POPPER AND THE DEMOCRATIC SPACE IN NIGERIAN POLITICS: AN ETHICAL ANALYSIS

  • Terfa Kahaga Anjov Department of Philosophy, Benue State University Makurdi,
Keywords: Democracy, Ethics, Popper, Governance, Party-Politics

Abstract

The political space in Nigeria is always charged due to the absence of democratic
ethics by politicians who speak of change without any commitment to such a
promise or genuine effort towards improving the social and economic structures
of the society. The political space favours party candidature and interests as
against independent candidature during an election, which makes the allegiance
or responsibility of the former to be, first, to the political party and hardly about
the common good. This paper demonstrates a practical suggestion to the problem
through Popper’s idea of creative politics, which culminates in the principle that
a government can be dismissed by a majority vote. Popper’s preference for
democracy is because it is built on choice-making. The choice the electorate makes
of their leaders is measured by their socio-economic reality. However, the
difficulty with this style of democracy is not “who should rule?”, but how the state
is to be constituted so that bad rulers can be got rid of without bloodshed and
violence. It is only a true leader with a powerful political will that can make the
greatest impact on the lives of the people. The democracy that allows such
individuals does not place emphasis on the rule of the people, but of party majority
and loyalists. The paper argues that a democracy that is truly a rule of, by and for
the people is difficult to achieve within a political space that emphasizes party
allegiance. Therefore, it concludes that Popper’s idea of creative politics, which
favours the idea of independent candidates during an election, is a valuable
panacea.

References

Achebe, Chinua. The Trouble with Nigeria. Oxford: Heinemann Educational

Publishers, 1984.

Bartley, William. The Retreat to Commitment. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962.

Revised edition, La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1984.

Binuomoyo, Olayinka Kehinde, “The Paradox of 1914 and the June 12: Nigeria’s

Unending Nightmares” International Journal of Research and Innovation in

Social Sciences (IJRISS) Vol. II, Issue XII, December 2018.

Catton Philip and Graham Macdonald eds. Karl Popper: Critical Appraisals. New

York: Routledge, 2004.

Corvi Roberta. An Introduction to the Thought of Karl Popper. New York: Routledge,

Emewu, Ikenna. “12 out of 36 Guber Results Annulled by Court”, Saturday Sun, May

, 2010.

Jarvie Ian and Sandra Pralong. eds. Popper’s Open Society After Fifty Years: The

Continuing Relevance of Karl Popper. London and New York: Routledge,

Kari, Umar A. G. “Issues in Election Petition Adjudication in Nigeria’s Fourth

Republic: A Sociological Critique of the Role of the Judiciary” Global Journal

of Politics and Law Research Vol. 5, No. 7, December 2017.

Miller, David. ed. A Pocket Popper. Glasgow: Fontana Press, 1983.

Miller, David. ed. Popper Selection. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University

Press, 1985.

Popper, Karl. Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge.AZ

Basic Books, Publishers, New York and London, 1962.

Popper, Karl. The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London and New York: Routledge,

Popper, Karl. The Open Society and Its Enemies, vol. I: The Spell of Plato, vol. II: The

High Tide of Prophecy: Hegel, Marx, and the Aftermath.

London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1945, 1966.

Schilllp, Arthur Philip ed. The Philosophy of Karl Popper: Book I. Illinois:

Northwestern University

Shemur, Jeremy. The Political Thoughts of Karl Popper. London and New York:

Routledge, 1996.

Weekly Reports of Nigeria (2012) WRN/SC.191/2012 SC.191A/2012 SC.192.

Accessed August 17, 2020.

https://weeklyreportsofnigeria.com/report_details_fd/663

The Economist. “Popper on democracy: From the archives (the open society and its

enemies revisited). Accessed August 16, 2020.

https://www.economist.com/democracy-in-america/2016/01/31/from-thearchives-

the-open-society-and-its-enemies-revisited

Published
2020-09-14

Most read articles by the same author(s)