We Must Not Diminish The Importance Of One Word Particularly In A Legal Instrument As Important As That Which Transfers Authority

What's in a word. Everything. As a student of language (English language and Literature) I appreciate the distinctions that can be made in a connotative and denotative meaning of a word.

 As a marketing communications professional every single word in a copy matters. Just one word can be the subject of debate over many meetings.

 I also know one word can land you in trouble with your Sub Editor or Editor if you are a journalist and in court or jail if you defame someone or live in a repressive state. 

One word can make a difference in a legal agreement so lawyers go over every word in an agreement with a fine tooth comb. 

In medicine let a doctor misplace one word for another in a prescription and it can land you where you don't want to be. 

As a Yoruba man, one word can even convey different meanings as we say, pele n'obi o l'ako (sorry has male and female variety) and its interpretation can grant or deny you access to the inner room when you have offended madam.

We must not diminish the importance of one word particularly in a legal instrument as important as that which transfers authority.

Every word counts. Within the context of the letter from the President to the Senate, you must weigh it alongside the relevant clause in our constitution which was clearly stated.

But given the larger context of someone asking 'who is the Presidency', then the action of the Senator who raised the issue and the dust it has raised is more than justified.

Now if any mischief was planned or it was an innocent error, it is clear to all and sundry that Professor Osibajo has been vested by the constitution, with the full weight of citizen support, to function as Acting President with all authority whilst the President recuperates. 

So any cabal, real or imagined, know the position of Nigerians on this issue. One WORD is enough for the wise. 

Written By kayode olagesin
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