I See a Quagmire
I have always believed that knowledge is power, but lately, I have become more convinced that the application of knowledge is power. Yet, to apply knowledge, you need to gain knowledge. And it is at this point that I see some marshy ground.
How do you make the law appealing? How do you explain it in terms that pique interest? How do you deviate from legalistic principles that require you to cite precedence to back your line of thought? How do I make you enjoy my column?
Honestly, I cannot say I have the answers. But I am not perturbed. Relationships that bloom are the product of time and effort; I am certain that the more time I give to this and the more time we spend together through this column, I will be able to find a way to pique your interest and keep it.
As a result, to begin our journey, I must lay some foundational principles that will help you appreciate the law better and apply it to your lives daily.
Lawyers are trained to make referrals – referrals to authoritative positions that strengthen a point of view. While lawyers receive formal training on this, every field of life provides informal training on the reliance on authoritative positions to strengthen a point of view. For example, it is proven knowledge that what goes up must come down. But saying this to a child who has no knowledge of the Law of Gravity will elicit the question, “Why does what goes up have to come down?” At the point where the explainer has to tell the child, “It is because of the law of gravity,” he has referred to an authoritative position to strengthen his point of view.
As we take on our journey, I will be making referrals to different authorities to help you see why the law is what it is. Sometimes, these authorities may not make sense. That’s okay; when they don’t make sense, you are free to challenge them – I welcome feedback in the comments section and I believe that the more ideas we share on how to improve our Laws in Nigeria, the richer our Laws will be in the long run.
To help me guide you on this journey, I will be making referrals to the following:
- The Nigerian Constitution;
- Decided Court Cases;
- Laws Made by the Federal Government of Nigeria;
- Laws Made by the State Government of States in Nigeria;
- International Laws; and
- Laws Made in Other Countries of the World.
In my next post, I will be making references to the Nigerian Constitution to show you how government is supposed to function. Election year is three months away and this will be my way of sensitizing people towards making sound decisions for the election. I am hopeful that beyond contributing to helping you make sound decisions, it will help you understand how Nigeria ought to work and spot when there is an anomaly in the Nigerian polity.
I learnt while growing up that brevity is the soul of wit. If only lawyers adhered to this! Since I mentioned earlier that to apply knowledge is more powerful than to gain it, I must stick to the truth that brevity is the soul of wit.
Welcome to my column and I hope, like me, that you look forward to having a good time.