Sovereignty belongs to the people. The government derives its legitimacy from the expressed will of the people. The country belongs to all the peoples who make up Nigeria; deriving from this collective ownership, every citizen has equal claim to all public resources with which the country is naturally endowed.
The state is only custodian of the country’s goods and natural endowments and holds them in trust for the people; it is also the prime distributive and redistributive agency of resources and public goods; egalitarianism should be the underlying principle of this function of state; to this end, it has a moral responsibility to guarantee equitable access and benefits for every citizen.
When instruments of state, as well as political and economic power are applied to ends other than the common good and used to shape society in a way favorable to the ruling class and a tiny minority, thereby creating historical and structural inequalities, the state is obliged to redress the situation by privileging the disadvantaged members of the Republic.
The state exists as an instrument of the people; it should regulate, restrain or limit individual freedoms and rights only in so far as is necessary to enable the security and well being of the community; the individual, on his or her part, consents to surrender certain freedoms in the interest of the common good. The state does not have the power of life and death over the citizenry, does not have the right to violently coerce the citizens, to take life, nor violently put down any lawful, peaceful or legitimate protests by the people. Any such use of force amounts to state terror.
The people are entitled to decide the nature and character of the state and its constituent institutions and every citizen has equal voice in determining the nature and direction of the state, the outcome of which shall reflect the will of the majority. Being the agency which confers legitimacy, the people reserve the right at all times, to withdraw such legitimacy.
The government derives its authority and powers from the constitution, in so far as the constitution represents the expressed will of the people. When constitutions are foist on the people without being subjected to popular endorsement processes, the legitimacy of such constitution, as well as the claims of that government to power and authority are negated.
The object of every legitimate government is the promotion of the optimum well-being of every citizen on the bases of distributive justice and equity. Every citizen is entitled to the highest attainable standard of living/quality of life and the pursuit of happiness. The type of economy KOWA wants to see in Nigeria
Based on the above philosophy of statehood and governance, the government is morally bound to ensure that “the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group”. KOWA believes that:
Building a just and compassionate society is about ensuring that the good life is assured for the majority. To this end, KOWA is committed to pursuing a people-centered development process which is planned to ensure that the public owns and controls the key and strategic sectors of the economy, and the state regulates the private sector and the activities of the informal sector in a manner that enhances the overall well-being of the economy and the living standards of the entire citizenry.
The ends of justice will not be served by the condescending approach whereby a tiny, rich, minority controls the wealth but ‘benevolently’ takes care of the basic needs of the poor and vulnerable.
This country, in which a tiny fraction of the population control the bulk of the wealth can only be socio-economically reinvented with a stand-apart and just economic policy in which the majority of the people control the bulk of the wealth of the country. Economic justice cannot be otherwise defined. The institutions of state should be boldly deployed towards addressing structural inequalities, unapologetically, in favor of the majority, the weak and vulnerable members of society.
The state will unequivocally enable for every citizen a dignified quality of life that includes decent shelter, adequate nourishment, gainful employment, a positive state of physical and mental health, education to the tertiary level, a healthy environment, leisure, old age care and underemployment benefits. It is within this just framework, that the state will guarantee the right of every citizen to lawfully acquire personal resources and pursue economic activities of their choice.
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