PROJECT TOPIC:SOCRATIC MAXIM: UNEXAMINED LIFE IS NOT WORTH LIVING AND NIGERIA’S QUEST FOR A CORRUPTION-FREE SOCIETY: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL
It has been proved beyond doubt that Nigeria is naturally blessed with rich, human, natural and material resources in super-abundance, though the country is yet to experience justice, sanity and development. As the greater percentage of the population is corrupt, especially those at the seats of power.
Then, the big question now is: who and how will the good exemplary be set for others to emulate? With the incessant good voices of the few, Nigerians’ are of the hope to experience sanity but this will be realized after a thorough re-examination of their lives both old and young alike.
Hopefully, with the resolutions from this work, which is strongly believed to convincing, people will see a need to focus on the Socratic maxim and build on it to actualize ideals that people have been cl amour for in Nigeria.
The world as experienced is ruled by falsehood and man craves that his life be ruled by truth. And this truth is found in the amazing order of the material and non-material things of the universe. Socrates being a model that stood for truth and upheld it in the midst of suspicious Greeks, though they failed to understand the truth in his words and teachings as pointed by Godfrey:
Socrates was therefore a victim of these institutional machinations which out-witted him by the use of state power. He was seen as a menace to the accepted way of life, a perverter of the traditional and moral order of Athens (14).
It is in reference to his life and ideas that this work seeks to study in detail the ideas behind his popular dictum-“Unexamined life is not worth living”
Therefore, this work is an attempt to evaluate this maxim in the light of its application to the overwhelming corrupt practices in Nigeria, irrespective of the long yearnings of Nigerians for a corruption-free society. It also throws light on the pursuit of philosophy as something useful and indispensable for Nigeria’s genuine development and purposeful existence.
It is clear in Nigeria today that the chain of events so far has revealed that the journey from the past to the present has been characterized by many odds ranging from bad leadership, ethnicism, immorality, blind waste of resources to excessive quest and struggle for material possession. Unarguably, Nigerians accept the fact that this ugly situation automatically casts doubt on the much anticipated and desired bright future, which holds good for the citizens of this country. Rather ignominious collapse is quite inevitable in a near future.
Consequently, the situation at hand calls for a concerted effort by all and sundry if Nigerians must save the only country they have from relapsing into economic and social disaster.
This work is about Nigeria’s numerous problems. Even before her independence in 1960, that is, during the colonial era, this country has suffered many problems ranging from the unhealthy colonial rule to inter-ethnic rivalries. For instance, even when Arthur Richard in 1946 fashioned out laws which he said would apply to the different parts of the country irrespective of religion and political ideology, yet the Northerners maintained a different system of administration. This portrays lack of unity among the 250 ethnic groups constituting Nigeria.
These ugly waves continued after independence and even became worse than ever that they presently manifest themselves in neo-colonialism in post independent Nigeria.
Nigeria is quite in a messy situation where every citizen struggles to accumulate as much wealth as possible with a slightest opportunity for his/her generations to come and this has paved ways for all forms of corrupt practices.
As the problem is multi-faceted: social, political, religious, ethnic and ideological, efforts are made to identify the causes reducing them have proved ineffective as a result of certain deficiencies. Though, solutions abound, Nigerians have refused to employ them and unless they employ them, Nigerians still have a long way to go in the daunting race as summed-up in the view of Ideyi: “Only Nigerians wearing the shoe know where it pinches and they too being an insider can easily identify the ailments and prescribed effective drugs that will result in their permanent cure”(172).
Nigeria is one of the African countries that experienced the shackles of colonialism in the hands of the British. Also one of the countries with problems of different kinds which threaten the internal unity of the country. This work touches various problems in Nigeria among which is corruption. Corruption came to be as a result of certain factors. This study seeks to offer some suggestions which if strictly observed, will liberate the country Nigeria and equally other countries in the world where similar cases prevail.
The significance of this study lies in its desire to awaken Nigerians to appreciate the fact that though they have problems, solutions to them can only come from them (Nigerians).
This work will inculcate in the minds of Nigerians the ideals of “One-Nigeria”, responsibility, accountability, patriotism, truth, honesty and sense of unity. This will possibly mark the first step towards actualizing a sound and egalitarian society in Nigeria which is not far fetched as presumed by majority of Nigerians.
The scope of this work is quite a wide one. It will unavoidably run through the life of Socrates who is the originator of the great maxim that forms the topic of this work. Emphasis will be cast upon his philosophy in general especially as it relates to the maxim.
Owing to the fact that man is a child of two mothers in this planet, earth, “nature and nurture”, consequently Nigerians will try to know what conditions influenced Socrates that made him rise to such a lofty height in knowledge. His environmental, family, social, religious and political aspects of his surroundings will be examined.
The aftermath of his philosophy will show what constitutes man’s response to truth and justice from the past up to the present era. As well the relevance of his views and principles to Nigerian’s search for a corruption-free society.
Methods used in this work include exposition, analysis and evaluation. Data used in this work will be sourced from library materials like books, journals, magazines, newspapers and memographs. Also, internet materials will be used as well.