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Talking Law With Ivie Omoregie: Whilst We Suffer, Our Leaders Continue their Political Prostitution

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Talking Law with Ivie OmoregieAs we all know the 2019 Nigeria Presidential Elections are scheduled to hold on the 16th February 2019. In light of this, we have seen a lot of “Political Prostitution” going on.

Having been raised in the UK, I never knew it was possible, nor have I seen a group of politicians who are so willing, to decamp parties at the slightest whim. Unfortunately this is the reality we have been facing with the Nigerian Political scene.

Here, it is not common for a politician to have been linked to (or in some cases at the forefront of) numerous political parties during the lifetime of his or her political career.

To me this is alarming and this article aims to discuss the concept of Political Identity and Political Prostitution.

What Is A Political Party?
Ideally, a political party is a group of people with similar political aims and opinions, who seek to influence public policy by getting their candidates into elected office; on average a political party is estimated to last for 43 years.

In western jurisdictions, like religion, most people will be members of a single political party for the entirety of their lives, and most people’s political standing will be molded by their upbringing and their family values.

Generally there are 4 categories of political parties, these are

  1. One to the Right (Conservatives also known as The Realist)
  2. One to the left (Liberal also known as The Idealists)
  3. The ones in or on the Centre (Centrist: either Centre-right or Centre-left and therefore regarded in many political climes as Social Democrats etc.)
  4. The fourth (the extreme of the extreme) are the Communist/Socialist

In these jurisdictions you will often find that most political parties would have been in existence for a significant number of years and would have fallen within one of the above categories.

What is Political Identity?
Political identity or Identiterian Politics or Political “Lifestyle”, refers to political positions based on the interests and perspectives of social groups with which people identify. There is a general belief that the average persons political standing is founded by the identity they may have formed from the political opinions, and interests of the loosely connected social organizations to which they may be involved with. These could be social organizations based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or culture.

The term, political identity, steams mainly from minority groups, and is formed when a class of persons becomes conscious of itself. It is a class identity which in turn shapes the other aspects of this minority class’ life. They are able to come together to further strengthen their group’s social standing by ensuring their candidates are elected into public office.

Having a political identity is supposed to prescribe, constitute and define certain ways of understanding and interpreting situations as well as performing actions. Generally, having an identity helps in defining a universe of meanings; identities serve basic needs in a citizen’s political orientation.

What is A Political Prostitute?
When strictly interpreted a “Prostitute” is someone of loose morals who exchanges sex for money. A Political Prostitute is someone who is willing to associate his or her name and talent with any party as long as there is some sort of personal favor. Political Prostitutes are politicians who allow themselves to be used or are users, with the sole aim of personal gain.

Thus where you have a politician who is willing to align his or her personal ethos and social standing based on what he or she perceives can be gained from a particular party, this person may be deemed as being a Political Prostitute.

In Nigeria, we have seen numerous instances where a politician has decamped from one party to another based on their belief that the party will be their surest way of attaining a political appointment. We have also seen instances where a politician is encouraged to decamp with persuasive threats of EFCC investigation/asset forfeiture – both of which will equate to exchanging their political standing for personal favor.

PDP vs. APC vs. R-APC = WTH
Unfortunately having lived and worked in Nigeria for the last decade, I am yet to decipher which of the above four categories our leading parties fall under.

Initially when APC was first formed I had the belief that members of the party were strictly “against corruption” and truly wanted a “change”. When speaking to people who were for PDP during the last election, there was a sense of disgust at the back of my mind, as to me PDP meant “misappropriation of public funds for personal gain”.

As you can imagine, right now I am simply confused and not sure what to think of any of our political parties. I have simply lost track of the cross carpeting and I am now merely observing.

Although I must acknowledge that not all political decampers have done so for personal gain. Unfortunately when viewed strictly, politicians who have a history of decamping and cross carpeting from one political party to another cannot be called any thing other than a Political Prostitute. The harsh truth is that, it is mainly done for financial gain or to increase their social standing.

