The Implication of Reason in Natural Law on Students’ Unionism in Nigeria

International Journal of Integrative Humanism Vol. 10 No. 1, November 2018.
ISSN: 2026 – 6286

Thomas Egaga Ushie

Students’ unionism in Nigeria has been, so far, sweet but bitter. The sweetness lies in the camaraderie and the opportunity to fraternize and ventilate individual and/or collective feelings. But bitterly too, it has been blamed, by some, as an avenue for organized violence. The rallying catchphrase of most Nigerian student unionists is “Greatest Nigerian Students” often with emotion-laden, supercharged, thunderous response of “great”, “action”, and with other accompaniment meant to charge-up the students for action on the agenda of the day. The enigmatic energy exuberant students’ unions and their followers exude could set their campus and the nation ablaze if not well channelled and managed, especially when driven by “great action” devoid of the rational faculty. The wholesale execution of these “actions” is like a consuming fire and the socio-emotional temperament of students can reach fever pitch high and turbo-charged whenever they agitate for unstinting existential conditions. Consequently, when the bile is not brought under check by the power of reason, or in the jurisprudential world of the Roman stoic, Cicero, “right reason,” it often leads to catastrophe, when irate students “irrationally” embark on violent protests, damaging school properties and facilities, engage the school authorities and/or government in cruel campaigns which, after the dust settles, they end up paying the price for such unreasonable agitations. The aim of this paper titled The Implication of Reason in Natural Law on Students’ Unionism in Nigeria, is to explore the rich principles of reason and/or right reason in the natural law tradition to solve the existential jiggery-pokery beclouding student unions agitations. The paper posits that student unions, in their agitations, should be guided by the power of reason which is the essence, the existential ingredient in natural law tradition. Hence, students must count the cost of their actions before execution, by balancing it with the power of right reason which the natural law tradition provides and which proponents believe, is innate in all conscious human beings. “Reasonable and right actions” should be preferred by “Greatest Nigerian Students” agitators to “ordinary” pedestrian, irrational actions that often come with a grave price. This paper employs analytic, expository and critical methods to evaluate the subject matter.

Keywords: Natural Law, student unions, right reason, aluta, actions.

Edioms: Research and publication services

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