OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies

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Human Nature, Dirty Hands and Social Disorder: A Socio-Political Understanding of the Nigerian Society

GU Ukagba, AA Asekhauno


Contemporary society is replete with myriad social, economic, political problems and various forms of immorality. Every society desires order and peace hence many scholars (Vico, Hobbes, and Machiavelli, to mention a few) have attempted to locate the source of these malaises. A close analysis of some of their arguments indicates that social disorder, which is the hallmark of immorality, is a product of ‘dirty hands’ rooted in the human condition. A further scrutiny of this view vis-a-vis contemporary Nigerian socio-politics is the imperative of this paper; and we shall conclude that we can manage it by fighting to stop some of its undesirable consequences, but above all we must learn to live with this necessary evil despite the fact that Aquinas maintains that it is contrary to the order of reasonableness.

Whatever is contrary to the order of reason is contrary to the nature being as such, and what is reasonable is in accordance with human nature as such. The good of the human being is in accord with reason, and human evil is being outside the order of reasonableness... so human virtue which make good both the human person and his works, is in accordance with human nature just in so far as it is in accordance with reason, and vice is contrary to human nature just in so far as, it is contrary to the order of reasonableness. (ST, 1-11, g.71, a.2c)

AJOL African Journals Online