Aside from those who present an image as being against corruption and for the masses, I cannot ascertain which of the four categories our leading politicians fall into. To me Nigerian politicians have truly made a mockery of politics and democratic rule.

Someone recently asked me what I think should be done to change the way the country is currently being managed, and my honest opinion was that we should be given back to the British to serve as a colony of their empire. The harsh truth is, in our current state, the average Nigerian will continue to suffer whilst our leaders are seemingly playing musical chairs.

Ivie Omoregie is the Founding Consultant at Skye Advisory. Skye Advisory is a boutique business advisory firm with locations in London, England, as well as Lagos, Nigeria. Skye Advisory offers bespoke Legal, Financial and General Business advisory services to small and micro businesses.  Ivie is a duly qualified lawyer with years of cross border experience in the areas of Corporate Advisory, Energy and Projects, Finance and Litigation.  Ivie is also an active member of the Nigerian Bar Association as well as an avid Business Advisor, Political Analyst and Human Rights promoter.  View more details about her at www.IvieOmoregie.com. Follow her on Twitter @Ivie_Omoregie and Instagram @Skye.Advisory "

38 Comments

  1. Jane

    August 20, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    ?????? #PoliticalProstitution

  2. by_stander

    August 20, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    So apart of the political identity issues (chicken-egg problem)

    what do you think about – a system/deliberate infringement on inalienable rights through laws and polices?

    Do you think this can have any effects on a nation? what sort of effects do you think it can have?

    Are you aware of any such instance of this currently ongoing, say two professions writing a monopoly for themselves in our laws and policies?

    • by_stander

      August 20, 2018 at 11:24 pm

      apart from*
      systematic*

  3. Californiabawlar

    August 20, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Gbammmmmmm!!! Arrgh! I just scroll past the defection ‘news’ with the speed of lightning. How e take concern common man? Like how?! Shameless lot! Ugh ?

  4. Peas boo

    August 21, 2018 at 1:15 am

    IMO the mention of colonial rule totally renders this piece useless and shameful. You are a disgrace to Nigeria, Africa and all black people that lived through slavery, apertide and other colonial wars…

    • Exactly!

      August 21, 2018 at 5:31 am

      I’ve vowed never to comment on BN again since they treat commenters as jobless people but I couldn’t help it this time. Everything was making sense until she mentioned giving the country back to the British. What the actual fudge was that supposed to mean? APC’s mistake was allowing PDP members to freely migrate to their party. I think a new law should be made such that you have to be a member of a party for a stipulated time before porting to another party. These politicians have zero integrity. Very shameless lot!

    • Nonso

      August 21, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Hahaha if you gave out free indefinite stay for Brittish citizenship, I can guarantee you no less than 20k applicants in 1 week. Are the Nigerians in london suffering racial abuse?

    • Chichi

      August 21, 2018 at 11:25 am

      I don’t know this woman but I think the British rule comment may just be out of anger because honestly the situation is desperate. But really it shouldn’t have been printed. Seriously if you ask many people who are in desperate positions in Nigeria right now they might say the same thing. The reality is if you are getting by and managing it’s easy to forget that there are pitiful situations around this country, one of the biggest problems is we are too used to suffering and smiling we actually think there is no other way. Look at all this talk about voting and yet the state of the politicians is a joke. So once again we vote and see no change and hope and suffer and smile. So many people realise now that it’s down to us civilians to work on helping ourselves but in the end it’s the people at the top that frustrate us from reaching hire.

    • TheRealist

      August 24, 2018 at 6:35 am

      @Chichi, no amount of anger could rationally cause any free-born African to romanticize colonialism.

      Frankly it’s because we do not tell our own stories that some of our generation romanticize colonialism, a period when virtual APARTHEID existed here in Nigeria (ask your parents and grands about so-called “European Quarters” and “European Clubs”), and all of our infrastructure (rail, roads, ports) existed to transport raw materials from the hinterlands to the coasts and then off to Europe, and finished goods (many from same exported raw materials) from Europe back to us as we were a captive market.

