Democracy, Good Governance, and Development in Nigeria: The Effect of Leadership

This article is published in the FUGUS Journal of Public Administration and Management, Volume 2, Number 1, October 2023. FUJPAM is a peer-reviewed journal of the Department of Public Administration, Federal University Gusau, Nigeria. You can check below to download a full PDF of the article or visit the journal website at https://www.fujpam.com.



Muhammad Inuwa Danmalam
Department of General Studies,
Federal Polytechnic Daura, Katsina State
E-Mail: danmalamsintali01@gmail.com


Yahaya Saadu
Department of Public Administration
Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State
E-Mail: Yahayasaadu@fugusau.edu.ng                 


Democracy, leadership and good governance are undoubtedly, the three most fundamental conditions for political, social, religious and economic development in any society. This is because it creates an environment in which citizens unfold their potentials. Nigeria as a fairly democratic country, still grappled with the disputes of leadership and good governance since independence fifty-nine years ago. The major problems that have consistently posed disputes to democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria are ethnic, religions, tribal sectionalism, corruption, manipulated elections/imposition of candidates for public office as well as utter disdain to the democratic values and court orders by those occupying public office. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to investigate the contradiction of democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria and how it the political system. The study adopted Elite Theory, which encapsulates polices as the product or handwork of the elites. Being a qualitative research, the study made use of secondary data that was analyzed systematically using content analysis. Findings revealed that committed leadership and good governance depend on the caliber of public officials in position of responsibility. It was recommended among others; the need to strengthen the existing anti-corruption laws/agencies with enabling laws, evolving new political culture that will foster accountability and transparency as well as strengthen electoral laws that will encourage the emergence of selfless and dedicated leadership in

Key words: Corruption; democracy; electoral fraud; good governance; leadership.

1. Introduction

This study focuses on the disputes and expectation of democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria. The above three concepts constitute the foundation for political, social, religions and economic development of any society. In any civilized society, the three concepts are interwoven and inseparable. Since independence of Nigeria from colonial rule in 1960, the efforts at entrenching leadership and good governance premised on democratic principles have been a major challenge for Nigeria as a country. For a country that gained independence without a strong economic, social and political base as well as poor democratic culture, it was expected that with the military regimes that had ruled the country for more than thirty years and the political elites with the experience would be more interested in promoting good governance and leadership upon the return of Nigeria to democratic rule in 1999.


As observed by Yio (2012), success and goal attainment in any society depend on how quick the political leaders and the society work together on the basis of democratic principles predicated on freedom, equality, justice and equitable distribution of wealth. But in Nigeria, politics and leadership are not driven by nationalistic consciousness but rather by primordial sentiments of tribe, religion, ethnicity, etc. with its attendant consequences of subverting good governance and purposeful leadership in the country. Another dimension of challenge to democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria relates to obedience or adherence to rule of law and court judgments. Provision of good roads, health facilities, education, water, etc. to citizens cannot be seen as dividend of democracy, as it is often said in Nigeria. When government is accountable to the citizens, conduct transparent consultations on public policies, respect the views of citizens, uphold the constitution, conduct credible elections and above all, respect and obey courts orders and judgments, such government is said to be delivering dividend of democracy to the people. Walfarist approach adopted by any government does not reduce such government to a democratic government or show sign of good governance, but good governance and democratic leadership is seen in the way and manner such government relates with the people through their opinions, choices and preferences.


However, the major objective of this study is to explore the contradiction of democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria and how it affects the political system. This is important because democracy is the fruit of leadership and good governance. Leadership and good governance fades into a mere literal concept when they lose sight of its relations with democratic principles. Democracy, then is the pillar of leadership and good governance in any society.


Nigeria as a heterogeneous society with various ethnic configuration and coloration. As a fairly democratic country, Nigeria is still grappling with the disputes of leadership and good governance since the attainment of independence fifty-nine years ago. However, the major problems that have consistently posed these disputes in Nigeria are ethnic, tribal sectionalism, corruption, manipulated elections/imposition of candidates for public office as well as utter disdain to the democratic values and court orders by those occupying public office. The Nigerian elite including those occupying public office have constantly engaged in the manipulations of the society through polices 134 such as privatization and deregulation of the petroleum sector to their own advantage and to the detriment of the masses. This, coupled with other undemocratic actions, deprived the political system and its inhabitants of effective leadership, good governance and the anticipated dividend of democracy in Nigeria.



