HISTORICAL EVALUATION OF AFRICAN LEADERSHIP PROBLEM: (A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA)
This project is on the “Historical Evaluation of Africa Leadership Problem” with Nigeria a case study.
The chapter one of the study gave a background of Nigerian history, stated the problem which include the colonial experience and ethnicism, the scope, limitation methodology.
Chapter two of the study focused on the review of the literature relevant to this study.
While chapter three concentrated on the leadership in the first republic, the first military coup of January 1966, the second republic, the second military intervention as well as the third and fourth republics.
Chapter four discussed the problems created by ethnicism, corruption, mal-administration, lack of trust by the populace etc.
In chapter five the study was summarized, recommendations made while conclusions were drawn.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of Problem 4
1.3 Scope of the Study 6
1.4 Limitations of the Study 7
1.5 Research Methodology 7
Notes and References 9
Literature Review 11
End Note 17
CHAPTER THREE: LEADERSHIP IN THE FIRST REPUBLIC – 1960 – 1966
3.1 The First Republic 20
3.2 Leadership In Military Era (1966 – 1979) 24
3.3 Second Republic 28
3.4 Second Military Intervention 29
3.5 Current Civilian Era (The 4th Republic) 31
End Notes 32
CHAPTER FOUR: PROBLEM CREATED BY COREWIAKISM
4.1 An Overview of Nigeria’s Problems 34
4.2 Problem Created by Ethnicity 35
4.3 Problem Created by Corruption 37
4.4 Problem Created by Mal-Administration 38
4.5 Problem Created by General Lack Of Trust 39
4.6 Problem Created by Idiosyncratic Variables 40
End Notes 42
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
5.1 Summary 44
5.2 Recommendations 44
5.3 Conclusion 45
End Notes 46
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The country Nigeria covers an area of 923,768 square kilometer (356,669, sqm). at its greatest expanse, it measures (about 650m) from north to south. Nigeria is bounded by Cameroon to the east, Chad to the northeast, Niger to the north, Benin to the west, and the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It has its capital at Abuja and population approximately 138,283,240 (2008 estimate). The country’s topography ranges from lowlands along the coast and in the lower Niger valley to high plateaus in the north and mountains along the eastern border. Much of the country is laced with productive rivers. Nigeria like other West African countries was colonized, gained independence on October 1, 1960. The name Nigeria (Niger-area) has its origin in the river Nigeria which traverses the country from north-west to south. Nigeria consists of different ethnic groups which are; Fulani, Hausa, Kanuri, Yoruba, Ibo, Nupe, Tiv, Ibibio, Ijaw, Urhobo, Anang etc. each of the principal groups has rich culture and tradition, and their past well kept within the purview of their knowledge.
In 1470, the Portuguese visited the coast of the modern Lagos; they were the first European to reach an area which would become Nigeria. They visited Benin in 1472, and in 1486 the king of Benin exchanged ambassadors with the King of Portugal. By the middle of the sixteenth century, several British traders had established trading posts along the coasts had bases for the slave trade, the consulate which would later be bombed to stop trading in slaves by the mid-nineteenth century. British consul Beecroft seized the opportunity of the rift between Lagos princes who were claimants to the throne to wade into the kingdom aiding Akitoye to depose Kosoko in 1851. Akitoye in return ceded Lagos to the British, who could not found meaningful use until the later part of the nineteenth century. Lagos was declared British colony in 1861. British imperial government gave the administration of the colonies to private organisations or companies such as United African Company, National African Company and the Goldier Company.
On December 31, 1899 the British Government revoked the charter of the Royal Niger Company. On January 1, 1900 the British government took over the administration of what was to become Nigeria. One January 1, 1914 the protectorates of northern Nigeria and the colony and protectorate of southern Nigeria was merged to form the colony and protectorate of Nigeria, with Fredrick Lugard as Governor-General. Several constitutions were formulated from 1914 to 1960 independence constitution, not only to maintain British authority, but to bring these people together under one umbrella, primary for British advantage, so as to easily exploit and dominate the country, which they did until 1960. The Lugard experiment did really worked for the British to swiftly loot human and material resources to the glory of British crown, while at the other end created differences among the groups over politics and religion which threatened peaceful co-existence.
Many scholars of Nigeria history have supported the claim that, British colonial government favoured the north to assume the mantle of leadership of the country at the wake of Nigerian independence in 1960. Evidence of this reflected in Tafawa Balewa relationship with Peter Stallard the colonial secretary, and F.J.G Fingland from whom he got the foreign policy strategy Nigeria adopted immediately after independence. Other tribal groups, most importantly Yoruba were dissatisfied with British influence in Nigeria affair through their stoogy (Tafawa Balewa) this would mark the origin of serious tribal conflict which would trail the country for a long time. However, the problem it immediately created was outbreak of conflict across the country, and widespread corruption and incompetence in the government, brought about the military intervention in Nigeria politics (1966) and emulation of popular coup which began in Egypt as Abdul Gamel Nazir took over government killing King Farouk, and in west Africans Sylvanus Olympio’s coup marked the first in the sub-region.