      Meanwhile, the education system produces merely clerks and bookkeepers to record and tax the indigenous population, while the police and military primarily existed to keep the local population in check (a model that has unfortunately been perpetuated by many post-colonial African governments), and to act as effective canon fodder during the World Wars (interestingly we are hardly if at all noted during the UK’s military remembrances). Could go on infinitum but suffice it to affirm that her comment was beyond obtuse.

    • Ken

      August 24, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      That was years ago. The truth is England still has quite a large empire and I believe the citizens of these countries are doing better than the majority of Nigerians living in Nigeria. I would love to hear your views on a potential way forward. As it is right now the country is in dire need of the change it was promised 4 years ago.

    • TheRealist

      August 25, 2018 at 5:00 am

      @Ken, unfortunately the legacy of colonialism persists till the present (and btw, colonialism is not so long ago as we still have folks lived under it alive today – unlike slavery, for example). Nigeria itself, a smorgasbord of nationalities and cultures so diverse as to be substantively in inherent conflict with each other in some cases, is a legacy of colonialism. Nonetheless, several Asian countries share many of the same colonial history as African nations and have successfully overcome its legacy, and thus I am eternally optimistic that we similarly ultimately will. But the one abiding lesson from those countries has been to shed the yoke of colonialism and neo-colonialism, and instead forge/control their own destinies themselves.

    • by_stander

      August 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      Please before you bite her head off, let her answer my question above, especially as it relates to their profession

      If they handover to the brits its not that it wouldn’t work, it will be fundamental flawed since people expect to be ruled by their own kind/interest and the brits would have to factor in their own interest regardless of how well meaning they are.

      The moment things start to get better, the people will loose interest in having themselves ruled by foreigners (law of diminishing marginal utility or law of diminishing returns)

      The only good thing maybe the brits will be quicker to see the source of the problems -> infringement on inalienable rights of people in favour of Lawyers and Accountants using federal and state laws/policies.

      The reason why the society is failing is because of what they are doing by creating a monopoly for their profession for direct financial gain. what they are doing is not based on facts and also contradicts natural laws.

      ordinarily if these can be proved to be a deliberate and systematic act by their guild, it has grounds for treason.

      almost every case of conflict, preventable-death and poverty can be linked to the infringement of economic liberties and right to earn a living of the people affected by these bad laws and policies which are always in favour of lawyers and accountants – laws that could not have surfaced without the oversight of lawyers.

      Imagine if almost everybody going into a particular hospital was dying and the doctors were getting rich. – what about if the only way to get better of a particular “man-made” sickness was to go into one particular hospital where the doctors where getting rich?- would you not call them to question?

      So we need to ask them now, so they can not claim that they are not aware of what is happening to our society. On what scientific bases are they formulating their bad policies and what are the checks and balances to ensure they don’t misuse their powers, what independent recourse do people have when negatively affected by these bad policies/laws ? whats the disincentive stopping them from using laws and policies to infringe on inalienable rights for personal interests?

      If its malpractice, let them publish the bad laws they know infringe on inalienable rights and or the constitution and the names of the people writing the laws including the lawyers and accountants involved.

      if they don’t have a framework for that, let them create it right away.

      But If they are trying to covertly create a slave economy in favour of their profession, let them continue to keep quiet as the society declines while they misdirect people into thinking their problems are coming from elsewhere.

      We will continue to educate ourselves on the matter.

    • Chief

      August 21, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Objective third party intervention.

    • nikky

      August 21, 2018 at 10:49 pm

      the only thing missing in this comment is a bibliography 🙂

    • Space

      August 22, 2018 at 10:38 am

      Please what exactly are you saying.

    • Nawa

      August 22, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      You come across as a very stubborn person with a bitter and vengeful attitude. You actually took the time out to even type this senseless comment. Its your type that are letting the country down with this misdirected aggression.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      August 23, 2018 at 12:30 am

      The current spate of indiscipline witnessed during this our very young democracy is so bad that my mother wants the military to return. Would you also call her a disgrace?

