‘Two of A Kind’, A Comparative Historical Appraisal of Nigeria’s Political Leadership Class in the Second Republic and since 1999

Research areas: Year: 2014
Type of Publication: Article
  • Nwachukwu J. Obiakor, Amaechi AlexUgwuja and Basil C. Ejidik
Journal: Journal of Social Sciences and Public Affairs Volume: 4
Number: 2 Pages: 57 - 87
Month: December
Nigeria’s efforts at nation building and instituting a viable polity with alluring and enduring structures which would invoke the citizens’ sense of patriotism - a sine qua non for development cannot be said to be a success. Findings in extant literature see the seemingly intractable malaise as occasioned by many factors chief among which is the failure of political leadership. It cannot be argued that Nigeria’s political leadership has, to use the most popular adjective, been ‘prebendal’. Apart from the periods of military interregna in the country, the composition and nature of the civilian leadership class has always been the same; such that calibrating one period as first republic and so on becomes only but an academic exercise as indeed, a close study of the second and fourth republics would reveal. This study, therefore, positing that the primacy of history lies in its ability to steer society from committing the mistakes of the past, attempts to undertake a comparative historical investigation of Nigeria’s political leadership in the second republic and since 1999. The study adopted the thematic and analytical methods of History. Data for the study came largely through secondary sources and a few primary sources in the form of Government documents and confidential reports. The position of the paper is that the Fourth Republic has been a continuation of the ‘dead end’ leadership of the Second Republic hence, if nothing urgent is done to salvage the leaking Nigerian ship of state; the consequences would be more disastrous than that which befell the second republic. The study recommended some measures to be undertaken in the resolution of the leadership problem in Nigeria.