You cannot reason with some people.
I am referring to my attempt to get a self-styled “international human rights campaigner” to acknowledge his error in attributing certain written comments to me in his self-published book.
Earlier this year, I forwarded the unanswered email which I wrote to him in July 2014 to his publisher who responded by writing the following:
I have contacted the author about this matter and have taken down the book from all sales channels until this situation is cleared up
Five days later the writer responded with a communication which revealed the depths of his hubris and his inability to take responsibility for his error. I have reproduced his reply to my initial email (CLICK here) below my rejoinder.
Readers can make their minds up about the psychological disposition as well as the researching competence of this person.
As I write, there has been no response to my rejoinder.
A Mea Culpa Demand
May 8th 2017
Dear Catejan Iwunze:
Your communication is, to say the least, disappointing.
The excerpt from your writing refers to the person whom you purport to be me as looking “in the direction of mental disorder literature”. A cursory investigation on your part would have revealed that analysing Igbo group behaviour from the perspective of psychology and specifically via the analogy of “mental delusion” is a constituent part of Dr. Osuji’s writing strategy.
He has consistently posited his theories within this context. As recently as 30th April 2017 he posted the following commentary at ChatAfrik dot Org:
“On the possible delusional roots of Igbos claim to be Jews?”
In “Still on Igbos are Jews imbroglio”, he uses words misattributed to me by the Daily Sun and yourself when referring to some Igbos fixation on Jewish ancestry such as “delusional disorder”, “folie a deux’, “The psychotic (is deluded and hallucinates)...” and so on
Again, use of an Internet search engine such as google would reveal an abundance of evidence regarding Dr. Osuji’s use of the analogy. Here are the results for a search using the words “ozodi osuji igbo delusion”:
Dr. Osuji’s profile page at the site at which he has made contributions for over a decade clearly states that he was trained in the field of psychology and actually worked for several mental health agencies.
Your book quotes the person purporting to be me as saying the following: “Where did these people get off feeling superior to others when it is clear that they are not?”
A simple analysis of expression would indicate to any objective bystander that such is simply not my style of writing or speaking.
The initial misattribution by the Daily Sun article from December 2007 is based not only on shoddy and inept journalism, but I would assert on a particular mindset that is avowedly tribal in outlook. Thus, the writer recognised a name of Yoruba origin involved in a discussion regarding Igbos and ineluctably affixed a series of negative quotes pertaining to Igbos to the person with the Yoruba name.
Your reference to the “Yoruba dominated press” simply highlights the fact that being of that particular mindset, you readily absorbed the misattributed words and presented it as fact.
This is most unfortunate.
All I can gather from your response is that of an emotional and defensive posturing devoid of a calm and reasoned assessment of the specific points that I raised.
I simply cannot fathom any logic in the following pronouncements you make:
1. “There is no copyright violation here the source of my quote was properly referenced”
The issue here is not one of copyright violation (Copyright is totally irrelevant. I am not claiming a misappropriation of my writings. How could it be when I did not use the words attributed to me?) but is one which is based on using an erroneous reference.
2. “If you are claiming that Mr. Osuji wrote the article, that is a serious offence and what have you done about it?”
Again you demonstrate a gross misunderstanding of the law. Under what common law system or codified legal system known to you does asserting that another person authored a piece of writing amount to a crime? Dr. Osuji has written on the theme of what he terms to be Igbo delusion and his authorship is a non-issue. The issue is the negligence and professional ineptitude of the part of the relevant journalist at the Daily Sun who wrote the erroneous article upon which you blindly relied on.
What did I do about it? I wrote in my communication to you dated 2nd July 2014:
“So far as the other quote is concerned, I sent a letter to the editor of the Daily Sun stating that an article attributed to me was in fact written by Mr. Osuji and asked that it be corrected.
I received no reply.”
That unfortunately is the level of journalism one is dealing with. Poor standards of professional etiquette and competence.
Frankly, I do not mind a robust debate with anyone, but only in regard to words I actually make and the stances that I take. I find it offensive in the extreme to be misquoted and have my name embroiled in an infantile diatribe by a tribally motivated author. That puts you on legally shaky ground and undermines both your credibility and integrity.
You are under an obligation to exercise due diligence by checking the sources on which you rely. That goes for the Daily Sun as well as the ones attributed to the Guardian of 19th July 2004. Of the latter, you clearly have not cross checked the original publication as my name cannot conceivably be mentioned in connection to any story regarding the Igbo and Jewry prior to October 2007.
Again, I request that you:
- Make the appropriate corrections to the relevant text and reference notes of your book which wrongly attribute certain quotations to me
- Provide a short note specifically indicating the misattribution of the quotations and a statement of apology
I urge you to walk on the path of reason and common sense.
Academia dot Edu: https://westminster.academia.edu/AdeyinkaMakinde
Author Site: http://adeyinkamakinde.homestead.com/
From: Cajetan Iwunze <cajetaniwunze@XXX.com>
To: adeyinkamakinde <email@example.com>
Sent: Sun, 15 Jan 2017 17:31
Subject: A Mea Culpa demand
It is my sincere intention to inform you that I stand by what I wrote. There is no copyright violation here the source of my quote was properly referenced. If you are claiming that the article was not written by you, you should provide evidence to that effect. It is not good enough as a Lawyer, for you to say you have written to Daily Sun to correct it and got no reply. If you have not got the newspapers to correct it and issue you with apology there is no way we can know if you are saying the truth. let me give you an example, when the Nigeria media dominated by the Yorubas published a false information about the Igbos selling human meat in BBC. I wrote to BBC requesting they pull it down and apologise or else I go to court. BBC investigated the issue pull it down and issued an apology. If anyone quoted that BBC article implying that Igbos eat human meat. I will pull the BBC apology out, to prove that the article was tribally and politically motivated. If you are claiming that Mr Osuji wrote the article, that is a serious offence and what have you done about it? I do not know Mr Osuji and I cannot accept your word for it until you provide evidence to that effect. As a lawyer you should know better. I am not the editors of the newspapers where your article was published. Therefore, I would advise you to go the newspapers to put it right.
Author:The Political Constraints on Nigerian Economic Development Since The Independence’
© Adeyinka Makinde (2017)