ROBERT NOZICKS ENTITLEMENT THEORY OF JUSTICE AND THE CRISIS IN THE NIGER DELTA, NIGERIA

ROBERT NOZICKS ENTITLEMENT THEORY OF JUSTICE AND THE CRISIS IN THE NIGER DELTA, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

For the world to be fit to live in, there needs to be a preponderance of peace, and peace is not the absence of war, but the presence of justice. Hence, Augustine says, “remove justice and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale.” Where justice is denied, the results are evident – a state of war of everyman against everyman, violations of rights, bloodshed, and clash of interests. While the interests of the stronger prevail, the weaker ones resort to resistance, either in the form of civil disobedience, or they take up arms against the system that has oppressed them and prevented them from living as they should. Such is the situation in the Niger Delta region, whose natural rights to life, liberty, and property are being violated by both the Nigerian state, and the oil multinationals operating in the region. This essay, therefore, sets out to provide Robert Nozick’s entitlement theory of justice that specifies the conditions under which one is entitled to a holding, as a framework towards understanding the Niger Delta crisis, and his principle of rectification of injustice as a panacea towards a resolution of the crisis.