THE HISTORICAL EVALUATION OF LEADERSHIP PROBLEMS AND NIGERIAN NASCENT DEMOCRACY.


Content

ABSTRACT

 Leadership problems and Political instability has been part of African and, especially Nigeria development problem. It had short changed every course towards national development; hence, Nigeria had remained underdeveloped. This quagmire had continually repeated itself in every facet of the Nigerian hope for stability, which is offered and can be attained through peaceful elections and change of leadership through the Nascent Democracy, which was enthroned on the 29th May 1999 till date. As shaky as this issue had been since inception, the Nigerian state had been greatly threatened, thereby lacking peaceful social civility as every election period tends to mesh the country into leadership crisis ranging from ethnic, religious and geopolitical upheaval, which remains the research focus of analysis. This might be due to electoral rigging and malpractice, imposition and greed to retain power by the incumbent owing to the fear of the unknown and possible corruption allegations that easily snowball into ethnic and or religious undertone, thereby negating the necessary dynamism for development.

 

The work adopts primary and secondary data. The primary data includes oral face-to-face interview. Using unstructured questions to interview key informants of six (6) historians, four (4) political scientists, five (5) international law scholars, four (4) Human rights groups and three (3) staff of Nigerian foreign Affairs Departments, four (4) Staff of Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and six (6) lecturers of international relations – conflict study. The secondary data was materials adequate to form good value judgment of the work. Amongst which are archival library method, internet and website browsing, journals, conference papers, electoral monitors’ reports, magazine and daily newspapers. The research instrument of evaluation is in-depth interview method. The work also utilizes historical, analytical and descriptive approach.

 

The study noted that leadership problem is a major issue retarding the development of Nigeria. This is occasioned by poverty of leadership that had been monocratic in tendencies. The research also noted that long years of military rule and poverty of governance had helped to cripple the economy due to poor vision and lack of initiative as well as the threat imposed by ethnic bigotry and skewed federalism questions. The level of discontent and dissatisfaction among the citizenry informed that the government have failed the people hence the desires for change of government arousing instability was option left to the people as always displayed in every election or change of governance. The work admits that when peaceful changes from the masses are impossible that violent change could be the possible alternative, hence, the threat to the nascent democracy.

 

In conclusion, a true leadership is that which allows for peaceful change through the will of the people. The so far Nigerian leaders probably had failed to understand that those years of dictatorship and ethnic politics is over in Nigeria. Democracy, meant to open up the society while allowing for liberalization and consent of the people had become the contemporary ideal for modern society. Thus, Nigeria level of instability can be reduced to minimum when leadership is open to all. Just as democracy, means that peace should be allowed to flourish in Nigeria.

 

 

 

                                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENT

 

Title Page                                                                                i

Certification                                                                                      ii

Dedication                                                                               iii

Acknowledgement                                                                             iv

Abstract                                                                                  v

Table of Content                                                                     iv

 

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction                                                                                      1

Background to the Study                                                                    1 Statement of Problem                                                                       5

Objective of Study                                                                            6

Significance of Study                                                               6

Research Methodology                                                            7

Scope and Limitation                                                              8 Operationalization of Concepts                                               8 Endnotes                                                                               10

 

CHAPTER TWO

Literature Review                                                                    11

African Approach                                                                             11 Nigerian Approach                                                                      14  The State of  Nigeria Nascent Democracy                                 17

Endnotes                                                                                 34

 

CHAPTER THREE

Historical Overview of the Study                                            40

Historical Evaluation of Leadership Problem in Nigeria                   40

Instances of Leadership Problems in Selected African States  49

Endnotes                                                                                 71

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR

General Analysis                                                                     75

The Examination of the Factors that Mitigates Leadership Problems

In Nigeria                                                                                75

The General Implications of Leadership Problem and the Threats to the Nascent Democracy in Nigeria                                       83

Endnotes                                                                                  88

 

CHAPTER FIVE

Conclusion and Recommendation                                           89

Summary of Findings                                                              89

Conclusion                                                                              91

Recommendation                                                                     92

Bibliography                                                                           94                                                                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1     BACKGROUND OF STUDY

It is truism that peace cannot reign in the presence of upheaval, instabilities, catastrophe and or destructions. A phenomenon that are noted to be tenaciously linked to every African political processes and even leadership problem. Peace and stability in a political system or in the history of a nation can only be attained and sustained when such society is properly managed by the leader(s). An ideal situation that allows for social civility that is brought about by democratic tenets and practices world over.

