Nigeria came in to being in 1960 after several years of wanton and finally emancipated from British colonial masters. Nigeria is a country located in West Africa that shares border with Niger Republic in the North, Chad and Cameroon in the East, Gulf of Guinea to the South of Atlantic Ocean and Benin Republic in the West; the country that was well endowed with both natural and human resources but handled for long by covetous leaders.
Nigerians across the globe are experts in different fields ranging from automobile, aeronautic, health and so on, if they in oneday decided to withdraw their services, it will surely affect global economy; this alone shows how enriched and proficient our fellows are making us proud in Diaspora.
Every state in Nigeria has one or more resources that make it unique, in the past Nigeria relied heavily on farming and mining for its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but the discovery of crude oil by Shell-BP in 1956 in Oloibiri of Delta State brought about monopoly to Nigerian economy.
Despite the existence of abundant natural and human resources in Nigeria, the question meandering in peoples’ minds is that; are those resources channeled in the best way to transform the economy and living standard of Nigerians? It is obvious that Nigeria is inundated with bad leadership since 1966 when first military intervened, they usurped legitimate government with the intention of salvaging the system but they ended up making life hard for a common man.
There are several countries that we have gotten independence in the same year with, but they have gone far in almost all ramifications. Enigmatic nature of Nigeria’s bad leadership has led to its derailment from the path of transformation; it is attempt to achieve national development due to invidious climate of personal interest, ethnicity, mediocrity, partisanship, sectionalism, cronyism, corrupted process of breeding leaders contributed in making us under-developed globally.
Similarly Cole (1997, p. 54) was of the opinion that ‘Leadership is a dynamic process at work (or) 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’.
On the other hand Agbor (2011) argues that ‘the success or failure of any society depends largely on the mannerism of its leadership, he further adds that the results of poor leadership in Nigeria is embodied on poor governance manifested in inconsistent political crisis, insecurity, poverty of the extreme order among the citizens, debilitating miasma of corruption and rising unemployment indices’. Based on the above notions, Nigeria had many leaders but their abilities to continue controlling state’s power enables them allocate national resources for themselves alone, yet leaving ordinary citizens to dwindle in abject poverty and unequipped social amenities.
Furthermore, leadership especially in Nigeria has been the major problem since independence, candidates of different political parties uses the same strategy over the years during campaigns i.e. the challenges of inadequate water, fragile electricity, jutting unemployment, unequipped schools and hospitals are still being used to deceive voters and yet nothing has been done to install amenities that could stand the test of decades. Bad leadership start within a person from the moment he or she feels that to will rule and live in luxury not lead and salvage people from financial and unfacilitated hardships.
Therefore bad leadership is caused by many factors which include greed by politicians; Majority of politicians are in to politics to boost their wealth, budgeted fund that are set to execute projects that would impact on people’s lives but end up diverting it for their personal gains. They (bad leaders) engage the services of many corrupt minded staffs in order to achieve their treacherous plans of earning more than it supposed to, and this tells that even if bad leaders are dealt with still their elements in various sectors must be eliminated.
Unfortunately, the corrupt political system in Nigeria; this has been the second major cause of bad leadership because even when a leader come with pure heart to serve people the system which chocked with corrupt office holder could change him. Nigeria as a developing country inherited system built by military that intervene to fight corruption and funds mismanagement but ended up making it attractive for civilians as easy way to be rich.
Lack of patriotism; both citizens and candidates of various political parties view leadership as an alternative for eye-blink wealth, this makes level of love for the country less and egocentrism as peak as they love their lives. In the past when a citizen mishandle any national symbol like flag, many gather to lament and condemn the act but nowadays it has drastically lamed. Unjustifiable judicial system; it happened in times without number where politicians are caught beyond reasonable evidences embezzling public funds but stereotyped as saints and ended up serving few years behind bars. Recently, many bad leaders inclined to defection to ruling political party and government abated charges against them.
Bad leadership is further caused by Selfish lean to divergences; corrupt driven leaders used differences like religion, ethnicity, regional and other divergences to persuade populace and cast their self-benefitted projects. Nigeria is a country blessed with heterogeneity in many paces. After due consideration, for a society or country to free itself from the shackles of bad leadership there is need for leaders to lead for betterment of lives not rule their interest; Nigerian leaders must shun selfish tendencies and promote the living standardize of the populace not eyeing what he might get in return. Leaders should be conducting referendum, share information with all subordinate in order to increase the confidence and listens to ideas or advice that contradicts his or her projected viewpoints; this could help both leaders and governed to have mutual understanding regarding contingent issues and policies.
There is need for our Fellow countrymen to act as watchdog on bad leaders at all levels; this can be initiated by trying to know what Councilors are doing concerning wards they are representing, how beneficial bills and policies state assembly members are passing, what are state Governors are projecting to better lives. Then beseeching to be aware on what national assembly representatives (both lower and upper chambers) are doing and lastly what Mr. President is doing for the whole nation. It is a civic and national task for every individual to vote for rightful candidates during elections, so that to free the populace from servitude, starvation and backwardness.