Personality Factor in the Conduct of Nigeria’s Diplomacy: a Comparative Study of the Olusegun Obasanjo and Musa Yar’adua Administrations, 1999-2000
Submitted By Toryen
PERSONALITY FACTOR IN THE CONDUCT OF NIGERIA’S DIPLOMACY: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE OLUSEGUN OBASANJO AND MUSA YAR’ADUA ADMINISTRATIONS, 1999-2000 Proposal submitted by Oluwatoyin Alabi to DR. David Aworawo, of the Post Graduate School, University of Lagos. In partial fulfillment of the Requirements for the award of the Degree: Masters of International Relations and Strategic Studies. (MISS) AUGUST 2012
This work, adopting a multidisciplinary approach, seeks to analyse aspects of Nigeria’s diplomacy, specifically the effect of the leader’s personality on the conduct of Nigeria’s external relations.
To effectively do this, the work shall comparatively assess Nigeria’s diplomacy under Presidents Obasanjo and Yar'Adua from 1999-2010. Seeking to see the effect their personality type had on the manner, trends and approach to Nigeria’s diplomacy during the period.
On record President Obasanjo undertook a shuttle diplomatic effort across the globe especially between 1999 and 2002, this is said to have reintegrated Nigeria into the comity of Nations, where she was previously a pariah. How did his personality affect these efforts? Was his personality added value or reduced value?
At the point of his death President Yar’Adua was ECOWAS chairman, previously in 2009 he attended the G20 meeting in Germany, visited President George Bush at the start of his term and other diplomatic engagements. How did his personality affect all these?
On the whole how did the respective personality of both leaders affect Nigeria’s Diplomacy within the period under review? And what does the country now enjoy as a legacy of their efforts, specifically the nature of their individual personae and leadership style and what lessons could the country learn from all these. Indeed we shall undertake a comparative analysis of both leaders. We shall as well seek to evaluate what earlier scholars have to say about the subject matter hoping to on the basis of such foundation add to the existing stock of knowledge on the subject.
The work would be explorative and analytical; it would also adopt the chronological approach in the analysis. It will assess the effect of leadership personality on the country’s diplomacy, hoping to conclusively offer insight that would provide a template for present and future leaders on how to manage and utilize the Personae to useful value for the sake of a successful Diplomatic engagement.
The work shall employ sources such as oral interviews, government records, and newspaper reports as well as secondary sources of data from the Library and Internet sources to guide analysis and submissions. The work is to be divided into five chapters as shown below;
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study 1.2 Statement of the Research Problem 1.3 Significance of the Study 1.4 Scope of Study 1.5 Methodology/ Sources 1.6 Definition of terms 1.7 Literature Review
CHAPTER 2: PERSONALITY AND LEADERSHIP: OVERVIEW OF THE ISSUES
2.1 Leadership, Personality and Diplomacy: An Overview
2.2 The nature and pattern of Nigeria’s Diplomacy
2.3 Brief history of Nigeria’s leadership 2.4 Personality and Nigeria’s Diplomacy
CHAPTER 3: NIGERIA’S EXTERNAL RELATIONS UNDER THE OBASANJO ADMINISTRATION, 1999-2007
3.1 Pattern of Nigeria’s external relations during the Obasanjo administration
3.2 General Olusegun Obasanjo’s personality and style of administration
3.3 The personality factor and Nigeria’s economy under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration
CHAPTER 4: NIGERIA’S DIPLOMACY UNDER THE YAR'ADUA ADMINISTRATION, 2007-2010
4.1 Pattern of Nigeria’s external relations during the Yar’Adua administration
4.2 Musa Yar’Adua personality and style of administration
4.3 The personality factor and Nigeria’s economy under the Late Musa Yar’Adua administration
CHAPTER 5 :
Comparative Analysis of the Olusegun Obasanjo and the Musa Yar’Adua Administrations
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
Many scholars argue that politics is a matter of human behavior. Walter Lippmann contends that ‘to talk about politics without reference to human beings is just the deepest error in our political thinking’.1
The nature of leadership amongst other factors is of vital importance in foreign policy decision making process because the personality of the leader plays a significant role as it requires the use of the judgment of such a person in the leadership role which is often based on his values, ethics and moral beliefs. Nigeria like every other country in the world has had leaders with a wide range of backgrounds, each of them with their own unique traits and personalities, how the personalities of these leaders have impacted on the country through their administrative styles has generated a lot of debate. It is in this regard, this study examines the administrations of two past leaders in Nigeria, the General Olusegun Obasanjo and the Musa Yar’Adua administrations. Their personalities although different has won the country some successes and achievements, some have also argued that these leader’s idiosyncrasies might have not been healthy for the country in some aspects. This study probes into their personalities and how it has influenced their foreign policy decision-making and also give valuable insights towards understanding these personalities and the motive behind these decisions from a psychological perspective. This study will also attempt a comparison of the pattern of leadership in both administrations from the year 1999 to 2010 and also access leadership and role of personality from other parts of the world.
According to Bertrand Russell: ‘understanding human nature must be the basis of any real improvement in human life, science has done wonders in mastering the laws of the physical world, but our own nature is much less understood, as yet, than the nature of starts and electrons, when human nature is understood, it will bring happiness into our lives’.2 Finally, this work will attempt to understand the nature of these leaders and shed light on how certain characteristics and personality traits in candidates for leadership positions when considered would have a positive effect on the future of the country.
Statement of Research Problem
The issue of whether the personal characteristics of political leaders can affect policy decision making has generated a great debate and perspectives have been presented on the subject. This research work examines critically the various political and policy making decisions of General Olusegun Obasanjo and late Musa Yar’Adua, has their decisions been for the greater good of the country? If their personalities have been any different would it have affected their foreign policy decision making? And indeed if personality is a huge determinant of the success rate of a political leader does Nigeria as a country need to examine the personalities of its future leaders?
Significance of Study
This work will provide insights into the characters of Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and how their values, morals and ethics have affected the country as a whole. It equally enlightens interested readers about the threats some characteristics in a political leader poses to the national interest of the country, and also this work will take a look at personalities of certain current and past leaders across the world, for example what would have been India’s fate without Nehru and how has his personality affected India. Importantly, this work shall have the significance of adding to the stock of knowledge that exists on the relevance of personality to manner and nature of leadership.
Scope of Study
This work will cover mainly the 1999-2007 Olusegun Obasanjo administration and the 2007-2010 Yar’Adua administration, this work will examine briefly their political career up until their election into office, and it will also access their involvement in some international organizations and the impact and effect their diplomatic capabilities had on the country’s economy during their administrations. Although this work will be limited to the period above, it will from time to time briefly refer to some other periods so the reader can better understand this research work.
There is no gainsaying that in the field of social sciences the importance of arriving at a lucid conclusion and evidence is not negotiable. The essence of this is the fact that it helps in buttressing the findings that had been done by a researcher in his or her investigation.
This chapter embraces the sources from which data will be collected. In other words this is a set of procedure for scientific enquiry so as to make an empirical generalization. The content of this work will include sources from oral interviews to electronic sources. Other important points that will be highlighted in the course of the work are the construction and administration of research instruments while the challenges encountered in the course of executing this work will equally be brought to the fore. Most of our data will however be gotten from the internet and library sources.
Definition of Terms.
For this study, it is important to define key terms such as the following: A. Personality B. Leadership C. Foreign policy D. Diplomacy E. National Interest
Personality refers to ‘’individual differences in characteristics pattern of thinking, feeling behaving. The study of personality focuses on two broad areas: the first is understanding individual differences in particular personality characteristics, such as sociability or irritability. The other is understanding how the various parts of a person come together as a whole’’.3
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary leadership means ‘’the office or the position of a leader, or the capacity to lead’’.4 Thus for the purpose of this study we shall be accessing the administrations of Major Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and late Musa Yar’Adua and most especially their ability to lead, seeking to principally establish the roles their Personality played in that capacity.
This is a course of action or a set of principles adopted by a nation’s government to define its relations with other countries or a group of countries.
‘’Diplomacy is an activity whose root lie deep in the remote history of humankind’’.5 Diplomacy in itself is an art and practice of conducting negotiations this could be between representatives of groups or state. It can also be defined as the skill in tactfully handling affairs without causing or arousing hostility or war.
Peter Trubowitz said ‘’the problem with the world today is the inability of leaders to define their country’s national interest’’6. This is to say that a country’s national interest is very crucial to its survival. The term national interest is referred to as ‘reason d’état’ meaning reason of the state, this is a country’s goals and ambitions whether economic, military or cultural, these ambitions and goals are often the driving force of a country, and the probability of its success depends on how much effort is put into pursuing these goals.
1.7 LITERATURE REVIEW
Review of literature in historical research is sin qua non in determining the nature of the research as it provides the basis for the understanding of what other have said or written about the subject matter. It therefore becomes imperative to review what other scholars have written about personality and its effect on leadership and more so books on Nigerian foreign policy since 1960 with special attention on Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s foreign policies.
One of the most important works on Nigerian foreign policy is Ufot Bassey Inamete Foreign policy decision-making in Nigeria7 which examines Nigeria's foreign policy decision-making system together with the other factors that shape and determine foreign policy. It gives the reader an understanding of the foreign-policy structures, processes, dynamics, and outputs in Nigeria. It also looks at how personalities affect foreign policy decision making in Nigeria. The reader also gains an understanding of how foreign-policy decision-making system impact on foreign-policy outputs in medium-sized countries. Although, no special attention was given to the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo which is the major concern of this study, this work is of importance to this study as it discusses the issues of personality in the development of Nigerian foreign policy.
Bassey Ate’s Decolonization and Dependence: The Development of Nigeria-US Relations, 1960-19848 is a good contribution to the study. Despite the variations in the years, the work systematically analyses the development of the relationship between Nigeria and the US during the dynamic era of decolonization with special attention on General Olusegun Obasanjo first outing as head of state. This study serves as a basis for analyzing Nigeria’s stand on some key issues with the major world powers. Although, Bassey is not directly connected to the present study, it gives a vivid background on the historical past of the friendly Olusegun Obasanjo when he was the military head of state between 1976 and 1979 and how this later helped in running the affairs of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007.
Ray Ofoegbu’s Foreign Policy and Military Rule9 examined three military governments in Nigeria and played much emphasis on the third Military Government (1975-1979). To Ofoegbu, it was the third Military Government first led by General Murtala Mohammed that brought radicalism into Nigeria’s foreign policy. The radicalism which was introduced into Nigeria’s foreign policy led to confrontation with major powers which invariably caused diplomatic conflict especially with the United States in 1975. From 1977, the relationship began to normalize. Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo, being the new leader of Nigeria, renewed Nigeria’s radical foreign policy and once again, began to make close ties with President Jimmy Carter of the United States. Ofoegbu’s work will be of immense value to this study. Once again, one notices that the work does not centre on President Olusegun Obasanjo but did provide a detailed background of his past activities which will make us to understand his policy positions between 1999 and 2007 on international relations.
Adekeye Adebajo and Abdul Raufu Mustapha, (eds.) Gulliver's Troubles: Nigeria's Foreign Policy after the Cold War0 examines Nigerian foreign policy during the first 12 years after the end of the Cold War in order to answer questions associated with changes in the global arena and determines whether Nigerian foreign policy remains relevant in this new period of international relations. Its sixteen chapters provide incisive analytical coverage, conceptual insights and empirical richness, pointing to the factors and imperatives which have shaped Nigeria’s foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. That it succeeds so admirably is a tribute to the editors and well-chosen authors. Each chapter helps to impose order on this complex mosaic.
