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A Comparative Study of Authority in Thomas Hobbes and Igala Political thought



The. concept "authority" raises basic questions, namely : who should
exercise the authority of the State? Under what conditions should authority be
exercised and within what limits? Thomas Hobbes holds that, in all government the
sovereign authority must be absolute, unlimited and irrevocable, to be able to
maintain peace and security in the State. His choice of an absolute sovereign
authority strictly follows from his notion of human nature, his theory of the state of
nature and the social contract. Whereas in traditional Igala political thought "Onu
n'oja k'oja n'onu" - which translates to "the sovereign authority owns the
subjects as the subjects own the sovereign authority". Hence, although the
authority of the sovereign (e.g. Ata Igala) holds a unique position in the
community, he is in no way divorced from his people neither is his authority
absolute. All decisions are by consensus.