”An Italian proverb says, we’ve built Italy, let’s create the Italian. I’d say we’ve built Nigeria, let’s create the Nigerian. But the first question is, do we really have a nation we can call ours irrespective of tribe, religion etc” – Seun Opaleye.
Man’s quest for provision, protection, power, promotion, peace and progress is an acknowledgement of his need for something transcendental, something beyond his current grasp, a higher ideal that he cannot pursue alone. “It is not good for man to be alone” is how the Book puts it.
As one, there is only so much he can attain and so the institution of family is created.
The exponential law in his pursuit of progress is that one can chase a thousand but two can chase ten thousand.
As ideals become higher and goals become greater, social interactions naturally become more complex from the family to the community and eventually to the nation, which is a group of complex communities bound together by the common pursuit of progress.
The shared ideal to which this group aspires becomes embodied in the culture of the group. That ideal may find expression in such concepts as “liberté, egalité, fraternité” as in the French case or “Democracy and Separation of Powers” as in the American case.
The need for an orderly pursuit of progress necessitates the organization of the group into units such that a structure evolves. The common ideal for which the group strives is manifest in the provision of public goods that are served through institutions; but the working of these institutions must be guided by predictable norms in order to guarantee stability, hence the existence of laws that reflect that ideal to which they strive at which point that ideal takes the form of a constitution, whether written or unwritten.
For the culture to be preserved, for the structure to be accurately delineated, for institutions to function properly and for the constitution to be enforced against possible deviant behaviour, government is necessary, hence the group finds able persons from among themselves upon whom they confer authority and power to act on their behalf as provided for by the constitution.
This framework is known as the State.
The State is defined as a legal entity possessing sovereignty and comprised of a well-defined territory, a population, a government that has effective control over the given territory, and the capacity to enter into relations with other States. It is the vehicle in which the nation embarks on the pursuit of a higher ideal.
Hence, like the human trinity, a nation is a corporate spiritual entity which has a soul defined by the ideal to which the nation aspires while the State is the bodily framework in which the nation exists.
Hence, nations are formed and their geographical boundaries determined within States to the end that men may seek higher aspirations until they find the utmost aspiration of humanity and by so doing, maximize their individual and corporate potential in fulfillment of purpose.
Credits: This sub topic is taken from a lecture in honour of Late chief Gani Fawehinmi titled ” Nigeria at Centenary, a Nation under bondage?
I will address the question above on Wednesday column with Skytrendnews, by God’s grace.
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