SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY AND THE NIGERIAN STATE
AN ELUSIVE SYNTHESIS
Keywords:Social Contract, Nigerian State, Theory, Hobbes, Synthesis
The emergence of state in the society is premised on man’s indispensable demand for survival, safety and co-existence and other fundamental principles aimed at addressing the basic necessities of life. This is in a bid to forestall the state of anarchism evident in the state of nature. This demand led to an agreement referred to as social contract by the people to freely submit their will and right to an authority with the onus to provide peace, security and order in return for obedience from them. This postulation therefore bestows on every society the ruler (sovereign) and the ruled that legitimizes the existence of the sovereign. Based on this, the Nigerian state has come under attack and criticisms by scholars and opinion moulders on whether it has a social contract status or not. Against this backdrop, this study examined the social contract theory and the Nigerian State. The historical development and the basic features of the social contract theory as espoused by the three major proponents of the theory was explored as a paradigm of analysis. Historical research design, documentary method of data gathering and content analysis formed the methodology used for the study. It was observed in the study that the Nigerian State does not imbibe the tenets of the social contact theory due to mainly foundational problem amongst others. It was also discovered in the study that the docility of the people in exercising their sovereignty creates room for the authority to jettison their obligation to the people hence the existence of insecurity and other social problems. However, a renegotiation of the contract establishing the Nigerian State to seek the consent of the people in tandem with the social contract theory was recommended.