Political Leadership and Underdevelopment in Nigeria


Sommer .R. and Sommer .B. (1980:26) define the review of literature “as a process of finding out about previous work done on a particular field of study”. It surveys the research previously done on the problem and evaluates what these research has and has not accomplished in solving the problem currently understudy. (Osuala 1983:30.31). In this regard literature that are relevant and political leadership will be reviewed in the course of this study many eminent scholars have written on phenomenon of underdevelopment.

Rodney (1982:7) views underdeveloped countries into the world capitalist system in a subjugated position. He argued that before incorporated, African was developing on its own but has been degenerating since her contail with the world capitalists system finally he recommended disengagement from capitalists system. This he asserted that; African development is possible only on basic of a radical disengagement with the international capitalist system the principle agency of underdevelopment of African. The research concurs with Rodney in his argument that imperialism and its capitalism played a crucial countries such as Nigeria. However, Rodney didn’t point out the role of the political leaders in the continues underdevelopment of these countries after independence.

Ofting (1980:242) in the same vain posits that un-development resulted from imperialism and subsequency. He emphasized that historical situations of dependency have conditioned contemporary under development in African and other under development societies.

Thus he asserted, the underdeveloped societies remain so today because they were forcefully brought into the international economist system at a very immature stage and also because the dominant document dominated. and rations continues.

ONYMODE (1983:76) observed that underdevelopment in Nigeria is as a result of imperialism. He explain that the specific character of imperialism in Nigeria involved salary, which means that historical and current underdevelopment of the country could not be explained or understood without explicit analysis of imperialism in the whole process. He emphasized that development and underdevelopment are simultaneously products of the same imperialists system. Thus he assorted that, if for centuries some countries hence cumulatively appropriating the national economic surplus of other countries as body project, levies and the like and if this economic surplus is the life blood of any economic system then logically at some distant future date, we should expect this simple imperialist process to produce development in the exploiting imperialists countries and simultaneously produce underdevelopment in the dominated and exploited areas.

FRANT (1996:224) writes that under development in large part the historical produce of past and continuing economic and other relations between satellite (i.e under develop institutes) and the developed matrophition countries. Thus he assert that, indeed, the economic and political exparision of Europe since the fifteenth countries has come to incorporate underdeveloped countries into a single stem of world history which has given rise simultaneously to the present development of others.

AJA-AKURU-AJAi8u (1998:49:50) also views underdevelopment as a product of history. Thus he persisted that, the history of underdevelopment duties back to the contact between Europe and the rest of the world. In which case them is no history in any attempt to separate the phenomenon of imperialism and colonialism from the emerging socio-economic formation of the new nations at the end of colonialism in many parts of the world.

NKRUMAH (1973:313) in his own perspective observed that neo-colonialism perpetuates underdevelopment and prevents countries under its influence from developing. The greatest danger at presents facing African is neo-colonialism …” He emphatically concludes that underdeveloped countries would not move forward towards economic independence until neo-colonialism or neo-aspiration was vanquished. The fact that the independent. Ake is of the view that underdevelopment will persist if there is no disengagement from capitalist relations of production. He therefore recommends socialism as a panacea for overcoming African Nigeria underdevelopment. However, he pointed out that accumulation of wealth by the political socialism and greatly limit what can be achieve under socialists regime.

However in the long run, the production focus will be developed. OKOYE (2000:107) posits that the post-colonial African states such as Nigeria underdevelopment largely because of failure of political leadership. He however underscored the impact of colonialism especially its interpretation of Nigeria world capitalist economic system in a subjugated position. Hence he emphasized the negative and crucial effect colonial economy left on the post-colonial economy. The character and orientation of emergent political leadership, which results in a situation where state power is used as instrument of accumulation of private wealth, hence perpetuating underdevelopment. Thus, he asserts that with private economic interest tactfully tried to state power in African (Nigeria) and the consequent unscrupulous struggle to capture and exercise it which has continued to exacerbate academic conflicts and economic underdevelopment in the continent, the leadership in African (Nigeria) has remained a primary excruciating burden that the continent (country) must successfully address before it deems development would be realized.

OKADIGBO (1987:139) in his own view Conair’s with Nigeria is simply and squarely the failure of leadership. He insists that there is nothing basically wrong with Nigeria character, nothing wrong with the land of climate or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem he concludes is the un-writtergneos or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility to the challenge of personal example, which are the hallmarks of the leadership of Okadigbo now evaluated Achebe view. The leader cannot sustain him and his spirit cannot share, if he does not have the tools to work with and the right institution and constitutional structures where he operates. This is a point that the desriaise leader must have the practical apparatus for success.

ACHEBE (1931) having studies the factors that kept Nigeria underdeveloped, he declared that: the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. He went further to asserts, “The Nigerian problem is unwillingness or un-ability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmark of true leadership”. Achebe concludes that there is nothing wrong with Nigeria, her character her lends or climate, and the he declares that Nigeria can change today if she discovers leaders who have the will the ability and vision.



Babangida administration was made up of mainly military officers and some civilians. These two groups belong to the class of patty bourgeoisie.

According to Ekekwe (1986:8) patty bourgeoisie in Nigeria comprised among others the officer corps of police and army the senior civil servants the chiefs, intellectuals etc.

By implicating of being a petty bourgeoisie class. The leadership tacked source economic base.

