See appendix iii, for the achievement test). The same test was used as pre-test and post-test.

Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument

The two instruments, after construction, were face validated and content validated first by some colleagues, some WAEC examiner friends and finally by some test experts, all offering advice to ensure high validity of each instrument.  They were all eventually adjudged valid for use in the study.

To determine the reliability of the questionnaire, it was pilot-tested on a neutral set of students using the test-retest technique. The same set of students were made to respond to the items on the questionnaire twice with an interval of 2 weeks and it showed that only few of them change their responses. A test-retest reliability value of 0.89 was obtained. It was, therefore, concluded that the questionnaire was good enough to be used in gathering reliable data for the study.

The achievement test was equally pilot-tested on a set of five students randomly selected and the reliability co-efficient determined using inter-rater reliability co-efficient technique. The researcher and four other WAEC examiners scored the essays and the average (mean) gotten to be 0.75 using the same marking scheme.

Administration of Instruments

The researcher, having randomly selected schools from which the sample were to be drawn, visited the schools, made contacts with the vice-principals (academic) of each of the sampled schools.

The researcher, with the support and co-operation of year tutors and some class teachers of the senior secondary three students had access to the students. To carry out the study, the researcher first administered the questionnaire in all the schools. These were administered, collected on the spot and later analyzed.

The responses were analyzed and based on the analysis; the researcher established the control and the 2 experimental groups in each sampled school. The subjects for the study were randomly assigned to these groups.

This was followed by the administration of the achievement test (ATWC) on all the groups. This was the pre-test. While the marking was in progress, the treatment (teaching) for the two experimental groups began. The entire process ended with the administration of the post-test, which were marked, scored and recorded.

Method of Data Analysis

The data were analyzed using means and standard deviations of the scores of respondents in the various groups. In addition, t-value (t-test) was computed to determine the significant differences in performance between and within groups. The Point Biserial Correlation Coefficient was used to establish whether or not there is any significant relationship between students’ achievement and interference of Pidgin English. The coefficient of variation was equally employed in the analysis.

Results

This section presents the analyses of the data collected for this study. The data analysed were guided by each of the research hypothesis stated in the preceding section.

Hypothesis One:

There will be no significant difference between the performance of senior secondary students who use and who do not use Pidgin English in written composition. Data gathered on this hypothesis is presented in the Table 1 below:

 

Table 1: T-test Scores of Students with Preference and Non-preference for Pidgin English

Test

Group

N

X

S.D

Cal t-value

Critical value

Remark

Post-test

EG I

EG II

60

60

22.88

26.05

2.29

2.42

 

7.20

 

1.658*

 

HS*

*Significant at 0.05 level.    HS* Highly Significant.

From Table 1 above, t-calculated for the pretest was 4.60 is greater than the critical value of 1.658. This signifies that there is a high degree of significant difference. T-calculated for the post-test was 7.20 with a table value of 1.658. We can observe that the observed or calculated values are greater than the critical values. This means that the observed difference in the two means is of statistical significance. Hence, the hypothesis is rejected and the reverse upheld.

Hypothesis Two:

There will be no statistical significant relationship between senior secondary students’ performance in written composition and interference of Pidgin English.

 

 

 

 

Table 2: Mean Standard Deviation and Point Biserial Correlation Coefficient of Pre-test Performance of the Experimental Groups and their Responses to Items on the Questionnaire.

(N = 120)

Test

Groups

N

X

SD

r-cal

r-tab

Pre-test

Post-test

EG I

EG II

60

60

18.78

21.17

 

3.60

 

0.20

 

0.16

*Significant at 0.05 level.

In Table 2 above, the r-calculated value of both experimental groups i.e the group with preference for Pidgin English, was 0.20 while the t-tabulated was 0.16. It can be observed that there is only a negligible difference of 0.04 between the two values. It only points to the fact that the hypothesis is upheld.

 

Table 3: Mean Standard Deviation and Point Biserial Correlation Coefficient of Post-test Performance of the Experimental Groups and their Responses to Items on the Questionnaire.

(N = 120)

Test

Groups

N

X

SD

r-cal

r-tab

Pre-test

Post-test

EG I

EG II

60

60

22.88

26.05

 

2.80

 

0.10

 

0.16*

*Significant at 0.05 level.