There are challenges for Nigeria’s foreign policy, especially with a change of guard since the significant but deeply flawed elections of April 2007. Critically, how it meets these challenges will depend on how it balances the demands and dynamics of the three concentric circles that underpin its foreign policy. This book is path-breaking in helping us to understand why this ‘giant with clay feet’ under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo shaped the fortunes of Nigeria in the world.
Henry Kissinger’s Diplomacy11 examines and describes how the art of diplomacy has created the world in which we live in, and how America’s foreign affairs has always differed vastly from that of the other nations.
The book is a sweep of the history of international relations and it largely concentrates on the 20th century and the western world. Kissinger as a great believer in the realist school of international relations focuses strongly upon the concepts of the balance of power in Europe prior to World War 1, raison d’etat and Realpolitik throughout the ages of diplomatic relations. The book with thirty one chapters also provides insightful critiques of the counter realist diplomatic tactics of collective security.
NOTES: 1) Lippmann, W. A Preface to Politics (great minds). New York, NY: Prometheus books, 2005 2) Russell, B. Sceptical essays. London, England: Routledge. Retrieved from www.goodreads.com, 1998 3) Encyclopedia of Psychology, vol.8. (2000).
Retrieved September 10, 2012 from www.apa.org/personality 4) Merriam-Webster dictionary, (2011).
Retrieved September 10, 2012 from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary 5) Malgalheas, Jose Calvet De. The Pure concept of Diplomacy. New York, NY: Greenwood press Inc, 1915. 6) Trubowitz, P. Defining the national interest: conflict and change in American foreign policy. University of Chicago press, 1998 7) Bassey. U. Inamete, Op. Cit., P. 2 8) Bassey, A. Decolonization and Independence: The Development of Nigerian-US Relations, 1960-1984, Colorado: West View Press Inc., 1987, p. 193. 9) Ofoegbu, R. “Foreign Policy and Military Rule” in O. Oyediran (ed) Nigerian Government and Politics under military Rule. London and Basingstoke: The Macmillian Press, 1979, p. 135 10) Adebajo and A. R. Mustapha,(eds.) Gulliver's Troubles: Nigeria's Foreign Policy after the Cold War, Scottsville, South Africa: University of KwaZulu Natal Press, 2008, Pp . 1-22 11) Kissinger, H. Diplomacy. London, England: Simon & Schuster, 1995
LEADERSHIP, PERSONALITY AND DIPLOMACY: AN OVERVIEW
Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper an American computer scientist and a United States Navy officer said, you manage things you lead people. This is a very apt description of what the duty of a leader entails, managing impossible situations and leading not only by word of mouth but also by example.
The term leadership is really important to the society, although there is no concise definition. Even the dictionary has difficulties finding the right words to define leadership; we can simply define leadership as the process of influencing group activities towards the achievement of goals.
For the purpose of this study we shall consider some definitions of leadership.
According to Warren Bennis ‘’leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust amongst colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potentials’’.
John W. Gardener gave his own definition saying ‘’leadership is the process of persuasion and example by which an individual (or leadership team) induces a group to take action that is in accord with the leader’s purpose, or the shared purposes of all.’’
Jane M. Moraski a lieutenant commander defined leadership as ‘’ an inspirational empowerment that flows from one person to another, and successfully accomplishes the initial goals or objectives of the first person’’
What should be pointed out is that a combination of influencing others and accomplishing the desired goals is essential in defining leadership. Leadership in the sense of the word is a skill that is important in our society; leaders inspire, challenge, enable, empower and encourage others to want to follow them to accomplish their shared missions or goals.
‘’I used to think that running an organization was equivalent to conducting a symphony orchestra, but I don’t think that’s quite it, it’s more like jazz, there is more improvisation’’1 Good leaders are not born, they are made, there needs to be a desire and willpower to become an effective leader.
Good leadership is based on character and personality, excellence starts with leaders of good and strong character, a person with honourable character is bound to be a good leader.
To be an effective leader, your followers must have trust in you and they need to be sold on your vision. Korn-Ferry international, an executive search company performed a survey on what organizations want from their leaders. The respondents said they wanted people who were both ethical and who convey a strong vision of the future, in any organization a leader’s actions set the pace. This behavior wins trust, loyalty and ensures the organizations vitality. One of the ways to build trust is to display a good sense of character composed of beliefs, values, skills, and traits. This study will attempt a brief insight into these concepts
BELIEFS are what we hold dear to us and are rooted deeply within us. They could be assumptions or convictions that you hold true regarding people, concept of things. They could be the beliefs about life, death, religion what is good, what is bad, human nature etc, the list is endless.
VALUES are attitudes about the worth of people, concept or things, for example you might value a good car, home, friendship, personal comfort or relatives, values are important as they influence a person’s behavior to weigh the importance of alternatives. For example you might value friends more than privacy, while others might be the opposite
SKILLS are the knowledge and abilities that a person gains throughout life. The ability to learn a new skill varies with each individual; some skills come almost naturally, while others come only by complete devotion to study and practice.
TRAITS are distinguishing qualities or characteristics of a person, while character is the sum total of these traits. There are hundreds of personality traits, for example; honest, competent, inspiring, intelligent, fair minded, courageous, imaginative etc. PERSONALITY
Personality may simply be defined as characteristics and qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character, this is what makes us all unique, a form of ambiguous and forever changing self, heavily influenced by many internal and external factors, a one kind recipe that all cognitive thinking animals acquire making each and every one of them a completely different being. Different experiences, different outlooks and different cultures are what make us extraordinary individuals.
Personality is a hard thing to understand, there have been numerous theories propounded to help understand the concept of personality, this work however, will analyze two theories of personality and show how they affect the decision making process of political leaders
The first theory is based on the works of Karl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who, Jung proposed and developed the concepts of the extroverted and introverted personalities. Like Freud, Jung devoted himself to the study of dynamic unrealized drawings on a human behavior and experience. According to Jung’s theory on personality, which is known as analytical psychology, individuals are motivated by some physical forces and appearances, this innate unconscious contains some spiritual material which has deep roots, which explains the creative self expression and physical perfection of humanity.
Jung asserted that personality consists of three different but interactive structures: ego, personal unconscious and collective unconscious.
‘’Ego is the central of the sphere of consciousness, it is component psyche which includes those ideas, senses, flashbacks and feelings due to which we feel our integrity constancy and feeling of humanity’’. ego serves as the core of our consciousness and due to it we are able to see the results of the ordinary conscious activity.
The personal unconscious contains conflicts and flashbacks which were once realized but now low spirited or forgotten. So it contains perceptible impressions, which cannot be marked in consciousness.
And finally Jung described the idea of existence of a deeper layer in the structure of personality, this he referred to as the collective unconscious, it is a depository of latent tracks in the memory of humans, according to Jung ‘’ in collective unconscious there is all spiritual legacy of human evolution, regenerating in the structure of brain in every individual’’.
The second theory is based on the works of B.F. Skinner, an American psychologist and author, he conducted pioneering work on experimental psychology and advocated behaviorism, which seeks to understand behavior as a function of environmental histories of experiencing consequences.
The works of Skinner proves that influence on environment is determined by behavior, he asserted that behavior is a huge influence on the environment and vice versa, according to Skinner’s opinion we need only to analyze functional relations between a visible action and visible consequences, Skinner’s works served as a foundation for behavioral science.
Skinner was opposed to the use of physical punishment as a reward for bad behavior, his main focus was to target the behavior and see that the consequences deliver positive responses, he used a child’s refusal to go to school as an example in his study, he showed that the focus should be on why the child has refused to go to school rather than the refusal itself, his researched showed that punishment doesn’t change human behavior and personality.
The similarity in these theories of personality is the uniqueness of personality to individuals, people have different ways of thinking, feeling and reacting to one another, and these attributes are often influenced by environment.
Relating personality to leadership, a person’s way of thinking could affect their sense of judgment and when such a person is in the leadership role this judgment has an effect on others, this is to say that the study of personality of leaders is very important as their ideologies will always affect the decision making. DIPLOMACY
Many contemporary works on international relations define diplomacy as the art of conducting relations between civilized nations through negotiations, and that definition would serve very well as a basis for the examination of diplomacy as practiced in recent times, but then, civilization is after all, only a relative term with levels changing in all nations as the centuries pass and differing in separate nations at any given time.
In considering the history of diplomacy it seems that the definition of the term which I have mentioned should be altered by omitting the word ‘’civilized’’ and by regarding it simply as the art of conducting international affairs between states. By that simple change of definition we might come more easily to realize that the conduct and actions of the diplomat four or five centuries ago cannot and should not be judged by the same standards that we can and ought to apply to the conduct and actions of the diplomatist of our own generation. It must not be forgotten in other words that diplomacy is generally speaking only one of the instruments of statesmanship, that the diplomat himself is the mouthpiece of the sovereign or the people that he represents.
Diplomacy is a concept or an art that defies one single definition, a lot of scholars see diplomacy through their own unique mirror, diplomacy to me is about engagement, it is about conveying a point of view but at the same time listening to an alternate point of view, of course we have our policy, we have our interest and we fully recognize that the person that we are talking to has their own opinion and interest, it is about finding a way forward together.
It won’t be wrong to say diplomacy as been around since the beginning of the time, of course diplomacy is an alternative to war.
Conclusively, diplomacy is the art and science of international politics, if it is to be dynamic, capable of providing an effective alternative to war, organization must become its servant rather than its master. While it is generally viewed as the means of carrying out foreign policies, diplomacy generates resources needed for the formulation of sound policy, and ergo its practitioners should therefore be fully utilized in the policy forming process.
The Nature and Pattern of Nigeria’s Diplomacy
This work will attempt to give an insight into the pattern of diplomacy in Nigeria from the colonial era to independence and also this work will further look into the nature of diplomacy during the civil war and finally the present day Nigeria.
During the colonial period in Nigeria (from about 1850 to 1960), the British, like any other colonial power, asserted their dominance through a variety of media. The colonial experience of Nigeria and Britain, and Nigeria's early post-colonial history can be described, roughly chronologically, in three phases or periods: a) The formation of a captured colony, b) The education and inculcation of British ways c) The aftermath of colonialism (i.e., the independence of the colony).
The Formation of a Captured Colony The capture of Nigeria by the militaristic British was one of the early distinct indications of its colonialism; thus, it attracted mixed responses. There were many riots and conflicts between the Nigerians and the British, although most of the uprisings were eventually subdued by the military power of the British. Riots were common, from the culturally rooted Yoruba riots in the West and the religious skirmishes with the Muslims and Hausa in the North, to the confrontations with Igbo and Delta states. Apart from encompassing all the major ethnic groupings and regions in Nigeria, amazingly these conflicts also covered the three most explicit British inculcations: cultural, religious, and economic.
The British practice of ‘indirect' rule caused great commotion, especially among the Yoruba of Western Nigeria. As part of this kind of rule, the British placed certain Yoruba individuals as the leaders of other Yorubas. This was a change to the existing cultural and hierarchical structure because, under this system, many villagers were governed by members from other villages with whom they had been traditionally or historically at odds. As a result, when the British officers tried to make cultural changes in the Yoruba community, the public often resisted the words of these pseudo-leaders, which, in turn, caused them to be replaced by British officers. The repetition of this process eventually caused immense frustration within the Yoruba people because their views were not properly represented, their complaints often fell on deaf ears, and they were under the direct rule of their ancestral enemies. Consequently, several Yorubas opposed this system of rule and reacted violently towards their ‘indirect' and colonial leaders.
