Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 11, No. 2, 2013
DOI: 10.36108/ijss/3102.11.0240

Development Goals and the Leadership Question in Nigeria

Dhikru Adewale Yagboyaju

Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria


Many questions have followed President Jonathan s request for prayers on Nigeria s myriad of problems, since the eve of the country s 52nd independence celebration when the request was made. The president wishes that through Gods intervention Nigeria’s legion of deep rooted and endemic problems like the age long ethno-religious and sectarian clashes, corruption as well as corruptive tendencies will end; particularly as the country prepares for the 2014 centenary anniversary of its formation by Britain. This paper argues that rather than focus on the spiritual (prayers and requests from God), which seem to have been answered long before asking; in view of the favourable climatic conditions and abundant natural endowments, greater emphasis should be placed on the need for effective leadership in the country s public sector. Therefore, for the huge deficits in infrastructure, education, health care and governance in general, the paper attempts to address the leadership question in Nigeria. Its main focus is political and bureaucratic leadership and its effects on the dismal performance of successive administrations in the country’s relatively recent history. The research methodology is both descriptive and analytical. It adopts an eclectic framework of analysis, which combines past and relatively recent explanations on the colonial origin of the Nigerian state and its effects on politics and public policy processes in general. Finally, it draws examples of best practices, in respect of transformational or effective leadership and development-oriented programmes, from across the world to support its suggestions for Nigeria.
Keywords: Development Goals, Underdevelopment, Leadership, Transformation


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