2. Objectives of Study

The objectives of the study were to:

i. Investigate the contradictions of democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria and its effects on the political system.

ii. Outline the disputes facing democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria.

iii. Advance useful recommendations to solve identified problems.


3. The nexus between Democracy, Leadership and Good Governance in Nigeria

It is pertinent to establish the nexus between the three concepts. Democracy is a term used in social science literature to mean government in which the majority or the people have greater decision over what happen in government and the society. According to Yio (2012), the concept of democracy is alien to Africa and needs to be domesticated. Yio (2012, p. 17) went further to define democracy as:

A system of government based on the acquisition of authority from the people; the institutionalization of the rule of law; the emphasis on the legitimacy of rules; the availability of choices and cherished values including freedom and accountability in governance.


The above position supports the principles of democracy and the major ingredients of democracy being the residence of sovereignty with the people. It also supports the study’s earlier position that democracy does not end in providing essential services to the citizens, but accountable, transparency and adherence to rule of law. Cohen (1971) noted that democracy represents community government in which members of the community participate directly or indirectly in making and implementing decisions which affect them. Despite various dimensions to conceptions of the term democracy, the fundamental objective of the term is that it relates to how a society is governed in such a way that power and sovereignty actually reside with the people.


Leadership on the other hand, refers to the ability and willingness of persons in position of authority to harness and maximize the available resources for the greatest good and for the benefit of the greatest number of people. Leadership is necessary for initiating as well as hastening the process of sectoral and critical infrastructural development in any society. Leadership involves making sound and sometimes difficult decisions, creating and articulating a clear vision, establishing achievable goals and providing followers with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieving those goals. Leadership involves; establishing a clear vision; sharing that vision with others; providing knowledge, information and methods to realize that vision and coordinating as well as balancing the conflicting interests of all concerned. Most of these leadership tenets are completely lacking in Nigerian political system. Without effective leadership built on good governance, capacity to mobilize the people to achieve the national goals will be elusive (Deakaa, 2007; Eneh, 2007). Leadership plays a crucial role in regeneration, restructuring and rejuvenation of any underdeveloped and developing nation like Nigeria. According to UNDP (1997), governance involves the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country‟s affairs at all levels. Governance represents how people are governed and how the affairs of the state administered, regulated and executed. Good governance, according to World Bank (2003) composed of two core values namely: inclusiveness and accountability. Madhav (2007) argues that good governance relates to ethnical consideration of governance which must be accessed with respect to specific norms and objectives. For Jega (2007), good governance means responsibility, responsiveness, transparency and accountability among public officials as well as public officials acting in accordance with the dictates of the masses. Accordingly, good governance refers to the process through state’s affairs are managed effectively and efficiently in areas of accountability, transparency and responsiveness. From the above forgoing, it can be deduced that good governance thrives in a democratic leadership. By implication, leadership and good governance can only be achieved in a democratic setting. Where there is no democratic leadership, there cannot be good governance.


The characteristics of good governance are:

(i)                 Rule of law which are enforced impartially. 

(ii)              Transparency on the part of public officials builds on the free flow of information from public institutions. 

(iii)            Responsiveness on the part of public officials to the yearnings of the people.

(iv)              Accountability - Government, private sectors and civil society organizations being accountable to the public.

(v)               Effectiveness and efficiency through producing results that meet the needs of the people while making best use of available resources.

(vi)             Strategic vision anchored on broad and long-term human capital development.


Based on the above nexus established, leadership and good governance thrive when the political system operates in a democratic pattern. There can never be good governance and responsible leadership, if there is no democratic system fully put in place.