 

Thus, leadership, an act to direct the course of men aright for their own mutual benefit and the advancement of the society1, had been followed in the different perspectives. Amongst this perspective, Wilson Churchill argued that leadership is the art of directing the affairs of men to yield positive impact on the society2.

 

On the other hand, leadership, as many critics argue is one of the major problems of the African states. Ideally, leadership, a concept of leading people aright, had been made to elude the facts on what the people deemed as right leader and or wrong leader, which in turn had affected the common existence of the African people3. Leadership style of this nature in Africa had not only resulted in instability, unhealthy competition, oppression, frustration, repression, deprivation, social injustice, indiscipline, corruption and social decimation with cyclical poverty, but it had perpetually keep the states in negative light and history from one generation to another:

 

Thus, today in the African continent you hear of conflict and crisis in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Togo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, Sudan, Rwandan, Burundi, Guinea, Algeria, Mauritania and Congo DR amongst others due to leadership problems, which had turned the states upside down with no mutual benefit to the common people.

 

Leadership, under an ideal situation ought to be a social process; relational issues in which one party attempts by all means to influence the behaviour of others in a normal situation without recourse to threat or violence4. A good leader according to Ailbe seeks to secure true compliance with emphasis on the willingness of the subjects. Except that is done; the leadership will never function smoothly. A leader attempts to bring a long-term change in the people’s attitude5. This characteristics behaviour to some extent is considerably lacking among many African leaders and Nigeria in particular. On the same context it was argued that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Whereas on the opposite and in the African  context, the rhetoric phrase is uneasy lies the head of the populist that experiences the terror of the dictator as was exemplified by Bokassa, Idi Amin, Mobutu Sese Seko, Juvenal Habyarimana, Samuel Doe, Sani Abacha, Eyadema, Mengistiu Halimalia and Dennis Sasson Nguesso amongst others6. To Victor Kalu, a good charismatic leader is that one who speaks and the people listen to him7.

 

When applying the above enuciated ethnics of leadership in the Nigeria political system, several things, however, calls to minds. Such things as, ‘do Nigeria ever experience the governance of a leader or ruler, as Kalu questioned: do we call them leaders or rulers in our context’. This is because, with the mixture of both phrases, the nomenclature did not different who leads, rule or govern the people in Nigeria but it is seen as a symbolic gesture that are used to becloud the innocence while decimating their agilities and labours combined8.

 

Nigeria in general has a long chain of leadership problem, which had helped to reduce the people and the country to cyclical underdevelopment9. Historically, Nigeria leadership problem dates back to the days after independence from the colonial Britain. The independent, itself was fought on the stand of “one nation, but immediately the victory was attained, ethnic cleavages and ethnicity become the order of the day.”

 

Nigeria, from one republic to the other was noted to be foisting on ethnicity and incompetent leaders with attendant corruption that had come to be a household in the Nigeria government and politics10. Against this inadequacies and anomalies, amongst the civil class, the military sees the opportunity to perpetuate themselves to power with the hope of ameliorating the cankerworm, but the long years of military incursion did not only deteriorate the events in the political scene but it destroyed the state system, enthroned ineptitude on the throne and looters who have no business aspiring or overthrowing government through the barrel11. The kind of leadership, thus, noticed was like if the country ‘Nigeria’ was besieged by a gang of thieveries, looters, corrupt and incompetent men. The national treasury was like picnics for these rogues in the name of leadership, because their kind of leadership was neither good nor beneficial to the nation in all ramifications12.

 

It is also on this parlance and pretence that the erstwhile rulers seeing the country’s wealth as flowing will rather die than to leave the corridors of power. The element of continuous cycling of themselves in governance and the introduction of their children helped to put Nigeria in a perpetual doomed list in the African political structure and governance. Moreso, against the hope that after the military rule, that the coming of the civil class in governance will help to restructure and position things in the country, negative results had been the harvest as the situation and condition of things had shown no difference nor change from the former ones.

Politically, the civil class had not shown any difference in the democratic settings. They have not been able to do for the people what they (masses) cannot provide for themselves. The basic needs of man like water, electricity, access road, shelter and other social services had for long being denied on the people (mass public). Election and electoral management had been a tell-tale story as electoral malpractice, rigging, accompanied by arson, killings and wanton destruction of life and properties had characterised every leadership processes in the country13. Thus, Nigeria bad leadership system had affected every facet of the society, mostly the economy, the stability of the country, social welfare and security of persons amongst others.

