BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Generally there exist a nexus betweenleadershiproles andnational developmentof a given political system. Quality leadership is central to the attainment of development in a given polity. In an increasing changing and globalised world, leadership is the most visible aspect of management with its potential of transforming the workforce into willing and winning team, with the appropriate relations to actualize collectively determine corporate objectives in the society (Dike, 2000).
To be clear about that, leadership is a defining element between success or failure of any organization (polity). It is the thread that binds the resources of the state to people’s value goals. The strength of the leadership in terms of character and quality will determine the level of success a polity will attained in its moved toward the end of national and local development prospects (Todaro, 2004).
However, Nigeria today purports to run a democratic system of government that is expected to promote development and general well being through the political will of its leadership. This is because leadership help to translate development process and sustainability through various polices and progrmmes initiated by the leaders. Indeed, National development is critical and essential to the sustenance and growth of any given nation (Oluwatoyin and Lawal, 2011).
Pride of any nation or government is the attainment of higher value level of development in such away that its citizens would derive natural attachment of governance.
Without leadership there could not be development especially in the social, human and cultural
To this effect, the socio-economic and political development of a given political system account largely on the ability of it leadership to facilitate and sustain good governance. Good governance simply refers to the manifestation of committed, patriotic and discipline leadership in ensuring that there is improvement in the standard of living of its citizens in that society.
However, it is a common knowledge in Nigeria today and Benue state, that the main problem that has bedeviled Nigeria and Benue is poor leadership, especially after the first set of patriotic leaders that emerges immediately after independence up till 1970s, when leaders were more corrupt and selfish as regards to National development.
In recent time, the root cause(s) of socio-economic and political instability according to analysts is leadership (Ebegbulem, 2007).
Although, it could be free to argue here that, leadership crises in Nigeria is a recent phenomenon. Chronologically, from independence, Nigerian state have witness patriotic and nationalist leaders whom their roles and efforts bring to force the making of Nigerian state. Indeed, more of the National developments in Nigeria today, where formulated and implemented by the military regimes and other patriotic leaders. The best and most useful infrastructure we have in Benue state and Nigeria in general were constructed by our early leaders. However, in contemporary Nigeria, most of the leaders are characterized with lack of direction, neglect and drift. Fraud and insensitivity to the plight of the citizens.
In Nigeria today, leadership behaviour often do not attends not seems to be directed
towards the achievement of the welfare of the people and progress of the nation (Anazodo et al, 2012).
Socio-economic status has become the precursor of Nigerian leadership and often nobody cares how the wealth has been acquired, public treasures are looted with impunity. No wonder
Chinua Achebe reiterated that, the problem of Nigeria is simply and squarely what of leadership
Nigeria’s political leadership are selfish, mediocre tribal leader and opportunistic small money minded people masquerading as leaders (Ayodele, 2006).
Contemporary speaking, especially at the dawn of democratic governance, most of the problems Nigeria is facing are problems of sustainable development, which are caused by the stop practices of our past and present leaders (Odekunle, 2007). In terms of accountability, transparency and services, delivery, despite the abundance of human and natural resources that
make the country the toast of many nations, our leaders have not been at their best as people’s expectations of a better hope and opportunities have long be dashed with governance ingredient at elusive stage to Nigerians.
Indeed, Nigerian society has never well governed in recent time. The leaders accumulate wealth at the expense of national development without devotion to the cause of the people for example, after the implementation of early national development plans with above five phases which really ensures development in Nigeria, thereafter, there have been series of development plans or programmes put forward by the civilian government but has not really ensured sustainable development.
This is because on the account of lack of political will of the leaders or the aspect of visionless leaders who concentrate on selfish interest at the detriment of the Nigerian citizens. There is no wonder that, today most Nigerians leaders lack vision and mission what cut across all the states in Nigeria and this is the reasons why effective leadership and sustainable national development is rare in our contemporary Nigeria (Anazodo et al, 2012).
To this effect, contemporary Nigerian leaders are responsible for decayed infrastructures, down turn economy, corruption and decline indicators of national development. Therefore, this study set to examine the failure or otherwise of leadership in ensuring national development in contemporary Nigeria and Benue state in particular.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Past administration in Nigeria and Benue state in particular lack the ability to deliver good governance there ensuring national development. The crop of leaders that have attained position since independence in Nigeria had in one way or the other lacked vision and have been engrossed with corrupt practices and political bickering learning to the enthronement of maladministration and mismanagement of public resources, which beget economic setback and poverty as a national in heritage (Dike 2004). Anazodo et al, 2002; Adekunle, 2007).
Cursory glance from independence according to Ayodele (2006) shows that past leaders have really tried their best in ensuring sustainable national development inspite of their shortlived in offices.
However, critics are of the opinion that, the woes of Nigeria today is as a result of past leaders. Past leaders like Tafawa Balewa who ruled Nigeria from 1960-1966 was characterized as lacking capacity to chart a progressive course for national development. Follow by Ironsi in 1966 who do not know how to tackle development prospects. Gowon ruled Nigeria from 19661975 whom used petroleum money to do nothing and does not make much impact on national development inspite of the excess crude oil money. Indeed, from independence down to
Obasanjo’s administration national development has not really put in place that would improved standard of living of Nigerians. Corruption, ethnocentrism, the politics of exclusion, discrimination, political opportunism, economic woes, weak institutions and bureaucracy among several others have militate against effective leadership and national development in Nigeria and Benue state in particular. Government through leadership in Benue state since 1999 has not really shown the desires to manage the affairs of the people. Some noticeable progress recorded has been more of politicking, where leaders only embarked on personal projects. Over decades of Benue state existence would have predisposed her to growth and sustainable development especially given her resources in endowment and location. This would have made it an institution for effective state and national development. Therefore, national development delegating to Benue state have been eluded on the account of its leadership nature. This study seeks to examine the inability of leaders or otherwise in ensuring national development in Benue state.
