In the previous editions, I have highlighted the nexus between politics, morality and the law, particularly as it relates to governance; and the impact of cultural differences in the concept of what is morally acceptable.
Specifically, last week, I discussed morality in relation to the social contract theory which, typically, Nigerian politics is yet to embrace.
Morality and Politics: The Age-Long Debate
One of the oldest debates known to mankind is the connection or, indeed, the disconnect between morality and politics. As I referenced in the first edition of this series, a former Governor of Niger State reportedly said: “If you cannot lie, get out of politics. Anything you are involved in has its own rules. You are in politics to win, win first and let other things follow. Don’t be the one crying louder, lest you will be the one they will take to court. If you are talking of honesty or morals, go and become an imam or pastor”.
Machiavelli is noted to have advocated a position similar to that expressed by this former Governor. In his book,The Prince, Machiavelli stated the case for political expediency in its starkest, most electrifying form. He is associated with the divorce of politics from conventional morality and the justification of all means, even the most unscrupulous, in the quest for political power. As a result, he has been denounced as a man inspired by the devil, as an immoral writer, an anti-Christian, an advocate of cruelty and tyranny and a deliberate teacher of evil. But some see Machiavelli as amoral, a pragmatist who recognised the harsh realities of political life. Much later in time, others came along who appeared to share the philosophy of Machiavelli. Rather, unfortunately, most of these beliefs account for some of the devastating conflicts experienced during the twentieth century, including two World Wars.
Politically Expedient Actions Devoid of Morality
Hitler and his Nazi Party saw nothing wrong in the murder of millions of Jews in their quest to dominate Europe and ensure the survival of what they termed a master race. Prior to the Second World War, Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, set in motion events designed to cause a famine in Ukraine to destroy the people there seeking independence from his rule.
As a result, an estimated 7,000,000 persons perished in this famine era, known as the Breadbasket of Europe, with the people deprived of the food they had grown with their own hands. In four years of his rule, Pol Pot brought hardship, pain and sorrow to Cambodia the type of which had never been witnessed before. He presided over a totalitarian dictatorship that imposed a radical form of agrarian socialism on the country. His government forced urban dwellers to move to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labour projects.
The combined effects of executions, forced labour, malnutrition and poor medical care caused the deaths of approximately 25 per cent of the Cambodian population. In all, an estimated one to three million people (out of a population of slightly over eight million) died due to the policies of his four-year premiership.
All the incidents stated above occurred due to a lack of morality in governance and politics and also a belief that political exigencies of the time dictated that they occur. As a matter of fact, Hitler rode to power on strong national sentiments and enjoyed a huge following and popularity. Hitler became extremely hateful to the Jewish people which prompted him to create anti-Jewish laws which eventually led to the Holocaust that eradicated over six million Jews before and during World War II. As rightly argued by a German historian, Klaus Hildebrand, Hitler’s moral responsibility for the Holocaust was the culmination of his pathological hatred of the Jews and his ideology of “racial dogma”.
Religions preach one form of moral code or the other; it is generally considered a sin to steal, kill, or destroy others’ property. Yet our politicians have over time consistently acted in ways indicative of the fact that they have completely removed considerations of morality from the everyday exercise of their duties. This is why most will upon assumption of office set about corruptly enriching themselves to the detriment of the populace they were elected to serve.
Years back, a British tabloid reportedly described Nigeria as so corrupt that it would be better for Britain to simply set fire to its intended aid money rather than release it to corrupt government officials in Nigeria. Several months back a former public officer was convicted in the United Kingdom of corrupt practices. During the prehearing phase, he was said to have been astonished at the order of the Judge that he be remanded at a place normally reserved for persons of unsound mind.
However, it was remarked in some quarters that the judge must have come to the conclusion that only someone of unsound mind would even contemplate stealing the amount of money attributed to him alone.
Morality and Political Ideology
Morality has always found expression in political ideology, particularly in developed climes. In the United States, two political parties are predominant – the Democrats and the Republicans. The platform of the Democratic Party is generally based on American liberalism, contrasting with the conservatism of the Republican Party.
