This article posits that rights ideology and rights struggle could serve as a potential basis for constructing social consensus in Nigeria. This is against the backdrop of the seemingly intractable problem of achieving good governance and maintaining political stability in the country. The then looming presence of the military in power created a crises of succession, and of governance and legitimacy which undermined cordial state-citizen relations and led to human rights abuses. This article identifies the factors responsible for human rights violations in Nigeria at this period. It seeks to explore the link between rights violations and the crisis of legitimacy that Nigerian leaders suffered, and more importantly, the prospects of rights-ideology serving as a counter-hegemonic weapon for constructing social consensus and enhancing good governance. The article further argues that the recognition of rights and the protection of these rights made possible through struggles from below could serve as a potential basis for constructing social consensus amongst the populace. It concludes that the prerogative for self and national survival will give impetus to the struggles, which will then act as a basis for the enthronement and sustenance of popular democracy in Nigeria.