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1.1      Background of the study

Nigeria is generally known to be blessed with both human and mineral resources. But, experiences since independence show that Nigeria have suffered so much misrule and the country has been in a deplorable state due to poor leadership. Nigeria going by the aspiration and huge investments of successive governments should have by now moved towards a stage of progress developmentally. The persistence of the indices of under development in the country has last a big question mark on the country’s planning and execution techniques usually employed by her planners. Why is it that Nigeria inspite her age as an independent nation coupled with various past and present development plans, projects, policies and programmes still finds it difficult to leave the stage of under development? The Asian tiger countries of Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore and such other countries like China and India were some years back grouped with Nigeria as third world countries but are today the emerging economics of the world. To us, the age old argument of slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, ethnicity, etc as reasons for the under development of the country, although might have variously played some parts are no more excuses for the present low level of development in the country. The country has passed through traumatic stage of under development due to poor leadership. Many political activities believe that Nigeria leaders are responsible for the country’s woes. It must be noted that no system comes from the outer space. Individual personal qualities knowledge about governance explains one’s ability to deliver the need at the society as a leader. When those in position of authority (leaders) lack the cardinal virtues of leading, the system crumbles. But is regrettable that Nigerian leaders after independence preoccupied themselves with corrupt practices, selfish activities which breed insecurity in the society. Achebe (2000:1) asserted that the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. Furthermore, it is on the basis of failure of Nigeria leaders that Danjuma (2004) opined that the leaders are responsible for the nation’s woes. This is because the leaders do not have the interest of the nation at heart in terms of development which will in turn touch the lives of the common people in the society. ALapiki (2000:170) opined that ‘’government is a desirable social and economic progress’’ in modern age and time, I must certainly involve improvement in living condition, therefore, true development has to direct to the fulfillment of human potential of the people. Okeneke and Ekpe (2002) submitted that development implies qualitative and quantitative change not only in standard of living of the members of the society, but also the transformation of the whole society. It must be noted that the transition to democracy in 1999 brought rays of hope and assurance to the country where by development is expected to spread to all rural communities in the country, as it ought to be in a true democracy. This has not been the case as a result of poor leadership in the country. Also, it is our conviction that development without sustainability is purposeless, sterile and ephemeral. Therefore, any development effort not anchored on the sustainability strategy which ensures that we meet needs and aspirations of the present and still ensure that future generations meet, there is certainly not worth it. So, how best can sustainable development be achieved in Nigeria? This study argues that popular participation is a prerequisite or bedrock upon which sustainable development can be realized in the country. This research study is aimed at studying political leadership and development in Nigeria with special references to the period between 1999 and 2014.


Development in Nigeria is lagging behind, through desirable ever since independence particularly between 1999 and 2014 despite the stride by the government in place to bring about development in the society.

Development is still being impeded by some factors hence, necessitating the following.

1.   Nigeria is lagging behind in her developmental bid despite its natural and human resources

2.   The country still has some developmental problems due to the available human resources

3.   Ethnicity/sectionalism constitutes hindrance to Nigeria’s development

4.   Corruption and favoritism as order of the day hinders Nigeria’s development

5.   The country’s development is limited by the negative attitude of our political leaders

6.   Low level of participation in the part of the people in making the nation’s policies


The objectives of the study are:

1.   To examine political leadership in Nigeria during the period under review in order to ascertain its position as regards development

2.   To assess the level of development attained by Nigeria between 1999 and 2014

3.   To examine the militating factor against leadership and democratic development in Nigeria

4.   To proffer a pragmatic solution on how sustainable development could be attained in Nigeria.


For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher; 

H0: there is no level of development attained by Nigeria between 1999 and 2014


H1:there is level of development attained by Nigeria between 1999 and 2014

H02:there is no militating factor against leadership and democratic development in Nigeria

H2: there is militating factor against leadership and democratic development in Nigeria


This research study will be of relevance to other researchers.

It will help to enrich the existing literature on similar subject matter, besides, it is timely given government desire in this fourth republic to bring in transparent leadership which can usher in development.It will recommend ways through which development can be achieved using the political leaders as agents.


The scope of the study covers political leadership and development in Nigeria. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study       

b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities


POLITICS: According to Akinnimi (2011) as quoted from David Easton’s definition, it is the authoritative allocation of values.

LEADERSHIP: This is the state or position of being a leader

POLITICAL LEADERSHIP: It is connected with different people working in politics, especially making of policies with the desire to achieve certain objectives. Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary, international student edition

DEVELOPMENT: This is the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced and stronger. (Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary, international student edition


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

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