INTRODUCTION Philosophy as the love for wisdom beams its searchlight towards every aspect of human endeavour where knowledge could be acquired. However, to effectively carry out this task, it is sub-divided into different branches, with each focusing on a given aspect of reality. These divisions or branches of philosophy include Epistemology, Logic, Ethics, Aesthetic, and Metaphysics, etc. This work, however, centres on the branch of philosophy known as metaphysics. The aim is to undergo an extensive exposition of the meaning, nature, scope, and relevance of metaphysics to man and society. Accordingly, our discourse on the subject is categorized in that order. Experience has shown that the majority of those who misconceive and dread philosophy do so mainly with regard to the metaphysics aspect of it. Their grouse with metaphysics is that for them metaphysics is synonymous with occultism and mysticism. Besides, they complain that metaphysics is rife with abstract and hair-splitting terms. Part of the aim of this work is, therefore, to demystify metaphysics by presenting it in the simplest manner such that every class of people in the society can read and comprehend it without the assistance of a professional philosopher. Apart from presenting a detailed explanation of the meaning of metaphysics, other issues such as the sub-divisions of metaphysics as well as the basic elements or fundamental questions of metaphysics were adequately treated. The work was concluded with a consideration of the relevance of metaphysics to man and society.
Abstract This paper examines the place of religion and religious pluralism in nation-building with Nigeria as its focal point. It ties the existence of many religions and the attendant claims to authenticity to the claims by some individuals to have had personal relations from God. The paper goes on to note that these unfounded claims to exclusive religious authenticity are the major cause of incessant religious crisis and wars in Nigeria. Furthermore, the paper attributes religious intolerance and crisis to ignorance, noting that all religions have a common source. Religion, the paper argues, is a two-edged sword with the propensity for good and bad. On the positive side, the paper observes that religion inculcates rich moral values in its adherents. These values act as catalysts for the positive transformation of the individuals and society at large. Conversely, it argues that controversial passages as contained in the scriptures of the various religions have resulted and may continue to result in doctrinal misinterpretations and misunderstanding among the adherents of varying religions. In conclusion, it notes that there are some good virtues that are associated with religion and religious pluralism that could be harnessed and utilized in our quest for a democratic nationhood.
The most significant ingredient of life is health. No wonder the oft–spoken slogan: “Health is wealth”, has remained evergreen in our memory. This is why inasmuch as life is the greatest gift of God to man, the provision of health care facilities is needed in superfluity in order that life may be sustained on earth. Unfortunately, in Nigeria today, the provision of health care facilities seems to be at low ebb as many Nigerian are vulnerably exposed to the danger of death. This situation gives the ugly impression that the political office holders appear to be paying lip service to their dauntless statements that health care facilities would be made available at every nook and cranny of the polity. Worried by this perplexing situation, the paper attempts to investigate the decays in the Nigeria’s health system and seeks to proffer ways which the populace can enjoy a healthier and longer life.
Nigeria has been be devilled by ethno-religious conflicts with devastating human and material losses since the return of democracy in 1999. But the Boko Haram uprising of July 2009 was significant in that it not only set a precedent, but also reinforced the attempts by Islamic conservative elements at imposing a variant of Islamic religious ideology on a secular Nigerian state. Whereas the religious sensitivity of Nigerians provided fertile ground for the breeding of the Boko Haram sect, the sect’s blossoming was also aided by the prevailing economic dislocation in Nigerian society, the advent of party politics and politics of anxiety (and the associated desperation of politicians for political power), and the ambivalence of some vocal Islamic leaders, who, though they did not actively embark on insurrection, either did nothing to stop it from fomenting, or only feebly condemned it. These internal factors coupled with growing Islamic fundamentalism around the globe make a highly volatile Nigerian society prone to violence, as evidenced by the Boko Haram uprising. Given the approach of the Nigerian state to religious conflict, this violence may remain a recurring problem. This paper documents and analyses the Boko Haram uprising, as well as its links with the promotion of Islamic revivalism and the challenges it poses to the secularity of the Nigerian state and security agencies.