4. Theoretical Explication and Methods

This study adopts Elite Theory to analyze the disputes and expectation of democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria. According to Elite Theory, policy is the product or the handwork of the elites, reflecting their values and preferences (Eminue, 2005). This theory developed by Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) and GaetanoMosca (1858-1941) tried to distinguish between democratic and totalitarian societies. This theory explains the power dynamics and social relations surrounding the acquisition and consolidation of state power within the democratic system. Elites, according to Eminue (2005, p.81) are those who “exercise disproportionately large amounts of influence within the political system”. For Higley (2009, p.3), elites are “persons who by virtue of their strategic locations in large or otherwise pivotal organizations and movements, are able to affect political outcomes regularly and substantially”. Elite theory therefore encompasses representative democracy, the balkanization of the society into powerful minority, who manipulates and control the state power as well as powerless majority. Elites sometimes, are considered as having requisite competence and political knowledge core to govern but elite represent a negation of democratic principle of majority rule and popular sovereignty (Omodia, 2011). The manipulative and self-centered attributes of the elites is largely responsible for poor leadership or leadership failure, poor governance and democratic failure in Nigeria. The attributes of the elites tend to protect and promote their interests at the expense of the masses.


In Nigeria, the balkanization of the political system through political violence, ethnicity, corruption, manipulated elections, imposition of candidates for public offices, disregard to democratic principles including disobedience to court orders/judgments are some of the ways elites used to manipulate the masses in a bid to attain their political hegemony (Omodia, 2011). However, these strategies used by the Nigeria elites fundamentally increase the propensity of democratic breakdown and constitute anathema to leadership and good governance in the country. The Elite theory used in analyzing this study help in explaining the role of political leadership in the failure of the Nigerian state to improve the socio-economic and political conditions of the people since independence. According to Omodia and Aliu (2013), the issues of “god-fatherism” as well as intra/inter party conflicts coupled with imposition of candidates for public offices, among others, are evidence of manipulation of the society by the elites. Above all, the formulation and implementation of public policy is a direct reflection of the values and preferences of the elites. The governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States in July and September, 2018 as well as 2019 general elections further reveal the derogatory roles of the elites (godfathers) against the masses and overall popular will of the people through deep intimidation of voters, electoral fraud, manipulations of the election results, among others.


Being a qualitative research, the study made use of secondary data that were analyzed systematically using content analysis. The secondary data were obtained from textbooks, journals, newspapers, internet sources, etc. The method used in this study helps in analyzing the relevant literature descriptively and qualitatively. This analysis further helps in identifying relevant gap in the literature.


5. Disputes and Expectation of Democracy, Leadership and Good Governance in Nigeria

The search for democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria has been over the decades a major issue of concern since independence in 1960. This search has remained completely elusive due to a number of disputes that have continued to dint any attempt at democratization of leadership and good governance in the country.


However, the challenge of democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria include: ethnicity, corruption, manipulated elections, imposition of candidates for public office, lack of accountability and transparency by political leaders, lack of independent electoral commission, disdain to democratic values and courts orders, among others.



i. Ethnicity

Ethnicity is one of the major issues that undermine our democracy, leadership and good governance. Since Nigerians independence in 1960, the country has been largely divided along ethnic lines; though it started in the pre-independence era. Pre-independence parties such as Action Group, Northern Peoples‟ Congress and National Council Nigerian Citizens were all formed from ethnic related organizations. Since then, voting, appointments and policies lack national outlook, instead they are based on ethnicity.


Ethnicity played a major role in the politics of Nigeria. The level of ethnic rivalry in Nigeria has made it impossible for the country to produce the right leaders who exude democratic character and who are ready to work for the development of the nation. Ethnic affiliation and loyalty have not allowed democratic and dedicated leaders to emerge. At each election, emphasis has always been on where the candidates came from, not the capacity of the candidates. The principle of federal character has not been followed in the appointments and promotion in the public service. For instance, the current administration of President Buhari seems to appoint more northerners (Fulanis) than the southerners into position of responsibility. (Thisday Newspaper, November 5, 2017).


ii. Corruption

Another serious challenge to democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria is the entrenchment of corruption in all facets of the political system. According to Waziri (2009) and Osimiri (2009), corruption fueled bad governance, erodes public confidence, undermines public service delivery, distort accountability, transparency and result in catastrophic governance in Nigeria. Corruption has not only become endemic, but a way of life in Nigeria. As a result of the negative effect of corruption on the country’s leadership and governance, various governments have embarked on anti-corruption campaigns. For instance, Obasanjo’s administration (1999-2007) established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offence Commission (ICPC) to fight against corruption in the country. While the EFCC and ICPC have received commendation from within and outside Nigeria, it has been alleged to have been selective and occasionally used as instrument to checkmate political opponents. According to Lawal and Owolabi (2012) and Odo (2015), the activities of the EFCC and ICPC in Nigeria have been reduced to attacking the opponents of current administration. An instance was Buhari‟s government publication of names of alleged looters of public funds of which all were from the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP) and none from the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). Those who stole public finds and defected to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) were seen as “saints”. This same scenario played out during previous administrations in the country (Punch, Newspaper, April 1, 2018, p.1).


