Political Leadership and Challenges of National Integration and Development in Nigeria: The Way Forward
Keywords:Political leadership, challenges, national integration, development, crisis.
AbstractConcrete and genuine national integration and development have been elusive in Nigeria, which has been a thing of serious concern to scholars. The study interrogates why true integration and meaningful development have been elusive in the country? This constitutes the key problem of the study. The historical method of research and analysis was employed in the study as the paper under discussion covers the past, the present and likely implications on the future of the country. The major findings in the paper revealed various factors or challenges as been responsible for this abysmal state of affairsand which Nigerian political leaders have been battling with. The paper examines some of these challenges which among others include: the elusiveness of a national leader, corruption and mismanagement of material and human resources, lack of proper accountability on the part of Nigerian political leaders, the crushing economic depression which manifested in high cost of living, poverty, mass unemployment and dissatisfaction among the citizenry, problems of democratic consolidation, the Niger Delta environmental crisis, religious crisis and the recent Boko Haram scourge which had proved intractable for Nigerian government. The implication of the totality of all these factors has the effect of partly contributing to Nigeria perambulating at the same spot or even dancing backward rather than progressing, thereby making stability, true nation building, national integration and development elusive to the Nigerian nation. Recommendations proffered towards curbing the problems in the paper include: the need to learn from history, the need for improved electioneering culture, declaration of assets by political leaders to enhance accountability, respect for the secularity of Nigeria, creation of jobs and putting in place of people oriented programmes and the need for re-orientation of both leaders and followers in Nigeria.
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