Relevance of Philosophy to Politics and Leadership in Nigeria

Hyginus Chibuike Ezebuilo
Keywords: Politics, Leadership, Philosophy, Nigeria, Knowledge, Society
Tropical Journal of Arts and Humanities 2019 1(1), 43-56. Published: August 13, 2019


The problem of governance is a perennial problem confronting humanity. Man has discovered that his fulfillment as a social and rational being can only be found in society and not in solitary or in the forest like the brute. It is within the civilized society that his hope to find peace, security, wellbeing, and to escape all the evils of the state of nature lies. But he cannot attain theses goals in a non-functional state. A functional state is built around a division of labor. Politics is a science that should be left to the experts no less than with any craft, skill or science. When it comes to formulating the policies and laws that govern the state, the politically unskilled majority represents those least likely to make an informed decision. If we are concerned with the wellbeing of the State, we should similarly seek out those who have the necessary wisdom to govern. These experts must have the vision of the „Good‟, for a better and stable governance and peaceful State. For as we know from the lessons of Thomas Hobbes, where there is not a stable government, there is chaos. Chaos is to be avoided at all costs, and the effort to do this will be one in futility if the government is not moral and knowledgeable. This paper therefore, intends to look into the relevance of philosophy to politics and leadership in Nigeria. The method of study employed is the critical method. Philosophy provides proper training for good leaders. Not one person would look at the situation in Nigeria and not finger bad leadership as a bane of its political life. There is, therefore, great need for good leaders. There is need to learn to give the mantle of leadership to who it fits – those who respect the rule of law, and who know what constitute true “governance”. Just as a navigator must understand the stars and be able to use them to guide a ship through the vast ocean, so our political rulers must be able to navigate the ship of State by means of a vision of the “Good”. Who should be the captain of a ship? Should it be most “popular” person, or the one who knows the art of navigation? These are the kind of questions we engaged in this study.