iii. Manipulated Elections

The failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible elections since the return to civil rule in 1999 represent a serious threat to democratization and good governance in Nigeria (Usman and Avidime,2016). Elections in Nigeria are usually manipulated and hijacked by politicians and incumbents, who used state’s apparatus and resources to ensure re-election at all cost and in some instances, install preferred candidates(s). Thus, elections in Nigeria are largely nothing but sham orchestrated by the political elites to perpetuate their reign of impunity. The widespread electoral violence, fraud and other malpractices which often characterize elections in Nigeria are inimical to the democracy, leadership and good governance. They are means used by the elites to balkanize the society to their own interest. For instance, the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States in 2018 and the 2019 general elections were nothing but complete manipulation of the entire electoral processes by the ruling party and political gladiators working for the incumbent government. Previous governments in Nigeria did the same which was very obvious in 2007, when international observers concluded that the 2007 general elections won by the PDP was the worst ever conducted in Nigerian history.


According to Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) (2018) (cited in Punch Newspaper, July 25, 2018, p. 1):

The level of intimidation that occurred during the elections on Saturday, July 14, 2018, in Ekiti State was disheartening and shouldn’t be allowed to stand in modern-day Nigeria… other incidents that we recorded will be made open in our findings, which will definitely shock Nigerians and expose the conspiracy of INEC, security agents and the APC to deprive the people of Ekiti from expressing their constitutional rights…


Punch Newspaper (July 25, 2018) reports that there was concrete proof that the governorship elections in Ekiti State fall short of global standards and marred by a series of security lapses. The Newspaper further report that there were vote buying, snatching of ballot boxes and sporadic shooting, despite the heavy presence of security agents. The militarization of the elections by federal government’s deployment of 30,000 security personnel to the state also undermine the process since many voters stayed away for fear of possible violence. It was further reported by Punch that party agents openly distribute cash to voters to sway them to their side while the police concurred. All these constitute a sham, charade and a blot on Nigerians democracy and any possibility of entrenching good and democratic governance.

According to Kwen (2018), delegations from the Missions of the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) have observed that malpractices and violence characterized the voting in the Osun State governorship re-run elections on September 27, 2018. EU, UK and US joint statement read: “We witnessed widespread incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, journalists and civil society observers by some political party supporters and security agencies”. The organization and conduct of 2019 general elections in Nigeria was not far from the above statement. Statements of the above nature are always pertinent whenever elections are concluded in Nigeria. This in anywhere cannot entrench democratic stability, values, good governance and effective leadership in any society.

From above facts, votes in Nigeria do not count rather elections are won based on the level of violence, fraud, malpractices and amount of money given to voters to buy their votes. To a greater extent, leaders produce under the above circumstances can never be accountable or encourage good governance or show any regard to democratic values, norms and principles.


iv. Imposition of candidates by parties for public office

The concept of internal party democracy flourish on the foundation of due process, fair play, equity and good conscience in the discharge of duties and obligations of the party leadership (The Pointer, October 5, 2018, p.1). Absence of internal democracy in political parties‟ affairs robs the society of competent, diligent and transparent leadership which could have help in promoting good governance. The consistent lack of internal party democracy in Nigeria represent another major anathema to leadership and good governance. It is a threat to Nigeria’s democracy. Since the advent of democracy, political parties are perceived to be governed by few elites often called “godfathers or god-mothers”, who decide who gets what, why, how, when and influences the operation of party structures. More often, party primaries are conducted but the winners are replaced by the godfathers on godmothers.


v. Lack of accountability and transparency by political leaders

Accountability entails the process through which decision-makers in government, private sector and civil society organizations are accountable to the public as well as the institutional stakeholders. Transparency is built on the free flow of information predicated on due process. Under this circumstance, information and processes are directly accessible to those concerned with them. Accountability and transparency encourage good governance. In Nigeria, the various public sectors are shrouded in weak structures, incompetence, corruption and ethnic sentiments. The ongoing forensic analysis of projects and contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is a typical instance of how corruption and incompetence has become a way of public officials‟ life.


