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Causes of Underdevelopment in Nigeria: leadership in Nigeria and general ideology of its citizenry

David Ayebe

Causes of Underdevelopment in Nigeria: leadership in Nigeria and general ideology of its citizenry

When we hear the word underdevelopment what comes to mind is something that contrasts development or the opposite side of development. What then is development?! The Oxford dictionary defines development as the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced , stronger etc
According to Walter Rodney ; Development in a human society is a many sided process that is to say it is multifaceted. To Him development in a human society involved upgrade in the individuals in the society, upgrade of social life, upgrade of the economy, upgrade of its technological strata etc to a higher level that is more advanced and stronger than where it started from.
Now having seen briefly what development is , let us as well examine what underdevelopment entails. Underdevelopment refers to the low level of development characterized by low real per capita income, widespread poverty, lower level of literacy, low life expectancy and underutilisation of resources etc. The state in underdeveloped economy fails to provide acceptable levels of living to a large fraction of its population, thus resulting into misery and material deprivations. Such countries are characterised by relative development gap in comparison to developed countries.

At certain points, we are tempted to say Nigeria is a developing country but deductions from a lot of scholarly and expert opinions have shown that Nigeria is still an underdeveloped country. And this is saddening because in comparison with nations whom Nigeria started out with, we are actually lagging behind, comparing Nigeria with nations like Brazil, India and even Ghana that is close by , by the time you evaluate their currency’s worth and that of Nigeria you realize they are higher than our Naira. And the provision of social amenities or basic things like constant power supply and water supply this nations are ahead of us. It is sad but true that Ghana sometimes ago celebrated 1 year without power outage and we in Nigeria cannot even boast of 48 hours none shakeable power supply.
These and more have proven that Nigeria is underdeveloped and we would be examining the causes of this underdevelopment in Nigeria.

Underdevelopment in Nigeria is caused first of all by serious leadership issues, as we have been producing a bad set of leaders for a long time now. Nigeria is a country where the people with the ideas don’t have the power and don’t get elected and the people with the power who get elected don’t have an iota of an idea.
We are in a nation where we have leaders who put first above all things self-interest and then party interests, godfather interests and loyalists interests, the interests of the constituents of the constituency is not even close to the door talk more of on the table and those on the table are totally ignored.

Why leadership issues are the cause of our underdevelopment is quite plain as leaders without good feasible and workable ideas are never elected in Nigeria, leaders are either chosen by way of reward for loyalty or sentimentalism by way of tribe or religion or political party affiliation, so, therefore, people with the right mindset are never in power.
How can an individual whose only reason for being in power be the fact that he was loyal to his party and the party gave him the ticket ignoring other prospective leaders, do or bring innovation when he was not even prepared for the task that was thrust upon him

So here I would like to put wholly that leadership issues have been one of the main contributory effects to why Nigeria is underdeveloped

Secondly we the citizens have our own contributory effect on Nigeria’s underdevelopment state. How ?!

An erudite professor of law once said to me “the people are a mirror of their leaders”.
Taking this statement into cognizance I discovered that in actuality the citizenry of Nigeria actually portrays our leaders, how?! For example, we complain daily that our leaders are corrupt they embezzle money, they do this, they do that, but you discover that an average Nigerian immediately he is given a small position he becomes the so-called leaders he abused some time ago. I have heard young men saying openly that because our leaders are embezzling funds, the day the get the opportunity to be in such position the would embezzle more than those leaders!
Also, you examine the Nigerian civil service and you see corrupt practices carried out daily, ask them why they indulge in this and they say “ no be my papa office “

These flagrant attitudes of Nigerians mirror the attitude of our leaders because from whence do these leaders emanate from ?! From our midst and then they become our leaders and start carrying out actions that aid only their self-interests and those of the individuals affiliated with them by way of political party affiliations or family affiliations and enriching themselves and their friends and political party mates.

So, in a nutshell, Nigeria is underdeveloped because of leadership issues and mindset of large bulk of its citizenry. Like Kwame Nkrumah said “For this end, Africa needs a new type of citizen, a dedicated, modest, honest and informed man. A man who submerges self in service to the nation and mankind. A man who abhors greed and detests vanity. A new type of man whose humility is his strength and whose integrity is his greatness”. So, therefore, African nations need to be better we need to become new men with a new ideology, an ideology that puts humanity first, an ideology that doesn’t think of what I can gain but what the society can gain not what my country can do for me but what I can do for my country, an ideology that is African progressive and development-oriented.

So, therefore, a calculated paradigm shift of our mindset in electing leaders and we inculcating good leadership ethics from the earliest possible time will go along way, and also changing the ideology of self first with the ideology of humanity first. Also, we should be ready to lead not to gain but to better our society and to pass these newly inculcated traits to the generation coming behind us and not make the mistake our leaders who help fight for our independence made by not grooming successors whom they had trained and giving the vision of what they wanted Nigeria to be. We should not be visionary’s without a vision, as a vision is only complete when we have ample and capable persons to carry this vision to it’s completion if it so happens that we do not survive to see the complete fulfilment of our vision.

This is my humble logo marquee a logo marquee I made without any iota of sentimentality!!

Anyebe David is a premium graduate of Kogi state university who is resilient in giving his all in the overall growth and development of the legal profession through his writings



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