Buhari’s fate

Sample 1: “In a press statement, the group described their mission as a means to spread the faith of Buhari’s long term assignment, with a vision to pursue dreams and achieve the goal to produce a political structure, a Buhari ideology that will live forever.”(Buhari Enduring Legacy Network Conference, Sunday Vanguard, September 8, 2019)

Let’s pay attention to the word faith and the way it is used in the following context: “as a means to spread the faith of Buhari’s long term assignment.” To say the least, the word faith is vague in this context of use. What could the word mean? Could it be intended as a synonym of fate or as a substitute for it? The reporter certainly couldn’t have meant Buhari’s religious belief since nothing is suggestive of religion in the context.

The vagueness, the indeterminate meaning of that word in the context would require us to discuss and clarify its meaning in relation to the word fate with which it is often confused. Pronunciation limitation usually accounts for the confusion experienced by users. The pronunciation issues often manifest as grammatical and semantic issues.

The word fate is about destiny, inescapable situations, circumstances, experience forced on a person by a mystical power or inexplicable forces. Now read the following sentences: 1) The fate of the entire nation depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the political elite. 2) The pregnant woman’s nutritional and emotional habits will affect in a critical way the fate of the unborn baby. 3) It is unfortunately true that the fate of intelligent men is often decided by much less intelligent citizens. 4) The wrong impression is often created that students’ fate is decided by the examiners when in reality students decide their own fate by either preparing or not preparing hard for their exams. 5) The Niger Delta militants claim that the fate of the Nigerian nation depends on their oil wells. 6) People in the North Eastern Nigeria have been condemned to a brutal fate in the last six years or so, no thanks to the mindless insurgents. 7) The judge adjourned briefly before making a pronouncement on the fate of the suspects. 8) The fate of the weaker animals is decided by the mood and appetite of the lion. 9) The fate of the company depends on the outcome of the experiment being carried out by its consultants. 10) Should wives leave their fate entirely in the hands of their husbands?

Like the nouns fate and faith, the adjectives fateful and faithful are frequently confused by many Nigerian users. An event or activity or decision is said to be fateful if it is important in a bad or terrible way. Again, read the following sentences: 1) The fateful election took place on June 12, 1993. 2) It is paradoxical that the terrorist organization was inaugurated on the fateful day of our independence. 3) Saul of Tarsus had scarcely started the fateful journey when God struck him down and gave him instructions as to his destiny and future career. 4) Rehoboam’s fateful decision to pay attention to the counsel of the young men and reject that of the ‘old men’ spelt doom for the unity of Israel as a nation. 5) Disgruntled, the army officer took the fateful decision to overthrow the democratically elected government. 6) It was that fateful shot that led to the end of our outing in the competition. 7) It was at that fateful meeting that the decision to sack him was taken. 8) That fateful journey led to the death of over twenty people. 9) On that fateful day, the wedding ceremony was proceeding normally when, suddenly, a spark occurred which resulted in a huge fire outbreak.  10) The fateful demonstration started as a peaceful protest but later became uncontrollable, resulting in the killing of five students by the police.

Faith is about strong or total belief or confidence in God, a god, a person, system, organization or thing. Please read the following sentences: 1) Abraham is called the father of faith because he trusted God for a long time without having any physical thing to show for it. 2) No one can live a sustained Christian life without strong faith in God. 3)  Peter the apostle began to sink when his faith in Christ wavered. 4) A person’s faith in God increases or reduces according to the stuff he feeds his mind and heart with. 5) Spiritual power and strength grow in proportion to a person’s faith. 6) Can people who have faith in God experience adversity? 7) The Christian and Islamic faiths have the same origin. 8) When faith in God combines with sound intellectual resources the result is usually more impactful than physical might. 9) The citizens soon lost faith in the clueless government. 10) When members lose faith in their leaders, it is difficult to persuade them otherwise. 11) The union leaders insist that the representatives of the government have not been acting in good faith. 12) This quarrel could have ended a long time ago if both parties had been acting in good faith. 13) Having lost faith in the marriage, the lady has applied for divorce. 14) The Boko Haram insurgents obviously have no faith in western education. 15) The civil war would not have broken out if the leaders had not acted in bad faith.

The word faithful is the adjective form of faith. Now read the following sentences: 1) Marriage partners are expected to be faithful to each other. 2) Faithful implementation of the provisions of the MOU is critical to the harmonious existence of the two parties. 3) This nation will be great if all of us take a decision to be faithful and loyal to it. 4) The three men were sacked because they were found to be unfaithful to the organization. 4) Would you regard that person as faithful who sells the secrets of his organization to its competitor? 5) Only faithful members of our association will be considered for assistance in their times of financial crisis. 6) The lawyer has not been faithful, and we have, in consequence, decided to dispense with his service. 7) Having noted your faithful and selfless service to this community for the past one decade, we have decided to honour you with a chieftaincy title. 8) The death of Bingo pained me so much because it has been an extremely faithful dog. 9) In spite of her irrational tendencies, her husband has remained faithful to her. 10) I am unwilling to part with this ‘faithful’ old car.

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100 speaking mistakes you’re most likely making as an English, or a second language speaker (VI)


Incorrect: At the party, I didn’t meet nobody.

Correct: At the party, I didn’t meet anybody.



Incorrect: She lives with she’s father.

Correct: She lives with her father.


Of come/have come

Incorrect: I would of come if I had a car.

Correct: I would have come if I had a car.



Incorrect: I loaned the book from the library.

Correct: I borrowed the book from the library.



Incorrect: I am in the third grade of college. My little brother is in the third year of school.

Correct: I am in the third year of college. My little brother is in the third grade of school.


Irregular plurals

Incorrect: I saw two deers in the woods. My foots hurt.

Correct: I saw two deer in the woods. My feet hurt.


Confusion over wording of idiom

Incorrect: The boss told me to dot my t’s and cross my i’s.

Correct: The boss told me to dot my i’s and cross my t’s.


Was/were after “if” and “wish”

Incorrect: If I was going to the movies … I wish I was seeing an action thriller. Correct: If I were going to the movies … I wish I were seeing an action thriller.


Answering a common expression with a question

Incorrect: “See you later!” “When?”

Correct: “See you later!” “Sure, good bye!”


Confusion over gender

Incorrect: My mother will be coming to America. He is excited.

Correct: My mother will be coming to America. She is excited.



Incorrect: They cooked dinner by themself.

Correct: They cooked dinner by themselves.



Incorrect: Is that chair convenient for you? Is it comfortable that I come over to your apartment?

Correct: Is that chair comfortable for you? Is it convenient that I come over to your apartment?



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