1.1 Background of the Study
Nigerian politics today has been deluged with fraudulent conduct and misconduct by public office holders varying from the federal, state and local levels of governments involving presidents, governors, ministers as well as local government chairmen.
Leadership has been defined in so many ways that it is hard to come up with a single working definition. However, leadership may be defined as a body of people who lead and direct the activities of a group towards a shared goal. It also denotes the ability to lead, direct and organise a group. In line with this understanding, Norman Schwarzkopf (quoted in Reed, 2001) describes leadership as a potent combination of strategy and character and strongly emphasised that, of the two elements, character is the most preferred for leadership. John Gardener, on his part, explains leadership as the process of persuasion or example by which an individual induces a group to pursue objectives held by the leader or shared by the leader and his or her followers (Weekly Trust, 2004: 11). Consequently, leadership is a process of social influence by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organisation in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent (Chemers, 2002). A leader therefore is expected to demonstrate qualities, which embrace but not limited to good character, vision, tact, prudence, and ability to lead by example because people basically ascribe leadership to those who they feel can most enable them achieve important goals or objectives. Political Leadership refers to the ruling class that bears the responsibility of managing the affairs and resources of a political entity by setting and influencing policy priorities affecting the territory through different decision-making structures and institutions created for the orderly development of the territory. It could also be described as the human element that operates the machineries of government on behalf of an organised territory. This includes people who hold decisionmaking positions in government, and people who seek those positions, whether by means of election, coup d’état, appointment, electoral fraud, conquest, right of inheritance or other means (Wikipedia, 2009). Broadly defined, however, political leadership goes beyond the ruling elites that directly manage the affairs of a territory; it embraces the totality of the political class that has the capacity to manipulate the machineries of government even from behind the scene. Corruption although there is no widespread or comprehensive definition as to what constitutes corrupt behaviour, the most prominent definitions share a common emphasis on the abuse of public power or position for personal advantage. A simple dictionary definition of the phenomenon refers to it as “an impairment of virtue and moral principles” (Lewis, 2006). According to the World Bank and Transparency International (TI), a leading global anti-corruption watchdog, corruption is the abuse of public office for private gains for the benefit of the holder of the office or some third party. Viewed from these definitions, political corruption can be broadly understood as unethical behaviour, which violates the norms of the system of political order (Heidenheimer and Johnston, 1993: 6). Basically, political corruption can be for private and group enrichment and for power preservation purposes. Often, these two forms of political corruption are connected. In fact, some of the larger and more serious political corruption scandals include both processes. Political corruption usually encompasses abuses by government officials such as embezzlement and cronyism, as well as abuses linking public and private actors such as bribery, extortion, influence peddling, and fraud, to mention but a few. In this regard, corruption threatens good governance, sustainable development, democratic process, and fair business practices. From the definitions and explanations above, it is evident that the definitions of leadership explain the concept from a positive perspective while the definitions of corruption locate the phenomenon in the negative axis. Consequently, when the political leadership class of a country espouses corruption, it becomes difficult for it to act positively to the benefit of the state and its citizens. This has been the situation the Nigerian state has found herself since independence. The political leadership class, in its quest to secure or retain power, suppress opposition, and have access to unlimited funds for personal use, have sacrificed positive leadership on the altar of corruption. Indeed, from the first generation of political leadership class through the successive military and civilian generation of political leaders, Nigerian political leadership had grown continually in corrupt practices. Political corruption has become a cancerous phenomenon that pervades the Nigerian state unrestrained. Over the years, we have seen the development of a vast system of institutionalized political corruption most times emanating from the very top and pervading all governmental institutions with perverse influence on the entire society.
The outset of the fourth republic Nigeria from May 1999 till date is inundated by mismanagement, embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds also unaccountability and dishonesty by government officials which has being immersed with lampoons and polemics from the Nigerian polity as cases of misuse of public resources for personal enrichment intensifies. Corruption connotes the abuse of public roles or resources or the use of illegitimate forms of political power and influence by public or private parties. (Ilufoye .S. Ogundiya: 2013).
Corruption is recognized as a grave national problem in which all sectors of policies in the society are affected. Arguably, corruption in Nigeria’s fourth republic was pioneered by the Abubakar’s regime that resisted public pressures to put any member of the Abacha’s regime on trial for corruption after his demise because “there was no evidence of sufficient strength” to try anyone. (Eweremadu.U.David).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In a democratic setting, periodic elections if carefully, freely and fairly undertaken gives legitimacy to the government and holds the promise of stabilizing political institutions most especially in a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria (M.L Salahu, 2003, p22). Election thus became the major acceptable means of getting to power or losing it if properly conducted and votes count. Thus king observed that; Election may provide means of selecting between competing alternatives and thus make for the smooth transfer or transition of political power from one set of power holder to another.(M.C King 1988 p.106) Despite elections being very fundamental in installation, transition and consolidation of democratic government, it does not guaranty sustainable democratic transition and consolidation.
Politics in Nigeria is characterized by monopoly, god-fatherism, election rigging, victimization, nepotism and abuse of human rights. It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate the impact of corruption in the Nigerian politics.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to investigate the impact of corruption in the Nigerian politics, with emphasis on the 4th republic, but specific objective include:
- To ascertain the impact of corruption in Nigerian politics
- To ascertain the relationship between corruption corruption and economic growth
- To investigate the effect of corruption on the economic development of Nigeria.
- To proffer suggested solution to the identified problem.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
To aid the completion of this study, the following research hypotheses was formulated by the researcher:
H0: Corruption has no significant impact in the development of Nigerian politics.
H1: Corruption has a significant impact in the development of Nigerian politics.
H02: There is no significant relationship between corruption and the growth of Nigeria democracy.
H2: There is a significant relationship between corruption and the growth of Nigeria democracy.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To aid the completion of the study, the following research question were formulated by the researcher
- does corruption has any impact in the growth of Nigerian politics?
- Is there any relationship between corruption and the growth of Nigeria democracy
- Does corruption has any effect on the economic development of Nigeria?
- What is the effect of corruption on the legitimacy of Nigerian politics?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Over the years, it has become fashionable for successive Nigerian governments to embark on a grandiose public measure of combating corruption in the electoral system. The findings of this study will be of great relevance to the federal government palatals, and research institutions. Again, the researcher on this area will find the work very useful because it will go a long way as a good source of information for any person who may like to know the causes of corruption as pertain to electoral process in Nigeria. This study can also serve as inducement for Nigeria government in the fight against corruption and help the government in waging war against it.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study covers corruption a cankerworm in the Nigerian politics with emphasis on 4th republic. But in the cause of the study, there were some factors that which limited the scope of the study:
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Immoral practices: This can be defined as an all dishonestly and unlawful behavior or patterns of a person’s life, which usually lead to the breakdown of an order in a society.
Democracy: – Democracy, or democratic government, is “a system of government in which all the people of a state or polity are involved in making decisions about its affairs, typically by voting to elect representatives to a parliament or similar assembly
Electoral process: – This is an election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office.
Government: – is the system by which a state or community is controlled.
Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement, though it may also involve practices that are legal in many countries. Government, or ‘political’, corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain
- ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research
CORRUPTION A CANKERWORM IN THE NIGERIAN POLITICS AN APPRAISAL OF 4TH REPUBLIC>
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