      Nobody wants to willingly subject themselves to the rulership of an iron hand but I completely understand the sentiments behind both Ivie’s and my mother’s remarks about handing power back to what they perceive as more disciplined powers.

      Just look at us, 100 million plus people, being led by the nose as our collective intelligence is constantly insulted by a tiny fraction (tiny fraction!) of our number who’ve clearly locked our destiny in a clay pot. Otherwise, why are we so flipping submissive and accepting of their uselessness? They have labelled us as fools and the worst part is that Nigerians do not have the collective will to stop being taken for fools so another 4 years of the same inefficiency lies ahead.

      Or haven’t you noticed that we run our country the way we run most Nigerian owned businesses? Compare the governance structure between an IOC/MNC operating in Nigeria (where there may be some tendencies towards our usual unruliness but discipline is largely enforced by powers outside the country) and many indigenous companies. Structure and accountability (at all levels) are totally alien concepts to us, which is a fundamental problem we’ve been given 58 years to fix and still haven’t figured out.

      I would hand the whole country back to the British before I handed it back to the military, to be honest. Regardless of their other failings, they’re actually capable of applying more humanity and ethical behavior to their governance and social interactions than we Nigerians can show in ours.

  5. Emmanuel

    August 21, 2018 at 9:23 am

    You not agreeing with this point does not render the piece useless. Ivie has hit on something that is very relevant to today’s Nigeria. If you live in Nigeria or understand the intricacies of the countries issues you would appreciate that it is only an objective third party that can efficiently change the system and ease the suffering. Nigerian leaders have proven that they lack the capacity to effectively change the country. They have shown time and time again that they lack empathy to the needs of their masses. Someone once said the problem with Nigeria is not the government but the mindset of the average Nigerian. They stressed that the average Nigerian is flawed and that is why anyone picked randomly from this pool of people has proven to be also flawed. Its akin to asking a human being who is damaged to fix the system that damaged them when that is the only system they truly know and honestly the damage is far reaching. If you believe the Brittish and Americans do not currently control who wins are elections then you are delusional, they have far too much invested in the economy to leave our flawed politicians to their own devices.

  6. Osa

    August 21, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Our politicians are using us all for gest.

  7. The Real Oma

    August 21, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    “we should be given back to the British to serve as a colony of their empire.”
    I don’t know, Ivie, I have read a number of your articles and somehow this line sounds like it shouldn’t be coming from you.
    My perception of you is that you are intellectually sound, this clause here totally negates that… I’m appalled by both your choice of words and their stark implication.

  8. Sylvia

    August 21, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    All of you talking nonsense on this platform clearly are not suffering with the rest of us in Nigeria. My friends mother died last week because she was given the wrong medication. I would rather be in a functional environment, I am not too proud to admit the country needs help.

    • Dayo

      August 25, 2018 at 5:19 am

      SLYVIA, my own dad died in the US from gross medical malpractice. Where there’s a problem, we need to fix it ourselves – just as citizens in the US and the UK do. May both souls RIP.

  9. molarah

    August 22, 2018 at 12:58 am

    I’ve noticed a concerning trend among folks interacting with each other on cyberspace. It’s the “throw the baby out with the bath water phenomenon”. Someone puts forward eight or so paragraphs of interesting discourse, and because we don’t like one sentence or don’t agree with how a point was phrased we tear the whole piece apart in the comments section.

    Can we really be this petty in real life? Or are we not able to see how ridiculous this pattern of behavior is?

    We didn’t all grow up in the same house, and we were not all raised by the same parents, mbok. We don’t all face the same way when we sleep, and so we can’t all think the same way, or phrase things in the same manner. I personally am against any recommendations involving a backwards movement – either into colonialism, military rule or so on, but if any one strongly feels that way: it is their point of view, and as long as it’s not insulting or incendiary they they can express it freely. Can we focus on the real meat of the article going forward?

