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February 16, 2022

This is “No Bullshiting,” by Harry Agina.

Twice upon NBB blogs, I discussed the vanity of too many Nigerians about titles that are attached to people’s names. The series laments the death of the good old days, when titles were never awarded to criminals and incompetents. It frowns at, and laments the dearth of merit and righteousness or integrity in the award of titles in contemporary Nigeria. If you missed those two editions, not to worry; they are just a couple of clicks away. The first is an introductory overview, and the second is specific about Nigeria’s Transport Minister, Rotimi Amechi, thus: https://nobullshiting.com/vanity-upon-vanity-upon-vanity, & https://nobullshiting.com/the-vanity-of-titles-among-nigerians-part-2/

This is Part 3 of this serial discourse, and here’s our thematic question: Is the word ‘Comrade’ a title, or just a noun that defines belongingness? In other words, am I the one who is going crazy, or have Nigerians, typically, changed the definition of the English word, ‘Comrade’? Why the fuck have Nigerian title-mongers turned it into a title, meeeeeeeeeeen!!!

Like many of my blogs, this one was incited or instigated or inspired by a true event. Umm huh! It was born when I was in a conversation with a member of Nigeria’s ruling political party, APC. The dude had given me the contact info of his APC comrade. After imputing it in my phone contacts, I repeated his information for confirmation. And, that’s how a debate took off. It started as a friendly one, but almost ended up in a disaster, much thanks to the dude’s vanity over a title, thus:

“Comrade Musa Garba (not the real name), not just Musa Garba,” said the dude as I said the name. He had serious emphasis on ‘Comrade.’

“Yeah, I know, your comrade. I don’t have to call him ‘Comrade’,” I nicely, innocently responded. Did I just say innocently? Ha ha ha, of course, there was nothing innocent about my statement. I was only pulling the dude’s leg. Inside me, I was already writing this blog as Part 3 of my series on The Vanity Among Nigerians About Titles, and For Titles.

“But it is important that you add Comrade to his name when you talk with him.” the dude insisted.

“Nope, not important to me…important to you.”

“Why?” the dude was now losing his cool with me, I mean, totally losing it! He just couldn’t understand how come this fool has insisted on insulting his comrade. The disappointment was clear in his voice now. And, it was time to quickly expose my meaning to him, or that conversation was about to end abruptly, and far from amicably.

“You see, bros,” I started…

“What kind of bros?” he retorted, quickly interrupting me.

“Haba! You’re still my bros, na. Look, I was just teasing you. I was trying to make a point. In fact, I am still trying to make the point that I only call people who belong in my group Comrade. It is like the words friend, colleague, compatriot, fellow-member, and associate. That’s the definition of ‘comrade’ that I know. If Nigerians have turned it into a title, then somebody needs to inform me.” I briefly chuckled, in effort to soften my words. But, inside me, I was like…Motherfucker, what the fuck is wrong with you, meeeeeeeeeen?!!!

 “In this case, bros,” I continued in the outward hypocritical niceness, “Musa and you are members of APC; so, you call each other Comrade. I don’t belong to or in that group; I am not a member of APC. So, why do you insist that I must call Musa a comrade. It’s like you’re forcing me to belong in your APC party. Or, you are telling me that I must call the man a friend, and I don’t even know him.” Actually, I wanted to say something like…and I don’t even know the motherfucker. But, you know how it is; I was being outwardly hypocritically nice. Believe it, or not, I do know when and where to bend some No Bullshiting principles, just a little, and temporarily. Under the prevailing circumstance, I couldn’t tell the dude how insulted I felt, for being forced to call an APC member a comrade. I am among the hardest critics of APC government, for crying out fucking loud!!! And, the motherfucker was insisting that his APC associate is also my associate, and/or my friend. What a bullshiting title-vanity, meeeeeeeeeeen!!!

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