A study of the data presented on Table 3 further confirms the decision that hypothesis 2 should be upheld. Since r-tabulated (0.168) is greater than r-calculated (0.10) this hypothesis was upheld. The inference deductible from this result is that interference of Pidgin English at this level has little or no influence whatsoever on the performance of students in written composition.

Hypothesis Three:

There will be no significant statistical difference in the performance of students without preference for pidgin and those with preference for pidgin before and after instruction.

Table 4: Mean, Standard Deviation and T-value of the Performance of both Experimental Groups before and after instruction Compared.

(N = 120)

 

Groups

N

DF

X

SD

r-cal

r-tab

EG I (pre-test)

EG II (post-test)

60

60

 

118

18.78

22.88

3.43

2.29

 

7.59

 

1.65*

EG I (pre-test)

EG II (post-test)

60

60

 

118

21.17

26.05

2.12

2.42

 

11.90

 

1.65*

*Significant at 0.05 level.

 

The result in table 4 shows that calculated t-value of the performance of the experimental group with preference for Pidgin English to be 7.59 and the tabulated t-value to be 1.65. The second experimental group, those who show no preference for Pidgin English recorded a calculated t-value of 11.90 and a tabulated t-value of 1.65.

Both groups’ performances show a high significant difference between the pre-test and the post-test scores. This observed difference can only be accounted for by the instruction that came between the two tests. Based on this statistics, the third hypothesis was rejected and the alternative upheld.

Discussion and Conclusion

This study was embarked upon establish the effects of Pidgin English interference in students’ performance in written English composition. Hence, the study set out with some conjectural statements that directed the focus of the entire research exercise. Specifically four conjectures (hypotheses) were raised. The researcher sought and gathered relevant data through the use of questionnaire and achievement tests. These data were analyzed using appropriate statistics. In the final analysis, the four null hypotheses raised were tested and the following were the main findings:

  1. That there is a statistical significant difference between the performance of senior secondary students who use and who do not use Pidgin English in written composition.
  2. That there is a no statistical significant relationship between the senior secondary students’ performance in written composition and interference of Pidgin English.
  3. That there is a high significant difference in the performance of students with preference for Pidgin and those without preference for pidgin before and after instruction, and
  4. That there is a significant relationship between English Language background and performance in written composition of senior secondary students in English.

It has been proven and as such concluded that there is a high significant difference in the performance of students with pidgin background and those without pidgin background, though the interference of lexical, morphological and syntactic properties of Pidgin English has little or no effect on the overall performance of students in written composition at the level (senior secondary three level).

Furthermore, it is inferred that the quality of instruction, degree of instruction and home language situation of the child all combine to determine the performance of students in English written composition. More importantly, it is concluded that instruction can bridge the gap between the two groups in terms of performance. It is in this light that the following recommendations are made:

Specific Recommendations

  1. Teachers should give good examples as role models by avoiding the use of Pidgin English with pupils.
  2. The school authority as well as teacher should do everything possible to discourage the use of Pidgin English within the school premises.
  3. Students as well as their parents and guardians should be enlightened on effects of Pidgin English on the performance of pupils.
  4. Parents and teachers should not humiliate and make jest of or their wards when they make mistakes in their use of English, rather they should be corrected.
  5. Teachers and parents should endeavour to communicate in Standard English rather than Pidgin English.
  6. Teachers should put more efforts in their teaching by using a variety of methods and strategies for various problem areas, thereby, improving the quality of their instruction.
  7. All teachers and parents should make concerted effort to help their students / children overcome pidgin interference by creating enabling environment.

 

References

Adelola, B.A (1997) “ Mother-tongue in Fostering the Delivery of High Quality Education: Various Approaches to the Implementation of the Mother-tongue Provisions in the National Policy on Education Provisions in Lagos State in Enhancing Quality Education in Nigeria, Ibadan, GABESTER Educational Printers.

Adeojo, S. (2000) Imperatives of New Approaches to Language Learning in Nigeria.” Speech presented as guest speaker at the First National Conference of the School of Languages of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Oto / Ijanikin, Lagos between 22nd and 25th November 2000.

Adetugbo, A. (1988) “ Appropriateness and Nigerian English” in West African Journal of Education Vol.2 No.2

Bamgbose, A. (1991) Language and the Nation: The Language Question in Sub-Saharan Africa, Edinburgh,  Edinburgh University Press.