    • Sammy

      August 22, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Interestingly it is this inability to focus on pressing issues that is causing our leaders to take us for the fools they believe we are.

    • Californiabawlar

      August 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      I feel you. The only thing that makes me weary of everything in a discussion is if/when I spot a lie somewhere. Otherwise I’m decent at staying on topic despite any difference of OPINION. And that’s what the bit about the Brits is, an opinion (that I vehemently disagree with) but everything else about the corrupt politicians playing musical chairs is facts! All facts! It’ll do us well to focus on that.

    • TheRealist

      August 24, 2018 at 6:42 am

      @molarah, free speech does not mean sacrosanct speech.

      When someone decides to exercise his/her free speech rights to share or impart his/her opinion with or upon an audience (or otherwise voluntarily place same in the PUBLIC realm), such an audience (or PUBLIC) being addressed or with which the opinion is being shared has an EQUAL right to freely respond or otherwise share their own opinion on said opinion.

  10. Chris

    August 22, 2018 at 1:52 am

    I think I totally agreed with ivie Cox everything about the country is a mess Right now and every politician is just there for themselves alone. So we need the brits to come and fix up things right

  11. Stan

    August 22, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Well written article, I have been thinking about this toooc for some time. Right now looking school fees and honestly I am tired.

  12. abi

    August 22, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    The truth is Nigeria needs urgent assistance, and the government have failed me too many times for me to believe any good can come of such a hopeless group of men. Can the country get any worse than it currently is? I don’t mind British intervention, and I am sure there are many Nigerians who feel the same. Elections are in a matter of months and there is no real opposition. There is alot of talk about getting the PVC, but whats the point when there is no real opposition.

  13. Randommer

    August 23, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Lol so what I’m getting from this is you’d rather a British man steal your future than a Nigerian politician. The British did a good job the first time around Sha.

    • TheRealist

      August 24, 2018 at 6:57 am

      @Randommer…LOL! The Brits really did a number on this lot!

      Mortifying that some apparently think that we were better off during a 100-year colonial era (1860-1960) that produced all of 1 university college (not even a full-fledged university) that did not have any law, engineering or medical programs but rather churned out what the Brits needed to control and tax the local population – administrators! This was the era when “hand writing” was considered among the zenith of educational skills, because it was of utmost importance to properly record, control and tax the adult population. SMH

    • Dunno

      August 24, 2018 at 9:32 am

      How many times will you comment on one article ????

    • TheRealist

      August 25, 2018 at 5:04 am

      @Dunno, as many times as I darn well please. Or should I also ask the Brits for permission? SMH

    • Zara

      August 24, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Abeg leave the history lessons for the historians. How many people has the current Nigerian educational system failed. Don’t you people send your children to England and America for a better education. I love this article, I understand why you might not agree about colonial rule, how ever you must accept that something drastic needs to be done and it must be done soon.

    • TheRealist

      August 25, 2018 at 5:12 am

      @Zara, as admittedly dire as the Nigerian educational landscape presently is (and frankly it is uneven wrt quality, with many private schools doing quite well), it is still better than colonial era (mis-) education – when writing and reading English was the zenith of educational achievement (and the measure of “quality”).

      PS: Btw, shame that History has been excluded from basic Nigerian curriculum and instead has been “left for the historians”. Unfortunately, those who do not where they are coming from often hardly know where they are headed – and perhaps hence the abhorrent thirst for recolonization.

  14. Ovadje

    August 23, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    I should have stopped reading at “Having been raised in the UK, I never knew it was possible…blah, blah, blah,” when the concept of Crossing-the-Floor is literally a British political invention. Sounds like one of those low self-esteemed Nigerians who are just happy to exist in the UK without actually knowing anything. SMH

  15. Eric

    August 24, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Utter nonsense, in the last decade how many Brittish politicians have changed parties for personal gain.

  16. Cynthia

    August 29, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Very sound article. I admire your write ups.
    Can we learn to argue without the name calling? Ivie is a young woman who takes time to research and write. Very few women her age can put out such meaningful articles consistently.

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