Stalemates to Democracy in Nigeria: The Paradoxes of Human Rights and Social Justice


Author: Ezeanya, Oguejiofo C. P.
Journal: Social Evolution & History. Volume 17, Number 1 / March 2018

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30884/seh/2018.01.08

ABSTRACT

Ever since independence in 1960 Nigeria has struggled with vestiges of colonialism rooted in the divide-and-rule legacy of the British. The postcolonial society has witnessed paradoxical authority patterns entrenched in ‘democratic and military dictatorships’ which under-mine civil rights and social justice, and clamp down on human rights struggles. Peace and security have been in abeyance due to bad lead-ership that fails to utilize the advantage of the socio-cultural and eth-nic diversities of Nigerian peoples. Certain provisions of the Nigerian constitution seem to support these anomalies, and Nigerian leaders have not shown the willpower to change the status quo. Authors and activists have challenged this ugly trend. This paper seeks to address the inhibitions to viable democracy in Nigeria. It points out some con-stitutional shortcomings that encourage bad leadership and disrespect for human rights, and recommends a recreation of standard that would ensure a meaningful democracy in the country.