China’s Ancient Philosophy of Legalism Could Be Relevant in Current Nigeria’s Situation


to build a strong, peaceful and orderly society very much depends on the direction that is truly committed to strict transformational values that will benefit not only our society, but also to future generations. Any leadership following corruption managed instead of fighting it really cannot ensure the future of a nation. In the previous democratic regimes, Nigerian leaders have expressed their feelings about the slow pace of development, unemployment, increase in the rate of crime, bad roads, bad electricity and related issues of corruption that would address in their Governments. Each campaign focuses on these issues, but in the end turns out not to deal with them.

at the moment, Nigerians do not know the right person to choose at the headquarters of the direction of apex since they seem to be good during the campaigns, but when they get into the seat of power, they are to be (bad) people who do not work for the interest of the suffering masses, but his own selfish ends. For the moment, it seems that only the China ‘legalism’ as a school of thought can work in Nigerian society.

the philosophy of legalism became quite popular in China during the age of a hundred flowers. Followers of this school of thought held that ‘humans were by nature evil and follow the correct order only if they are forced by stiff penalties and harsh laws’. (Also known as law school) Legalists believe that only firm action by the State can really bring about social order that can positively transform a State. This was against the school of Confucius thought that holds that “human nature was basically good and that the universe has a moral code”. The appearance of the view of the Legalists, who seem to be most relevant in this regard is that “human nature is therefore essentially corrupt, officials cannot be trusted to carry out their functions fairly and only a strong ruler could create an orderly society”.

after the recent presidential debate for the general elections in April 2011, seems that Nigeria is to have a strong leader who can really transform the country. All aspiring spoke issues equal or similar to bothering to Nigerians with variations only in the choice of the structure of words and the language used in answering the questions. There was no trace of Obama in his words and speeches that obviously show lack of passion to truly transform Nigeria. General Mohamadu Buhari, who many believe, if they come to power, will transform the nation with its impassive nature of approaching issues of corruption proved otherwise in the debate. His concern seems to be more about accountability and the probe. In this way, be reasoned that he (general Buhari) will change from four to eight years of his regime’s review of cases of corruption that have never taken Nigeria forward.

at this point, it can be assumed that the democracy in Nigeria is still crawling and not yet on their feet. Nigeria, therefore, need a strong leader with a legalistic approach, drawing a line between old and new practices and continue meeting the contemporary challenges for the benefit of Nigerians will be, but issues of corruption under his regime, not through legal manipulation means but with firm hands. War against indiscipline (WAI), once introduced by general Buhari, is just what a leader Nigerians deserve. Not leaders who tolerate the indiscipline of all kinds tend to be evident in the economic backwardness of the nation. Unless a leader with a legalistic view handles and try to corrupt Nigerians with firm hands, pace of development of Nigeria will not be different from the speed of a forest snail.


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