 

Citing a recent event as an example of a bad ruler in Nigeria nascent democracy, Okwara aptly noted that the Obasanjo regime never respected the rule of law. The eight years rule of the person above was adorned with recklessness; it was a near decade of gross disrespect to court orders and injunction … in his day to day activities and utterances, he demonstrated himself a ruler bigger than the nation, a ruler who has come to be served and not to serve; an unclean… Obasanjo is unmercifully corrupt, going by the way he ruled the nation; it is crystal clear that he was very dirty. He is a reckless tin-god and not a leader14.

 

The Nigerian leadership problem seemed to have defied any panacea for solution as even those you think are good or could make a change seemed to be worst-off compared to the present crops of leaders. This is because against Ailbe identified as a successful leader, when he opined that it is the manifestation of influence bringing about the behaviour and intended output (result) the leader desired to have15. Example, if the plan of the leader is to transform, regime, and reform the deviant elements in the society; and the same is got, such a leader is termed as a successful one in that regard, because he had actualised his goal, but reverse is the case in Nigeria where the leader says one thing and does the other16.

 

Inference on this notions above, it is imperative to argue that Nigeria leaders and their followers did not only fail because of the phenomenon of in culpability but due to a resilient reluctance that the banished leaders seek to mythicise their indifference to the peoples’ plight by imposing curative measures which bear no relevance to the burning issues of the times17.

 

Therefore, in consideration to the tracing of Nigerian leadership problem, that is rooted in the history, and defined ill-formed geographical and state units, with domestic regional and international dimension relating both to its colonial history, marked by corruption, nepotism, and patronage politics, this work will further in its investigation expose the imposing negative dimension of the problem with a view to proffering possible way out.

 

1.2     STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The starting point for this analysis is that Nigerian leadership problem is endemic. It is a system that had enthroned misplaces priority and misjudgement against all what is right and good in leadership. This bad leadership, expanding for many years had encouraged dislocation of good governance to mere failure. This is because against the lapses that go with bad leadership of all the past leaders combined nothing had been meaningfully achieved locally, nationally and internationally. The system owing to poor vision of the leaders had gone to near state collapse. An issue that had encouraged instability and unhealthy economic, social and political agendas to no positive results.

 

However, what we should be looking at is how did the Nigeria leadership problem emanate? How have the past leaders handle this problem? What were the reasons behind this cyclical endemic problem? What could be the best way out of these quagmires? Has the mass directly or indirectly been part of this leadership problem? What is the paradigm of Nigeria leadership to fellow African brothers?

 

Providing answers to the entire questions above and more forms the pivot on which this work revolves.

 

1.3            OBJECTIVE OF STUDY

The following are the research objective

1.                 To investigate the cause and how the Nigeria leadership problem existed.

2.                 To inquire if there had been any major solution to the leadership problem by the past leaders.

3.                 To identify if there was any major reason behind the long years of leadership problem in Nigeria.

4.                 To explain the role of both the masses and the leaders to this shortfall.

5.                 To evaluate if there is any negative influence that such leadership problem had imparted on the neighbouring African states.

6.                 To explain the negative implications of this problem on the people both home and abroad.

 

1.4            SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

This work is significance in many ways, among which are:

Firstly, the Nigeria leadership problem had been an aged long phenomenon that many did not know where it started, to which this endeavour intend to expose. This is due to the fact that since after independence Nigeria had not moved forward due to the reason that there had not been a purposeful leader in the country.

Secondly, the degree of bad leadership in Nigeria had affected both the economic, political, social and national course, to which the need for solution was very important.

 

Thirdly, the study explains that good leader is that person who serve the others and listen to them. a good leader extol good virtue on the subjects while at the same time lead by example in ramification.

 

Fourthly, the role of ethnicity and ethnic politics been the bane of Nigeria political stability is also discussed and evaluated for the good of the country.

 

Fifthly, the work closes the gap in knowledge on what had been the causal effects of leadership problem in Nigeria as affecting the people and the society in general.

 

Finally, this research work shall no doubt provide useful information to other researchers who may want to use it for further research on the issue of Nigeria government and politics. It will also go a long way to show a clear picture of the Nigeria political leadership history and problems.

