Corruption in Nigeria as a Negation of Kant’s Categorical ImperativeDownload PDF
Nigeria, like many post-colonial states in Africa, is mired in socio-cultural crisis. This is, understandably, as a result of the eclipse of African culture by western culture during colonial and neo-colonial contact. That eclipse threw Africans into a struggle of redefining their existence and culture. Thus, the on-going cultural, economic, technological and political transition from traditional society to modern society. This paper brackets cultural transition as the primary and, ipso facto, the most important transition and posits that it is the motor that drives the other transitions to societal development. At the base of the cultural matrix, as construed in this paper, are the moral /ethical values or norms and the habit of compliance with their prescriptions. Habit of compliance with ethical/ moral norms is more exigent in Nigeria where administration of law and justice is in seemingly unbridgeable arrears of legislation. To hold the position as this paper holds that cultural (including moral or ethical norms) development is primary to other forms of development may appear quixotic against the prevailing trend where majority has abandoned the quest for first principles and pandered to superficial interpretation and explanation of Nigeria’s manifold problems in terms of structurally unwieldy federation, consumer (unproductive) economy, imperialism, neo-colonialism, internal and external sabotage, and tribalism. These add up to what new-fangled structuralists call environmentalism. This paper argues that even the best economic policies and political engineering will come to naught if subverted by perverse human will which it is the task of ethics or morality to tame. The basic assumption of this paper is that there is an inextricable link between habit of compliance with ethical/moral norms and Nigeria’s socio-economic and political conditions. This paper employs Kant’s moral loadstar, the categorical imperative both as explicatory and prescriptive tool to solving the countries moral/ethical crisis which is at the core of her development crisis.
Keywords: Breach, Bane, Imperative, Categorical, Corruption