The British military expansion into Northern Nigeria introduced Christianity to a region which had experienced over five hundred years of Islam; hence, there were religion-based skirmishes between the Muslims and the British Christians. As Professor Aliyu Babatunde Fafunwa, a former Minister of Education in Nigeria, explains, “It was not surprising, therefore, that the advent of Christianity in Nigeria …caused a head-on collision with Islam”2. To aid this conquest, the British in 1903, under the leadership of Lord Lugard, launched an 800-mile military campaign, described as ‘pacifications of the North' to bring the Northern emirates by force of arms under the authority of the British government and Christian movement. The result was the formation of a number of Muslim radical movements, such as the Mahdists, whose goal was to ‘cleanse' the land of the British.
The southeastern quarter of Nigeria, mostly inhabited by the Igbo people, was economically very important to the British because of its natural resources; thus, most of England's commercial exploitation of Nigeria occurred in this area. Apart from suffering the daily oil spillages caused by British oil driller, the communities also frequently suffered imposed taxations on products and services. For instance, in 1929, when the British conveniently set up a warrant chief system to impose a tax on the people of Aba, there was immense rioting, especially by the women. The women were unhappy about the over-taxation of their husbands and sons, which, they felt, was pauperizing them and causing economic hardship for the entire community. In reaction, they rose up in a mass protest against the oppressive rule of the colonial government. As part of their protest, some 25,000 Igbo women covered about 6,000 square miles in their march, burning and looting British trading posts and services in their path. They eventually forced the resignation of these warrant chiefs and made the British lower the taxes.
Regardless of the results of the riots, these illustrations reflect the Marxist theory of struggle between the oppressed and the oppressor. A common theme in all these instances of revolt was the resistance of the oppressed (the Nigerians) to their oppressors (the British), who controlled and dictated their cultural, religious, and economic lives by “Bible, Business, and Bullet”3. British colonial practice in Nigeria highlights one of Marx's theories and eventually succeeds in capturing the country.
The Education and Inculcation of British Ways
The British, during colonial times, used education as a tool to further dominate and oppress Nigerians, a tool to cultivate a ‘proper' style of thinking. The inculcation of this style of thinking came in the guise of Christianity
The British officials who were themselves Christians were representing, as Lord Lugard himself claimed, ‘the most Christian nation' in the world. British occupation in Nigeria was therefore synonymous with Christian evangelism, and the concept of civilizing ‘’helping the benighted Africans to accept Christianity and Western civilization, became the order of the day’’4
Therefore, the first form of Western education in Nigeria was lead by the missionaries, and they, without exception, used the schools as a means of converting the indigenous people to Christianity. During this time, the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.) and the Methodist Missionary Society were the first British Christian organizations to set up schools in Nigeria. Most of their work was conducted in the southern half of Nigeria, where it was deemed safer. Some of their achievements included the translation of the Bible into the local languages such as Yoruba, Ibo, Efik and Nupe, the introduction of vocational or industrial education, the use of English as the vernacular, and the establishment of a proper code of conduct for the localities. Most of the schools set up by these missions were boarding schools, for they believed that “if children were to develop along civilized lines, their daily life must be supervised, controlled and directed along proper lines. That is, if a raw African is to be made a civilized, Christian black European, he must be isolated from the evil influences of his pagan past and present”5.
Some of the British commandants intentionally chose certain aspects of Christianity that were taught in the schools. For instance, S.I.M. missionaries were Canadians and Lugard, the British leader in Nigeria, supported their industrial aim but strongly objected to their type of religious, Christian preaching: “'I am informed that they preach the equality of European and antives, which, however true from a doctrinal point of view, is apt to be mis-applied by people in a low stage of development, and interpreted as abolition of class [and race] distinction’’6. Therefore, the British chose what portions of their Christianity that they thought ought to be represented in their educational style in order to further subject people in a low stage of development (i.e., Nigerians) to their command. Between 1850 and 1960, the activities, discipline and style of teaching that existed in these schools reflected the properties that the British educators believed a good Nigerian citizen ought to have: “A good citizen in Nigeria … meant one who was African by blood, Christian by religion and British or French in culture and intellect”7.
As seen here, the British used education as a tool to cultivate religious and cultural hegemony in Nigerians. The colonialists oppressed the inhabitants by subjecting them to foreign values, In this case, the progenitor was the Christian education (of course, without those controversial portions of the religion that might undermine British power), and the result was the inculcation of British principles and morals.
The Aftermath of Colonialism (The Independence of the Colony)
Contrary to the meaning of the word, in the early years of Nigeria's independence, the country was actually still dependent on the British. British colonialism made Nigeria, joining diverse peoples and regions in an artificial political entity; the British, it is said, created a country called Nigeria, not a nation. The creation of this collage of people involved socio-economic and political troubles that the country once again relied on British advice and policies to help solve. Ralph Uwechue, a leading journalist and editor-in-chief of Africa Magazine illustrates in his book Reflections on the Nigerian Civil War that, in 1960, when Nigeria became an independent state, Nigerians temporarily had to accept the Queen of England as the Head of State. For many years after her independence, Nigeria still had her policies influenced by England, and, to some extent, still feels her dominating presence as embodied in her membership in the British Commonwealth.
One of the problems that emerged from this collection of people,and one which is also present in most other democratically developing countries was, “far too many people were struggling for a share of too small a national cake”8. Thus it was not surprising that nationalism became a political factor in Nigeria, a nationalism whose goal was to have increased political participation and representation of the different backgrounds embedded in her citizens, and a fight for which subgroup's identity should be adopted as the national identity.
By 1967, the Igbo people were the ethnic group in the collage fighting for equal socio-political participation, representation, and treatment. For this reason, on May 30, 1967, the Igbos, under the leadership of Lt. Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu, decided to secede from the rest of Nigeria and form Biafra. The reason for this secession can be traced to the previous year. In January of 1966, a coup led by General Aguyi Ironsi, an Igbo man, toppled the government of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, a northerner, killing a recorded total of 15 people. This revolution brought hope for socio-political equality to the oppressed Igbos. But this celebration was short-lived as “General Ironsi quickly proved equally unable to manage the political situation produced by the coup”9. The failure of Ironsi’s leadership led to the counter-coup of July 1966, which was headed by Northerner Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon. The results of this counter-coup totally crushed the initial hopes of the Igbos as their oppression and exclusion continued. Furthermore, the success of this counter-coup, which was accurately labeled the ‘Northern revenge,' cost the lives of 214 people, mostly Igbos.
Four of the reasons cited by Biafran officials as the reason for their secession include: (1) The pogrom of 1966 which took place in Northern Nigeria, and the persecution and terrorizing of Eastern Nigerians in other parts of Nigeria, and which drove all living Eastern Nigerians back to Eastern Nigeria . (2) Then came a series of economic acts calculated to aggravate the unfortunate plight of Eastern Nigerians. Notable examples are the food blockage in October 1966 and the subsequent economic blockade of Eastern Nigeria by air, land, and sea. (3) These were followed by the application of political sanctions, including the withdrawal of Nigerian passports from persons of Eastern Nigerian origin. (4) Postal, telegraphic and transport services between the rest of Nigeria and Eastern Nigeria were stopped by Lt. Col. Gowon.
Biafrans argue that this sequence of maltreatments necessitated secession in order to preserve the Igbos and their right to equal socio-political treatment. The specifics of the reason for the Igbo secession and the series of coup d’états might be arguable, but what is not is that, as young, democratically immature country, Nigeria was in tumult due to nationalistic ideals, and for about three years was split into two countries—herself and Biafra.
This string of events in Nigeria's post-colonial history is not unusual, young, immature democracies tend to be impeded and conflict-ridden due to ethnic tensions often triggered by nationalist ideas. In Nigeria's case, 1960 brought about her independence from Britain, and she started practicing democracy, but, by 1966, just six years later, explicit ethnic conflicts had begun to ruin her people. When a country is in its early stages of democracy, the ethnic tensions escalate and, if the country can survive until the later stages, these conflicts subside. But, if the country cannot survive, it gives way to nationalism. The failure in the early years of Nigeria's democracy to survive its ethnic conflicts meant endless coup d’états that further oppressed the people.
In 1999, Nigeria elected President Olusegun Obasanjo, the first democratically elected president in more than two decades. Therefore, one may safely conclude that Nigeria is getting a second chance at democracy.
In conclusion, all these illustrations from the different periods in Nigeria's history are reflective of social theories by Marx, Gellner, and Snyder. Resistance to British colonialism by the Western, Northern, and Eastern states, although mostly unsuccessful, reflects Marx's theory of the struggle between the oppressor and the oppressed. The enforcement of British education (i.e., the ‘proper' way of thinking) on Nigerians explicitly illustrates Gellner's theory of domination through education. Finally, Nigeria's ethnic tensions and civil war, which were triggered by nationalistic ideals that later resulted in the secession of Biafra, are illustrations of Snyder's theory of the ‘gamble’ for democracy and its initial consequences.
Nigeria has come a long way in her pre and post-colonial conflicts and experiences. These experiences helped shape what the country is today and also her relationship with other countries.
Brief History of Nigeria’s Leadership
Nigeria is an amalgam of ancient Kingdoms, Caliphates, Empires and city states with a long history of organized societies. Its boundaries were drawn as a result of trade (from slavery to pepper and ivory) and overseas territorial ambitions of Western European powers in the 19th century. The name Nigeria was adopted in 1898 to designate the British protectorates on the River Niger.
The sixty years of Britain’s colonial rule in Nigeria are characterized by frequent reclassifying of different regions for administrative purposes. They are symptomatic of the problem of uniting the country as a single state
In the early years the Niger Coast Protectorate was expanded to become Southern Nigeria, with its seat of government at Lagos. At this time the rulers in the North (the emir of Kano and the sultan of Sokoto) were very far from accepting British rule, to deal with the situation Lord Fredrick Lugard was appointed as High Commissioner and commander in Chief of the Northern protectorate.
In 1912, Lord Lugard was appointed governor of both the northern and southern and in 1914, he merged the protectorate of northern Nigeria and the colony and protectorate of Southern Nigeria, the whole country then became known as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.
Lugard became its first Governor General and ruled till 1919, he has been regarded as the model British Colonial administrator by some scholars, trained as an army officer, he had served in Egypt, India and East Africa, where he expelled Arab slave traders from Nyasaland and established the British presence in Uganda
During his six year tenure as High commissioner Lugard was occupied with transforming the commercial sphere of influence inherited from the Royal Niger Company into a viable territorial unit under effective British political control. His objective was to conquer the entire region and to obtain recognition of the British Protectorate by its indigenous rulers, especially the Fulani emirs of the Sokoto Caliphate.
The rival claims on Nigeria’s various regions became most evident after World War II when Britain was attempting to find a structure to meet African demands for political power. By 1951 the country had been divided into Northern, Eastern and Western regions, each with its own house of assembly, in addition there was a separate house of chiefs for the Northern province, to reflect the strong tradition of tribal authority, there was also an overall legislative council for the whole of the country. Sadly this was not enough to reflect the complexity of the situation. In 1954 a new constitution (making it the third in eight years) established the Federation of Nigeria and added the Federal territory of Lagos
During the late 1950s an African political structure was gradually achieved and from 1957 there was a federal Prime Minister, in the same year the Western and Eastern regions were granted internal self government, this was later granted to the Northern region in 1959.
