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AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF DEMOCRACY AND ADMINISTRATION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN NIGERIA: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE FOURTH REPUBLIC

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AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF DEMOCRACY AND ADMINISTRATION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN NIGERIA: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE FOURTH REPUBLIC

 

 

Abstract

This study examined democracy and administration of social justice in Nigerian fourth republic. The aim of the study was to critically assess how Nigeria’s democracy and administration of social justice has fared in bringing about the much-craved people-oriented development in the fourth republic. The study is documentary research which employed content analytical approach in analysing secondary data; with “John Rawls Theory of Justice” employed as its model of analysis. One of the most worrisome challenges of Nigeria’s relay-race towards development has been the inability of Nigeria’s political system to adhere to social justice in administration of public affairs. The study found that Nigeria’s democratized fourth republic is infested with obscene social injustice and inequality in power sharing, government decisions on citing of industries, infrastructural development, with lopsidedness in the recruitment/appointment of public office holders which has been exclusively Northern region skewed. The study reveals that the “Federal Character Principle” etched into the 1999 Constitution to address inherent cleavages of inequalities has been thrown overboard, as a particular ethnic group has seized power at the peril of development of all others. The implications of an abused democracy and social justice system are not just deleterious to the citizens today, but more so for generations to come in terms of sustainable development. The paper therefore calls on the Nigerian government to learn, embrace and practice the intrinsic operational principles of an ideal democracy that seeks to promote justice, equity, accountability, respect for fundamental human rights, rule of law and other good governance values that would usher Nigeria into a higher development trajectory.

Keywords

Social Justice, Inequality, Democracy, Federal Character, Governance,  Leadership, Ethnicity, Polity, State