Philosophy, missing element in Nigeria’s political system, says Don

philosophy1_bookPhilosophy has been identified as the “missing element” in Nigeria’s political system.

Prof Marie Pauline Eboh made this assertion recently at the Annual Graduation lecture of the Dominican Institute, Ibadan.

The Institute, affiliated to the University of Ibadan, is a Catholic tertiary educational establishment owned by the Dominican Province of Nigeria and Ghana.

Rev. Eboh, a professor of Philosophy at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, who was the guest lecturer, stated that the theme of the lecture was topical “because many things go wrong in this country for want of philosophy and the logic of self-consistency,” adding: “It appears that in matters of principle, many tend to swim with the current instead of standing like a rock.”

This, she stated, explains the absence of “any identifiable consistent philosophical strand running through all political regimes in Nigeria.

“There is often lack of continuity of programmes, as each new administration tends to jettison the policies of the previous administration, thus policies are hardly followed to their logical conclusions.”

She pointed out that due to a groaning lack of philosophy, Nigerians are deeply skeptical of their leaders, because generations of Nigerian leaders have played on people’s intelligence and consequently, they hardly know what to believe any more.

According to her: “Scathing remarks on actions and inactions of the present and past government reflect discontent, especially among the underemployed and unemployed citizens of our country.”

She bemoaned ostentatious and profligate lifestyle of political elites and wondered how leaders can flaunt their riches and at the same time persuade the suffering masses that the country is poor.

The effect of this, she said, is evident as “our present-day democracy is a sham, dominated by people with tunnel vision and orchestrated in a domain where unity, freedom, human rights, equity, dialogue and morality, which are some of the basic philosophical prerequisites for true democracy, are lacking in the political system.”

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