The First Republic
| | On October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained independence from Britain. An all-Nigerian Executive Council was headed by a Prime Minister, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. On November 16, 1960, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, a pioneer of West African nationalism, became the first Governor-General of a Federation of three Regions of the North, East and West, with Lagos as the Federal Capital.Each of the Regions was headed by a Premier with a Governor as Ceremonial Head. On October 1, 1963, Nigeria became a Federal Republic and severed whatever ties were left with Britain. She decided, however, to remain in the British Commonwealth of Nations. The Governor-General's position was, therefore, re-designated as President. |
Eight military regimes succeeded, beginning in 1966, interspersed between the fourth and fifth military regime by a return to civilian rule with the Second Republic between October 1979 and December, 1983. The final military regime left power on May 29, 1999, when the current Fourth Republic was installed and the president democratically elected president.
It was under the Second Military Regime (July, 1966 To July, 1975) that some of Nigeria's major development programmes were established, such as the extensive expansion and exploitation of Nigeria's mineral resources culminating in the 'Oil Boom', which in no small measure changed the economy, the taste and living standard of many Nigerians. It was also, unfortunately, a time of war: on August 9, 1967, Nigeria declared full-scale war on "Biafra" after its forces had invaded and captured the Mid-West State. With Biafra's collapse in 1970, the region was reunited with the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a period of reconciliation and reconstruction followed.
Other highlights of this period included the introduction of various forms of bursaries, scholarships and Students Loan Scheme in the 1970s; a government review programme for the improvement in salaries and wages; the Nigerianisation Decree compelling all foreign firms operating in Nigeria to nationalize or leave; the changing of road traffic from left to right-hand drive; the changing of the national currency to Naira and Kobo and the establishment of organized federal councils for the arts, sciences, sports and agriculture. Corruption was a major cause of strife under the military regimes and it took years for Nigeria to get its house in order.
Second Republic, (A Return to Military Rule)
In October 1979, after more than 13 years of military rule, Nigeria was returned to democratic rule. The National Party of Nigeria emerged victorious in the presidential election and Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shagari was elected the first Executive President. It was not to last. The hunger and poverty that characterized the last days of the Second Republic prompted the Armed Forces to take power in December 1983. Major General Muhammadu Buhari was installed as the new Head of State.
The Buhari Administration identified indiscipline as the bane of the nation's ills. It launched different phases of the "War Against Indiscipline" (WAI), which has become a household word in many Nigerian homes. This too, did not last. Enter the Sixth Military Regime: a bloodless coup d'état on August 27, 1985 ousted the government of Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
On December 31, 1983, the military overthrew the Second Republic. Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the leader of the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the country's ruling body. He accused the civilian government of economic mismanagement, widespread corruption, election fraud, and a general lack of concern for the problems of Nigerians. He also pledged to restore prosperity to Nigeria and to return the government to civilian rule but proved unable to deal with Nigeria's severe economic problems. The Buhari government was peacefully overthrown by the SMC's third-ranking member, Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, in August 1985.
Babangida cited the misuse of power, violations of human rights by key officers of the SMC, and the government's failure to deal with the country's deepening economic crisis as justifications for the takeover. During his first few days in office, President Babangida moved to restore freedom of the press and to release political detainees being held without charge. As part of a 15-month economic emergency, he announced stringent pay cuts for the military, police, and civil servants and proceeded to enact similar cuts for the private sector. Imports of rice, maize, and later wheat were banned. President Babangida demonstrated his intent to encourage public participation in government decision-making by opening a national debate on proposed economic reform and recovery measures. The public response convinced Babangida of intense opposition to an economic recovery package dependent on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.
The Third Republic
President Babangida promised to return the country to civilian rule by 1990; this date was later extended until January 1993. In early 1989, a constituent assembly completed work on a constitution for the Third Republic. In the spring of 1989, political activity was again permitted. In October 1989 the government established two "grassroots" parties: the National Republican Convention (NRC), which was to be "a little to the right," and the Social Democratic (SDP), "a little to the left." Other parties were not allowed to register by the Babangida government.
In April 1990, mid-level officers attempted to overthrow the Babangida government. The coup failed, and 69 accused coup plotters were later executed after secret trials before military tribunals. The transition resumed after the failed coup. In December 1990 the first stage of partisan elections was held at the local government level. While turnout was low, there was no violence, and both parties demonstrated strength in all regions of the country, with the SDP winning control of a majority of local government councils.
In December 1991, gubernatorial and state legislative elections were held throughout the country. Babangida decreed in December 1991 that previously banned politicians would be allowed to contest in primaries scheduled for August 1992. These were cancelled due to fraud and subsequent primaries scheduled for September also were cancelled. All announced candidates were disqualified from again standing for president once a new election format was selected. The presidential election was finally held on June 12, 1993, with the inauguration of the new president scheduled to take place August 27, 1993, the eighth anniversary of President Babangida's coming to power.
In the historic June 12, 1993 presidential elections, which most observers deemed to be Nigeria's fairest, early returns indicated that wealthy Yoruba businessman M.K.O. Abiola had won a decisive victory. However, on June 23, Babangida, using several pending lawsuits, annulled the election, throwing Nigeria into turmoil. More than 100 persons were killed in riots before Babangida agreed to hand power to an "interim government" on August 27, 1993. Babangida then attempted to renege on his decision. Without popular and military support, he was forced to hand over to Ernest Shonekan, a prominent non-partisan businessman. Shonekan was to rule until new elections, scheduled for February 1994. Although he had led Babangida's Transitional Council since early 1993, Shonekan was unable to reverse Nigeria's ever-growing economic problems or to defuse lingering political tensions.
With the country sliding into chaos, Defense Minister Sani Abacha quickly assumed power and forced Shonekan's "resignation" on November 17, 1993. Abacha dissolved all democratic political institutions and replaced elected governors with military officers. Abacha promised to return the government to civilian rule but refused to announce a timetable until his October 1, 1995 address.
Following the annulment of the June 12 election, the United States and other nations imposed various sanctions on Nigeria, including restrictions on travel by government officials and their families and suspension of arms sales and military assistance. Additional sanctions were imposed as a result of Nigeria's failure to gain full certification for its counter-narcotics efforts. In addition, direct flights between Nigeria and the United States were suspended on August 11, 1993, when the Secretary of Transportation determined that Lagos' Murtala Muhammed International Airport did not meet the security standards established by the FAA. The FAA in December 1999 certified security at MMIA, opening the way for operation of direct flights between Lagos and U.S. airports.
Although Abacha's takeover was initially welcomed by many Nigerians, disenchantment grew rapidly. A number of opposition figures united to form a new organization, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which campaigned for an immediate return to civilian rule. The government arrested NADECO members who attempted to reconvene the Senate and other disbanded democratic institutions. Most Nigerians boycotted the elections held from May 23-28, 1994, for delegates to the government-sponsored Constitutional Conference.
On 11 June 1994, using the groundwork laid by NADECO, Abiola declared himself president and went into hiding. He re-emerged and was promptly arrested on June 23. With Abiola in prison and tempers rising, Abacha convened the Constitutional Conference June 27, but it almost immediately went into recess and did not reconvene until 11 July 1994.
On July 4, a petroleum workers union called a strike demanding that Abacha release Abiola and hand over power to him. Other unions then joined the strike, which brought economic life in around Lagos area and in much of the southwest to a standstill. After calling off a threatened general strike in July, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) reconsidered a general strike in August, after the government imposed "conditions" on Abiola's release. On August 17, 1994, the government dismissed the leadership of the NLC and the petroleum unions, placed the unions under appointed administrators, and arrested Frank Kokori and other labour leaders. Although striking unions returned to work, the government arrested opponents, closed media houses, and moved strongly to curb dissent.
The government alleged in early 1995 that some 40 military officers and civilians were engaged in a coup plot. Security officers quickly rounded up the accused, including former Head of State Obasanjo and his erstwhile deputy, retired Gen. Shehu Musa Yar'Adua. After a secret tribunal, most of the accused were convicted, and several death sentences were handed down. The tribunal also charged, convicted, and sentenced prominent human rights activists, journalists, and others--including relatives of the coup suspects--for their alleged "anti-regime" activities. In October, the government announced that the Provisional Ruling Council and Abacha had approved final sentences for those convicted of participation in the coup plot.
In late 1994 the Abacha government set up the Ogoni Civil Disturbances Special Tribunal to try prominent author and Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and others for their alleged roles in the killings of four prominent Ogoni politicians in May 1994. Saro-Wiwa and 14 others pleaded not guilty to charges that they procured and counseled others to murder the politicians. On October 31, 1995, the tribunal sentenced Saro-Wiwa and eight others to death by hanging. In early November Abacha and the PRC confirmed the death sentence. Saro-Wiwa and his eight co-defendants were executed on November 10.
In October 1, 1995, Gen. Sani Abacha announced the timetable for a 3-year transition to civilian rule. Only five of the political parties which applied for registration were approved by the regime. In local elections held in December 1997, turnout was under 10%. By the April 1998 state assembly and gubernatorial elections, all five of the approved parties had nominated Abacha as their presidential candidate in controversial party conventions. Public reaction to this development in the transition program was apathy and a boycott of the elections.
On December 21, 1997, the government announced the arrest of the country's second highest-ranking military officer, Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya, 10 other officers, and eight civilians on charges of coup plotting. Subsequently, the government arrested a number of additional persons for roles in the purported coup plot and tried the accused before a closed-door military tribunal in April in which Diya and eight others were sentenced to death.
Abacha widely expected to succeed himself as a civilian president on October 1, 1998, remained head of state until his death on June 8 of that year. He was replaced by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who had been third in command until the arrest of Diya. The PRC, under new head of state Abubakar, commuted the sentences of those accused in the alleged 1997 coup in July 1998. In March 1999, Diya and 54 others accused or convicted of participation in coups in 1990, 1995, and 1997 were released. Following the death of former head of state Abacha in June, Nigeria released almost all known civilian political detainees, including the Ogoni 19. After Abubakar's assumption of power and consolidation of support within the PRC, human rights abuses decreased. Other human rights problems included infringements on freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and travel; violence and discrimination against women; and female genital mutilation.
After it came to power in June 1998, the Abubakar government took several important steps toward restoring worker rights and freedom of association for trade unions, which had deteriorated seriously between 1993 and June 1998 under the Abacha regime. .
In August 1998, the Abubakar government appointed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections for local government councils, state legislatures and governors, the national assembly, and president. NEC successfully held these elections on December 5, 1998, January 9, 1999, February 20, and February 27, 1999, respectively. For the local elections, a total of nine parties were granted provisional registration, with three fulfilling the requirements to contest the following elections. These parties were the People's Democratic Party (PDP), the All Peoples Party (APP), and the predominantly Yoruba Alliance for Democracy (AD). Former military head of state Olusegun Obasanjo, freed from prison by Abubakar, ran as a civilian candidate and won the presidential election. Irregularities marred the vote, and the defeated candidate, Chief Olu Falae, challenged the electoral results and Obasanjo's victory in court.
The PRC promulgated a new constitution based largely on the suspended 1979 constitution, before the May 29, 1999 inauguration of the new civilian president. The constitution includes provisions for a bicameral legislature, the National Assembly, consisting of a 360-member House of Representatives and a 109-member Senate. The executive branch and the office of president will retain strong federal powers. The legislature and judiciary, having suffered years of neglect, must be rebuilt as institutions. General Olusegun Obasanjo
The emergence of a democratic Nigeria in May 1999 ended 16 years of consecutive military rule. Olusegun Obasanjo became the steward of a country suffering economic stagnation and the deterioration of most of its democratic institutions. Obasanjo, a former general, was admired for his stand against the Abacha dictatorship, his record of returning the federal government to civilian rule in 1979, and his claim to represent all Nigerians regardless of religion.