vi. Lack of Independent Electoral Commission

Democracy, leadership and good governance is predicated on proper conduct of elections, which is the most acceptable way of enthroning political leaders. For instance, the Ekiti and Osun States governorship elections upturned by the Court of Appeal in 2014, the court lampooned INEC for abetting irregularities. Another dimension to the lack of independence of the electoral commission relates to the composition of INEC officials by the President who comes from a particular party. For example, the Presidents‟ choice of nominees could easily be approved to support the course of the ruling party at subsequent elections if the President’s party has majority in both houses of the National Assembly. Also, funding the INEC through the executive arm of government instead of consolidated revenue fund renders the commission vulnerable to the executive influence (Edet, 2016). According to Saliu and Lipede (2008), for effective democratic system in Nigeria, INEC must be seen to be independent, its transparency must be very clear to all political competitors and the citizens in terms of organization, conduct and declaration of election results to avoid crisis of confidence in its actions before, during and after elections. This is further evident in the 2019 general elections conducted by INEC which were adjudged to be characterized by various forms of irregularities and malpractices.

vii. Disdain to Democratic values and Court Orders

One of the greatest threats to democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria is the public holders‟ disdain to democratic values and court orders, above all, the rule of law. During Obasanjo’s tenure as President of Nigeria, he was known to have been in constant disdain and disregard to the judiciary and court orders or judgments. A typical example was when he ordered the Minister of Finance in a letter with Ref. No.: PRES/87 that no allocation from the Federation Account should henceforth be released to the Local Government Councils of Ebonyi, Katsina, Lagos, Nasarawa and Niger States until they revert to their constituent Local Government Areas specified in Part I of the First Schedule to the Constitution. This was because those States created new Local Government Areas in line with Section 8(3) of the Constitution of Nigeria. All other states revert to status-quo except Lagos, who refused and rather took the matter to court for determination. The matter was adjudicated at the Supreme Court who ordered that the 20 months‟ allocations due for Lagos state with-held by the Obasanjo’s administration be released immediately. The order was not obeyed or executed, until 2007 when late President UmaruYar’Adua ordered the compliance of the Federal Ministry of Finance and Accountant General of the Federation to the Supreme Court judgment by released the 10.8 billion allocation accumulated for the State (Thisday Newspaper, July 24, 2007, p.1).


According to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), rule of law in Nigeria is under siege. The organization in a petition to the United Nation in May, 2018, lamented the Buhari’s government habit of picking and choosing which court orders or judgments to obey. Among others, SERAP noted that Federal Government had refused to obey the court judgment ordering the release of the leader of Shiite Movement, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, his wife, Zeenatu and former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), who have been in detention since 2015 (Punch, Newspaper, May 14, 2018, p.1). Though, Dasuki was later released on December 24, 2019 as a result of international pressure on the Buhari’s government to do so after several court orders for his release (Punch Newspaper, December 24, 2019, p.1).


Besides these fundamental abuses, Federal Government had consistently refused to obey Federal High Courts‟ ruling that government should publish details of spending of recovered stolen funds by successive governments since the return to civil rule in 1999. The suit numbers were: FHC/IKJ/CS/248/2011 and FHC/CS/964/2016. Also, Civil Society Organizations, the Campaign for Democracy and Committee for the Defense of Human Rights have all condemned the Federal Government’s continual disobedience of court orders, saying that such amounted to executive recklessness and a military democracy.


 According to Campaign for Democracy (cited in Punch Newspaper, May 14, 2018, p.1):

This disobedience shows that the dictatorship in the military era is playing out in this government. We are not in a lawless country and so we expect this government to abide by the core values of democratic ethics… it is completely condemnable that the Federal Government has refused to obey several court orders regarding the release of El-Zakzaky, his wife and Dasuki.


The issue that surrounded the arrest and detention of Omoyele Sowore and Oluwale Bakare is another instance of the Buhari administrations total disdain and disrespect to court pronouncements. The duo was arrested on August 3, 2019 on claims of engaging in terrorist activities and planning to overthrow the Buhari’s government. The reverse was rather the case because the duo was planning peaceful protest as guaranteed by the constitution over obnoxious policies of Buhari’s government. On the basis of the allegations against the duo, the State Security Service (SSS) obtained an Order from the Federal High Court in Abuja to detain Sowore for 45 days in order to investigate his alleged terrorist activities. At the end of the 45 days, the investigations could not link him or Bakare to any terrorist activities (Pulse Newspaper, November 20, 2019, p.1). But constitutionally, Section 40 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) guarantees citizen’s right to peaceful assembly and association.


