Followership And Leadership As A Means Of National Development

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Leadership and followership are mutual activities of great influence to national development in all parts of the world. In Nigeria, after her independence in 1960, Nigeria moved from Parliamentary system of government to Presidential system of government, she has experienced both civilian and military regimes yet, her leaders have been unable to deliver to her citizens the quality of life commensurate with her numerous endowed resources. In Nigeria, government has failed to provide portable drinking water, electricity, good roads, effective service delivery, employment, housing scheme, quality health care, quality education, credible electoral system etc.

According to Ngwube (2010), the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is the inability of Nigerian leaders to rise to the challenge of personal example which according to Achebe (2001), is the hallmark of true leadership. In fairness to Achebe, our leaders have not led by example. Ngwube affirmed that, sycophancy; and mere oratories have not helped the situation but have rather compounded it. The quality and ingenuity of a country’s leadership can make or mar a country’s development or growth.

Leadership can decisively influence the quality of life of her people and her national power vis-à-vis annihilating them through war and poor governance (Irikana, 2012). The perception of the followers of their leaders in Nigeria is an issue of great importance. In most cases the followers hold the view that their leaders lacks the skill required for governance, and that the leaders act not in accordance with the needs and aspirations of the people but in accordance with their personal agenda or interests not unconnected with imperialistic forces.

Followership in Nigeria has not generated much debate. But there have been cases of resistance movements that have been spearheaded by followers. These resistance cases are protest against poor governance and ineptitude of Nigerian Leaders (Irikana, 2012). Nigerian followers are very loyal and supportive to leadership and have participated actively in the achievement of the nation’s goals. Though when a people are ravaged by poverty, it will weaken their ability to rise up to their challenges of checkmating the excesses of their leaders. This docility will have a great negative impact on Leader- followership relationship.

Leaders that are checkmated by their followers will limit their excesses and realign themselves to public opinion. But in the midst of docility and sycophancy, leaders will be getting away with their misappropriations and ineptitude. But competition among elites seeking leadership status can be a major source of conflict and check on leadership (Lawal, 2011). Leadership can be conceived both from the macro and micro level. Macro level refers to societal governance; while micro refers to group or organizational governance. This research will be discussing Leadership at the macro level which encapsulates the latter. It will look into the concept of leadership, types, qualities, functions and problems of leadership from the Nigerian perspective. The study is aimed at enlightening political leaders and their followers of their responsibilities in promoting good governance in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

It remains a fact that Nigeria is still under counted among the under developed nations in the world. It has been observed, and correctly too, that the bad followers has also contributed to this problem of national development. Nigeria has experienced both civilian and military regimes yet, her leaders have been unable to deliver to her citizens the quality of life commensurate with her numerous endowed resources. In Nigeria, government has failed to provide portable drinking water, electricity, good roads, effective service delivery, employment, housing scheme, quality health care, quality education, credible electoral system etc.


1.3 Research Questions

Arising from the foregoing, the following research questions have been drawn-up for the study viz:

  1. What are the qualities of a good leader?
  2. How can the wellbeing and security of the people be improved?
  3. What are the challenges of leadership in Nigeria?
  4. What are the functions of a leader and a follower?

1.4 Purpose of the Study

This study is aimed at examining followership and leadership as a means of National Development. Specifically, it will:

  1. Examine the qualities of a good leader and a good follower.
  2. Determine ways of Improving the wellbeing and security of the People.
  3. Identify the challenges of leadership in Nigeria.
  4. Indicate the functions of a leader and a follower.

1.5 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is limited to the role of followership and leadership as a means of national development with particular reference to Public Administration Department, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi.


1.6 Significance of the Study

There is no doubt about the fact that a study like this will be of benefit to some set of people and entity. Meanwhile, it is hoped that this research will benefit the following people: the masses, prospective leaders, security agencies, and government and future researchers.

Masses:

The masses who are the followers will at the end of this work realize the importance of good followership and being law abiding which can also help in fostering national development.

Prospective Leaders:

The research findings will enable people that have the intention of becoming leaders, not to see leadership as a means of enriching themselves but as way of promoting the general wellbeing of the people.

Security agencies:

It will assist the Nigerian Armed Forces, Police and other forces in the country to put all hands on deck to secure the lives and property of her people because no nation can attain national development without safe guarding the lives and property of her citizens.

Government:

Government at all levels will see reasons for improving the wellbeing of her citizens inorder to attain national development.

Future Researchers:

Researchers who will be exploring on this or related Research will find the work interesting and as a reference point.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

During the course of carrying out the research, the researcher encountered some problems such as money, time and energy.


1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

Followership:

Is the virtue of supporting leaders and helping them to lead well.

Leadership:

The action of leading a group of people or an organization.

Government:

Is the whole machinery through which a state is being governed or ruled.

National Development:

National development is the ability of countries to improve the social welfare of the people e.g by providing social amenities like quality education, potable water, transportation infrastructure, medical care, etc.

Leader:

A person that have executive ability to lead or govern a group of people,


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