The new President took over a country that faced many problems, including a dysfunctional bureaucracy, collapsed infrastructure, and a military that wanted a reward for returning quietly to the barracks. The President moved quickly and retired hundreds of military officers who held political positions, established a blue-ribbon panel to investigate human rights violations, ordered the release of scores of persons held without charge, and rescinded a number of questionable licenses and contracts let by the previous military regimes. The government also moved to recover millions of dollars in funds secreted in overseas accounts by corrupt government officials, particularly the former military dictator Gen. Sani Abacha.
Most civil society leaders and most Nigerians see a marked improvement in human rights and democratic practice under Obasanjo. The press enjoys greater freedom than under previous governments. As Nigeria works out representational democracy, there have been conflicts between the Executive and Legislative branches over major appropriations and other proposed legislation. A sign of federalism has been the growing visibility of state governors and the inherent friction between Abuja and the various state capitals over resource allocation.
Problems of communal violence have confronted the Obasanjo government since its inception. In May 1999 violence erupted in Kaduna State over the succession of an Emir resulting in more than 100 deaths. In November 1999, the army destroyed the town of Odi, Bayelsa State and killed scores of civilians in retaliation for the murder of 12 policemen by a local gang. National elections and state gubernatorial elections occurred in 2003. Nigeria re-elected Obasanjo as President.
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua
In the presidential election, held on 21 April 2007, Yar'Adua won with 70% of the vote (24.6 million votes) according to official results released on 23 April. The election was highly controversial. Strongly criticized by observers, as well as the two primary opposition candidates, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Atiku Abubakar of the Action Congress (AC), its results were largely rejected as having been rigged in Yar'Adua's favour.
After the election, Yar'Adua proposed a government of national unity. In late June 2007, two opposition parties, the ANPP and the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA), agreed to join Yar'Adua's government. On 28 June 2007, Yar'Adua publicly revealed his declaration of assets from May (becoming the first Nigerian Leader to do so), according to which he had N856, 452, 892 (US$5.8 million) in assets, N19 million (US$0.1 million) of which belonged to his wife. He also had N88, 793, 269.77 (US$0.5 million) in liabilities. This disclosure, which fulfilled a pre-election promise he made, was intended to set an example for other Nigerian politicians and discourage corruption. Yar'Adua's new cabinet was sworn in on 26 July 2007.
President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died on 5th May 2010 and his Vice was sworn in as his successor the following day becoming Nigeria’s 14th Head of State, he cited anti-corruption, power and electoral reforms as focuses of his administration and stated that he assumed office under sad and unusual circumstances.19
Dr. Good luck Ebele Jonathan (born 20 November 1957) is the current President of Nigeria. He was Governor of Bayelsa State from 9 December 2005 to 28 May 2007, and was sworn in as Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 29 May 2007. Jonathan is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).
Personality and Nigeria’s Diplomacy
Personality characteristics shape an individual’s motivation, goals and values, thereby providing criteria to evaluate external stimuli and affecting foreign policy opinions .To say that personality of a leader affects the country’s diplomacy will be belaboring the obvious. Nigeria has had its share of leaders and each of them according to their personalities in their own unique way has impacted the country one way or another.
This research work however will consider two different personalities from the military and civilian rule, General Murtala Ramat Muhammed and Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari and how their characteristics and ideologies have had effect on their administrations
General Murtala Muhammed (July 1975- Febuary 1976)
Fourth Head of State of Nigeria
Very few of Nigeria’s former military leaders are spoken of with any great affection. There is one notable exception: General Murtala Muhammed. The time of his regime is recalled with nostalgia by Nigerians of both civilian and military persuasions as a golden age. Whereas today, military rule, and military rulers, have been demonized, Murtala gave Nigeria a glimpse of the principled and dynamic leadership that its citizens crave. This work will attempt to give its readers a closer look at one of the most popular Heads of State in Nigeria’s history.
Murtala Muhammed was born in Kano on November 8, 1938. Like many of his northern colleagues in the army, he attended Barewa College in Zaria. He began his military training in 1959 and was commissioned into the Nigerian army as a second lieutenant in 1961. Like so many Nigerian army officers of his generation including future Head of State Yakubu Gowon, he trained at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in England. Early in his career, Murtala was taught military tactics by an eloquent and intelligent Oxford University educated officer named Chukwuemeka Ojukwu. Little did teacher and student realize that one day, they would end up as protagonists on opposing sides of the battlefield.
In 1962, Murtala served as a member of the Nigerian led UN peacekeeping force in the Congo. That UN peacekeeping force was later commanded by Major-General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, who would subsequently become Nigeria’s first military Head of State. Murtala specialized in the army’s signals corps and was stationed in Lagos where his Uncle, Inua Wada served as the Federal Government’s Defense Minister. The emotionally volatile Murtala first came to prominence after Nigeria suffered what was to prove the first of many military coups, on January 15th 1966. Had a group of young army Majors not overthrown the civilian government of Tafawa Balewa, most Nigerians would never have heard the name “Murtala Muhammed”.
The armed forces chose thirty-eight-year-old Brigadier (later General) Murtala Ramat Muhammad, a Muslim northerner, to succeed Gowon. A Hausa, trained at the British military academy at Sandhurst, Murtala Muhammad had command of federal field forces in the final phase of the civil war, including being responsible for the abortive efforts to cross the Niger River. He was not directly involved in the coup d'état that brought him to power, but he had played a prominent role in rallying northern officers behind the July 1966 coup that felled Ironsi. In a short time, Murtala Muhammad's policies won him broad popular support, and his decisiveness elevated him to the status of a national hero.
One of his first acts was to scrap the 1973 census, which was weighted in favor of the north, and to revert to the 1963 count for official purposes. Murtala Muhammad removed top federal and state officials to break links with the Gowon regime and to restore public confidence in the federal government. More than 10,000 public officials and employees were dismissed without benefits, on account of age, health, incompetence, or malpractice. The purge affected the civil service, judiciary, police and armed forces, diplomatic service, public corporations, and universities. Some officials were brought to trial on charges of corruption, and one former military state governor was executed for gross misconduct in office. Murtala Muhammad also began the demobilization of 100,000 troops from the swollen ranks of the armed forces.
Twelve of the twenty-five ministerial posts on the new Federal Executive Council went to civilians, but the cabinet was secondary to the executive Supreme Military Council. Murtala Muhammad imposed the authority of the federal government in areas formerly reserved for the states, restricting the latitude exercised by state governments and their governors in determining and executing policy. Newly appointed military governors of the states were not given seats on the Supreme Military Council, but instead were expected to administer federal policies handed down by Murtala Muhammad through the military council. The federal government took over the operation of the country's two largest newspapers, made broadcasting a federal monopoly, and brought remaining state-run universities under federal control.
Murtala Muhammad initiated a comprehensive review of the Third National Development Plan. Singling out inflation as the greatest danger to the economy, he was determined to reduce the money supply that had been swollen by government expenditures on public works. Murtala Muhammad also announced that his government would encourage the rapid expansion of the private sector into areas dominated by public corporations. He reappraised foreign policy, stressing a "Nigeria first" orientation in line with OPEC price guidelines that was to the disadvantage of other African countries. Nigeria became "neutral" rather than "nonaligned" in international affairs. The shift in orientation became apparent with respect to Angola. Nigeria had worked with the OAU to bring about a negotiated reconciliation of the warring factions in the former Portuguese colony, but late in 1975 Murtala Muhammad announced Nigeria's support for the Soviet-backed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola--MPLA), citing South Africa's armed intervention on the side of the rival National Union for the total independence of Angola (União Nacional para a Indepêndencia Total de Angola--UNITA). The realignment strained relations with the United States, which argued for the withdrawal of Cuban troops and Soviet advisers from Angola. In October the Nigerian air force took delivery of Soviet-built aircraft that had been ordered under Gowon. On Friday 13th February 1976, Murtala departed for work along his usual route. As his car crawled to a halt in the infamous Lagos traffic outside the Federal Secretariat in Ikoyi, a group of soldiers rushed over to the car and fired a volley of gunshots which killed Murtala, his driver, and his ADC. After only six months in office, Murtala Muhammed was murdered in an abortive military coup led by Lt-Col BS Dimka, head of the army’s physical training corps.
Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari (1979-1983)
Sixth Head of State of Nigeria
Shehu Shagari was born in Shagari Village to the family of Magaji Aliyu and Mariamu on 25th February 1925.Starting from the late 1930s; a few Northern Nigeria political organizations started mushrooming. Shagari, who was educated at Kaduna College, was already well versed in the early independence movement in Southern Nigeria as an avid reader of southern newspapers. He also held strong social views about development of Yabo, his district in Sokoto. In 1946, Shagari and Mallam Gambo Abuja started the Youth Social Circle, a political organization centered around Sokoto. They were supported by noble men such as Ahmadu Bello, Ibrahim Gusau, and Mallam Ahamdu Dabbaba.
By 1948, a consolidation idea was initiated in the region to merge all the nascent political organizations under one group. The youth social circle of Sokoto agreed to the merger, and together with other groups formed the Northern People's congress. Later on, the organization became a political party and went on to win the national parliamentary election in 1959. Before 1959, Shagari was elected to represent the constituency of Sokoto Southwest. In 1958, he was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Shagari later went on to hold the positions of minister of Economic Development in 1960, minister of Internal Affairs in 1962 and minister of Works and Survey in 1965. However, the first republic was cut short by a military coup. Shagari returned to Sokoto to work on his farm and later to work as a councilor for the Sokoto Native Authority. In 1970, as part of a movement to broaden the government, Yakubu Gowon made Shagari a minister of Economic affairs and later of Finance.
Gowon's government was later overthrown as part of a military putsch by some military officers. A new democratic return timetable was initiated by the new Administration. As part of its preparation for democratic return, the government of Obasanjo established a constitutional conference. Members of the conference where both elected and selected. Within the conference, a national organization was formed among some members, the organization was called National Movement, and it later became the National Party of Nigeria and contested the 1979 election with Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari as its presidential candidate.
Shagari won the 1979 election with the help of his campaign manager, Umaru Dikko, political men of prominence in the North and among southern minorities, and some money bags interested in protecting their interest. Nevertheless, the party captured the ethnic and social demographics as good or even better than his adversaries. The party's motto was "One Nation, One Destiny" and it tried to promote this motto even to its detriment. Shagari, made Housing, Industries, Transportation and Agriculture as the major goals of his administration, particularly in his early stages of governance during the oil boom. However, most of his programs had incongruous outcomes. In Housing, he launched a large scale housing program that built estates such as "Shagari Estate" but also launched the careers of Nigeria's legendary money bags who swamped the Nigerian ports with imported cement to complete the housing projects. In Industries, Shagari completed the Delta Steel complex in 1982, and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the Ajaokuta Steel complex and the Steel rolling mills. However, allegations of kickbacks to prominent politicians hovers like a cloud on those projects. In transportation, he launched road networks across the country, the ministry headed by Umaru Dikko, was vital in the programs of the NPN led government. In terms of agriculture, a Green Revolution program was initiated to foster the use of mechanical machinery in farming. It favored large scale farmers in order to produce mass products. However, it was hampered by the prevalence of retired military officers, who had acquired land as parting gift under the previous administration and had the necessary hectares to influence large favors under the program.
