Volume 4, Issue 2, 2015
Cyril-Mary Pius Olatunji
A Philosophical Critique of Ignocentric Search for Political Messiah in Nigeria
Many of the philosophers of African politics who have argued that the political challenges of Nigeria, and of Africa as a whole are as a result of the impunity and
corruption of post-independence Nigeria leaders also give the impression that the people of Nigeria are mere innocent victims because in their arguments all the ills of the Nigerian state exist only because the country have not experienced or discovered an honest and capable political leader. The scholars argue to the effect that all that Nigeria can do is simply to hope for the ascendance of a Messiah, who being an honest, capable and patriotic leader will on his own volition become committed to the cause of reversing the situation in order to turn around all the ills of the nation. Employing the examples of two prominent scholars of African politics (Chinua Achebe and Larry Diamond) the paper employs the epistemological rigor of analysis and logic to examine and make a critique of the underlying assumptions of the scholars and identifies the theoretical flaws of believing that political representatives are substantively political leaders, that Nigerians are helpless victims who on their own are incapable of reversing the situation and that Nigeria should hope for a political saviour who will turn around all the social and political ills of Nigeria on his own accord.