Nigerian civilian government on 15th January, 1966 lost the government to the military and tribal and ethnic differences would continue to trail the country. Civil war erupted over personal conflict between Yakubu Gowon (who was then Head of state) and Odumegwu Ojukwu (military administrator of the eastern region). The war began on July 6, 1967 when the federal government announced it was taking “clinical police action” to end the rebellion in eastern Nigeria. The war ended in 1970, after Odemegwu Ojukwu fled to Ivory Coast and Biafran Army surrender to the Nigerian Federal Government. The military under General Yakubu Gowon continued to rule until 1975 bloodless coup while he was away on Organisation of African Unity summit. General Muritala Muhammed took over, with the primary aim of putting the country in order, and to return the country to civilian rule. Muritala Muhammed era was cut short by a bloody coup led by Suka Buka Dimka. His deputy the, Olusegun Obasanjo took over the leadership of the country and who eventually handed over to the civilians and to the newly elected government Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1979.
The country continue to experience several problems and among all which is the most common was corruption, others include maladministration, nepotism, favouritism, looting and embezzlement. The military took over under Muhammed Buhari and era of military which last until 1999 when the last military president, Abdul Salaam Abubakar handed over to the historic Olusegun Obasanjo, who thirty years before did similar thing as Head of States. Almost Fourteen years ago, Nigerian problem worsen as ethnic and religious diversities marred the country.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Colonial experience in Nigeria and other African states contributed greatly to major problems which surfaced immediately after independence. During colonial period, various individuals became powerful collaborating with colonial officers because of opportunity either in trade or politics.
These individuals obviously replaced the colonialist not only in governance but in attitude and character, in the calculated attempt to satisfy European interest in formal colonies. No doubt, it brought about different forms of vices such as corruption, maladministration, nepotism, red tapism etc.
However, various African countries like, Nigeria have different ethnic groups, a result of the 1914 amalgamation by the then British officer Lord Fredrick Lugard. Apart from the three major ethnic groups; Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo there are hundreds of minority groups in the country. This has not only created problems within Nigeria but also various African countries such as Rwanda, Burundi and Liberia to mention few. This problem also found its root in neo-coloniazation. As European aim to perpetuate their interest after independence and decided to favour specific tribes to rule the countries (Godfrey Mwnkikagile, 2001). This has further heightened ethnic differences in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.
Nigeria leaders have also struggled to optimally develop its resources and the resultant manifestations of mal-development in the country since independence. The country is famous having possessed human and material resources. There root crop and food and cash crops, oil and gas, coal etc. still, the country experience massive unemployment, epileptic power supply, poor recreational facilities, lack of infrastructural facilities etc. these are problems which have weighed down developmental processes.
The involvement of military in government was not a problem one can overlook, in fact, military eras created wider rooms for these problems previously mentioned. It was under military era Nigeria fought civil war, where there was huge destruction of lives and valuable resources. Military era was also famous for human right violation and maltreatment of general populace systematic assassination of critics and political incarcerations.
Above all, it has been difficult for leaders to wear a true national character learning the name Nigeria. Many leaders have struggled to rule the country amidst crisis which includes intra and inter-tribal wars in recent years. The fear among the northerners of a well exposed and educated south-west part of the country made their grip on power firmer, and at most times become power drunk.
This work aims to cover a period from 1960, when Nigeria gained independence to the present period (2011). It is expected to examine problems various past Nigerian leaders encountered during their period in government, and its resultant effects on the country and the populace. The vision behind this is to critically analyze each of these leaders, in order to figure out synonymous problems, and perhaps performances based on their will and wits. This could also prove way to comparing systems of governments the country experience form independence till this present period.
As this work covers a period from 1960 to the present, it is important, as appropriate research is needed in the course of the work. One is bound to face challenges which to a large extent could serve as a stumbling block. It is important to interview them because of not just distance, but huge security network, it will require time which the long essay period would not permit. Other challenges could be inability to get appropriate information from library, as the conditions of library has deteriorated. Many of the libraries would not allow photocopy of important materials. Even the short time frame for the submission of the long essay is worrisome. Most times some important records, data and valuable information are not properly kept, and above all lack of support from government despite consultation.
All these challenges above serve as serious stumbling blocks to ths work which could have made it a near perfect work. Still, it has been able to cover a good range of Nigerian leadership problem mostly through previous works done by scholars and writers alike.
The method which would involve use of published works. There had been many authors who had contributed greatly by researching tirelessly to figure out Nigerian leadership problems. Scholars from across the different ethnic groups such as Professor Chinua Achebe; Toyin Folola; Egbosa Osaghae, Abu Bakar Bali, are all writers and researchers whose efforts shall be reviewed in the course of this work.
Also, the use of journal which is a secondary source would greatly help in the process of writing this long essay. Also newspaper publications would be relevant to the work. There are also unpublished works which would definitely serve well in providing information. Another method relevant in this work is oral interview of important personalities who had ever held sensitive positions in government; this could be done only if time permits. The internet facilities can also be of use.