Bickerton, D. (1975) Dynamics of a Creole System. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Crystal, D. (1997) Profiling Linguistic Disability, Edward, Arnold.

Dadzie, A.B.K (1983) A Review of Pidgin in Ghana, London, Longman Group Ltd.

Decamp, D. (1977) “ The Development of Pidgin and Creole Studies” in Valdman, A. (ed) Pidgin and Creole Linguistics, Bloomington, Indiana University Press.

Egbe, D. (1980) Some Linguistics Characteristics of Nigeria Pidgin in English: Lagos, African University Press.

Eze, S. N. (1980) Nigerian Pidgin English Sentence Complexity, Vienna, Beitrage Zur Afrikanistik.

Fishman, J. (1978) Language in Sociocultural Change: Essays by Joshua ed. By A.S. Dil. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Greene, K.A. (1971) The Influence of West African Languages on English, London, Longman Group.

Hall, R. (1966) Pidgin and Creole Languages New York, Cornell University Press.

Mafeni, B. (1971) ‘Nigerian Pidgin, in Spencer, J. (ed) The English Language in West Africa, London, Longman pp 95-112.

Muhlausler, P.(1986) Pidgin and Creole Linguistics, Oxford Blackwell.

Mukoro, T. (1991) Pidgin: Origin, Growth, Characteristics and use in Advertising, Lagos, University Press.

Oyetade, O.O. (1995) English, Bilingualism and a Language Policy for Nigeria, in Use of English in Communication Unoh Solomon (ed.).

Schneider, W. (1966) “ Some Universals of Grammar with Particular Reference to the order of meaningful elements,” in Greenberg, J. (ed.) Universal of Language, Cambridge, MIT Press.

Trudgill, P. (2000) Sociolinguistics: An Introduction to Language and the       Society, London, Penguin Ltd.

Waudhaugh, R. (1986) An introduction to Sociolinguistics, Boston, Basil Blackwell Ltd.

Yusuf,O. (2000) Using English Effectively, Lagos, Olomu Books.

 

 

 

 

LES PROBLEMES DE L’ENSEIGNEMENT ET DE L’APPRENTISSAGE DE LA LANGUE FRANCAISE AU NIGERIA

Mercy Bolanle TAIWO

French Department, School of Languages,

Tai Solarin College of Education,

Omu-Ijebu, Ogun State, Nigeria.

 

Résumé

L’emploi de la langue française est très important dans le monde entier. Elle est une langue internationale ainsi qu’une langue maternelle et administrative de nombreux pays du monde. La langue française est beaucoup utilisée non seulement en Afrique, mais dans le monde entier comme langue diplomatique et de commerce. En Afrique contemporaine, le français coexiste avec les autres langues maternelles. Ainsi, nous avons décidé de faire une communication particulièrement sur les problèmes de l’enseignement et de l’apprentissage de la langue française tout en proposant quelques solutions.

Mots clés : Enseignement, Apprentissage, Langue française, Langue diplomatique, Communication

Abstract :

French language speaking is important all over the world. It is an international language more so a mother – tongue and official language of many countries across the world. The language is spoken not only in African continent, but all over the continents of the world as diplomatic medium of expression and for commercial activities. In the  present African setting, it is being spoken along with other native languages. So, we have decided to look into problems of leaning and teaching French language while proposing some solutions to them.

Key Words: Teaching, Learning, French Language, Diplomatic language, communication

 

Introduction

Au Nigéria, l’enseignement du français comme langue étrangère avait commencé depuis les années soixante au niveau secondaire. Le but de l’enseignement du français pendant cette époque-là était de savoir lire, écrire et communiquer.

Le besoin de développer l’enseignement et l’apprentissage du français est devenu inévitable après  l’indépendance en 1960 où le Nigéria fait partie de plusieurs organisations internationales et où le français est une des langues officielles de communication au sein de ces organisations. Ce fait avait encouragé l’introduction de cette langue dans les universités nigérianes comme University of Nigeria Nsukka (1961), University of Ibadan (1962) et University of Lagos (1963). L’objectif de l’enseignement pendant cette période était de développer l’écriture et la traduction.

