Contemporary Nigeria and the Deficit of Deliberative Democracy: Exploring the Indigenous Value of Àgbájọ ọwọ́ as Collegiality


Keywords: Àgbájọ ọwọ,́ Collegiality, Deliberative Democracy, Ọmọlúwàbí


The paper advances three groups of interrelated claims. First, a fundamental deficit of democratic practice in contemporary Nigeria is that electoral choices/candidates are largely disconnected from the spirit of vibrant deliberation/consideration by the Nigerian demos. Second, candidates that emerge tend to be more parochially disposed to serving the interests of the political sponsors, rather than working towards the promotion of the common good. Third, to address the problem of the research, it is argued that well-meaning, democratically conscious Nigerians should practically embrace the indigenous value of àgbájọ ọwọ́as collegiality to resist electoral choices/candidates of the noted politically influential elites. As one of the socio-moral values of an ideal Yoruba persona, or ọmọlúwàbí, àgbájọ ọwọ́ underscores the critical point that the realty of the common good properly derives from a rational collaboration of the members of a political collectivity. Ultimately, this understanding of collegiality helps in the promotion of deliberative democracy and its benefits in Nigeria.
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