Democratic governance and the challenges of leadership in Ni | 98054
International Research Journals
Reach Us +44 330 818 7254

International Research Journal of Arts and Social Sciences

All submissions of the EM system will be redirected to Online Manuscript Submission System. Authors are requested to submit articles directly to Online Manuscript Submission System of respective journal.

Democratic governance and the challenges of leadership in Nigeria: 1999-2007


Akingbade BO*

Extant empirical African studies have consistently established that the leadership pattern is the problem of achieving good democratic governance in Africa, in which the Nigerian Political State is not an exemption. The study examines and posits that Democracy is a concept developed by scholars to describe human behavior. Conceptualization starts from observation. The individual observer decides on what to select as a yardstick or parameter for measuring a concept. Conceptualization is influenced by intellectual tradition, ideological orientation and cultural patterns. A scholar is a product of an intellectual tradition, which informs his world – view or perspective. The way a scholar understands and explains a concept is related to how he was educated. During the process of education a scholar is so to say, converted into a certain intellectual paradigm, the paradigm determines his perspectives and how he explains concepts consequently, a scholar educated in the natural sciences may not find it easy to explain concept in social sciences. Ideologies represent interests in the social system. A person who belongs to a particular ideological persuasion is influenced by such an ideology in his thinking and explanation of social events. For example a person in a country with socialist ideology may most likely explain the concept of democracy in relation to equalitarian policies. An individual is also a product of a cultural system. Such culture determines his explanation of events. A cultural pattern is like an intellectual gate – keeper. It allows certain things to enter into political discussion; while preventing others from entering it. As a conceptual political variable, democracy takes different meaning in different places at different times. No society is static, all societies undergo changes from within and from without. These changes manifest the way people think and explain socio-political events. Consequentially, the explanation of the meaning of the concept of democracy is subject to such changes. In Nigeria, the instrumentalities of mass resistance and sustained opposition from the civil society forced the military out of power in 1999. On May 29 of the same year, a new civilian administration was sworn into office to begin Nigeria’s fourth democratic experiment. Indeed, Nigeria experienced its “third wave of democratization.” Our current democratic experiment has experienced some perturbations. Yet, there is a general consensus among the people that the worst civilian regime is by far better than the most benevolent military dictatorship. As we approach a new republic, there are obvious governance challenges that confront the people and the government. This paper examines what those challenges are, and discusses the modalities for overcoming them as the country embarks on a very testy civilian-to-civilian transition.

Share this article