Assessing Nigerian political leadership with a democratic paradigm
A sober reflection or speculation on African leadership portrays the practice of authentic democracy as a perennial problem in Nigeria and in African continent. Democratic/electoral process is where citizens choose representatives in government by means of free, fair, contested and regularly scheduled elections and where adults have the right to vote and their votes count. But Nigerian democracy lacks basic trust. It is really a universal problem but Africans and Nigerians in particular got larger portion as our democratic practice is very poor. The citizens should be the starting point and focus of democracy, but this is not the case in Nigeria as many political and elected elites represent their business interest. This democratic deficit or deficiency is seen in local, state and federal levels of Nigerian government and this leads gradually to a serious decline in citizen’s active participation or active citizenship. Using expository and analytic method of inquiry, we found out that Nigerians and Africans may have been drifting from this form of government due to some of its demerit. Again, Africa has been long known for its communitarian living/communalism which we found to have enormous similarities with democracy though the difference is clear. Corruption, bad leadership, lack of originality and the likes are the causes of lack of authentic democratic practice and leadership in Africa and in Nigeria. Finally, this study concludes that the dividends of authentic democracy will be fully evident and rooted in Nigeria and Africa only when we embrace democracy in full.
Keywords: Political leadership, Democracy, Communalism