Donc, dès le commencement de l’enseignement de cette langue au Nigéria, elle avait connu plusieurs problèmes. Ces problèmes peuvent être divisés en deux catégories à savoir : les problèmes sociopolitiques sont des problèmes posés par le système sociopolitique du pays. Les problèmes linguistiques sont ceux qui se rattachent aux défauts dans la prononciation des sons chez les apprenants d’une langue étrangère. Ces problèmes ont leurs origines dans l’organisation et l’exécution des idées politiques d’une société donnée. Nous sommes d’avis que les facteurs linguistiques chez les apprenants d’une langue étrangère sont influencés par les problèmes sociopolitiques ou extra-linguistiques.

Notons également que le Nigéria est entouré de pays francophones, d’où l’enseignement et l’apprentissage de cette langue sont devenus inévitables. Mieux, le Nigéria est membre des organisations internationales où la langue française est l’une des langues de communication.

 

Les problèmes socio-politiques ou extra-linguistiques

D’abord, il faut noter qu’il y a plus de trois cents langues différentes au Nigéria. Mêmes dans quelques quartiers, on ne parle de la même langue. C’est possible pour les parents d’un enfant de parler deux langues différentes. L’implication c’est que cet enfant apprendra les deux langues de ces parents ainsi que la langue officielle l’anglais avant de commencer à apprendre le français. Cette diversité dans les langues n’est pas un problème linguistique seulement. C’est aussi un problème social et culturel.

Il est à noter que même si l’enfant s’intéresse beaucoup au français (qui sera presque sa troisième langue), il ne lui sera pas facile de l’apprendre comme quelqu’un qui l’apprend comme sa première ou sa deuxième langue. Mêmes les petits efforts que l’étudiant fait pour retenir quelques lexiques de la langue seront découragés quand il arrive à la maison où dans le quartier ou nul parmi les parents et ses camarades ne comprend sa nouvelle langue. Il sera obligé de laisser cette langue « étranger » à part pour parler celles que les autres comprennent. Ceci signifie que l’étudiant ne révisera et ne pratiquera guère ce qu’on lui a appris à l’école.

En Afrique, les enfants n’ont pas de liberté de penser et d’affirmer une position comme chez les blancs. Ce sont les parents qui décident ce que les enfants font et deviennent. Chaque fois que l’enfant fait n’importe quelle chose contre la position de ses parents, il risque d’être répudié. Tous les moyens par lesquels les parents subviennent à ces besoins seraient bloqués jusqu’au moment où l’enfant reviendrait à ses bons sens. Donc, l’enfant dont les parents n’apprécient point l’importance de la langue française ne s’intéresse plus à l’apprentissage du français à l’école.

Considérons un peu la situation du français dans nos écoles au Nigeria, nous constatons qu’il n’y a pas de professeurs compétents. La plupart des professeurs qui enseignent le français au Nigéria ne sont pas compétents. Ils n’arrivent pas à bien enseigner. Leurs mauvaises prononciations des mots français sont automatiquement transférées aux étudiants. Malheureusement, la plupart de professeurs ne savent pas la meilleure méthode à utiliser pour enseigner une langue vivante. Comment peut-on continuer à enseigner une langue étrangère en utilisant complètement la langue officielle, l’anglais ou la langue maternelle comme le moyen de communication

Au niveau universitaire et dans les écoles normales supérieures, on dira qu’il y a des chercheurs, mais les chercheurs nigérians ne s’intéressent pas à l’étude de la langue, de la grammaire et de la linguistique, ils se concentrent seulement sur la littérature. Presque tous les professeurs d’université sont des critiques littéraires.

Depuis très longtemps, le gouvernement pratique la politique de l’indifférence vis-à-vis des reformes nécessaires à l’enseignement et à l’apprentissage de la langue française. La position, en terme de classement des matières considérées à tors ou à raison comme matières importantes dans les programmes d’études au Nigeria, le français  n’occupe pas un rang intéressant comme la place qu’on accorde à l’anglais dans les pays francophones (où l’anglais est obligatoire de la 6ème jusqu’en terminale). Le français au Nigéria demeure facultatif malgré le fait que nous sommes entourés par des pays francophones. Cette attitude de l’indépendance empêche le gouvernement de donner la bourse aux étudiants pour étudier le français soit dans le pays, soit à l’étranger.

