Pius Adesanmi

Pius Adesanmi is a professor of literature and African studies at Carlton University Ottawa Canada. He is a prodigious public affairs commentator. Pius' “Africa is not a Continent” won the 2013Prize for African Writing. B.A. University of Ilorin, Nigeria, 1992 M.A. French, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 1998 Ph.D. French Studies, University of British Columbia, 2002

Posts by Pius Adesanmi:

Thy neighbour’s wife, By Pius Adesanmi

This piece was originally published in this column on December 9, 2011. Almost three years later, the prediction on the political appointment of Mrs. Roli Bode George contained therein has come to pass. It is being republished unmodified for that reason. (more…)

No Wonder Rere dey Run, By Pius Adesanmi

Aso Rock Villa. Living Room of the President’s private residence. Israeli, American, French, Chinese, Cambodian, Somalian, Sudanese, and Ghanaian security operatives protecting the Nigerian president are in the background. They try to make themselves unobtrusive. Also in the background, chanting Quranic hymns on mats imported from Chad, are marabouts from…

#WhoOwnsTheProblem? By Pius Adesanmi

This keynote lecture was initially delivered as part of the opening session plenary addresses at the Fourth Annual African Renaissance for Unity Conference convened by the Africa Institute of South Africa and The Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, Pretoria, South Africa, on May 22, 2014. A modified version of it…

How to Mark Time as a Northern Elder while Waiting for the Presidency, By Pius Adesanmi

Sometimes when an op-ed touches a raw nerve and enjoys wide circulation in Cyberia, there's the one reader who bypasses known public channels of communicating with me, invites himself into my gmail inbox, and insists on not leaving till he gets an answer to a particular query. This type of…

Goodluck to northern elders, By Pius Adesanmi

Trust them to sneak it in like a Lionel Messi goal. Somehow, somewhere beneath the din of #BringBackOurGirls and the bang of Nyanya II, Ogbeni Usman Bugaje and the usual suspects who love to irritate the rest of us with their insufferable arrogance whenever they assemble under that nebulous umbrella,…

Kiss-ing Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, By Pius Adesanmi

This column is kiss-ing Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala this week. It will in fact be the shortest piece I’ve ever offered on this platform. I know y’all got dirty minds. Don’t worry, it simply means we are keeping it short and simple for Nigeria’s de facto Prime Minister who has programmed…

By the Way, What is SLS doing About Reno Omokri? By Pius Adesanmi

I am not done with Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s post-suspension politics yet. I stated last week that he is poorly served by the combination of his advisers and his personal arrogance and this explains why he has been travelling on the dead-end road of justifying and rationalizing the one area of…

Seeking Intervention Funds to Seal Lamido Sanusi’s Lips , By Pius Adesanmi

Led by Nasir El Rufai, Lamido Sanusi’s throng of friends, admirers, and supporters don’t seem to like him very much. There are some bitter in-house truths they are obviously not telling him and it is starting to show in his extremely poor post-suspension public engagement strategy. This explains why they…

Caribbean Self, African Selfie, By Pius Adesanmi

Keynote lecture delivered at the inauguration of the Connections Week of the Caribbean and African Association of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, March 10, 2014 I bring you warm greetings from Accra, Ghana, where I am currently based. I understand that winter has been particularly brutal this year.…

Igbo Re, Ona Re: The Nigerian Constitution and the Awo Road not Taken, By Pius Adesanmi

(Keynote lecture delivered at the Obafemi Awolowo Birthday Anniversary Symposium Convened by the Obafemi Awolowo Foundation. Lagos, March 4, 2014) (more…)

The Struggle for Meaning: Ukraine, Iyaloja and all that Jazz, By Pius Adesanmi

If you cannot even come together against the local terrorism of an Iyaloja in Lagos, how do you hope to ever rise against the might of the corrupt Nigerian state in Abuja? (more…)

Sanusi’s Head, Nigeria’s Roof, By Pius Adesanmi

[Reader, the piece below was addressed to my social media audience on Facebook today in reaction to the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi saga. It stands in for this column today. Forgive the casualness. It's initial audience are regulars on my Facebook Wall and I have deemed modifications unnecessary as it goes…

Your Headache, My Panadol? By Pius Adesanmi

In my Facebook inbox, in my gmail inbox, you have been relentless in your messages. Some of you have asked me: Prof, what’s going on? Why have your columns for Sahara Reporters and Premium Times gone cold? Why has your Facebook page gone cold? Have you given up on Nigeria?…