The fall in oil price that started since 1981 affected the finances of the Nigerian government. Shagari initiated an Economic Stabilization Program to help protect the country against a hard landing from prior highs of the 70's and to steward the economy towards positive growth. Key objectives of the program were to limit import licenses, already abused by money bags and officials, reduce government spending and raise custom duties. However, the results from the stabilization program were minimal and the country fell into further economic quagmire.
The prominence of money bags that financed the elections of 1979 and lapse ethical judgment by ministers under Shagari heightened allegations of corruption. This included the Nigeria election of 1983 marked by accusations of electoral fraud, coupled with a decline in world oil prices, led to a marked deterioration in the national finances under Shagari's watch, while religious and political violence became so endemic that his overthrow by General Muhammadu Buhari on New Year's Eve in 1983 was actually looked upon with relief by most of the Nigerian public at the time.
The difference between these two leaders is as wide as can be, Murtala is seen to be a devoted Military officer, an idealist who was both precise and broad, he was seen as a leader who could be regarded as combining military training with a consciousness of purpose, invaluable to the crux of nation building, although sometimes amateurish in his approach to purely professional matters (military and political) he was however fundamentally a person with commitment and elements of nationalism. Psychoanalysts will consider him a man of strong personality who either when at fault or right will do anything he is committed to with passion, Murtala was a passionate person and his passion showed in the way he led the country and more so it was evident in his decision making
During this period there was evidence of decadence at the domestic level, a lack of direction and indiscipline at national level. Externally Nigeria lacked direction and foreign policy lacked vigor. There was a need for assertiveness in Nigeria’s foreign policy. Murtala’s efforts to reposition the domestic environment invariably also affected the country’s foreign policy. In respect of specifics, the Murtala regime remained committed to the regional organization (ECOWAS)
Outside the regional context, Murtala’s policies especially within the international organizations showed that Nigeria had ceased to be conservative
NOTES: 1. Scott A. Booher and Carl B Watson .The Institute for Leadership Dynamics. Retrieved October 15, 2012 from www.leadership-dynamics.com/leader2/sld001.html, 1999 2. Fafunwa, A. Babs. History of Education in Nigeria. London: George, Allen, & Unwin, 1974 3. Ibid pg 74 4. Ibid pg 71 5. Ibid pg 99 6. Ibid pg 102 7. Ibid pg. 71 8. Uweche Ralph. Reflections on the Nigerian Civil War: Facing the Future. London: Trafford, 2006 pg. 157 9. Ibid pg. 35
PATTERN OF NIGERIA’S EXTERNAL RELATIONS DURING THE OBASANJO ADMINISTRATION
Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo is from a humble background. He comes from Abeokuta in Ogun State, about 100km from Lagos in the south-west of Nigeria. Born in 1937 into a Baptist family, he sought a career in the military because his parents could not afford to send him for higher education. He enlisted in the Nigerian Army in 1958 and was trained at the Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot, England. On his return to Nigeria he specialised in military engineering and his army career progressed steadily.1
Obasanjo's first political appointment was as a federal commissioner for Works and Housing in January 1975. He held that office for seven months before the government was toppled in a palace coup. He then became the number two man under the new Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed, who initiated a programme for a return to democracy. Six months later General Muhammed was assassinated in another coup attempt. When the dust settled, Obasanjo was elevated to the top job.
During his three years as Head of State, Obasanjo worked hard and sincerely to create a Nigeria of proud and industrious people. He committed Nigeria fully to the anti-apartheid crusade, giving diplomatic, political and military support to the freedom movements in southern Africa. He involved university academics in the formulation and execution of foreign policy.
In Nigeria, Obasanjo introduced a series of economic austerity measures, at the same time giving priority to education and health. He discouraged the culture of ethnic favouritism and promoted high work ethics. It was Obasanjo, too, who pushed for the transfer of the nation's capital from the congested city of Lagos to Abuja, and got most of the planning work completed before he left office. Many Nigerians still regard his brief interregnum as a period of exemplary good governance.
Certainly Obasanjo crowned his achievements in office with a single-minded pursuit of the transition back to civilian government. This transition was a difficult and challenging process. Many Nigerians thought that the death of General Muhammed would require a postponement of the handover date. To everyone's amazement and delight, Obasanjo stuck to the original programme, handing over to an elected government on schedule on October 1, 1979. He then retired from the army, saying he would never seek public office again.
After his retirement, Obasanjo set up business as a commercial farmer with the same energy and single-mindedness he had displayed in office. His Obasanjo Farms project was one of the biggest and most diversified in Nigeria. Side by side with his farming business, he took an active interest in international affairs. He established the African Leadership Forum - through which he organised international workshops on African problems. He was a member of several international, UN, Commonwealth and other agencies. He contested, unsuccessfully, for election as secretary-general of the UN.
During this time Nigeria's decline was as precipitous as it was total. A succession of military regimes stripped Nigeria of its wealth, influence and confidence. The worst came under Sani Abacha whose unprincipled behaviour was an eye-opener to even the most cynical of Nigerians. Social services and the economy, already in a state of epilepsy, were finally knocked into the deepest of comas. The regime became ever more inventive in finding ways of silencing its opponents through imprisonment, blackmail, intimidation and even murder.
Obasanjo himself was one of the most prominent victims of the Abacha regime. He was convicted of being privy to a coup plot allegedly masterminded by a group of military officers. Obasanjo was condemned to death by a military tribunal. The international outcry against the trial persuaded Abacha to commute the sentence to 15 years' imprisonment. Obasanjo had served three years of the sentence when Abacha died suddenly and mysteriously on June 8. Abacha's successor and the godfather of Nigeria's latest stab at transition to civilian rule, General, Abdulsalami Abubakar, promptly released Obasanjo and granted him a state pardon. The stage was thus set for his re-entry into politics.
Obasanjo certainly had his work cut out. At his post-election press conference, he outlined the huge task ahead of him and the expectations of the Nigerian people: to restore the nation's dignity, to revitalise the political institutions, to reinvigorate the economy, to combat a growing crime wave, to stamp out corruption, and ensure justice and equity for all. Nigerians agreed with the People's Democratic Party (PDP) campaign managers that Obasanjo is the leader most likely to rescue their nation from economic decay, ethnic political distrust and international opprobrium and lead it back to the glorious days when Nigeria was seen as an African giant: wealthy, influential, confident and riding high. And so during the 1999 elections Obasanjo won with 62.6% of the vote, sweeping the strongly Christian Southeast and the predominantly Muslim north, but decisively lost his home region, the Southwest, to his fellow-Yoruba and Christian, Olu Falae, the only other candidate. His loss in the South West has been attributed to his being very unpopular amongst his kinsmen in the South-West.2
Nigeria’s External Relations During the Obasanjo Administration
Some have argued that Olusegun Obasanjo had his shortcomings in foreign policy implementation, but there is no denying the fact that the nation has achieved significant gains through the regime’s shuttle diplomacy. Generally, during this administration, Nigeria’s increasing profile in its foreign relations implies that the nation regained its role as a leading player in multilateral politics and diplomacy.
President Olusegun Obasanjo, at inauguration in May, 1999, inherited a nation with a battered image and without credibility externally. In his determination to regain Nigeria’s lost glory and re-integrate it to the civilized world, he engaged in a deft shuttle diplomacy across the major capitals of the globe. The president, during his extensive foreign trips, have addressed the UN, ECOWAS, the Group of 8 (G-8), Group 77 (G-77), the Commonwealth, African Union (AU) and EU.
The nation has achieved significant gains through the regime’s shuttle diplomacy. Apart from the psychological relief following its re-integration and accommodations into the world affairs, Nigeria had assumed the leadership of several international organizations notably the ECOWAS, AU, and G-77. It had hosted very important international summits including those of the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government and the AU in 2004, the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) in 2005, and severally, the ECOWAS since 1999. The nation had also hosted the All Africa Games in 2004. Obasanjo had been the guest of honor to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in May 2004.3 All these imply that the international system has restored its confidence in Nigeria. The regime’s economic diplomacy also has yielded economic dividends for the nation.
In addition to increased Development Finance Inflow (DFI) and foreign investments, the Paris Club had cancelled $18 billion (60%) of the nation’s about $34 billion external debt, a gesture, which signifies the Club’s confidence in the nation’s economy and credibility as an external debtor.4 Generally, Nigeria’s increasing profile in its foreign relations implies that the nation has regained its role as a leading player in multilateral politics and diplomacy.
It can be said therefore that period covering 1999-2007 Nigeria’s foreign policy received a new turn in restoring the image of the country through a global shuttle diplomacy of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999 improved the country's image abroad and allowed the country to take a more active and productive role regionally and on the global stage. Obasanjo has visited the United States and European nations to restore investment flows into Nigeria, but poor economic policy implementation has led to breakdown in relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a policy void in 2002. That void is likely to be filled because of intense political pressure on the IMF to support a re-elected civilian government in Nigeria.
Under Obasanjo's leadership, Nigeria has proven a powerhouse in the region in economic and security affairs. Without Nigeria, ECOMOG (West African Peace Monitoring Force) or ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) would be toothless, and African-led peacekeeping missions in Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone would not have been possible. Nevertheless, Obasanjo has not resolved several border disputes between Nigeria and neighbors Benin, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. In the case of land dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over Bakasi peninsula, it’s a personal belief that if the country had done more and had been more persuasive, the country would not have lost the land to Cameroon, although some people have also argued that Olusegun Obasanjo who was gunning for a Nobel Peace prize as at that time, forfeited the peninsula in the pursuit of this cause. Nigeria also disputed the maritime boundary and economic zone in the Gulf of Guinea, which involves Equatorial Guinea.
Obasanjo has been instrumental in gathering African leaders to work towards establishing a code of conduct in economic and political reforms that would satisfy the conditions and expectations of Western donors. At the June 2001 Group of Eight summit in Genoa, Italy, Obasanjo was one of four leading African heads of state to unveil an African initiated plan called the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). NEPAD is designed to garner aid from donors in return for African commitments to good governance. Obasanjo has led a number of meetings on NEPAD including the March 2002 summit of leaders from 19 countries.
Nigeria is a member of the following international organizations: the UN and several of its special and related agencies, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the African Union (AU), Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), Commonwealth, INTELSAT, Nonaligned Movement, and several other West African bodies. During the Babangida regime, Nigeria joined the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
General Olusegun Obasanjo’s Personality and Style of Administration
Obasanjo’s administration witnessed total commitment to reforming various sector of the economy, with a view to strengthening and raising the standard of living of the average Nigerian. Some of these goals he achieved with the enthronement of a disciplined and transparent approach, perhaps, alien to the ordinary citizen. Olusegun was largely misunderstood over some of his actions.
After his exit from government in 2007 a lot of people cried foul about his administration policies, but this is expected has great leaders with strong personalities are often the most criticized.
As earlier stated in chapter 3.1, Obasanjo through his shuttle diplomacy was able to rid Nigeria of most of her debt, contrary to what some critics have said about his administration, it wasn’t the ostrich type of administration, Obasanjo was a hands on kind of person and he is never the type to run away from problems, even in his personal life, instead he confronts them, this personality has been of great help to the country in which he presided over seeing as he was able to travel all around the world to deal with the core of the country’s problem(a 19 year debt) and in so doing he was able to rid her of the $34billion external debt.
Been a born negotiator this debt was paid through painstaking negotiations and prudent management of the country’s resources.
Nigeria automatically became the darling of the international community as she exited the Paris club of creditors; Obasanjo was able to cap this with a $45billion external reserve.
