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A hermeneutic of Luther’s principle of nonviolence vis-à-vis the challenges of insecurity in Nigeria

Charles C. Nweke
Charles C. Ugwu


Security of lives and property is a fundamental obligation the State owes her citizen. States are aware of this responsibility but sometimes renege against it or even take actions that result in insecurity. The citizens are also aware of this responsibility of the State. More importantly, they are aware that it is part of their civic duties to ensure the security of lives and property within the State. However, at times due to forces like poverty, unemployment, bad government policies, etc, citizens themselves indulge in activities that undermine the security of their country. They resort to violence as means of venting their frustration at their leaders. The result is anarchy, social, political and economic collapse. This article studies Martin Luther King Jr’s principle of nonviolence. It identifies Racism, poverty, and militarism, factors Luther described as the “Triple Evils that form violence,” as the predisposing factors catalyzing insecurity in Nigeria. It interprets the forces behind the insecurity challenges in Nigeria in the light of Luther’s postulations and posits Luther’s six principles of nonviolence as the path toward resolving the mounting security challenges in Nigeria. The article concludes that Nigerian State actors must favour dialogue against the use of excessive military might while dealing with internal security situations, provide employment and food security, and ensure regional equality and justice for all citizens at all times; if the country is to surmount her rising insecurity crises.