Fifty Billion-Dollar Blues, By Pius Adesanmi

Aso Rock Villa. Yoruba music-themed day in one of the expansive presidential reception rooms. Ebenezer Obey is crooning from a sophisticated sound system: A l’owo ma j’aiye Eyin le mo Awon to j’aiye l’ana da Won ti ku won ti lo   (If you have serious money And you don’t…

On the purported slight of Nigeria at Mandela’s Funeral, By Pius Adesanmi

"Fellow Liberians: As I speak to you today, I am most gratified by the caliber of the delegations of our own African Governments, Foreign Governments, partners and local partners as well, who have come to join us to celebrate this triumph of democracy in our country. I am particularly touched…

How Mandela’s Funeral Will Impact Nigeria, By Pius Adesanmi

Our columnist, Pius Adesanmi, has been blogging on Facebook since Nelson Mandela passed on on Thursday. Find three of his random thoughts, which he calls memos, below. -------------------------------------- Africa, you lost a father and gained a towering ancestor! Africa, do not mourn your Madiba. He is now the eyes of…

Aiye, Vigilance, APC! By Pius Adesanmi

Aiye! The English language calls you “earth” or “world” because she lacks the resources to convey what you really mean. In his endless quest for the miracle of overnight millions, the Nigerian prosperity Pentecostal Christian gives you more colourful names, such as “powers”, “principalities”, and “dominions”, and spends the most…

On Convoys: In Memory of Festus Iyayi, Winner of the 1988 Commowealth Prize for Literature, By Pius Adesanmi

(Excerpt from a public lecture I delivered in 2009) "There is Elizabeth Udoudo, a mother of two children aged five and three years respectively. Sometime in February 2008, this woman and her children had the temerity to share the road with the convoy of state governor in Lagos. Permit me…

The Sacking of that Ghanaian Minister: Implications for Goodluck Jonathan in One Long Paragraph, By Pius Adesanmi

John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana, the location where my bread is currently buttered, sorry, where my kenkey is currently spiced by shito, is a spoiler and a thrower of spanners in the works. Just when I’m halfway through an op-ed column about an encounter with him…

Wish Me What You Live Abroad or Get thee Behind Me, Buddy! By Pius Adesanmi

In recent lectures, interviews, and essays, I have suggested consistently that our struggle for Nigeria has shifted to the psychology of the Nigerian. I have claimed that even more than corruption, the psychology of the Nigerian is Nigeria’s deadliest enemy. Rewire that wrongly-wired psychology and all other things shall be…

Boda Nigeria, Bros Naija, and Soul Tinz, By Pius Adesanmi

Nigeria, the country on whose account we are gathered here today for a feast of reflections, is older than me. This age gap imposes certain protocols of interaction in my culture. I cannot enter into any kind of engagement or social interaction with Nigeria without deploying modes of discourse and…

Letter to Nuhu Ribadu, or Reflections on the Destiny of a Mosaic Generation, By Pius Adesanmi

Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, although you are a Moslem, your cosmopolitanism is such that you surely are familiar with one of the most famous biblical aphorisms about the truth. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free,” declares our Galilean friend and apostle of Jesus Christ, John…

Colonel Texas Chukwu: Teachable Moment in Civics, By Pius Adesanmi

President Jonathan, his Commander-in-Chief, does not know; Mr. Labaran Maku, Minister of Defence, does not know; Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, Chief of Army Staff, does not know; the National Assembly, oversight guardian angel of our democracy, does not know; Governor David Jonah Jang, leader of the Jangjaweeds in the Governors’…

Parable of the Shower Head, By Pius Adesanmi

I never come again. I still dey faraway. Make you wait till I reach where I dey goooo… I wasn’t going to Fela’s Kalakuta Republic. My destination, two years ago, was Abuja in faraway Nigeria. Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, my very good friend and Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to Canada, was…

Do Not Disturb: Intelligent Nigerians in Conversation, By Pius Adesanmi

(to the accompaniment of Sonny Okosun’s “Papa’s Land”) “Ol’boy, e don happen o!” “Ehn, wetin happen? Abati don get im own BMW gift from Oga?” “For where? The car gift race na still 1-0 in favour of Okupe o. Maybe Abati will get his own car gift after writing a…