As a farmer himself, who strongly believes that the agricultural sector of the economy must be strengthened, Obasanjo ensured that rice importation dropped from 2 billion metric tons in 1999 to 5000,000 metric tons in 2007. This enabled local farmers to maximize output, thus making Nigeria to be self sufficient in grains and poultry products. Cassava production also went from 30million tons to 50million tons, which also enabled exportation to thrive and earning in foreign exchange enhanced.
Also for the first time in almost 16-18 years, there was cocoa rebirth which took its production from 150,000 tons in 1999 to 500,000 tons when Obasanjo left in May. Today the country earns well over $300million from cocoa production.
Obasanjo understood the need to promote agriculture in the country and he worked effortlessly to pursue this cause, personally there is the belief that the country could do more for this sector and not solely depend of crude oil, the country has been richly blessed with vast land and productive and viable soil for the plantation of agricultural products, if the government invests in this sector it is very possible that in the nearest future Nigeria will be one of the most important agricultural states in the world.
One of the most notable style of Obasanjo’s administration was the prudent management of the country’s financial resources, as at the end of his administration in 2007, as earlier noted, there was a substantial foreign reserve left behind, of course some have argued that corruption was at its height during this administration, but it brings a lot of thoughts to mind, even with the said corruption during this administration the country’s economy was in better shape than the administrations before it and after, the country was out of debt and enjoyed a good reception on the international scene.
Another important aspect the Obasanjo administration was interested in is refurbishing the country’s image, Obasanjo succeeded in removing the stigma of Nigeria being a pariah state before the comity of nations.
Obasanjo with the help of his Foreign Minister tried to bring Nigeria out of this dead end by consolidating democracy at home, respecting fundamental human rights and encouraging liberal economic reforms, good governance and transparency with a view to boosting international economic cooperation with G7 countries as well as the dynamic Asian economies.5
The Personality Factor and Nigeria’s Economy Under the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration
The morning of May 1999 witnessed a turning point in the political history of Nigeria as civilian political leaders were sworn in. The birth of the Fourth Republic became a reality after a prolonged military rule. The newly born fourth republic became highly instructive considering the scope and array of economic and political problems bequeathed to the country by the prolonged years of military rule and which the newly elected civilians have to cope with.
It is interesting to note that the performance of the Nigerian economy under the Obasanjo administration was mixed. During this administration a lot of Nigerians could see the light at the end of the tunnel for the frail and crumbling economy, the reforms of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, widely acclaimed as successful, had given Nigerians hope that the country would quickly transit to a developed economy based on forecasts by Goldman Sachs, a global investment banking and securities firm, that it had the potential to become one of the 20 leading economies in the world by 2020. On the other hand there were still some lapses in some sectors of the country, maybe the economy had been battered way beyond the reformation of a single man, maybe 9 years wasn’t a long enough period for the resuscitation of the country’s economy or perhaps corruption which is the foremost problem of the country still continued to rear its ugly head during Obasanjo’s authoritarian administration, whatever the case might have been, economy under this administration was two-sided.
There are different views and opinions about the Nigerian economy under the Obasanjo administration, with a lot of scholars arguing that the economy had been so bad even before Obasanjo’s election into office and that it would have taken a messiah and not a leader to pull Nigeria’s economy out of the mess it was in. The analysis of the Nigerian economy during the Obasanjo administration will be continued by examining certain significant sectors and aspects of the economy.
The Obasanjo administration took decisive steps to put in place an enabling environment for the thriving of democracy, regaining international respect and putting the economy on the path to sustainable growth and development. However, these measures had some significance on the nation’s economy. Obasanjo had in 1999 inherited an economy battered by long years of military rule. However, it took him almost four years to assemble experienced technocrats to salvage the economy and restore it to the path of growth and development. Soon after his re-election in 2003, president Obasanjo appointed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, then World Bank vice president, as finance minister, who in turn invited Chukwuma Soludo, a professor of Economics and renowned international consultant, to return home to join a crack economic team which also had Nasir el-Rufai, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, minister, Oby Ezekwesili, education minister, Dora Akunyili, director-general of the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, and Osita Ogbu, economic adviser to the president and chief executive of the National Planning Commission, NPC, as members. That economic team engineered a rapid turnaround of the economy. By 2003 when Soludo was appointed chief executive of the NPC and economic adviser to the president, he initiated the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies, NEEDS, the precursor to the reforms implemented by the Obasanjo administration. It took only four years into the implementation of the reforms to revamp the economy and the signs of improvement started showing in key sectors. For instance, the real gross domestic product, GDP, growth rate averaged about 6.6 per cent on annual basis from 2004 to 2006 as against NEEDS target of 6.0 per cent during the period. Before the reforms, the GDP growth rate was less than three per cent. The overall GDP growth rate hit 8.29 per cent in 2010 before the 7.8 per cent achieved in 2011. But the trend of policy reversal which affected virtually all the sectors of the economy during the Yar’Adua administration showed in the GDP growth of 4.5 per cent in 2009. The main drivers of this GDP growth between 2004 to 2007 were non-oil sectors comprising agriculture, telecommunications, banking and services which contributed over 40 per cent of the GDP.
A key aspect of the reforms under Obasanjo was the banking sector consolidation implemented by Soludo, who soon proved his mettle as a world-class economist within a month of assuming duty as Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor in July 2004. He announced a banking sector reform agenda which mandated all banks in the country to recapitalise to the tune of N25 billion by December 31, 2005 or face liquidation. After an initial outcry against the directive, all operators complied with it and since then the banking sector has not remained the same again.
The reform led to the recapitalisation of banks to the tune of N25 billion minimum level, reducing the number of operators from 89 to 25 active and strong banks. The Soludo regime adopted the Wholesale Dutch Auction System, WDAS, for the sale of foreign exchange, which led to the convergence of the official and parallel foreign exchange rates. The naira immediately stabilised at N127 to the dollar but fell to N150 to the dollar as at 2011. As part of the reforms, the CBN introduced the Policy Monetary Rate, PMR, in place of Minimum Rediscount Rate, MRR, which it hoped would enhance responsiveness of interest rate to monetary policy measures. Thanks to the consolidation exercise, Nigerian banks soon began to finance multi-billion-naira mega projects in the manufacturing and telecommunication sectors. One of such projects is the $150 million (N19 billion) provided by a consortium of 13 local banks to partly finance the Obajana Cement Company in Kogi State, a company owned by the Dangote Group. That new trend of mega project financing by indigenous banks would jump-start the comatose economy and an elated Aliko Dangote, president and chief executive of the Dangote Group, noted that the financing by the banks enabled his company to actualise its long-term goal of making the country sufficient in the production of cement. The banks further increased their capital base through a combination of mergers and acquisitions in a second round of consolidation which was not policy induced, thereby increasing their capacities to fund long-term projects Inflationary pressures eased especially during the second half of the year. At this period, inflationary pressures had decreased to 6.1 per cent. This was a great decrease as it had risen up to 70 percent in 1995 and 1996. This coincided with a period of expansionary fiscal deficit and money supply growth. Also, the Naira exchange rate was stable as the dollar exchanged for N92.00 to a dollar as at the last quarter of 1999. However, the later part of year 2000 witnessed a drastic increase in the exchange rate. At this period, up to the second half of year 2000, a dollar was exchanged for 135 naira; this shows a decrease of about 50 percent in the value of the Naira.
Agriculture and Agricultural Products
The increase in agriculture production in the preceding five years (i.e. from 1995) was sustained in 1999. During this period, the aggregate index of agricultural production rose by 3.3 percent, compared with 3.1 percent recorded in 1998 while the performance has been highly unimpressive in the later part of year 2000. Consequently, this shot up prices of agricultural commodities. Also, while the prices of agricultural commodities went up at home, the prices of Nigeria’s major agricultural commodities in the world market declined substantially in 1999 relative to their levels in 1998. According to Central Bank of Nigeria’s report, the dollar prices of all the commodities recorded declined during 1999. The decrease in prices ranged from 16.9 percent for soya beans to 30.8 per cent for cocoa.6This was attributed to increased supply and reduction in demand.
The manufacturing sector is another important sector in this analysis. Although the manufacturing sub sector recorded a moderate recovery in 1999 and 2000 from what it experienced in 1996. However, the sector still found it difficult to change the taste and orientation of the people for imported goods. According to a nation-wide survey conducted by the CBN which covered 560 manufacturing establishments, the weighted average capacity utilization rate of the sub-sector rose from 30.3 per cent in 1998 to 34.3 per cent in 1999. The total cost of operations also increased by 14.2 percent over the level in 1999 owing mainly to high costs of raw materials, machinery and spare parts. The value of imported raw materials rose significantly by 34.7 percent and accounted for about 47.5 per cent of the total value of raw materials used, while the value of locally sourced raw materials, accounting for 53.5 per cent of total, increased by 5.8 per cent.7
Further growth in the manufacturing sub-sector was impaired largely by low demand for locally manufactured goods occasioned by the influx of cheaper products into the country. Other constraints include the poor state of social and economic infrastructures, including erratic power and water supply, as well as poor performing transport and communication systems.
The performance of social services in the economy was highly unsatisfactory in 1999 and 2000. Service delivery by key institutions designed to mitigate the living conditions of vulnerable groups was hampered by deterioration of basic facilities, poor funding, the unprecedented high incidence of industrial strikes especially in the education and health sub-sectors as well as civil strife and disturbances. The health system deteriorated to the extent that hospitals were described as "mere consulting clinics". The situation was compounded by the mass exodus of experienced Nigerian health experts to other countries in search of better conditions of service and greener pastures. The hospitals were poorly equipped. Infrastructure remained poor, inadequate and fast deteriorating. As a result, there was high infant, under-five and maternal mortality, and the prevalence of many diseases, several of which were of epidemic proportions.
However, by 1999 the population per physician had improved slightly from 4,977 to 4,479 in 1998 while population per hospital bed improved from 1,738 in 1998 to 1,564. It is important to stress that the impact of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) in the supply of drugs is important in this regard. Also, the administration of Obasanjo accorded high priority to the health sector, which accounted for the rehabilitation works in health institutions. There was an increment in the budget of the health sub-sector by 21.7 per cent from #10,756.3 million in 1998 to # 13,737.3 million in 1999. This represented 4.6 per cent of total Federal Government budget.8 However; this still fell short of the 5.0 per cent minimum standard recommended by the World Health Organization.
The education sub-sector on the other hand, experienced deep crises for many years. The schools, at all levels lacked teachers and basic infrastructure. They suffered from over-crowding, poor sanitation, poor conditions of service for teachers resulting in poor quality of teaching and poor quality of products. This sub-sector has equally been burdened by frequent industrial disputes and strikes actions. It suffered from poor management, manifested in poor intra-sectional allocation, multiplicity of agencies with duplicated functions and inadequate coordination. Prior to 1999,teachers at both the primary and secondary school levels were owed up to six months salaries while those who have retired were not getting their pensions as at when due. However, by 1999 adult literacy had increased to 57 per cent from 53 percent in 1998. Also, the Universal Basic education scheme was launched in September 1999 with enlightenment campaigns to elicit support, by the Obasanjo's administration. At the tertiary institution level, visitation panels were inaugurated, reports of which led to some crucial decisions of Government. Also, cultism, which had eaten deep into the structure of the Universities, was drastically dealt with as judicial panel of inquiry on secret cults in tertiary institutions was instituted. The vice-chancellors of different Universities were compelled to tackle the menace of secret cults.
Obasanjo will nevertheless be long remembered as one or the only Nigerian leader who freed his countries from the $32 billion debts she owed to the Paris club and also the one who freed his country from the London club. Already, to this last club of creditors, his administration settled all debts contracted by the former military rulers of Nigeria.
