Responses to No. 115 have been fast--just a few samples:
1. Sisay Asefa, Professor Department of Economics, Western Michigan University
What I have just read is another misguided thinking. What is wrong with dialogue and "bitter exchanges". It is the intolerance of African elites and intellectuals that justifies arbitrary rule and covers up the truth or promotes ignorance that has hurt the silent majority of the African people.
2. Ogbu Kalu, Chicago
I will appeal that the language of this dialogue should remain vigorous, intellectually challenging; but without resort to abuse and rancour that has become the past time of some African immigrants.Toyin, I support your strategy of moderating the exchanges without jumping into the affray; that is why boxing refrees do not wear gloves. Ogbu
3 Tony Agbali, St. Louis
I think that Professor Toyin Falola's withdrawal is appropriate as the referee and moderator of this process. He has no doubt the right to participate. Let look at it this way, if many African leaders can have this kind of demeanour and be impartial regulators of the political and economic process, but acting on the best of thoughts and insights, what a great continent we would be. In any case, the virtue of Falola to stir the honet's nest and allow others to wallow is not necessarily a bad one, at least in my opinion. He might simply be an interested participant observer who is not willing to write a monograph!
4. Hakeem Tijani
I am not sure what part of the world Phillip Iloegbunam is from. I am not sure what he meant by "academic trouble". Neither is his view of academic sadism against Professor Falola justifiable. This is not in defense of Professor Falola. However, the fact is he is one of the few leaders that would say the truth come rain or sun. What he has done is to create an academic forum for scholars to discuss and exchange ideas. The discussion so far is not about Falola and his ideas or views, but rather about issues larger than the distinguish professor. I have personally benefited from the dynamic contributions from different scholars far, near, across discipline. In addition, I plan to use some of the comments in one of the classes for next semester (Race, Ethnicity, and Nation Building in Africa). What is bad in raising important issues and allowing experts to deliberate on it? What is bad about providing a forum for such scholarship? What is bad about using important occasion (such as Hamburg keynote) to energize scholarship? I believe folks would have been tired if it is all about "Falola, Falola, and Falola". A good leader allow for deliberations; different views etc I have questions for Iloegbunam. What has been your contribution to scholarship? How many times have you respond to issues since the beginning of this useful forum? Be realistic, this is not academic sadism. It is academic renaissance and reformation, the like of which we have not seen within our community. Thanks to Professor Falola for taking the time to do this, and having the time to meet his primary duty as a distinguished professor of African history. To answer Phillip's question, the professor is in Austin, distinguished, analyzing comments and making them available, mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in historical scholarship, and "producing" future academics.
Hakeem Ibikunle Tijani