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Omoluabi: An African Conception of moral values

Godwin Azenabor


The moral experience is a reality in every social and cultural life, with variations being in the interpretations given to experience. A people’s value system defines their identity.  Consequently, this paper interrogates an example of an African theory of moral value against a moral developmental model, using the philosophical, expositional, analytical and comparative methods. The reflections in this paper focus on the Yoruba cultural context in Nigeria. The paper posits a relationship between a moral value system and development. It argues that the inability of the Nigerian state to attain enviable developmental status can be attributed to moral decadence, apart from inept leadership, ethnicity, antagonism, endless vendetta, political jingoism and cultural sub-nationalism. Since the goal of morality is peaceful co-existence, harmonious interaction, social cohesion and character development, the paper argues that Omoluabi traits can be appropriated to tackle moral problems and questions in contemporary Nigerian society. It concludes that the cultural heritage of Omoluabi can serve as a corpus of raw material for contemporary moral life, and contribute to tackling existential, moral and developmental challenges.

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eISSN: 2076-7714
print ISSN: 0251-043X