Patrick Obahiagbon, the Chief of Staff to the Edo
State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, in a recent
interview addressed his controversial way of
speaking and why he chooses to speak that way.
See excerpts below:
“Why do you always speak ‘big grammar’?
I am not really consensus ad idem with those who
opine that my idiolect is advertently obfuscative. No
no no, it’s just that I am in my elements when the
colloquy has to do with the pax nigeriana of our
dreams and one necessarily needs to fulminate
against the alcibiadian modus vivendi of our
prebendal political class.
How do you talk to your wife, children and even
I relate with my family and friends very warmly and
in an atmosphere of camaraderie, stripped of my
confutational habiliment and gladiatorial homilies. I
am a very peaceful, calm, level-headed and
celestially attuned soul personality.
Is this the way you proposed to your wife, speaking
high tech grammar?
Of course, the business of the day when I interfaced
with my wife on matters of the heart had to be in
plain Caeser’s language and you can decipher why
that had to be so. The matter in view did not permit
itself of sphinxian conundrum.
It’s a long time ago, so I can’t remember the exact
words I used. We had a relationship for ten years
before we got married. We’re looking at close to 20
Do you know that many people don’t take you too
seriously when you talk because they think you are
Why will I be perturbed from ensconcing myself in
the palatable arms of Morpheus because people
have deprived themselves of the cultivation of the
regime of the mental magnitude?
I read all the farrago of baloneys and vacuous
bunkum from pepper soup objurgators. The spirit of
animadversion remains their fundamental human
right. It also remains an indubitable fact that I get
millions and millions of requests daily from people
all over the world requesting for my verbal
mentorship which positive cosmopolitan reactions
have assisted my equipoise and righteous sense of
pachydermatous garb. I cannot put my nose to the
grindstone daily and expect to be understood by
those luxuriating in a modus vivendi, verging
onpepper souping, goat heading, suyaing, big
stouting and isiewulising. Has a philosophical wag
not once pontificated that things of the spirit are
spiritually discerned and that it takes the deep to
call the deep? We will speak more on this matter of
critiques andchichi dodoanother day.
How does your family understand your English?
My family and friends understand me perfectly just
the same way you understand me now though, I
must admit that it depends on the issues on the
How did you start speaking in this manner?
It all happened when my father brought me a teaser
which stated that good orators had ruled the world
and you must have to be a feisty orator if you must
rule the world. As an impressionable young man, I
alacritously threw myself into the whirligig of
improving my usage of words by amassing new
words on a daily basis.
Do you pray the same way you speak?
God understands all languages, my brother and I
pray to God using any word that pops up. May I posit
that the key points in prayers are your sincerity,
purity of heart, walking within the compass and to
what extent are you ready and worthy of receiving
the benediction of the cosmic and the cosmic
masters because as we say in mysticism- “when the
students are ready, the masters would appear.”
Take my words my brother that more than seventy
per cent of humanity don’t know how to pray but
that is a matter for another day.
By the way, are there other names you call God?
God is variously known as Jehovah, Yaweh, The
Great Grand Architect of the Universe, The Cosmic
Host and several other names known alone to
heirophants but which names are so ineffable for
me to mention here.
Why do you pull your trousers up beyond the waist?
Hahahaha….That trousers style is calledYohji
Yamamoto.It was my own audacious statement to
remonstrate against the pervasive tendency of
Nigerians especially our youths that took to the
practice of putting on trousers exposing their lower
anatomical contours and I will do it over and over
When you speak to Caucasians of English origin,
how do they react to you?
My friends that are whites simply marvel and
sometimes get maniacally bewildered when we
engage, most times to my consternation.
Do you look forward to developing your own
My own dictionary? I have never really given that a
thought, but there is a young man in one of our
universities who travelled all the way to meet me in
Benin. His doctoral thesis is on “Obahiagbonism as
a style of language.”
How many dictionaries do you read a day and how
often do you read dictionaries?
I have read and still do read a vaudeville of
dictionaries from Websters to Funk and Wagnalls,
from Cambridge to Oxford dictionaries, from Black’s
Law Dictionary to Encarta and from Encyclopedia
Britannica to Foreignisms, etcetera. I developed my
corpus of vocabulary by reading omnivorously. I
have also spent nothing less than an hour daily on
my dictionary for over twenty years. So, whereas
the dictionary for most people is a mere occasional
reference point, it is for, me a vade-mecum. It may
also interest you to know that there is much to learn
from our daily newspapers.
You seem to mix English with other languages…
On mixing of languages; that comes with reading
omnivorously. You cannot but pick these words here
and there if you have an audacious reading culture.
Is any of your children like you?
My children are still growing but I petition the
celestial choir and cosmic hosts to give them the
gift of kissing the hybla bee.”