 

 

1.5            RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The study will adopt secondary sources of data collection considering the fact that the research is concerned with the historical evaluation of leadership problem in Nigeria.

Premised on this, a great deal of secondary materials like textbooks, magazine and journal will serve as the main source of data collection. The study will equally employ the use of internet and web browsing to augment the sourced materials.

 

In view of this, the work will utilize analytical approach and documentary in evaluating the course discourse. While historical approach is also adopted in the evaluation, the study will use descriptive analysis in arriving at its content desire.

 

1.6            SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY

The scope of this research shall be restricted to Nigeria leadership problem, which expand from 1960 – 2009. Although, the study may not be completely in detail of the nitty-gritty of the issue on discourse, but the cogent, necessary and silent points will be explained.

 

However, the study is bedevilled by several limitations which are inevitable. This include the problem of getting the required and relevant text from the library; logistic problem of transporting one from place to place. The researcher not allowed or attended to by library attendants also form a limitation to the study. Financial constraints is one of the factor forming a limitation to this study. However, despite all the noted limitation the work was able to meet the required goal of the study.

 

 

1.7            OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

 LEADERSHIP:  This is one who led the people on the right direction. A leader is one who serves the people and provide for their needs.

 

LEADERSHIP PROBLEM: This is a situation where there is crisis on leadership. The crisis made it that everybody want to lead without clear vision of how to lead others. It is the struggle that lead to political instability.

 

 

INSTABILITY

This is when there is crisis arising from bad leadership, failure to solve the peoples’ problem and the violence that followed on policy, poor administration and state collapse among others.

 

BAD GOVERNANCE

A weak leader may enthrone bad governance to shield away from his failures. A wicked leader may enthrone bad governance to suppress the masses against any opposition.

 

MASSES

This are the people of the society who are been decimated, badly governed by the bad leader.

 

FRUSTRATION

The several deprivation, neglects and maltreatment of masses can lead to the people being frustrated by those in authority. Frustration is when the entire avenue to progress or advance is blocked by those in authority, thereby creating untold hardship on the people, group or individuals.

 

UNHEALTHY COMPETITION

This is a struggle that arise from political quarrel and antagonism. It is most used or adopted by political opponents to discuss a political system much especially when a failed leader want to perpetual self to power continuous.

 

SOCIAL INJUSTICE

This is the kind of measure of governance that a bad leader enthrones while deprives, denying and keep opponents at bay. Most bad leaders employ it to maltreat the masses especially those against his political desperation.

REFERENCES

1. Okoroama, Ailbe O.  Leadership and power: A comparative approach

    Lagos: Neo-graphic Nigeria Co. pub. 2003 pp. 16 – 17.

2. Michael, Anderson     Democracy in plural societies, A contemporary

     explanation: London: News pass pub. 2009, pp 11-21.

 3. Okoroama, Ailbe O. Op cit p 17

4. Ibid P. 18

5. Farrakhan, Louis       “The role of leadership in uniting Africa and black

    American” in the African heads of states and black leaders from

    America summit in Gabon 1993. vol. 12 No 16 June 16th p. 11

6. Victor, Kalu  The leadership questions: power and poverty in

    Nigeria. Enugu: Hill press Nig Ltd. 1994 pp. 1 – 5.

7. Ibid pp. 6 – 7

8. Ibid pp. 7 – 8

9. Okigbo, Pius, Nigeria and challenges of leadership in the

     twentieth century. Enugu enclave press Ltd. 1996 pp. 12 – 18.

10. Ali Mufuruki, “Is there a crisis  of leadership in Africa?” A leadership in

     African leadership initiative April 12th, 2001 pp. 1 – 18.

11. Ibid p. 16

12. Chinua, Achebe       The trouble with Nigeria, Enugu: Fourth

      dimension pub. 1998.

13. Chima, Ubani,         “Total disempowerment of the masses in Nigeria”

      in Civil liberty magazine vol. 5 No 7, July 4th 1999 pp. 4 – 6

14. Okwara M.D. Emeka        “Let Yar’dua probe Obasanjo now” in

      Saturday Sun Newspaper December 29, 2007 pp. 6 – 7

15. Okoroama O. Ailbe Op cit pp. 17 – 18

16. Ibid p. 18

17. Victor, Kalu op cit. pp. 3 –5.

Order Complete Project