Impact Of Leadership Crisis On Nigeria National Development Of Fourth Republic

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science


The research explores the impact of leadership crisis on Nigeria national development. It appraises leadership crisis in Nigeria fourth republic and its impact on national development. The study projects the nature of leadership instability in Nigeria’s fourth republic and the consequences of mismanagement of the nation’s economic and financial resources.

Chapter One


Nigeria is richly endowed by providence with human and material resources critical for national development and advancement. However, since gaining political independence, Nigeria has continued to meander the path befitting failed, weak and “juvenile” states. A state that had very great prospects at independence and was touted to lead Africa out of the backwoods of underdevelopment and economic dependency, Nigeria is still stuck in the league of very poor, corrupt, underdeveloped, infrastructurally decaying, crisis-riven, morally bankrupt and leadership-deficient countries of the South. Rather than become an exemplar for transformational leadership, modern bureaucracy, national development, national integration and innovation, Nigeria seems to be infamous for whatever is mediocre, corrupt, insanely violent and morally untoward.

Thus, one cannot but agree with the position that Nigeria is a victim of poor leadership and convoluted systemic corruption which has become pervasive and cancerous in the country’s national life. This view has been held strongly in literature by scholars and writers who have identified the inexorable nexus between leadership crisis and corruption in the country as the continued reason for Nigeria’s inglorious economic throes, political convolutions and national underdevelopment. Current debates rest on the conclusion that Nigerian leadership suffers from extreme moral depravity and attitudinal debauchery (Agbor, 2011; Agbor, 2012; Ezirim, 2010; Ebegbulem, 2009; Ogbunwezeh, 2007). In fact, Agbor argues that the success or failure of any society depends largely on the mannerism of its leadership. He adds that the result of poor leadership in Nigeria is embodied as poor governance manifested in consistent political crisis and insecurity, poverty of the extreme order among the citizens, debilitating miasma of corruption and rising unemployment indices. Tipping corruption as a dinosaur syndrome in Nigeria’s national life (anon, 2010), Nigeria’s nationhood has been caught in the whirlpool of a corrupt public sector that has remained a hotbed of all that is vice, sleazy and retrogressive. While not exclusive to Nigeria, a report considers corruption to be one of the most chronic macroeconomic problems confronting most African countries today (ACBF, 2007). It is seen as the root cause of the various economic and political crises that have plagued the African region, and continues to aggravate not only the problem of underdevelopment of each country, but also that of abject poverty of the citizenry. For example, political corruption is the cause of sit-tight political leaders, especially in Africa, with constitutional amendments making them eligible to contest presidential elections as long as they wish. The ability to continue to control state power enables them to allocate national resources as they wish. This promotes wanton, suboptimal allocation of national resources, and the ensuing macroeconomic mismanagement which result in persistent economic cataclysm.

Although not a Nigerian phenomenon, the specter of corruption seems to haunt the nation and has permeated the entire fabric of state. Aided by leadership crisis bedeviling the nation

1.1 Background of the Study

Agbor (2012) writes on the list of high-profile corrupt practices of some Nigerian leaders in the present fourth republic. He argued that the notoriety of Nigeria’s corruption by its elected and appointed leaders led to the country being ranked 143 out of 182 countries in Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perception Index. Corrupt practices among public officials have become a national pastime. He chronicles the high-profile list of corruption in Nigeria to include the arraignment of a one-time governor of Kogi State by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for embezzling and defrauding the state to the tune of N4 billion. In September 2006, the EFCC had 31 of Nigeria’s 36 state governors under investigation for corruption (BBC, 2006). A one-time female Senator from Ogun State was quizzed by EFCC for receiving $100,000 stolen from the Ministry of Health as well as the Health Minister and her deputy quizzed for stealing over N30 million from the Ministry’s unspent funds from the previous year. The oil subsidy and the police pension scam are the latest manifestations of wanton corruption traceable to attitudinal recklessness of Nigerian leadership. Uwujaren’s (2012) submission on this national embarrassment shows clearly a state suffering from leadership crisis. So far the EFCC has docked 20 of those who defrauded the federation through the fuel subsidy fund. Some of the cases revealed included Ogunbambo, Theck and Fargo who swindled the federal government of over N976 million for fuel they did not supply. Taylor, Nasaman and Ali were involved in N4.4billion fraud, and Alao was docked for N2.6 billion scam. Tukur, Ochonogo, External Oil, collectively defrauded the state to the sum of N1.899 billion. Nadabo, Peters and Abalaka and Pacific Silver stole the sum of N1.464billion and Watgbasoma, Ugo-Ngadi, Ebenezer, Ejidele and Ontario Oil defrauded the Federal Government of Nigeria to the tune of N1.959 billion (Uwujaren, 2012). The management of the police pension scheme has recently revealed a leadership that is grossly insensitive. It becomes very appalling to hear that over N200million (two hundred million naira) would be spent to verify less than twenty police pensioners overseas. The question is what then would be the total pension of those retired officers when over two hundred million is spent to verify them. Some of the state officials involved in this scam have come under prosecution by the EFCC. EsaiDangaba, AtikuKigo, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yusufu, Veronica Ulonma, and ZaniZira are being prosecuted for defrauding the police pension scheme in the sum of N32.8billion (Uwujaren, 2012).

