OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies

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Democracy, leadership and nation building in Nigeria

CC Nweke


Anchored on socio-political principles like freedom, human rights and rule of law, democracy is deemed the best form of government. Given its appealing prospects, democracy has become evidently prevalent in the contemporary world’s governance. Thus, nations operating other forms of government have over time either strongly sought democracy or are compelled to do so by external forces. Dissatisfied with a long-term period of military rule, Nigerians clamored for democratic rule and the nation has since 1999 witnessed civilian  transitions of power within democracy. For Nigerians, the beauty of their hard earned democracy lies in its proclivity towards integral and sustainable national development. The thrust of democracy anywhere is  determined hugely by the manner and style of leadership by which the system of government is run. Any  democracy driven by bad leadership not only stunts nation building but engenders expedition for political  alternatives. From a philosophical stance, this paper critically examines Nigerian democracy and identifies corruption as a major leadership problem bedeviling Nigerian nation building. It proposes attitudinal- changebased orientation of leadership for service as more dignifying and rewarding which in turn enhances progressive and sustainable development of Nigeria and indeed Africa.

AJOL African Journals Online