Even when the allegations of terrorism and treasonable felony against Sowore had collapsed, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), engaged in a face-saving measure by charging him and Olawale Bakare with treasonable felony for planning to organize public protests against the Buhari administration. Not sure that the charge of treasonable felony would succeed in the court, Mr. Malami proceeded to charge Sowore with cyberstalking for allegedly insulting President Buhari in a television interview and money laundering (Pulse Newspaper, November 20, 2019, p.1). Both the orders of Justice Taiwo Taiwo and Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Courts, Abuja for the release of Sowore and Bakare, after the expiration of the 45 days without any evidence linking them to alleged offences, were ignored with impunity by the SSS. Upon pressure and criticisms from the Nigerian society, the SSS reluctantly complied with the court orders for the release of Sowore and Bakare within 24 hours' ultimatum of the court, and its operatives surprisingly turned around to manhandle Sowore and later re-arrested him in the courtroom without any warrant of arrest. The forceful nature and commando style used by the SSS officials in the process of re-arresting Sowore before Justice IjeomaOjukwu threw the entire courtroom to panic as the Hon. Judge ran for her dear life, abandoning the case she was handling without proper adjournment (Pulse Newspaper, November 20, 2019, p.1).


The level of disdain and disobedience to legitimate political institutions including the judiciary by the Buhari’s administration led Punch Newspaper in their editorial of December 11, 2019, titled „Buhari‟s lawlessness: Our stand, vowed to henceforth address Buhari as Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and his administration as regime. The newspaper said it would henceforth refer to the president by his last military title when he ruled Nigeria as a military dictator. The newspaper wrote “As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, Punch will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law”.


Section 287 (1, 2 & 3) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) states that the government is bound by the decisions of the courts and obligated to implement them. It is constitutional to do so and refusal amount to executive recklessness and impunity. However, various studies on democracy, leadership and good governance did not appropriately link the aspect of manipulated elections, imposition of candidates for public offices and disdain to democratic values/court orders. This study has been able to fill this identified gap in the literature.


6. Conclusion and Recommendations

This paper examined democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria, with focus on its disputes and expectation. The study further analyses these disputes and how they affect the political system. It adopted Elite theory as its theoretical framework and systematically analyze the secondary data collected using content analysis. Findings of the study revealed that committed leadership and good governance depends on the caliber of public officials in position of responsibility. The study has identified and fill existing gap in the literature, by incorporating aspects of manipulated elections, imposition on candidates for public office and disdain to democratic values and court orders. Further research on this area might need to conduct a survey and employ statistical technique to analyze the data collected.


The entrenchment and enthronement of democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria are necessary for rapid socio-economic and political development of the country. To fast-track this process, the study recommends the following:

i) There is urgent need to strengthen the existing anti-corruption laws/agencies. Democracy, leadership and good governance thrives when there is a concerted effort at tackling corruption and inefficiency. Institutions of government must be allowed to operate freely, independently and effectively to ensure democratic growth, stability, sustenance and good governance. The fight against corruption must be done with utmost commitment and dedication. Monies recovered from such, should be used to improve health facilities, education, agriculture, safe drinking water and electricity, etc.

ii) There should be evolution of new political culture in Nigeria championed by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) that will foster patriotism, accountability and transparency in governance. Election being the foundation of any democratic practice must be conducted in a free and fair manner together with strong and workable Electoral law to produce selfless and dedicated leaders. Remunerations of political office holders should be reduced drastically to make such office less attractive to selfish politicians. This will allow those who are genuinely concerned about rendering services to the people to seek political offices.

iii) Immunity clause for certain categories of political office holders should be removed to make them accountable to the people while in office. There is need for the establishment of Electoral Offences Tribunal to handled cases of electoral offences related matters. Also, penalties for the perpetrators of corrupt practices and electoral offences should be more severe to serve as deterrent to others. With commitment and sincerity in implementing the recommended measures, there will be much hope for democracy, leadership and good governance in Nigeria


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