Open Society Foundations’ President Stuns Nigerians With Pidgin English

Stone 2By Danlami Nmodu

It was a cocktail in honour  of visiting President ,Open Society Foundations,Professor Christopher Stone at Transcorp Hilton Abuja,Friday Night.But not  everyone expected the way the visitor expressed his appreciation to the audience.

Just as M.r Udo  Jude Ilo of OSIWA  thought he was opening the ‘floor’ for the usual ‘item 7’ ( as eating at gatherings in Nigeria is known) to begin, Stone  exhibited  his unique show of gratitude:

I greet una ,my people well well” ,Stone said in pidgin English much to the admiration of audience which  applauded the  touch of Nigerianness  he exhibited.

Ilo with guestThe resort to pidgin reminds many of its  fluent use  by the United States Ambassador  to Nigeria , James F. Entwistle on a radio programme  not too long ago.

Pidgin English is  very popular among Nigerians and it is the easiest way to communicate across  the country.Even most of those who do not have formal education  speak pidgin quite admirably.

The  cocktail  was also marked by  presentation of a book :500 Remarkable Events About Nigeria.It was presented to him  by  Peter Nkanga,West Africa Consultant,Committee To Protect Journalists,CPJ.

Stone 3Dignitaries at the event organized by OSIWA included Madeline Johnson ,High Commission of Canada,Oliver Blake ,team leader,governance and social development,DFID as well as officials from the Swiss Embassy among others.

Professor Chidi Anselm Odinkau,chair,National Human Rights Commision,Clement Nwankwo,PLAC ,Tracy Keshi,Say No Campaign ,Hauwa Yerima, McArthur Foundation , several other civil society activists and journalists were also present.


See more faces  at the cocktail

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