Social Justice, Civil Society and the Dramatist in Democratic Nigeria
Nigeria as a democratic nation-state is ailing. One of the consequences of this ailment is the cascading standard of social justice in the country. Instead of correcting the trend, the leaders continue to rationalize every action taken by government and describe Nigeria’s democracy as being unique to the cultural environment, yet the human-rights violations, political dishonesty and the declining social standards induced by government are not compatible with the tenets of liberal democracy. The civil society, through its organizations and institutions, has been challenged to initiate a plan of ideological reorientation for social and ethical change, using nonconfrontational methods. Drama and theatre, being veritable media of communication are considered extremely suitable in this regard. The method of Theatre for Development is strongly recommended for its potential of using community members to develop and communicate relevant messages to grass root communities. This methodology has been applied with evidence of positive results in health advocacy, environmental education, women and youth development and other issues. The method is also ideal for the possibility of obtaining a feedback from the target audience for impact assessment.
Keywords: Social Justice, Civil Society, Democracy, Nigerian Drama and Theatre for Development.