The concept of law is very vital to the understanding of legalism. The reason is that the concept of legalism is derived from the term “legal,” and what is legal is also construed to be lawful. Law is an indispensable phenomenon, not just for the development of any given society but also for the maintenance of peace and stability as well as vital relationship among the members of such society. It defines the boundaries for the exercise of individual rights and liberties. In other words, the presence of law results in the realisation by man that his rights end where another man’s rights begin.
Abstract. This paper critically examines the Islamic religion and its laws (the sharia) with a view to determining and exposing how misconception and misuse of religion can impact negatively on the socio-politico-economic development of a country. It argues that although religion as a subject deals with unseen and supernatural realities, yet it occupies a prominent place vis-à-vis the socio-politico-economic development of all known human societies. The paper further observes that whereas there is nothing wrong with the concept of Islam, it (Islam) contains in it (as do other known religions) some seeds or elements that make it prone to easy misconception and multiplicity of interpretations. On this basis, the paper goes on to opine that sharia-induced crises are on the increase in Nigeria because some over-zealous, unscrupulous and selfish Nigerians who are conscious of the volatile and sensitive nature of religion deliberately take advantage of the vulnerability of some Islamic and sharia injunctions to multiple interpretations and perpetrate religious crisis. On the whole, the paper notes that both Islam and its laws (the sharia) have much to offer Nigerians and indeed the rest of humanity, if only the custodians of Islam and the sharia do more to adequately educate its numerous adherents on the true intent of the wordings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Failure to do this, it concludes, will result in more and more muslims falling prey to the unwholesome antics of selfish and unscrupulous Nigerians in the garb of custodians of Islam.
ABSTRACT This paper examines the concept of constitutional democracy and its operation within the context of Nigeria’s political terrain. While arguing that the intention of the founding fathers of our great nation in establishing a constitutional democracy was to create political and institutional mechanisms that will help to checkmate the arbitrariness inherent in government with a view to making sure that power is used for the good of society, it observes that our present-day rulers and other political leaders have turned our government into a regime of personal rule where persons take precedence over rules. Furthermore, it notes that although in principle constitutionalism has a strong relationship with the notion of a democratic government, they are nevertheless two distinct concepts. This is even as a government may be constitutional but not democratic, or democratic and yet not constitutional. The paper observes that the idea of a democratic government is used to portray the idea of a government built upon the consent of the governed obtained freely from them via the instrumentality of periodic elections. It also notes that even though Nigeria has abstract constitution and institutions which are indeed some of the hallmarks of a constitutional government, her problem remains that these formal rules of political and institutional game hardly govern the conduct of her rulers and other political leaders in the course of their political actions and decisions. Such a development, the paper contends, portends some ugly political and economic implications. Politically, it denotes the absence of the rule of law, lack of development, and an invitation to anarchy. In the economic sphere, it discourages foreign investment and therefore, leads to huge economic loss. The paper finally concludes by observing that Nigeria must be both constitutional and democratic for her to really pass for a genuine constitutional democracy. This it can only achieve by strictly and religiously adhering to the hallowed tenets of constitutionalism and democratic governance.
Abstract. This paper examines the Nigerian education system vis-à-vis the quality of Nigerian graduates in the labour market. It argues that Nigeria’s education curriculum places undue emphasis on the possession of certificates, and that this undue emphasis on certification has made every other value about education secondary to the acquisition of certificates. While noting that it is through education that knowledge or skill is acquired for the development of the individual and the society, the paper contends that the placement of undue value on certificates without the requisite knowledge to defend them has cheapened the pursuit of knowledge, learning and acquisition of relevant skills. It appears that every Nigerian aspiring to go into education has, as his immediate concern, the acquisition of certificate. In a related development, the paper notes that it was the quest to possess certificates at all cost that led to the entrance of “expo” (examination leakage) into our education system. It further argues that besides making nonsense of the noble aims and objectives of examination, examination malpractice has resulted in bad consequences for both the Nigerian education system and the labour sector. Firstly, it has bastardized the image of Nigeria’s education system and that of the graduates it produces before the international communities. Secondly, the high level of intellectual emptiness displayed by most Nigerian workers that are products of this bastardized system has resulted in work inefficiency and low productivity. Seen thus, the paper concludes that education which is supposed to be an instrument for poverty reduction and national development has now been turned into a veritable instrument for human and national underdevelopment. As a solution to the quagmire, the paper suggests that in terms of employment, our government and human resource managers should shift emphasis from paper qualification to the possession of requisite knowledge or skill. Again, there should be massive campaign aimed at value re-orientation of the Nigerian masses.
