Igboho and law of social contract

A fact we cannot and must not shy away from as a people is that the Nigeria of today is exhibiting the full attributes of the Hobbesian State of Nature where “life is brutish and short.” And, this cannot be discussed in isolation by not making reference to how successive governments in the country have failed to live up to expectations in fulfilling the mandate placed on them by the good people of the country. Government in Nigeria is so far from the people to the extent that the people hardly feel the impact of government despite the fact that their representatives willingly enter into a social contract with them.

Unfortunately, the content of this social contract has on many occasions been bastardised to the extent that the impact and necessity of government is not being felt by the people. It has been said that government exists for the state and not the state for the government. Unfortunately, reverse is the case in Nigeria even with the fact that Section 14(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) clearly stipulates that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary responsibility of every government.”

It is so pathetic that those at the helms have failed to realise that the concept of social contract is why the people agree to be civil to one another under a threat of punishment from a governing body that has been established for that purpose which is ‘the government. And, in a situation whereby justice is not being gotten, there will definitely be a rise of anti-government groups which is what a Sunday Igboho and an Nnamdi Kanu represent.

This is so because, the political authority that the people agree to submit some of their rights to have failed to live up to expectations, thereby, giving rise to anti-government groups which will definitely lead us to Hobbesian State of Nature where, as defined by Hobbes, “our rivals would see what we have, desire it, and kill us to acquire it.

Kazeem Olalekan Israel,

Ibadan.

 

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