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POLITICAL LEADERSHIP CRISIS AND SUSTAINABLE DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA FOURTH REPUBLIC
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Africa is currently experiencing the paradox of her being. Poverty and squalor are but hallmarks of a great continent that has richly being blessed by nature. A continent that often has been spared of untold natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes (except for few landslides in pockets of places) and the likes.
In various states of the continent, there are myriads of natural endowment, oil, coal, Gold, Iron- ore, precious stones and others too numerous to be mentioned. Yet in the midst of these endowments, persist also mismanagement, self-interest and unimaginable forms of corruption. In fact, some have commented that these resources have often become a curse rather than a blessing to the continent. This obvious gap between the God given opportunities and its meaningful utilization in a purposive manner, calls to the question the problematic nature of leadership and its centrality to the discourse on development.
One must acknowledge that praxis of democracy and the fundamentals of rule of law is universally difficult considering the number of years it took developed nations to arrive at their current stage.
As Mike Igini argued “the process of democracy building took between 27 and 256 years in Britain, between 78 and 168 years in France, between 30-80 years in Germany, between 30 and 70 years in the USA and about 50 years in Japan” (The Nation, 2012). Considering these number of years, we may perhaps appreciate the efforts of the different states in the continent. Be that as it may, we must still remark that the overall task and vision of democracy aimed at ensuring a prosperous and secured continent with her citizens being given opportunities for self-actualization is still a far cry in many African nations.
Democracy may not be achieving its full fruit in many nations of the world but the African case is still a more problematic one owing to the character of leaders. It is within the plethora of yet to be achieved vision that the inevitability of leadership is thus projected.
The inevitability of the role of leadership in driving the process of development is seen from the perspective of agenda setting, resource mobilization and utilization as well as political action. History is often marked with the stories of the revolutions engineered by great political figures often addressed as “Heroes of History” for those that have positively influenced development or ‘Evil Men’ for negative drivers of history. Names like Mahatma Gandi, Nelson Mandela, Alexander the Great, Alfred Nobel, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mobutu Sese Seko, Indi Ami and the like elicits different reactions from different people.
The centrality of leadership to development in Africa is a major key in that leaders define the context and development pattern by policies and allocations of resources. Upon independence African states anticipated a better and a prosperous continent. For the various nationalist leaders, Kwame Nkrumah of the then Gold Coast (Ghana) to Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo of Nigeria; Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia to Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, one vision held them bond development and economic recovery of their people. Their struggle was namely liberation from a grossly limiting bondage of the colonial rule and to launch their nations into a new era of development. This struggle for development was not to be compromised but was to be given ultimate attention. For instance Kwame Nkrumah upon the independence of Ghana said “we must achieve in a decade what it took others a century” (Nkrumah, 1973:401). Their urgency and haste for development of Africa has been described by Ayittey as “the need to ‘catch-up’ (Ayittey, 2005:58). Ayittey, (2009) further argued that even though that need was understandable, but the impatience that underscored their action led to “haste, which made waste.”
However, years after the attainment of independence, the continent is still bereft of the core necessities and it is gradually drifting into failed state situation with most of her nation states faced with the challenges of survival. There is obvious and noticeable abysmal failure of leadership style all over the continent. Hence the multiplicity of crisis being experienced in most African states that is thus degenerating into a failed state crisis for the continent is first of all a crisis of leadership. As the Nigerian novelist rephrased William Yeats, “…things fall apart when the center cannot hold…”
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM:
The study on Political leadership crisis and sustainable democracy in Nigeria forth republic came about as a result of weak governmental structures, inefficient public service, corruption, ethnicity, godfatherism, monetisation of politics, and political violence. Finally, most of the research has been carried out on Political leadership crisis but not even a single research has been carried out Political leadership crisis and sustainable democracy in Nigeria
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to determine political leadership crisis and sustainable democracy in Nigeria fourth republic. Other specific objectives of the study include:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no significant relationship between political leadership crises and sustainable democracy in Nigeria fourth republic.
H1: There is significant relationship between political leadership crises and sustainable democracy in Nigeria fourth republic.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on Political leadership crisis and sustainable democracy in Nigeria fourth republic will be of immense to the entire river state. The study will enable the Civil society actors be alive to their responsibilities, particularly as the bulwark against corruption, inefficiency, ineffectiveness and general maladministration. Citizens as well must be well mobilised to always demand accountability and transparency from their leaders.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on Political leadership crisis and sustainable democracy in Nigeria fourth republic is limited to Rivers State.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
PoliticalRelating to the government or public affairs of a country.
LeadershipThe action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this.
CrisisA time of intense difficulty or danger
SustainableAble to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
Democracy A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
Republic A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.
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