Where is the social contract as life in Nigeria becomes nasty, brutish and short?

By Alex Ameh Ogbu

Every human society has its peculiarities anchored on its very mix of historical trajectory. It is a multi-layered fabric of norms, values, customs, cultures, traditions culminating in its over-arching politics. The politics of every society is the totality of this multi-layered history manifesting through social interactions, conflict and resolution.

The ethnic nationalities on the African Continent existed as fussed societies before the early contacts with the European nations through trades in commodities, slaves and colonization. In the end, this contact brought diffusion into a hitherto fussed continent. Hence, “Things Fall Apart” and mare anarchy was loosed upon the African continent. Since then, the centre can no longer stand.

The Western nations of Europe brought their civilization to Africa and blackmailed us that we are without a past, “history”. That we are from the Dark Continent (black skin), therefore, we were not capable of thinking and reasoning like human beings.

They began to civilize us through their religion and school (education).

In the wake of this rude shock to the continent after centuries of dehumanizing slave trade (trans-atlantic and trans-Sahara) another foreign religion and education was in toll in the Northern tip of the continent inching its way across the continent through jihadism. Thus, the continent came under the centripetal forces of foreign powers.

Labour force, productivity, creativity, intellectuality and intelligentsias were all lost to this foreign predators. Human reproduction was adversely affected as population decimated and the continent lay waste. It was in this cul-de-sac that Africa found herself when the western colonial power “Britain” introduced its concept of government. The concept of “Social contract in her society was as old as the society. It has been re-invented over the centuries until finally deified by the trio of; Locke, Hobbes Rouseau and others.

“Social Contract” is the agreement entered into by individuals that result in the formation of the state or of organized society; the prime motives being the desire for protection, which entails the surrender of some or all personal liberties.

It is against this backdrop that I engage and interrogate the government of the Nigerian state today. Over the years since independence, lives of the Nigerian citizens have become increasingly cheap that any group of lunatics, fanatics, criminals and even the state security agents could dispense with at the blink of an eye.

Life in Nigeria can best be described in the same term as it were in the western world before its philosophers theorized “Social Contract”, “nasty, brutish and short”. Nigeria as a country in this 21st century has plunge into pre-history that the western philosophers abhorred by re-inventing through their civilization to conceive social contract theories. Where is the social contract that exists between the government of the Nigeria state and her citizens today?

We in the vanguard of change from below under the aegis of Generation for Change Africa Initiative condemns vehemently the spate of wanton systemic genocide going on around the country disguised as Herders/ Farmers clash over natural resource that has become scarce due to government negligence and irresponsiveness exacerbates by Climate Change.

Comrade Alex Ameh Ogbu is an Abuja based Media Practitioner and a prolific writer that writes mostly from Akatekwe Kingdom. He can be reached via: onwaters2011@gmail.com

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