Political Lies and Lying to the Nigerian Public View larger

Political Lies and Lying to the Nigerian Public

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Just as lies are of different grades so are liar politicians. Interestingly, savvy liar politicians, more often than not, record spectacular electoral success because honesty is not often rewarded.

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Lying is real and politicians compound lying by deliberate semantic obfuscation, outright denial, or buck-passing. Fortunately, concealment does not convert a lie to truth. It rather steps it up to a meta-lie and thus creates an analytical problem as the lie becomes more opaque. The reality is that the denial is often unsuccessful escape route which is  a proof that the liar knows that he lies and that lying is culpable.

A meta-lie is therefore, the attempted repudiation of a lie and an unconscious confession by a liar. The analysis of lies is also complicated by the fact that there are several variants of lies which ipso facto, vary in gravity but equally at variance with the truth. There is therefore, a need for the clarification, definition, and unbundling of a lie by identifying it’s characteristics, properties and conditions.

Even then, it is important to enter the caveat that the opposite of a lie is not necessarily the truth because even truth can be used to lie as in paltering, which is in the form of employing truth in the service of lies.

Author: Prof John Ayoade 


52 pages