Causes, Effects and Solutions to Bad Leadership In Nigeria: The duties of government are numerous with the protection of lives and properties of her citizens as the primary duty. It is also the duty and responsibility of any government to build and provide social amenities for her citizens, provide jobs and employment, as well as cater for the basic needs of her citizens. Again, respect for the rights of her citizens is the hallmark of a responsible government, for it is only a government that respects and values the lives of her citizens that performs the duties expected of her.
This however, is not the case in Nigeria as the country has been faced with successive regimes of bad government. Bad governance and administration of the country appear to be the best successive governments and regimes could offer the country.
Causes of Bad Leadership In Nigeria
1. The Constitution: The Constitution is the foremost law of the country and all other laws are subject to it. The Constitution also states the type of government, structure of government and duties of government. By this, the activities of the government ought to be in line with the dictates of the Constitution.
Although, there is no express provision in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which supports bad governance, the Constitution tacitly gave life to the evil activities of government and her officials as it did not allow for accountability from the leaders of the country. Chapter II of the Constitution made laudable provisions as to the duties of government.
However, the Constitution made a mess of the entire Chapter by virtue of the provision of Section 6(6)(c) which is popularly known as the non-justiciability clause. By virtue of the provision, no one can hold the government accountable for her failure in upholding the laudable provisions of Chapter II of the Constitution. Therefore, Chapter II of the Constitution can only be adhered to according to the discretion of the government in power and not as a duty imposed on the government.
Section 6(6)(c) beacme the bedrock upon which the evil leaders of the country derived their power for bad governance since they know that their actions cannot be challenged in a court of law.
2. Corruption: The term corruption is not limited to a defined meaning as it is the umbrella name for any act that is a deviation from that which is right. Nepotism, favoritism, ethnic inclinations in giving out jobs, mediocrity over merit, quota system, and the likes are all corrupt practices. Corruption has eaten deep into the fabrics of our nation and a majority of the population have traces of a corrupt past with the intention of doing worse in the future.
When people of this nature clinch political power, the result is that bad governance has assumed office and there is barely anyone can do to prevent it.
3. A weak followership: The masses in Nigeria seem to have apathy towards politics. They are neither interested in politics nor are they interested in what the leaders are doing. They stand aloof and are scared of demanding accountability from the political leaders of the country as well as those in authority.
In the light of this, the government is very much relaxed in the mismanagement of the nation’s wealth since no one is ready to hold them accountable.
Effects of Bad Governance in Nigeria
1. Underdevelopment: Nigeria gained political independence in the year 1960. Most Countries that got independence within this period have advanced technologically and are developed due to good leadership. This is however not the case with Nigeria.
Bad governance has taken the nation back as she keeps retrogressing. For example, Nigeria was the first nation in Africa to have a Television Station, yet, she has not been able to digitalize her transmission after over 60 years of such achievement. This can only be as a result of bad governance.
2. Poverty and Economic Stagnation: A situation where the collective wealth of the nation is concentrated in the hands of only few individuals (the political class and their cronies), the effect is poverty on the populace. Again, when funds earmarked for building and development of infrastructures are embezzled, there is economic stagnation which in turn causes loss of jobs and sources of livelihood, and in the long run, massive poverty on the citizens.
A nation with a stagnant economy is poor. Recently, Nigeria was ranked as the world capital of extreme poverty. Again, the credit goes to bad governance on the part of our political class.
3. Insecurity: Insecurity in Nigeria is on the rise. Hardly any day passes without the news of insecurity filtering into the ears of Nigerians. The political class politicizes the killing and maiming of innocent Nigerians just to be politically relevant.
Insecurity as it is currently in Nigeria cannot be in isolation from bad governance. It is a direct consequence of bad governance by successive governments of the country.
4. Loss of Reputation in the eyes of the international community: Prior to this time, Nigeria as a nation was respected in the comity of nations. Her citizens were held in high esteem. This cannot be said of the country at this time. The country has lost the international influence she once had.
Citizens of the country are subjected to the most dehumanizing form of scrutiny in other nations of the world. Again, the nation was once termed “fantastically corrupt” by the leader of another country. All these are indices of a failed government which is attributable to bad governance.
Solutions To Bad Leadership in Nigeria
1. Freedom of the Press: The press is seen as the fourth arm of government and they serve as watchdogs for all other arms of government. A press that is free from oppression, intimidation and suppression is key to enabling accountability from the government. The press criticizes the actions of the government as well as sampling public opinions of the masses.
Where the government knows that every citizen in the country is aware of their every action, the tendency to misgovern will be minimized as it knows that it will come under fire and criticism from the citizenry. Thus, a free press is a means of guaranteeing good governance in the country.
2. Independent and Impartial Judiciary: The judiciary should be independent, autonomous and impartial. A fearless Judiciary that is undaunted in the face of an oppressive government is a hallmark of good governance. The judiciary should uphold the rule of law and always be ready to do substantive justice to government officials brought before it.
A situation where a judge sentences a criminal who has stolen billions of naira to just two years imprisonment with an option of fine that is not even up to one-tenth of the money stolen only emboldens future thieves who would love to steal monies meant for the common good of the country.
3. An enlightened citizen: Nigerians should seek to be educated and more politically inclined. Political apathy should be discouraged. Citizens should stand up for their rights and demand accountability from government.
Greed and gullibility keeps the country down. During elections, citizens should vote for good governance and not for those that have given them food or money. The act of selling votes should be discouraged by all and sundry.
Conclusively, Nigeria as a nation is a potential super power but the forces which have held her captive have prevented her from being that. The forces are not spirits. They are humans like us. The country is still down because there is a deliberate lack of will power on the part of the citizens to make her rise. The task of stopping and ending bad governance is a task that all Nigerians must key into if they wish to have a country they can be proud of and call their own.