Les problèmes linguistiques

La cause principale des problèmes linguistiques chez les apprenants peut être liée à l’adaptation des organes phonatoires, la production et identification des sons. Cela, c’est ce que l’on appelle l’interférence linguistique, c’est-à-dire ce que l’enfant a déjà connu dans sa langue maternelle et sa langue officielle influencent son niveau d’apprentissage du français en tant que langue étrangère.

D’ailleurs, le plurilinguisme ou le multilinguisme de l’interférence qui influence l’enseignement de la langue française est un problème. C’est une situation dans laquelle les élèves utilisent alternativement les langues différentes à savoir : les langues maternelles, l’anglais – langue officielle et le français comme la troisième langue à apprendre. On remarque que les apprenants nigérians parlent français seulement à l’école pendant le cours du français tandis qu’ils emploient soit la langue maternelle soit l’anglais dans d’autres situations. Ainsi, le plurilinguisme mène à une confusion, une transposition des éléments d’une langue dans une autre quand l’apprenant parle ou ecrit. Par exemple, il y a parfois une confusion dans le choix des articles chez l’étudiant.

–       Le filage /filaз/ au lieu de dire le village /vilaз/.

–       La chaise /t  εs/ au lieu de dire la chaise /t  εs/.

–       Il fait chaud /ilfeso/ au lieu de dire /ilfe  o/.

–       Vous  /fu/ au lieu de dire vous /vu/.

–       Fais /vε/ au lieu de dire fait /fε/.

–       Chercher /  e  e/ au lieu de dire l chercher /  εr  e/.

Si le milieu linguistique est caractérisé comme il l’est au Nigéria, par des indices de caractères étrangers au génie de la langue française ; il est évident que l’enseignement de cette dernière ne va pas aller sans problèmes majeurs. En quoi consiste au juste la peculiarité de milieu linguistique par rapport à l’enseignement du français ? Brièvement parlant, on constate que la multiplicité des langues représente pour l’enseignement un multilinguisme peu désirable pour des fonctions, surtout que les élèves ne sont par repartis en fonction de la langue qu’ils parlent ou ne parlent pas. Le milieu linguistique nigérian que l’attitude des élèves est plus ou moins négative quant on parle du français. Déjà l’école prévoit l’anglais, un véritable rabat-joie pour beaucoup ; les langues locales ou régionales se montrent difficiles à maitriser : le français en vient à ajouter son poids. On peut imaginer les efforts que le professeur aura à déployer pour éveiller la motivation de façon soutenue.

Malgré le rôle accordé partout par les experts en linguistique appliquée à la question de méthode, on regrette de constater que la classe de français est très souvent une classe dépourvue de méthode appropriée. Il y a plusieurs années, le Nigéria se réjouissait de l’ère de méthode directe qui avait remplacé la méthode grammaire-traduction. Aujourd’hui, le monde pédagogique chante des louanges de l’Approche Communicative. Combien de professeurs ont l’idée correcte de l’Approche Communicative ? Combien savent l’appliquer comme il faut dans un contexte de français langue étrangère ? Combien savent l’adapter ? Il se pose donc le problème non-seulement d’une multiplicité de méthodes, aussi qu’une conception mal digérée de ces méthodes. Ce que l’on constate dans les écoles est un sérieux manque de systématisation de méthodes d’enseignement.

Le milieu administratif s’abreuve de deux sources : l’école et le gouvernement. L’école prépare l’emploi du temps et assigne les heures de cours. Là où l’altitude envers le français est favorable, l’emploi du temps l’arbitre jusque trois fois par semaine. En plus, le jumelage qui se fait avec les autres matières ne porte pas toujours atteinte à la poursuite du français par les élèves qui s’y intéressent. Mais là où le climat est peu favorable nous pouvons nous attendre à une résistance bien que camouflée. On propose alors aux élèves des choix difficiles (géographie/français, littérature anglaise/française). Education physique/française). Les élèves finissent par être désillusionnés. Le malheur est qu’il existe beaucoup de cas semblables dans le système éducatif de notre pays.

