OK! The title does not fit – I just felt quirky.
Everyone knows Nigerians have a propensity for titles, probably because we are a nation of flash gits: we have the old ones of Dr; Dr. (Mrs); Chief; Alhaji and Alhaja; at which time the problem was getting so bad that Ibru, publisher of The (Nigerian) Guardian, when it first came out a couple of decades ago, decided he would only call men and women of quality like Obafemi Awolowo (Chief) and Nnamdi Azikiwe (Dr) by their titles (- this has since changed).
In the last 20 years or so, people now moved to Barrister; Lawyer; Engr. (I used to know a twit here who drives mini cabs [kabu kabu] and refers to himself as Engr. because he had done a couple of Microsoft exams); Balogun; Asiwaju; Aré; even a couple of my acquaintances are on the Otunba bandwagon. What happened to plain old Mr & Mrs?
I admire my late father for not joining the title race and praise Babatunde Fashola, Lagos State governor, for resisting it so far. I will forgive him for the totally inadequate (alright, let’s be honest – atrocious) roads, I am even willing to give him time to sort out the armed robbery and consider getting a separate power grid for Lagos, I will ignore the area boys and lack of ‘town planning’, but his stature will diminish in my eyes when he titles up.
What really irks me is the propensity for Nigerians now to be referred to as ‘Sir’. As far as I know, ‘Sir’ is an honorary knighthood bestowed by Charles’ mum which can be used by UK citizens but not by non-UK ones on the rare occasions they’re honoured. I remember Sirs Adetokunbo Ademola, Adesoji Aderemi, Tafawa Balewa, etc. The Rivers State governor (Amaechi) is called ‘Sir’ and now Sir Mike Okiro???? The Police IG was referred to as ‘Sir’ in some newspaper adverts congratulating him for his substantive appointment as IG. For some reason, these new ‘Sirs’ mostly seem to emerge from the non-nothern parts of the country and I cannot figure out the trend.
I feel better now