Advocacy or Adversary: Interrogating Its Changing Meaning and Implications for Global Society

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Rosemary POPOOLA, Covenant University, Nigeria
Matthew EGHAREVBA, Covenant University, Ota Ogun State, Nigeria, Nigeria
Oluyemi FAYOMI, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria
The word advocacy is one that is readily used by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), activists, developmental institutions, social movement groups but which concept is not clearly defined and operationalized. However, groups from secessionists, insurgents, activists adopt the word in propagating their mission without a clear understanding of what it represents in their struggle. This situation has raised questions as to who is an advocate? What qualify someone to advocate for a cause? At what point does advocacy become adversary to the society? This reality has been further exacerbated by conflict of identity as one person's advocate is another person’s adversary and vice versa. This paper therefore seeks to interrogate the concept of advocacy and its changing meaning in a contemporary world and the implications it poses for peace and order. The paper relies on the use of secondary data since it is an exploratory discourse. The paper argues that although the concept can be manipulated for selfish interest while claiming to speak for others yet it remain a rallying word for people, groups, organizations, institution that stand for any social cause that seek to address issues of oppression, victimization, marginalization and underdevelopment. The paper recommends among others a constitutional definition of the concept of advocacy without infringing on the freedom of speech and association that allow people stand for the social cause that interests them. Vis-a vis putting in place measures to punish those who go-beyond the limits of what the law allow for promoting advocacy.