Democrats have been known to be staunch advocates of consumer protection rights, workplace safety regulation, equal opportunity, disability rights, racial equality regulations against environmental pollution, criminal justice reform, abortion rights and the LGBT community, as well as a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Democrats typically agree with the scientific consensus on climate change and favour a multilateral approach in foreign policy.
On the other hand, Republican ideology is based on American conservatism, which incorporates both economic policies and social values. The Republicans are known to support lower taxes, free-market capitalism, stiff restrictions on immigration, increased military spending, gun rights, restrictions on abortion, deregulation and restrictions on labour unions.
In the United Kingdom, there are equally two predominant political parties: the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. The Conservatives generally adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free-market economics, limiting state regulation, and pursuing privatisation. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, and historically supported the continuance and maintenance of the British Empire.
On the other hand, the Liberals have an ideology that draws on both the liberal and social democratic traditions. The party is a primarily social liberal, supporting redistribution but sceptical of increasing the power of the state, emphasising the link between equality and liberty. The party supports investment and progressive taxation, but also promotes civil liberties and a less centralised economy. They equally support a range of constitutional reforms, including advocating for a decentralised federal structure for the United Kingdom, including devolving power to the regions of England.
The political ideologies of these developed countries have been in force for centuries, and therefore, it is highly unlikely to witness any substantial modifications. A corollary to this is that it is uncommon for members of political parties to switch political allegiance – this is the place of morality in partisan party membership. But as I had earlier noted, party politics in Nigeria is riddled with unbridled political defections without any recourse to the place of morality.
Government anywhere in the world is supposed to be about the people. The Nigerian National Anthem is one that calls on all Nigerians to rise to the call of the Nation and act only in its best interests. By the words of the anthem, patriotism is demanded of every Nigerian. However, a country that demands patriotism from its citizens must continually be seen to be working in their best interests.
The government of the country must always be seen to seek ways of making the lives of the citizens better and not otherwise. One can hardly expect patriotic ideals and conduct from a citizen who feels abandoned by his country and his leaders and who perceives that every governmental policy is designed to further compound rather than ameliorate his difficulties.
This is where morality must come in and politicians made to realise the sacredness of electoral promises they make prior to the election and the oath they take upon assumption of office. Vigilance must be the eternal watchword of not only Nigerians but indeed all those who are governed all around the world. Leaders must be held to the highest standard of morals just as obtains in other parts of the world.
It is only by so doing that one can hope that politics without morality, the type of which was described by the former Governor of Niger will, in time, become history in Nigeria.
Nigerian socialite, Tunde Ednut and other Nigerians have recounted his experience at Ikeja Computer Village.
The renowned blogger made this known in a recent post he made on his verified social media handle on the popular social media platform, Instagram.
Sharing a photo, he wrote;
“This place called COMPUTER VILLAGE… Chai many things don happen for here men. They have cheated me very well here. Have you ever had any experience with COMPUTER VILLAGE? Please, comment below. 🤣 This is the only place scammers gets scammed. You have to be careful when you come here.”
Other social media users who saw the post also shared their experiences. Read some of these reactions below;
officialmorientez – This is where they sell iPhone that has fufu inside😂😂😂
mr_realgram – Omo dem sell 2fufu for me dats year oo me wey be street o chai😂
yetundebakare – As in 😂 siri please play me ‘ No be small thing ooo ‘ no be small thing ooo’ I say no be small thing ooo in 2baba’s voice 😂
mizsthicknesz – No I haven’t but my friends have told me bout their crazy experiences there 😂
brodashaggi – Haaaaa JANUARY 1st 2015 😩😩😩😩.
