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In Nigerian, Is It Freedom To, Or Freedom From?

Updated on March 20, 2017

"A slave is unfree because his every decision is subject to interference at the will of his master. To be free, in contrast, is to be able to act according to one’s own decisions and plans, without having to seek the approval of any higher authority….When others threaten to harm our vital interests unless we act as they wish, or in a position to do so at their whim, our freedom is threatened. In such cases, our actions are guided by the will of the coercer, not our own."

By reading the above words, written by Matt Zwolinski, the intelligible, will immediately detect that what we’re sold to as freedom in Nigeria is a lemon. Indeed, there are all sorts of freedom packages, floating around and dangled before the proletariat, by the political elites as privileges every Nigeria have the right to exercise, but they are bogus.



As a matter of constitutional provisions and the grants of these several years of democratic regimes, all Nigerians have the freedom to, first and foremost, be a Nigerian. To be human. To make choices and take decisions. To, engage in private enterprise(s). To protest. To associate. To politicize. To debate openly; and all the other make-believe good stuff that come with being a part of her, by virtue of birth or nationalization. I describe them as make-believe because all those are mere fundamental human rights and not what some other is striving to grant for having the privilege of occupying a position of authority.


Are Nigerians, in the real sense of it, not slaves to the higher political authorities? Our decisions (public and private), aren't they customarily subject to interference at the will of our masters, the political elites? Aren't we all living in search of their approval to survive? Aren't we living, non-stop, under the threat of the likelihood of being harmed by them and our interests taken away from us unless we go along with their selfish wishes? Have they not debased public offices, and only use them to pacify their whims, with no one able to practically challenge them? Where is the freedom in that? Aren't we all buffoons, servitudes and their serfdoms? Or, does any right thinking person believe we are living with freedom, State confers on us? Is it not the case that we made to feel we are free when palpably we are not?



I daresay, there is no model freedom here when consciously, we have handed over coercion power to them. Now our actions and decisions aren't ours, but theirs and they are relishing it. They are using it to enrich themselves, and the rest of us are impoverished. They are using it to suppress us, rather than impress us. Nothing is working, neither for the nation as an entity, her geopolitical zones, states, local governments, nor individual citizens, and we’re all handicapped with no reprieve in sight.

Think About It….

And when next someone tells you Nigeria is a free country and that you have freedom, ask him or her: this freedom the Nigerian government offers me, and the freedom I have, is it freedom to, or freedom from? Tell the person that you can’t wait for when Nigeria will offer you, freedom from, since, freedom to, is fundamentally a dud. Recite these words to the person: “More precisely, political freedom mean freedom from coercion by the arbitrary will of others.” Besides, educate the person along this line:

"Libertarians are committed to the belief that individuals, and not states or groups of any other kind, are both ontologically and normatively primary; that individuals have rights against certain kinds of forcible interference on the part of others; that liberty, understood as non-interference, is the only thing that can be legitimately demanded of others as a matter of legal or political right; that robust property rights and the economic liberty that follows from their consistent recognition are of central importance in respecting individual liberty; that social order is not at odds with but develops out of individual liberty; that the only proper use of coercion is defensive or to rectify an error; that governments are bound by essentially the same moral principles as individuals; and that most existing and historical governments have acted improperly insofar as they have utilized coercion for plunder, aggression, redistribution, and other purposes beyond the protection of individual liberty."


Above All

Think libertarian. Find out what it's all about, and inform yourself of its principles. For, there is nothing these political elites currently do on the brand of government we can’t do for ourselves, except to protect us and secure our lives, properties, and interests. They are failing us because what they stand for is idealistic, not realistic. We need to let them know power belongs to the people, and that the right to figure out what works best resides not with the elites in high places, but regular citizens in the low places, in all parts of our great country. Let them know that when they stop interfering in our individual affairs, stop intimidating us into going along with their interest, then their positions would not only be legitimate, but we can celebrate Nigeria as a free nation and its people counted among those who have the ideal freedom—freedom from.


Matt Zwolinski. (December 23, 2013). Why Did Hayek Support a Basic Income? Accessed March 20, 2017

Matt Zwolinski. The internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: A Peer-Reviewed Academic Resource. Libertarianism Accessed March 20, 2017


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