"Argumentum Ad Hominem and the Fumigation of Analytical Misadventure"
by Rev. Tony Agbali:

This forum have been a very great forum, where people have presented,
discoursed, debated, and tackled issues with vehement interest,
articulation, and academic mutuality.  Opinions have been confronted
using diverse lenses and different indexical methods, however, the
sacrosanct view has been to be confront issues rather than
individuals. Dr. Chika Onyeani has a penchant for using argumentum ad
hominem arguments that deviates from the essentiality of issues, and
at times he has done so confusedly, like his present reaction to what
the point I made. It is on record, and it is part of the analytical
construct to analyse the different trajectories, including the
behaviors of actors who have been involved on the issues of African

I am amazed how Dr. Onyeani who have problematized blacks in a recent
reactionary speech and discourse posted in this forum, all of a
sudden has become to problematize the issue of African debt as one
caused by Western entities and hegemonic forces of domination, that
he so much aligned himself with, and excused for the totality of the
African problem.  Now, such actions are not to be subjected to
analytical considerations also!  This very depravity of cushioning
himself from critical and persuasive affront at his miscalculated
musings and lack lustre analysis, in his opinion deserve to be
sheathed from academic considerations. Actors behavior and mode of
actings constitutes a veritable arena for ethnographic and
qualitative considerations and analysis.  Thus, I present myself and
my views, but also intend that such perspectives and my assumed and
noted behaviors should be critically previewed and analysed.
Therefore, Dr. Onyeani seems uncomfortable with my articulations, and
dread the judgment of history upon certain masked antics that certain
"scholars" and "activists" of Africa represents, that are obviously

While, I am comfortable with his terminological usage and refinement
of debt recollection (and Dr. Ochonu's debt cancellation) I used the
terms debt relief and debt forgiveness within their contextual
ethnographic contexts as they are used by actors on both side of the
African debt and development issues. These are the recurrent usages
used by the African and Western representatives, including President
Olusegun Obasanjo during his globe-trotting advocacy on the debt
issue, and also at the last World Economic Summit.  Thus, I was using
what we anthropologists and our kin would call "emic" usage, and not
the "etic" usage that delve more into analytical structuring.
Therefore, I did not go further, as I was not writing an absolute
theoretical piece, but a simple one on the issue.

To appeal to my Christianity as a result of the necessary disclosure,
that comes from the introduction to the pieces (i.e Rev. Agbali)
without a distillation of the essential contents of my discourse,
nuances a sentimental appeal to extraneous facts in the attempt to
nuance a perspective that demands respect and criticism based on
contents and facts.  I see this immaturity among many African writers
a lot, when they appeal to irrelevance such as "you are a Man of God,
you should not think like that or not do things that way" even when
the acts involved are not subjectively negated.  Such penchant for
unrhythmical scholarship but appeal to sentiment do not help
development.  No matter, the very nature of the problems confronting
Christianity and other religions, many religions including
Christianity, and their representatives, have contributed and
continue to ensure the development of different social polities.

Dr. Onyeani, pits the same nauseating venoms that he so much
despises, when he noted, "It is repugnant especially coming from
so-called 'christian' men,
but what do you expect from Africans with p.h.ds (permanent heads damage)? The
naked exhibition of jealousy is rather despicable."

I wonder what being a Christian male has to do with the issues of
analyzing and discoursing existential reality?  I equally wonder why
whether one has a PhD or not is an issue, when presumably he himself
might be a PhD, or does he want to aver that his appelation of Dr. is
one of those bought from peddlers in his native Nigeria, which I very
much doubt.  However, if Dr. Onyeani problem is with my being a
Christian, and equally a clergy, that is understandable, however, he
should not use that to discredit my reasoning. If he does not like my
reasoning, I am willing to listen to his alternative paradigm, and
probably learn from that- should I need to.

However, Dr. Onyeani seems to me to be too much in hurry to be
critically self-reflexive, and this lack of self-reflexivity does not
seems to allow him much room to present his powerful thoughts and
create the necessary impacts, he desires. On another level, I wonder,
if Dr. Onyeani is not seriously in need of a certain validation by
picking on some themes, in trying to adduce controversies and thus
relishing it celebrates being at the center of attention.

In all of these, I concede to Dr. Onyeani that he raised from very
excellent points on the issue of the nature of relationship this
whole debt cancellation, relief, recollection, or whatever name is it
called, is capable of generating.  One thing, is some of us, through
the discreet sphere of our own lifeworks have experiences of how
"aids" are tied to the notion of subservience.  Thus, in the battle
within the Anglican/Episcopal communion on the ordination of a gay
Bishop, many African Anglicans touched on the issue, when they reject
external funding from US Episcopal denominations that support the gay
ordination issue, and even trying to found their own foundation in
the West to cater to their immigrant followers.  Africans have their
pride, and as Gaddaffi cautioned African leaders today at the African
Union, we must be able, while seeking help to maintain our own pride
and poise as a people.

I also see that the issue of African development-and/or lack of it-
has evinced creative thinking in forums such as ours, that has
responsible ways of educating, sanctioning, and molding opinions in
looking at the different modalities involved.  Thus, whether, I
disagree with Dr. Onyeani or agree, with him, all our modal reasoning
is being placed at the service of African development and
rejuvenation.  Thus, I hold no grudge, but would look forward to more
participatory thoughts on the issue.  In this vein, I venture to say,
that my good old friend, Professor Ayittey's awakening on this is
called for, for as much as we disagree on some issues, I also cherish
some of his views on matters like this.  The only thing with my
friend is that he recoils into his sheath when he thinks that the
steam is much, and the dissent is beyond his "machette"
comprehension.  I guess, that we have room for all shades of
opinions, and voices in forums (fora) such as this.