John Locke’s concept of state: A panacea for the challenges of Nigeria democracy

  • John-Paul Chinedu Enemuo
Keywords: Democracy, Politics, Nigeria, Power, Government.


Nigerian form and practice of democracy is very faulty, ranging from the foundation to the very level of the actual practice of democracy. Most political office holders in Nigeria arrive at the corridors of power through avenues devoid of generally accepted standard of democratic principle, it is in Nigeria that one gets to hear and see that power is actually taken and not given as is provided by the principles of democracy. John Locke in his political theory presented consent as the bedrock of democracy and went further to outline the aims of civil government. Consequently, any civil government that deviates from the provisions of the social contract theory, stands the risk of dissolution. From the foregoing, the reverse is the case in the Nigerian socio-political space. This work makes use of analytical method in philosophy to investigate the shortcomings in the characteristics of democracy being practiced in Nigeria, it would analyze John Locke’s concept of the state placing it in line with current trends in the Nigerian political scene. The researcher discovered that what is practiced in Nigeria falls short, far below standard of what is generally known and practiced worldwide as democracy which by implication is the “government of the people, by the people and for the people, viewing it through the lens and window of Lockean provision. Finally, this paper concludes that Nigeria politicians and office holders should eschew selfishness and pursue that which would contribute positively to the commonwealth. Democracy is people/masses oriented. Once a nation misses this target, the glory of that nation automatically starts corroding and subsequently fades away, and the result is seen in the gross suffering of the citizens.

Keywords: Democracy, Politics, Nigeria, Power, Government.


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eISSN: 1597-474X