Monday, November 28, 2016

Chimamanda Adichie writes on how BBC Newsnight deliberately pitted her against a Trump supporter

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has opened up about her recent interview with BBC Newsnight, in which she got into heated discussion with Emmeett Tyrrell, editor-in-chief of The American Spectator and staunch supporter of American President-Elect Donald Trump.

In the viral interview that has since been shared across the internet, Ms Adichie and Emmett discussed the role of racism in the U.S presidential election, particularly in relation to Trump's campaign.When Tyrrell claimed Trump has not been racist, she replied: I 'm sorry but ...if you are a white man, you don't get to define what racism is, you really don't"

In a lengthy post published on her official Facebook page on November 24th, Ms Adichie said she was not aware she would be on a panel with a Trump supporter.
She described BBC's move as a "deliberately strategy that news organizations use in the pursuit of what is often called 'good television'. Read what she said below:
"Two weeks ago, BBC Newsnight contacted my manager to ask for an interview with me. I would be interviewed by the presenter, they said, and would broadly be asked about the election. I said yes.
When I arrived at their studio in Washington DC, the show’s producer casually said, “You’ll be on a panel with a Trump Supporter. A magazine editor who has supported Donald Trump from the beginning.”
“What?” I said. At no time had I been told that there would be anyone else in the interview, never mind being pitted against a Trump Supporter.
I felt upset and ambushed.
I wanted to walk away, but decided not to. I was already there. And I did want to talk about the election, which I had experienced in a deeply personal way. I was still stunned and angry and sad. I still woke up feeling heavy. Not only because I am an enthusiastic supporter of Hillary Clinton, but also because, with Donald Trump’s win, America just didn’t feel like America anymore. The country that grew from an idea of freedom was now to be governed by an authoritarian demagogue.
“I’m sorry you didn’t know it was a panel,” The producer said. “There must have been some mistake somewhere when your manager spoke to the people in London.”
Some mistake somewhere. My manager had simply not been told.
“We want to have balance,” he said.
But sneakily pitting me against a Trump Supporter was not about balance – we could have easily been interviewed separately.
It is a deliberately adversarial strategy that news organizations use in the pursuit of what is often called ‘good television.’
It is about entertainment.
I told the producer that my condition was that I not be asked to respond directly to anything the Trump Supporter had to say.
We could both air our opinions without being egged on to ‘fight it out.’
The Trump Supporter arrived. A well dressed, well groomed elderly man. The producer greeted him, gushed a little. He introduced me to the Trump Supporter. “She will be on the panel with you,” he said.
The Trump Supporter barely glanced at me.
The producer wanted us to shake hands, and he gestured to complete the introduction. We shook hands.
“How are you?” I said. Something about the tilt of the Trump Supporter’s head made me think that perhaps he had hearing problems – and suddenly his standoffishness was forgivable.
I felt a kind of compassion, while also thinking: why would this man, editor of a conservative magazine, be willing to put America in the hands of a stubbornly uninformed demagogue who does not even believe in classic conservative principles?
We got on air. We were seated uncomfortably close. The studio itself was strange, a flimsy tent on top of a building that overlooks the White House. A strong wind rattled the awning.
The interview began. I was determined to speak honestly, and not be distracted by the Trump Supporter, and be done with it and go home and never again allow myself to be ambushed in a television interview.
Until the Trump Supporter said that word ‘emotionally.’
“I do not respond emotionally like this lady,” he said.
I thought: o ginidi na-eme nwoke a?
He didn’t say my name. Perhaps he didn’t know it because he had not paid attention when we were introduced. Mine is not an easy name for languid American tongues anyway. But that word ‘emotional.’ No. Just no.
Normally I would not think of ‘emotional’ as belittling. Emotion is a luminous, human quality. I am often emotional – gratefully so. But in this context it was coded language with a long history.
To say that I responded ‘emotionally’ to the election was to say that I had not engaged my intellect. ‘Emotional’ is a word that has been used to dismiss many necessary conversations especially about gender or race. ‘Emotional’ is a way of discounting what you have said without engaging with it.
No way was I going to ignore that. Which, predictably, led to an interview in which I found myself, rather than talking about misogyny and populism, responding to a man who claimed that an anti-NAFTA, China-bashing, America-First Donald Trump would be an ‘internationalist’ rather than an ‘isolationist.’
Who presumed that he, a white man, could decide what was racist and what was not. And who insisted that Donald Trump is not a racist, even though the evidence is glaring, even though the House Majority Leader of Donald Trump’s own Republican party condemned Donald Trump’s racism.
So much for responding ‘emotionally’ to the election.
I left that interview still feeling upset. But it made me better see why America no longer feels like America.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

President Buhari inaugurates boards of petroleum agencies (Photos)


President Buhari, Friday, November 18, 2016, inaugurated board members of parastatals into the Ministry of Petroleum Resources at the State House, Abuja. Some of the members of the board are the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru.

President Buhari signs eight bills into law


President Buhari Friday, November 18, 2016, signed eight bills sent to him by the National Assembly into law. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

BIAFRA: Court decides the bail of Nnamdi Kanu and 3 others

Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, fixed December 1 to decide whether  Nnamdi Kalu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, should be released on bail, pending his trial, or not.
According to Vanguard, the court said it would also consider the merit of separate bail applications by three other pro-Biafra agitators, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, who are facing trial alongside Kanu.

Police destroy Indian hemp farms in Osun, arrest 4 suspects (Photo)

Osun State Police Command has destroyed a large expanse of Indian hemp farms at Agbongbon village in Irewole LGA of Osun state and arrested four suspects. According to a report made available to press men Friday, the Commissioner of Police Osun, CP Fimihan Adeoye, said that the operation of the officers was aimed at discontinuing the supply of Indian hemp in the area so as to prevent youths from smoking weeds and possibly curtail crime situations as a result.

Woman dies after being gang raped along with her 3 daughters

An unidentified Kenyan woman has died after she was gang raped together with her three daughters by an unknown gang of seven in Olo- sitan village Isinya, Kajiado County.The 43 year old deceased reportedly suffered shock and died after she was rushed to the hospital on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

UNAIDS confirms rapid increase of HIV/AIDs infections in Uganda

Ms Amakobe Sunde, the UNAIDS country Director has confirmed the rapid increase of HIV/AIDs infections in Uganda. According Uganda Crazy Medias, she said that Uganda is losing the fight against HIV/AIDS after the latest report of 227 new infections among adolescents, 570 new infections among girls between the ages of 15-24 years and 83, 000 new cases annually.

14 year old girl wins the right to be frozen after she dies

Knowing she only had weeks to live, a dying 14 year old schoolgirl, described as a “bright, intelligent young person”, desperately turned to cryogenics in the hope that one day, a cure would be found and she would be brought back to life. The teenager spent her last months fervently researching how she could be frozen until a cure is found for her rare form of cancer in the future.