This, in order to build up its week economic base and bridge the gap between political power and economic power for class resorted to use of state power for accumulation of wealth for themselves and members of their class; either origin friends etc. In the process of accumulation, completion was the main mechanism use by this class. In this regard, Zeak Williams and Hlenike (1986:292) asserted that the governing class in Nigeria seems committed to the unity of political power and economic wealth and corruption is an important weapon used by this class. Babangida’s administration was characterized by mismanagement of public fund and unchecked corruption. The administration was accused by aiding and asserting corruption during it eight years of existence. During this regime which lasted between August 1985 and August 1993, there were important development projects and there began indiscrimination contract awards on an unprecedented scale. This as accomplished through international manipulation in coalition with Nigerians who aspired for individual wealth and fortunes inflated contracts and kickbacks became the order of the day. Ike Jianclerk (1995; 134) when Buhan was toppled through the palace coup in 1985, the anticorruption stand of the government gave way to seeming respect for human right. Babangida administration released some persons held in detention period pending trial for alleged corrupts practices and other offences. Perhaps he released these politicians and top public servants in order to make more friends among the bourgeoisie class and to prose himself a friend of all. He equally reduce the sentences of many convicted persons and recommended that some be tried in regular court. Most governors of second republic were in the category. The being treatment of corruption in the early years of the Babangida administration foretold a such more conscious instrumental use of corruption to ensure regime stability. The political Bureau observed that many memorandum that it received saw corruption as the bedrock of Nigeria’s political failure it noted that the manifestation of corruption include the inflation of government contract in return for kickbacks. Frauds and falsification of accounts in the public services examination malpractices in our educational institutions, taking of bribes and perversion of justice among the police, the judiciary and other organs for administering business and industry sectors of our economic in collusions with multination companies such as over-invoicing of goods, foreign exchange swindling, hoarding and smuggling the exams cited by the political bureau relate to official taking advantage of their offices to acquire wealth or other personal benefits. In this regard, it is those who have business to do with government who are compelled somehow to provide inducement to publish officials to make them do what they had a duty to do, or grant underserved, favours, incident of illegal acquisition of wealth reached unprecedented level during the Babangida’s administration. However the crucial question is why Babangida filtrated, if not promoted so much corruption during his periods in offices. The answer a cleanly is that he allowed people to compromise themselves through corruption so that they might be more loyal or amendable to his political maneuvers. Theory is overwhelming evidence that why the government pretended to implement a transition programme to transfer power from the military to civilian in 1993, Babangida has a different agenda. He correctly sought to perpetuate himself in power using state resources by which he built a network of acolytespho, preferred his continued to stay in office to democracy such adherenments could be found among academic, business people politicians traditional rules, the professing and of course the military itsated above Babangida could thwart his own progress of democratization without a serious challenge by the elite because he had carefully and systematically courted, compromised and suborn a good portion of them for his political ambition.

Another character of Babangida’s administration was the involvement of the traditional rulers in his democratization process. The royal fathers have been the most important political allies of the military especially during Babangida’s regime. Perhaps they support very successful coup in Nigeria because under military rule they have greater relevance as they resume their role of maintaining local control for the state analogous to the role they played under the colonial regime. The symbolic relationship of traditional rulers to transfer power from the military to civilian in 1993. Babangida has a different agenda. He correctly sought to perpetuate. Himself in power using state resources by which he built a network of acolytespho, preferred his continued stay in office to democracy such adheres, business people to military rule. According to the Emir of Katina, as traditional rulers, we have witnessed many coups in the country and  each one that comes to power own Emirs and  chiefs fully support it, because anything that happens anywhere is the internation of our creator, the Almighty Allah despites the constitutional provisions which confided the traditional rulers powers, to local government level, the royal furthers become increasing noticed and were drawn into the political gambit by the Babangida regime as it unleashed its political treachery to about the transoyopn agenda. In August 1992, Babangida acting the pervasive irregularities that characterized the presidential primaries of the two political parties dissolve the elected committed of the two political parties at all levels and appointed catryaker committee to run them. In addition he participated in the batched presidential primaries and further extended. The extended the transition time table to August.

Although this move was highly unpopular to civil society the traditional rulers sided with the government and helped the justify the elongation of military rule, claiming that the military should not handover power in a situation of (bags an anarchy) even when some civil association like human right organization were mobilizing support against Babangida’s plan, most of the royal father rationalized the annulment as an act of God that must be accepted in good faith. Later some of them joined the Babaragon of the (the Babangida must stay) sensible because the military should not handover power in a situation of corruption. Besides, it was noted that Babangida’s administration was neo-colonial oriented. Most political analyst have argued that August 1985 coup could be described as a takeover in Nigeria (ODDIH: 2001:20) this could be better explained in the regimes insistence in taking IMF loan despite massive rejection of the loan by Nigerians. As an evidence of its neo-colonial inclinate  as soon as Babangida topped Buhari’s administration in August 27,1985 the British government sent the foreign secretary, GEOFFREY HOWE to Nigerian to register, British is support for Babangida’s administration not minding that Nigeria Britain relationship have been in comatose for lone owing to Alhaji Umaru Dikko Kidnage sagn. Throughout the eight years of Babangida’s military relationship, he maintained a friendly relationship with the Western capitalist blue who extended their hand of fellowship through their multinational co-operation agent in Nigeria resulting in under developing Nigeria. The implication of this neo-colonial inclination of Babangida’s administration was as follows, it ensured that Nigeria state remain dependent the economy continues to be dominated by foreign capital such that Nigerian economy cannot developed.

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