Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Citizens' Emotional Migration

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Citizens' Emotional Migration

Article excerpt

The emotional state of citizens towards democratic social contract is considered in the interplay between national leadership and development expectations of citizens. Four categories of emotional bigotry among citizens - hyper-plosive, vocal-plosive, docile, and the docile-plosive were analysed to determine emotional change, conceived as "emotional migration". Emotions of Nigeria citizens were mapped, and found to have moved from positive feelings of love, faith and hope to the negative states of hate, faithlessness, and hopeless. The study identified that emotional changes progressed gradually into bigotry under a continuous circumstance of insensitive leadership. And that the more the migration to other emotional categories, the harder it is for emotional bigots to return to the initial positive attachments to collective goal and happiness. Leaders were advised to be emotional intelligent/sensitive to citizens/followers emotions, and to apply emotional security and emotion building approaches to help leaders/governments, rebuild positive emotions and patriotic spirit.

Key words: Social contract, Citizens emotion, Emotional migration, emotional bigots, leadership-followership, Nigeria.

In Januaiy 2012, Nigerian government increased pump price of petroleum products, and removed the subsidy on locally sold petroleum- fuel, claiming that the action was in the best interest of the nation. Although previous governments had increased the pump price, the government of Goodluck Jonathan's increment was about 100% of the former pump price. This led to a spontaneous rejection by citizens of all ages, levels, ethnics and class in a protest, led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and other civil right organisations. There was an open expression of citizens' pains over the state of development and conduct of leadership in the nation. The corruption of political leaders and government functionaries were analysed and condemned, revealing citizens' level of distrust, faithlessness and hopelessness towards the national Government. The open share of pain by individuals from all ethnic groups was significant as they identified poor governance and leadership as common enemy, while they clamoured for revert of the pump price. Against the negotiated price of citizens, the executives of the NLC agreed on a mere reduction of the price, and called off the nationwide strike, putting end to the street protest across major towns and cities. Reluctantly, citizens had no choice but to obey because NLC was the central force that mobilised the protest.

Amidst these pains continued the terror by the Islamic militant group, the Boko Haram in the north, and several other ethnic conflicts, prominent of them is the unending Jos crisis. These religious and ethnic crises indicated the faithlessness repused the national system by citizens and members of constituting ethnic groups. At the individual level was the concern over poor state of security of live and properties, high level of corruption, failed political promises towards development and the ever increasing rate of poverty, unemployment and social crimes. These and more were sources of de-motivation and discouragement to citizens. The failure of government to provide needed development and guarantee social wellbeing of the people, signalled failure of the social contract between the government and the governed. In that wise citizens' commitment towards social contract has also become weak. Such were my observation during this period that led me into investigating the emotions of citizens.

In an earlier report, showing how sports affected emotional security, peace and integration in which four emotional categories/bigots were identified (Author, 2012). This article analyse these emotional bigots, to show that emotions are mobile, moving from one category/stage of bigotiy to the other. It will be argued that emotions are shared but are expressed differently by individuals (bigots) at varying degree of intensity. …

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