Au Nigéria, la situation de l’élève doit être envisagée du point de vue de ses pré-acquis linguistiques, de sa motivation pour de nouveaux acquis, des conseils des parents et du temps mis à sa disposition. Il est difficile de savoir laquelle de ces considérations risque de faire pencher la balance de façon la plus sensible. Néanmoins, en termes purement linguistiques, nous sommes de l’avis que les pré-acquis linguistiques de l’élève constituent un facteur très crucial. Comme nous l’avons laissé entendue, le Nigéria est un pays multilingue, ce qui rend les habitants théocratiquement polyglottes. Ainsi, l’enseignement de la langue française est ouvert à toutes les tendances internées par les parleurs en place. L’effet de cette ouverture pourrait être une catastrophe si l’enseignant n’est pas assez prudent dans sa tâche.

Quelques solutions proposées

Pour résoudre les problèmes de l’enseignement au Nigéria du français, le gouvernement doit reformuler la politique de l’éducation à l’égard du français. Le français doit être obligatoire dans nos écoles primaires et secondaires comme les pays francophones où l’anglais est obligatoire au niveau primaire et secondaire. Les directeurs de nos écoles doivent faire voir au gouvernement l’importance de la langue française dans le programme d’études dans nos écoles.

Dans le  milieu administratif, on doit employer les professeurs de qualité et compétents pour enseigner dans nos écoles. Les heures consacrées au français doivent être augmentées. On doit aussi améliorer les conditions de service des professeurs et procéder à une formation continue des professeurs de français d’université et de collège d’éducation.

Les apprenants doivent être motivés. Le professeur doit organiser des activités socioculturelles et socio-éducatives. Il peut amener les étudiants en excursions. Il peut créer un club de français au sein de l’école.

Le professeur doit améliorer sa méthode d’enseignement tout en mélangeant ses méthodes. Il doit partir du connu à l’inconnu. La bibliothèque ainsi que le laboratoire de langue doivent être bien utilisé. Le professeur ferait mieux d’utiliser la méthode communicative pour encourager la participation des élèves. Il faut tenir au cœur que la langue française comme toutes autres langues est un système où les mots, les sons, les notions ou les formes grammaticales isolées ne comptent pas du tout que lorsqu’ils se sont unis pour former des structures. Dès le commencement de la leçon le professeur doit introduire un langage complet. Il faut toujours encore se munir soit des illustrations sur des cartes ou des dessins découpés en classe.

En ce qui concerne l’enseignement de la langue française au Nigéria, il est toujours conseillé de commencer la leçon par une approche pratique communément appelé l’orale. Il faut encore toujours accorder la priorité à une approche dialoguée pour remarquer que pendant la première semaine de l’apprentissage, le professeur devrait se servir des phrases modèle.

Le professeur doit aussi préciser les quantités de vocabulaire à introduire au commencement d’une leçon. Il doit tenir compte du fait que l’apprentissage de la  langue française est celui d’un nouveau système d’analyse qui nécessite une étude minutieuse. Il faut décourager chez les élèves toute influence qui peut provoquer chez eux la transposition du fonctionnement de la langue maternelle sur la langue française.

Conclusion

Considérant toute l’information à propos de l’enseignement et l’apprentissage du français au Nigeria, nous avons remarqué que le français ne jouit pas encore d’un statut d’enseignement uniforme au Nigéria. C’est peut être anormal que ce soit ainsi. Certaines opinions favorisent la survie de cette langue dans notre société, le gouvernement fédérale vient de donner une indication pour montrer  que lui aussi, il s’intéresse au renforcement de l’apprentissage du français.

Notre conclusion rejoint l’idée de départ que l’élève, l’enseignant, l’école, l’administration ont leur rôle à jouer quand il s’agit de savoir quel timbre à donner à la langue française si toutes les suggestions mentionnées plus haut sont mises en pratique, nous sommes d’avis que les problèmes auxquels font face nos élèves dans nos écoles au Nigéria auront été résolus.

Références

Ajiboye Tunde (1999), L’Enseignement de la Langue Française dans Les Ecoles Secondaire au Nigéria : Problématique et Perspectives.

Akinwunmi M. B. (1992) : An Investigation into the Problems of Teaching and Learning French in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area, (Unpublished B.A. Ed Project).

Babatunde Femi (2001): Les Facteurs qui influencent l’Apprentissage du Français au Nigéria.

Jack C., Richards and Theodore S. Rodgers (1983): Approches and Methods in language Teaching. Cambridge University Press, New York.

Le Robert Micro, (1998): Dictionnaire de la Langue Française, Paris, Robert.