The rising wave of violence in the run up to the April polls calls for concerted efforts from all stake holders to stem the tide of the critical election are not to be threatened or marred. Across the polity, violent conflicts are raising fresh concerns on the prospects of smith conduct of the polls which are less than two months away. In Amaimo, Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, recently, unknown gun men disrupted the senatorial campaign rally of the Action congress of Nigeria. When the dust neared, an ACN Stalwart, Dr Charles Anokwa was discovered missing. There have also been reports of violence in Gboko, Benue State and Bayelsa State, between rival political parties. Also, on February 25, 2010, unexploded bombs were recovered at the VIP pavilion during the flag-off of campaign for re-election of Government Sullivan Chime of Enugu State. It is significant to up this undesirable trend in the bud before it becomes the hallmark of the coming elections. The paper identifies the absence and lack of democratic norms among politicians and the politics of winner takes all with scant regard for service delivery to the populace has enthroned a do or die” political culture in which contestants are determined to win at costs, and what ever means, fair or foul are the major threats to April 2011 elections. The paper concludes by positing that the playing of politics with bitterness could torpedo plans for peaceful polls. This is because violence has now become a way to settle scores, with lives sometimes lost in the process, as political assassinations have also been employed in some states. The paper enjoins Nigerian politicians to eschew playing of politics with bitterness.
Endemic corruption has become an issue of major political and economic relevance in recent years. This has led to a resurgence of interest in analyzing the phenomenon and the diverse forms that it assumes in developing polities with an expectation that democratization and economic liberalization offer potential routes to dealing with the problem. As Nigeria moves towards her 51st independence anniversary, the polity is at crossroads in its fight against graft. Aside from its internal battle to fight corruption, recent revelations on mega bribery scandals being perpetrated by the ruling elites have confirmed that corruption is a cancer that may stunt the nation’s growth. In spite of the effort s of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) stem the rising tide of corruption in the country. The socioeconomic menace has continued to maintain it’s upwards trend, especially among public servants and political appointees. Critiques of the anti-corruption agencies blame the ugly trend on the mode of operation and of the agencies, which according them should be restructured. Some observers have also put the threshold on the criminal justice system and call for the creation of a separate court with the jurisdiction to try all allegations of corruption. The paper examines in a thematic form the various forms and types of corruption. The article also identifies various reasons that inhibit the graft war in Nigeria and the implications for governance. The paper concludes by positing that the recent political history of corruption in Nigeria suggests that corruption is not new, and that, indeed, corrupt practices have been part and parcel of Nigerian politics from inception.
INTRODUCTION The deluge of environmental problems facing the world today has made it imperative that we re-examine our relationship with the environment, especially as most of these environmental problems are caused by human beings. The environmental system has continued to deteriorate owing to what many believe to be the result of over-exploitation of nature. Many would readily argue that much as man’s activities towards the environment have the survival and well-being of humans as the driving force, the environment and its non-human contents have a value of their own that needs to be upheld. It is the realization of the truism in this assertion that led to the emergence of different pro-nature or environment groups with the primary aim of conscientizing the public on the possibilities and the urgent need for establishing an ethical/morally-based relationship with the natural environment. This paper, therefore, is an exposition and appraisal of some key issues and systems/schools of thought in environmental ethics with the aim of laying bare the latent implications of these varying schools of thought vis-à-vis man and the environment. It also demonstrates that irrespective of the use the environment and its non-human contents can be to man; there is the need and the possibility of developing an ethical-based relationship with the environment.