(1) What are the causes of leadership problems in Nigeria?
(2) Has leadership problem impacted on the National development in Benue state?
(3) What are the challenges for leadership to ensure sustainable national Development in cotemporary in Benue state?
AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim and objectives of this study is to examine leadership and National development in Nigeria and Benue state. The specific aim and objectives however is as follows:
(1) To identify the causes of leadership problems in Nigeria
(2) To examine whether leadership problem impacted on national development in Benue
(3) To identify the challenges for leaders in ensuring sustainable national development in contemporary Nigeria.
HYPOTHESES OF THE STUDY
(1) That corruption, maladministration, weak state institutions, lack of continuity and visionless leaders are the factors that impedes national development in Nigeria and Benue state in
(2) That the ways forward for effective and efficient leaders is to elect or votes in leaders with vision and mission to ensure good governance in Nigeria and Benue state in particular.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The essence of research is to impacts positively to man and his environment. The study is not exception. The study will contribute to scholarship and further analysis as its explore some new knowledge in understanding how leadership style influences or impacted on national development in a given political system. The study traced the origin of leadership crisis in
Nigerian state and Benue state in particular.
This study is significant because the provide solutions to use issues of poor or lack of good and qualitative leadership. Leadership as regarded by the society is the bedrock for the societal development and needs for the support of all sundry. This study is also significant because it is hope that, it will serve as a guide for policy making and administration in their bid to address the question of sustainable development through visionary, vibrant, committed, corruption free and selfless leadership style in the country. This study will also help leaders to formulate policy objectives that are in consonance with the interest and needs yearning and aspirations of the Benue citizenry.
Finally, it will recommend solutions to the contradictive leadership and development to the federal state and local government administration. This study also fill gap in the existing literature and knowledge to future research.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study examine leadership and national development in Benue state from 2007-2011. The reason for this period is that, during that administration there are indices of development prospects that were not really implemented, and when talking about contemporary leadership crisis in Benue State, this period experienced such challenges.
On the limitations, the study ought to have adopted instrument of data collection, Questionnaires, focus group discussion interviews and content analysis to collect data for proper analysis. But due to financial constraints and time frame such could not achieved in this study. Other limitationinclude; lack of accessed to vital materials and relevant information from various ministries in Benue State.
However, it is of the opinion of the researcher that limitations are not enough to derailed this study, since there are available reliable information, which could be retrieved electronically through the help of internet and other published academic journals related to the topic under the study.
Research methodology means understanding the entire research process, including socioorganizational context, philosophical assumptions, ethical principles and political impacts of the new knowledge for the research enterprises (Neuman, 2011).
RESEARCH DESIGN: QUALITATIVE APPROACH
This study is qualitative in nature. Qualitative research is a method that involves the documentation of real events, recording what people say, observing specific behaviours, studying written documents and examining visual images ( Neuman, 2011).
Qualitative research, it should be noted as a research strategy that usually emphasize words rather than numbers in the collection and analysis of data. A research using this method, study things in the natural settings, making sense or interpreting social phenomenon in term of the meaning attaches to them. Therefore, qualitative research design is appropriate for this study because it provides reliable data through existing documentary sources and deeper understanding of national development and leadership contribution in Benue state.
SOURCE OF DATA COLLECTION
This refers to methods employed in the gathering of data in research. For the purpose of this study, data are collected from secondary sources, which include existing literatures on leadership contribution in Nigeria, academic books such as journals, articles, public newspapers, documentary notes from Benue state ministries and other internet materials. The reason of adopting this source is to provide detailed background on subject matter. Again, descriptive and historical method is useful for gathering of data, this serve as suitable spring board for investigating and considered to have a good perspective of the issue contained in setting up a more efficient, more human and accountable leadership in Benue state.
This study also adopt personal observation method. This help the researcher to critically and analytically gathered information within a period of the study.
SAMPLE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE
This study is qualitative in nature, the study adopt “purposive sample” method. The population of Benue state is estimated to be about four million according to National Population Commission (NPC) in 2006.
However, this study could not cover the whole population in Benue state, selected areas are used for data collection especially those areas where national development have been recorded during various administration under this study.
Again, purposive sampling is useful due to the lack of resources and time limit for the study. The areas this study focus include: Otukpo, Owukpa, Ukom, Katsina/Ala, AfiaZakiziam, Obi, Ogbadibo, Makurdi, Agatu and Guma.
METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS
This study adopts qualitative method from the extensive literatures review. However, qualitative method does requires the researcher to generate categories or themes for analysis.
Also the researcher must code the qualitative data in to appropriate categories, and the conclusion of the qualitative analysis are drawn out of the analytical categories with the original aims and objectives of the study. Therefore, all the relevant issues, research questions and research problems are listed in the form of themes or sub-themes. This is done through discussive analysis of the research questions with critical inferences.
OTHER SIMILAR POLITICAL SCIENCE PROJECTS AND MATERIALS