POWER AND AUTHORITY IN NIGERIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM: A PHILOSOPHICAL APPRAISAL

  • Maraizu Elechi Rivers State University, Port Harcourt
  • IBIFURO ROBERT JAJA
Keywords: Keywords: authority, development, morality, philosophy, power.

Abstract

The concepts of power and authority are central in political systems and to
governments. In Nigeria, these concepts are frequently used by politicians in their
political discourses without an adequate understanding of their proper meaning
and application. Many scholars and philosophers often use power and authority
interchangeably as though they are synonymous. In fact, in Nigeria, power seems
to be confused with authority. The inability to clearly and adequately understand
the meaning, theoretical and practical demands of the concepts as well as their
underlying differences, seems to be responsible for their improper exercise and
abuses in our clime. This paper, therefore, examines the concepts of power and
authority in order to establish their differences as well as their demands on those
that seek to wield and exercise them. The research exposes the acquisition of
power and authority, their usage in Nigeria as well as their influences on the
development of the country. It highlights certain practices in the Nigerian polity
that fosters the abuse of power and authority and insists that political power must
be exercised within the bounds of morality otherwise it will be a deadly weapon in
the hands of rulers against the ruled. In conclusion, the paper proposes that
anyone in authority must show tremendous responsibility and be aware of the
boundaries of their authority in order not to exceed such limits.

References

Achebe, Chinua. There was a Country. Penguin Books Ltd., London, 2012.

Acton, Lord. Essays on Freedom and Power. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises

Institute, 1887.

Aribisala, Femi. “Nigeria: Is Britain Nigeria's Evil Stepmother?” Allafrica.com, 2018,

https://allafrica.com/stories/201806260224.html. Accessed June 14, 2020

Bok, Hilary. "Baron de Montesquieu, Charles-Louis de Secondat", The Stanford

Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edward N. Zalta (ed.),

https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2018/entries /montesquieu/> 2018.

Catherwood, H.F.R. The Christian Citizen. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1970.

Maraizu, Elechi. “A Politico-Philosophical Survey of Politics in Nigeria and Its

Implication to National Security.” Icheke: Journal of the Faculty of

Humanities, no. 2, (2016): 671-696.

Erlenbusch, Verena. “From Sovereignty to War: Foucault’s Analytic of Power.” EInternational

Relations, 2015, https://www.e-ir.info/2015/12/12/fromsovereignty-

to-war-foucaults-analytic-of-power/

Esikot, Idorenyin Francis and Emmanuel Iniobong Archibong. “The Exercise of

Power in Nigeria’s Democracy: A Moral Examination.” Public Policy and

Administration Research, vol.3, no.9, (2013).

https://www.iiste.org/Journals/index.php/PPAR/article/view/7750 /7992.

BrainyMedia Inc. "Francis, Parker Yockey, Quotes." BrainyMedia Inc,

BrainyQuote.com.

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/francis_parker_yockey_267605

Accessed 28 May 2020.

Kattakayam, Jacob John, “Power and Knowledge: Some Reflections on

Contemporary Practices.” Sociological Bulletin, vol. 55, no. 3, (2006): 449–

www.jstor.org/stable/23620756.

Mohita, N. Power: “Meaning, Exertion and Elite Theory of Power.”

Yourarticlelibrary.com, n.d.

https://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/essay/power-meaning-exertion-and-elitetheory-

of-power/24319. Accessed June 14, 2020

Nanaghan, Ben, “Northern Leaders: Face Education, Not Presidency.”

pmnewsnigeria.com,

,https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2013/08/05/northern-leaders-faceeducation-

not-presidency/ Accessed June 14, 2020

Nederman, Cary. "Niccolò Machiavelli", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,

Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2019/entries/machiavelli/

Accessed June 14, 2020

Ogbujah, Columbus. “Power and Good Governance: Observations from Nigeria.”

Researchgate.net, 2015. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/27522666

_Power_ and_Good_Governance_Observations_from_Nigeria, Accessed

June 2, 2020.

Olaniyan, Kolawole. “Buhari is ignoring Nigerian Judges- we must not let him get

away with it.” Vanguard Newspaper.

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/11/buhari-is-ignoring-nigerian-judgeswe-

must-not-let-him-get-away-with-it/ 2019. Accessed June 2, 2020

OlaniyiQuadri, Tomiloba. “The Concept of Political Gladiator within the Nigerian

Political System”, Afribary.com, 2018, https://afribary.com/works/theconcept-

of-political-gladiator-within-the-nigerian-political-system. Accessed

June 14, 2020

Onyeocha, Izu Marcel, Power and Authority in Our Culture. Owerri: Chimavin

Production Nigeria, 2005.

Plato. The Republic. Harmondsworth: Penguins Press, 1955.

Reus-Smith, Christian. The Politics of International Law. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 2004.

Seldes, George. Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton, The Great Thoughts. New

York: Ballantine Books, 1985.

The Economist. ‘Nigeria’s President sacks the chief justice weeks before an election.’

https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2019/02/02/nigeriaspresident-

sacks-the-chief-justice-weeks-before-an-election. Accessed 28 May

The Cable. “Trending Video: ‘Pain of rigging’ — Oshiomhole’s gaffe on Osun rerun.”

The Cable. https://www.thecable.ng/trending-video-pain-riggingoshiomholes-

gaffe-osun-rerun. Accessed 2 June 2020

The BBC. ‘Nigerian chief justice's suspension raises international concerns.’ BBC

News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47015698 Accessed 29 May

Uphoff, Norman. “Distinguishing Power, Authority & Legitimacy: Taking Max

Weber at His Word by Using Resources-Exchange Analysis”.

Researchgate.net, (1989). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/2717

_Distinguishing_PowerAuthoritLegitimacy_Taking_Max_Weber_at_

His_Word_by_Using_Resources Exchange_Analysis, Accessed June 2, 2020.

Weber, Marx, Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology ed. G. Roth

and C. Wittich. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.

Published
2020-09-14