ladybellerocks – I still can’t explain how I went to buy a phone and ended up coming home with just charger😢
nohpheesat – Buy one phone, get two stones 😂
caso_gram – Bruh I sold 2 laptops for 7k damm can’t still decode how that shit happened
demo__uk – I can relate. Check my page. All my experiences are on my IGTV 🥺🥺🥺😭😭😭💔💔💔💔
shidah_shoes – Them cheat me still slap me join 😂😂😂😂😂😂
beshi.kadiri – I bought phone, this man said don’t open it oo I refused to sell for that Anty in front so so amount so if she sees it she will be angry…. that was how I took fufu home I came back he’s not there again 😹😹😹😹
iammoyosore22 – The phone I bought there last was on before I left there oo😂I reach house I plug phone 😂phone just off till today I no no the shop weh I buy phone from 😂😂
tems_baby – I have never been scammed here sha 😂😂😂
funkeajayii – Person wey collect money Dey different from who repaired my phone …Thought they knew each other ended up selling my phone to pay the repairer
The Second in Command to the neutralized IPOB/ESN militant leader Ikonso, Awurum Eze, has been arrested by security operatives in Aba, Abia State.
A statement released by the director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Yerima, states that the 48-years-old Awurum Eze, a native of Umoneke Nta, Isiala-Mbano LGA, Imo State, had on the 4th of May 2021 escaped when operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) stormed his village house in Isiala Mbano where he was hiding.
”Intensive manhunt was thereafter launched towards tracing and arresting him. He was eventually apprehended on Wednesday, 12 May 2021, in Aba after weeks of unrelenting follow-ups by operatives.
Awurum Eze is one of the main sponsors of the numerous killings in Imo State and has been on the wanted list of security agents for more than 3 months. Many of the arrested IPOB /ESN terrorists had earlier mentioned him as their key sponsor, mastermind and Second in Command to late Ikonso. According to them, amongst all their leaders in Imo State, only Ikonso and Awurum have direct communication link with Nnamdi Kanu. He can be seen in several photographs posing with the fugitive terrorist leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Yerima said an investigation by the combined team of security operatives continues.
…Returnees from lesser hajj to undergo 7days compulsory isolation
By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Olawale Gabriel
As part of measures to prevent infection and possible spread of the new variants of COVID-19, pandemic, Lagos State Government has placed 14 countries on close monitoring.
Recall that the state had earlier placed all emergency facilities in the state on high alert to pick up early trends that may suggest fresh wave.
The state Commissioner of Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi who announced this on Wednesday, at a media briefing in Alausa, Ikeja, said the measure has become necessary following discovery of variants from banned countries within another country.
He said the state government will begin to monitor movement of people from 14 countries into the state.
The affected countries are: Canada, USA, France, Germany, Netherlands, Togo, Ghana, Cameroun, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda.
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Nice question my dear! Maybe na footballer. His mumu don do him. He looked seductive and the girl seduced him, na who fault dey there?
Those ppl asking why he wore shorts to work …u guys should channel that question to OZO big brother …I never see that guy wear trouser since I knew him…and him dey make him thou …..make Ina shift abeg….
You guys, please nau, stop letting women get away with nonsense like this. I’ve also read about another guy being slapped by a chic. The more y’all let them do it, the more they go out and do it to other guys. Put a stop to that shit immediately.
Yomi Fabiyi is not fazed by the legal documents Iyabo Ojo filed against him.
The actor had alleged that Iyabo Ojo and Princess “promised to kill Baba Ijesha if released on bail” after he was detained for allegedly sexually molesting Princess’ underaged daughter.
In response, Iyabo’s lawyers sued him, asked him to retract the statment, apologize, and pay 100 million Naira in damages.
Reacting to the lawsuit, Yomi reshared the same defamatory post that brought about the suit and told Iyabo that he doesn’t dignify everyone with a response.
Ignore any unnecessary CIVIL SUITS attached to my name, I don’t dignify everybody with a response. Not even a non-criminal suit that lack merits and grounds. I don’t have time to waste walai. Your lawyer will never tell you how many months, funds and process involve in civil suits.
Anyway, anybody drowning will cling on anything to survive. Save your money for feed and tiktok costumes, don’t let any lawyer eat your money iyawo mi. You deserve better dear, time still dey to make a detour and save your face. I don’t deal in social media court. Enjoy the funny moments.