According to Ike (2010), it is estimated that by 1999 past Nigerian leaders had stolen or misused $407 billion or 225 billion pounds. This amount is equal to all western aid given to the continent of Africa. He also mentioned that the immediate former Chairman of Nigeria Economic, and Financial Crimes Commission disclosed that 220 billion pounds was squandered between independence from Britain in 1960 and the return to democracy in 1999. This stolen fortune tallies exactly with the 220 billion pounds of Western Aid given to Africa between 1960-1997. This amounted to six times the American help given to post-war Europe under the Marshall Plan for the Reconstruction of Europe. Ike also cited the World Bank’s list of Nigeria’s fund by depositors in four Western countries in 1999 and submitted to the then President of Nigeria. From that list, five of the depositors alone were responsible for much of the stolen funds in the World Bank list of 21 heavy looters. The total of amount deposited in western banks by the heaviest 21 looters is the equivalent of 150 billion dollars. He concluded that on balance, the leaders of the first and second republics were relatively not corrupt as evidence in the third and fourth republics has gradually shown the byzantine kleptomania and “lootocracy” by those supposedly entrusted with the national leadership. Thus corruption in Nigeria has both entangled the entire public and private sector matrix and deepened its vice-like grip on the society. The research therefore shall investigate the impact of leadership crisis on Nigeria national development of fourth republic

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem confronting this research is to appraise the impact of leadership crisis on Nigeria national development of the fourth republic

1.3 Research Question

  1. What is the nature of leadership crisis in Nigeria’s fourth republic
  2. What is the impact of leadership crisis on Nigeria’s national development

1.4 Objective of the Research

  1. To appraise the nature of leadership crisis in nigeria’s fourth republic
  2. To determine the impact of leadership crisis in nigeria’s national development

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study shall project the damaging consequences of leadership crisis on the country’s national development with a view to determining measures of mitigating and eliminating the menace in the nations leadership.

1.6 Statement of Hypothesis

  1. H0 The level of national development is low
    H1 The level of national development is high
  2. H0 Leadership crisis in fourth republic Nigeria is high
    H1 Leadership crisis in fourth republic Nigeria is low
  3. H0 The impact of leadership crisis in Nigeria is low
    H1 The impact of leadership crisis in Nigeria is high

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study is focused on appraising the impact of leadership crisis on Nigeria national development of fourth republic.

1.8 Definition of Terms


Cole (1997, p. 54) posits: Leadership is a dynamic process at work in a group whereby one individual over a particular period of time, and in a particular organizational context, influences the other group members to commit themselves freely to the achievement of group tasks or goals


In defining corruption, Amuwo (2005) and Obayelu (2007) consider it as the exploitation of public position, resources and power for private gain. Fieldstad & Isaksen (2008, p. 3) and Ogundiya (2009, p. 5) define corruption as “the betrayal of public trust for individual or sectional gain.” Obayelu went further to identify corruption as “efforts to secure wealth or power through illegal means for private gain at public expense; or a misuse of power for private benefit.” Corruption covers a broad spectrum of activities ranging from fraud (theft through misrepresentation), embezzlement (misappropriation of corporate or public funds) to bribery (payments made in order to gain an advantage or to avoid a disadvantage). From a political point of view, Aiyede (2006, p. 5) views corruption as “the abuse or misuse of public or governmental power for illegitimate private advantages.” His view corroborates the position of Lipset and Lenz (2000) that corruption is an effort to secure wealth or power through illegal means for private benefit at public expense. Tanzi (1998) adds that such abuse of public power may not necessarily be for one’s private benefit but for the benefit of one’s party, class, tribe, or family. Although corruption is global in scope, it is more pronounced in developing societies because of their weak institutions. It is minimal in developed nations because of existing institutional control mechanisms which are more developed and effective.

National Development

According to Imhonopi & Urim (2010), national development is the ability of a country or countries to improve the social welfare of the people, namely, by providing social amenities like good education, power, housing, pipe-borne water and others. The components of national development include economic development, socio-cultural empowerment and development and how these impact on human development.

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Summary, Recommendation and Conclusion

The objective of this study were to

  1. Know if there is a relationship between leadership crises and national development.
  2. To know if leadership crises has a negative effect on national development.
  3. To proffer ways of ensuring steady development in Nigeria.

Findings from the study revealed the following:

  1. There is a relationship between leadership crises and national development in Nigeria.
  2. Leadership crises have a negative effect on national development.
  3. Nigeria as a nation has had her fair share of leadership crises in the past.
  4. National development is being hindered by leadership crises.
  5. Nigeria is currently having development challenges as a result of leadership crises in the past.

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