Environmental Philosophy

Volume 15, Issue 2, Fall 2018

Ronald Olufemi Badru
Pages 195-211

Environmental Deficit and Contemporary Nigeria
Evolving an African Political Philosophy for a Sustainable Eco-Democracy

Three groups of claims frame this article. First, the Nigerian State is largely enmeshed in environmental deficit, given the substantial oil pollution in the Niger-delta area, the problem of erosion in the Southeast, the filthy status of the Southwest, and the incessantly worrying perturbation of the ecological stability in the Northern part of Nigeria. Second, the political leadership in Nigeria for years has not really given genuine policy priority to, and, on this model, developed a credible framework that the citizenry could buy into to sustainably address the causes and the consequences of the environmental deficit. Third, given the foregoing, this work suggests a re-thinking/re-discussion of approach to the environmental deficit. Drawing on and integrating some relevant ideas, values, and virtues in African metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, the article develops a framework, prescribing how the democratic leadership and the citizenry ought to act in sustainably addressing the environmental deficit. Beyond the philosophic foundations, the framework is also teleologically political: (i) it emphasizes that the moral legitimacy of democratic leadership in Nigeria partly derives from its commitment to the good of the built and the natural environment, and (ii) it also stresses that the citizenry could only be good moral agents, as eco-citizens, if they develop the virtues of environmental responsibility and responsiveness, by theoretically and practically supporting the good of the built and the natural environment. The research methods of critical analysis of empirical data and reflective argumentation are adopted to pursue the goals of the work.