Pius, My aburo. Gone much too soon, and just when he successfully drew me into this Twitter conversation that we never concluded. I’m at a loss for words. In lieu of trying to write something coherent, here's what you posted that made me talk and talk, thinking there'll be endless rejoinders and my responses. Alas! Not so.

"Married Woman Property Act of 1882!! And that is how colonialism caught up with Nigerian patriarchy in 2019!
Cc: @adomakoampofo @mojubaolu @KadariaAhmed @lolashoneyin @Naijavote @kinnareads
Divorce your wife, risk losing your building NigerianTribune"

My response:

Replying to @pius_adesanmi @adomakoampofo and 5 others
Here’s a colonial law I love. Let freedom ring & roll like a veritable river to break the bonds of oppression! Also, just imagine that there’s been such a provision & women got the short end of the stick until now. I want this to be a nation-wide, all-state law #EndPatriarchyNOW!"

2:33 PM - 5 Mar 2019

Replying to @mojubaolu @adomakoampofo and 5 others
Anti, honestly, colonialism na l'ojo tie!
2:35 PM - 5 Mar 2019

Replying to @pius_adesanmi @adomakoampofo and 5 others
Beeni o!/Yes o! As they say: ‘eni buruku l’ojo tire/even the evil person comes in useful sometimes.
2:50 PM - 5 Mar 2019
Replying to @pius_adesanmi @mojubaolu and 6 others
If it’s 1882, before Nigeria was colonised, it must be a law of Lagos colony, which shows that in the 1880s these issues were coming up in a manner which meant the authorities had to make a ruling on it.
1:30 AM - 6 Mar 2019

Replying to @MrOllyOwen @pius_adesanmi and 6 others
I’m even thinking the law might be the result of colonial gathering & documentation of ‘native law & customs.’ A quick way of checking would be to see if there’s a coincidence between this law & English common law. Maybe reading Kristin Mann’s ‘Marrying Well...’ would give clues.
2:13 AM - 6 Mar 2019

Replying to @MrOllyOwen @pius_adesanmi and 6 others
Lagos became a colony in 1861/1862, having been first invaded in 1851. Now I'm really interested in this issue of the origin of this law and wish I had a graduate student that'd do the research. Found R. Olufemi Ekundare's "Marriage and divorce under Yoruba customary law" [1969]
3:00 AM - 6 Mar 2019 from Brooklyn, NY

Replying to @mojubaolu @pius_adesanmi and 6 others
Or she has this journal article on women and property in colonial lagos. But I don’t remember the act being mentioned in it.

Replying to @MrOllyOwen @pius_adesanmi and 6 others
Found out that Married Women's Property Act of 1882 was a British law. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Married_Women%27s_Property_Act_1882 … So, back to the idea that eni buruku l'ojo tire. Since the law gives rights to women that I believe is their due, I'm all for it. Pity that it took so long for Naija women to enjoy
4:19 AM - 7 Mar 2019 from Brooklyn, NY

Replying to @mojubaolu @pius_adesanmi and 6 others
As in, some traditions of marriage and property in Nigeria keep the husband and wife’s possessions distinct, others don’t.
2:58 PM - 7 Mar 2019

And just as I was going to chide you for drawing me into this discussion and not participating, the shock of hearing:

Replying to @MrOllyOwen @mojubaolu and 6 others
I am so sad that one of the people on this thread is so suddenly taken away from us. Rest in peace prof. My sympathies to the families of all.

Replying to @MrOllyOwen @KadariaAhmed and 5 others
Had a hard time believing that Pius has really passed away. However, I just confirmed that it’s true. May his soul Rest In Peace & his family be strengthened & comforted. I’m beyond sad because I consider him my aburo (younger sibling). He leaves a great legacy of scholarship.

Here’s one case of disagreement on Twitter, where I’ve engaged you the least, but it’s more accessible and public, so, it’s okay to share:

If a Nigerian desires jollof rice for breakfast, rice and fish stew for lunch, ofada rice for dinner, we must insist that he is not in the province of "peperipe peperipepe, no go dey do pass yosef." Trouble is not with this level of desire in the 21st century. Short thread.

We must insist: live within ur means is not the issue. A no-brainer. We must however not allow the mischievous owners of this message in the leadership and their social media army to get away with daylight conceptual armed robbery.
7:09 AM - 7 Mar 2019

Conceptual armed robbery: lower national benchmarks so abysmally that all Buhari has to do to be declared d best thing since Oxygen is to literally just wake up & drink tea. They're trying to colonize ur mind with subliminal codes they are hiding behind live within ur means.

Once they stabilize that in ur psyche, u start being grateful to them for the blessing of rice on ur table once a week. You won't notice as they cleverly extend the lowering of benchmarks to every sphere of the social contract, eroding ur dignity one lowering at a time.
7:15 AM - 7 Mar 2019

They have successfully inscribed it in your mind that your irregular salary is a privilege; World War II trains are a privilege; rice is a privilege. With every conceptual concession u make, they ask for more, slyly normalizing poverty.
7:18 AM - 7 Mar 2019

Save this last tweet for future reference: before the end of his second term, Buhari and his social media army would have stylishly declared even your poverty a privilege. Conceptual armed robbers, invaders of meaning are usually very brilliant social engineers.

Replying to @pius_adesanmi
It’s best to live under one’s means. It’s not mutually exclusive to do so and work hard, constantly aspiring for bigger & better things. We can do all this and still call the government to order, asking it to live up to constitutional mandate of prioritizing welfare of Naijas.

I still remember our discussions of Project Nigeria. I remember your contribution to the Transnational Africa project, seminar at Bowdoin College, and book. The project produced two books, and your chapter was "Arrested Nationalism, Imposed and the African Literature Classroom: One Nigerian Writer's Learning Curve," Chapter 10 in  Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome and Olufemi Vaughan, eds. West African migrations: transnational and global pathways in a new century.  NY: Palgrave, MacMillan, pp. 247-262.

I remember when you were trying to decide on the cover of Naija No Dey Carry Last, and asked for opinions. I remember when you publicly defended me when I got into an argument with a powerful Naija minister. I remember you trying to get me to do a video skype conversation and I wasn’t terribly interested. Still am not, although I’ve done such conversations a few times. I didn’t always agree with you, but was able to have interesting, thought-provoking conversations, nonetheless. I don’t suffer fools gladly, so, that’s saying a lot.

Pius, Sun-un re. Ma jokun. Ma j'ekolo. Ohun ti won ba nje l'orun ni k'o ba won je/ Rest In Peace. Don't eat creatures that burrow underground such as millipides and earthworms. Only eat heavenly foods. May God comfort your entire family and give them the fortitude to bear this great loss.


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