Obasanjo excelled well in the area of privatization. In 2006, the Nigerian government was able to rake into her coffers the whopping sum of $ 7.07 billion, being sum generated from the sales of many state own companies, the result was that, Nigeria's external reserves was as the year $ 41 billion and reached an all time high of $60 billion by the end of the year.
Under Obasanjo, the non Oil sector grew and diversification of the economy and the refocus on other minerals were given greater attention. Foreign investment as at 2006 directed to Nigeria stands at more than $4billion. And finally, controversial as this part may appear, the Obasanjo administration gave sleepless nights to corrupt officials.
NOTES: 1. Olusegun Obasanjo. My Command. London: Heinemann, 1981, PP. 26-27, 35 2. Hamilton Janice. Nigeria in Pictures. Visual Geography (Twenty-First Century), 2003 3. E. Okpokpo. The challenges facing Nigeria’s foreign policy in the next millennium African studies quarterly. Volume 3/Issue3, 1999, PP.4 4. U. B Inamete. Foreign Policy decision making in Nigeria. Susquehanna University Press. 2001 PP. 290-203 5. Pierre P. Liberalizing capital flows: lesson from Asia, the OECD Observer, 1998,pp.39 6. The Central Bank of Nigeria annual report. (2000) Retrieved on October 16, 2012 from http://www.cenbank.org/documents/annualreports.asp?beginrec=81&endrec=93 7. Ibid 8. ibid
NIGERIA’S DIPLOMACY DURING THE YAR’ADUA ADMINISTRATION
Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was born in Katsina, the capital of the northern, Muslim-majority state of the same name, in 1951. His father, also named Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, was a prominent member of the Fulani tribal group, a high-ranking official in the Katsina Emirate (the region's traditional ruling body), and the minister responsible for Lagos, the nation's largest city, during the so-called First Republic period in the 1960s. The younger Yar’Adua’s brother Shehu Yar’Adua, meanwhile, joined the military, rising rapidly through the ranks to become Obasanjo's deputy between 1976 and 1979. Both father and brother fell into disfavor under the military rule (from 1993 to 1998) of General Sani Abacha, who imprisoned them on charges of disloyalty.1
Despite his family's activities, Umaru Yar’Adua seemed destined for a career outside politics. After a standard series of primary and secondary schools, he entered Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), one of northern Nigeria's most prominent institutions of higher learning, in 1972, graduating three years later with a bachelor's degree in education and chemistry. He then taught for several years in Lagos and the northern town of Zaria before returning to ABU for his master's degree in analytical chemistry, which he received in 1980. After four years as a chemistry lecturer at Katsina Polytechnic, Yar’Adua left teaching in 1983 to enter the business world as the general manager of Sambo Farms Ltd., a position he held from 1983 to 1989. As his business interests proliferated, he accepted positions on the boards of several corporations, including Hamada Holdings, the Katsina State Farmers' Supply Company, Habib Nigeria Bank Ltd., and the Katsina State Investment and Property Development Company, where he served as board chair.
While an undergraduate, Yar’Adua expressed support for Marxism, a position that may have caused some tension with his conservative, property-owning family. In any event, his views gradually grew more moderate, and by the time of General Ibrahim Babangida's military rule, which lasted from 1985 to 1993, he had joined his brother Shehu's Popular Front, a mainstream group that later merged with others to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP). In a sign of his growing political involvement, Yar’Adua attended the 1988 Constituent Assembly charged with drafting a new national constitution. By 1991 he was head of the SDP in his home state of Katsina and the party's candidate that year in an unsuccessful bid for the governorship.
Shehu Yar’Adua died in prison at the end of 1997, in the waning days of General Abacha's dictatorship. The effect of his brother's death on Umaru is not precisely known, but it seems to have intensified his political ambitions. In 1998, just as final preparations were being made for a return to civilian rule, General Abacha died. His successor was another general, Abdulsalam Abubakar, who nevertheless promised to step down when the necessary reforms were complete. This hopeful but unstable transition period offered civilian politicians significant opportunities, and Yar’Adua took full advantage, founding a political group, K-34, which became the core of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). With its moderate platform of economic growth, welfare, and social conservatism, the PDP quickly gained members, notably Olusegun Obasanjo himself. As the PDP's candidate for the Katsina governorship, meanwhile, Yar’Adua ran again in 1999, this time successfully, and was reelected four years later.
By many accounts, Yar’Adua was one of Nigeria's better governors. In a system that funnels vast oil revenues to state coffers without effective safeguards or oversight, corruption is rampant. As of 2007, nearly all of the country's thirty-six governors were under investigation for misappropriating funds; Yar’Adua, conspicuously, was among the few who were not. This does not mean that his administration was entirely above suspicion; on the contrary, critics have noted, in particular, that some lucrative government contracts have been awarded to companies closely tied to the Yar’Adua family. As of the spring of 2008, however, his reputation for integrity remained largely intact, thanks in part to his willingness to declare his personal assets on taking office. This declaration, which makes corruption more difficult to conceal and is therefore obligatory for public officeholders in many nations of the world, was a novelty in Nigeria when Yar’Adua first took office in 1999. It is difficult to know for certain that Yar’Adua was the first Nigerian politician ever to make such a declaration, as his supporters claim, but he was unquestionably one of the first. Nigerians are divided on the declaration's significance. Many take it as a sign of Yar’Adua’s personal and professional integrity, while others view it more cynically as a piece of shrewd political theater. 2
Nigeria’s External Relations During the Yar’Adua Administration
Yar'Adua began his term facing a number of severe problems, including rampant corruption, chronic mismanagement of oil revenues, deep ethnic and religious tensions, and rising violence in the depressed but oil-rich regions around the mouth of the Niger River.
In the area of external relations, Yar’Adua’s administration was virtually off the African radar. He visited the USA early in his tenure in December 2007 where he expressed the desire to partner with the United States on Africom. He showed a preference for economic relations with Russians (Gazprom), Iranians (Nuclear Energy Power MoU) and Germans (Energy Partnership for non-prosecution of Siemens bribe) than most other advanced nations of the world. He addressed the South African parliament in June 2008 and avoided most international forums since then. Due to his health Yar’Adua’s international trips were often cut short, the president’s ill health was at this time a closely guarded secret.
Nigeria’s international voice and foreign policy lost so much luster under the Yar’Adua administration. The president as at this period adopted a new foreign policy approach based on what the Foreign Affairs Minister, during this administration Chief Ojo Maduekwe has since called ‘Citizen Diplomacy’.
From a different tangent of articulation and understanding, Citizen Diplomacy is construed by Nigeria to mean that Nigeria’s foreign policy will henceforth be focused on the Nigerian citizens at home and in diaspora. According to the foreign Minister, this is not necessarily a departure from the country’s traditional approach to foreign relations in which Africa is taken as the centre-piece; however, the policy is rebranded to focus on the citizen3. The country will strive for a synergy between foreign policy and domestic affairs in such a way that the citizen is taken as the focus of foreign policy. In the view of Ozoemenam Mbachu, the basic thrust of the new foreign policy initiative revolve around concerns for the basic needs, human rights and socioeconomic welfare of Nigerian citizens in bilateral and multilateral engagements with other Countries.4
Nigeria’s external relations suffered under the Yar’Adua administration and the country seemed to have once again disappeared from the international scene, unlike the Obasanjo administration the country did not wield any power and her presence was not felt. The country’s foreign policy during the Yar’Adua administration remained in the shadows of the stalemated internal political process. In the views of Abba Mahmood, with the President lacking international exposure and also lacking any broad experience in diplomacy, there is no wonder that, in foreign policy, this government has not made any appreciable impact. Nigeria’s voice was not heard in major international fora; Nigeria initiated nothing spectacular during this administration at the dynamic global arena and, apart from bilateral agreements which are hardly followed up, Nigeria gained nothing from diplomatic activities under this administration.5
Umaru Musa Yar'Adua’s Personality and Style of Administration
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua like every human had his bad and good sides, his personality had positive and negative effects on his administration but all in all the late president was a gentleman leader. He was a passive leader and was very slow in decision making, people were of the opinion that his being slow in making decisions was such that he would be able to tackle problems as they come and not in a rushed manner, but after two years with no positive or noticeable impact on the country’s economy and foreign relations, it was apparent that the late president was not the man to take the country to the promised land.
Yar’Adua had an evasive personality and he was not as strong health wise and character wise as most leaders should be especially the leader of a country that is an anchor of the black race, he appeared inscrutable to Nigerians and this quality caused uncertainty in some quarters regarding his readiness for presidency.
Yar’Adua’s limited knowledge of Nigeria and the world (for instance he had never visited more than a handful states in Nigeria before embarking on the presidential journey and had never been to the USA until he came to visit President Bush in December 2007) and his introverted nature made him easy to capture by a small clique (k-4) now called ‘’the Katsina mafia’’.
Yar’Adua appointed disproportionate number of northerners to virtually all the important ministries, departments and agencies. This drew the ire of other parts of the country, particularly the South-West and the Niger Delta. Yar’Adua therefore failed to show he could be a Universalist.
As earlier stated in this work the personality of an individual plays an important role in determining a Nation-State Foreign policy and if the personality of a policy maker is not studied it would be difficult to understand the rationale behind some rules and decisions.
During the Yar’Adua administration the country was referred to as a ‘’toothless bulldog’’ this was due to her inaction on the international scene. A lot of scholars and passionate citizens have attributed this to the personality of the head of the country, his choice of policies and his decision making. It can never be overemphasized, that effective foreign policy is about personality, visibility and packaging, as it is about substance. The world is awash with various demanding issues and most pertain to Africa. The attention these matters deserve warrant seriousness and not levity; and Nigeria is well suited for that leadership role on the condition that the country herself is being led by a strong personality, a force strong enough to take charge of the affairs of the country and the continent as a whole.
On the other side, it was obvious from the late president’s character that he was a peace loving person. In a TV interview Yar’Adua had disclosed his love for reading; he revealed that he had a habit of going to bed reading; he even mentioned the book he was reading; one having much to do with governance. This to a large extent showed that the late president was willing to learn more about the job that had been bestowed upon him, this particular character is optimistic, he wasn’t a ‘know it all’ leader, who was too strong headed to learn and listen to the opinion of others.
Yar’Adua had a fear of failure, and he was particularly concerned about the kind of legacy he left behind, he believed in destiny and the fact that every man had a role to play, he believed he had been created by God to serve the people and he was not going to allow his ill health to stand in the way of this calling. Yar’Adua’s frail health is another factor that cannot be ignored when assessing the late president’s personality. Could he have achieved more if he was healthy, strong and hadn’t been flown out of the country for treatment more times than often?
Some have said that the late president’s sickness had been a problem even when he was a governor in Katsina State; this has made Nigerians wonder if it made the late president’s character questionable contesting for presidency even when he knew his health was failing. Nigerians were kept in the dark about Yar’Adua’s hospitalization in Saudi Arabia in November 2009 as a result of an acute inflammation of the heart called Pericarditis- Churg Strauss Syndrome.
But the late Yar’Adua didn’t seem to attach much emotion to the prospect of being a head of the state. Rather, he was concerned about the verdict of history about his leadership. He seemed to appreciate that only good governance could help him with good footprints in the sand of times. Yar’Adua wanted to perform well in order to leave a befitting legacy.
Compared with his immediate predecessor, Yar’Adua presented himself as easy going and readily approachable. The aristocracy in him seems to have placed a check on him to handle the exalted office with civility and dignifying candour. He was visibly humble and was not loud and lousy.
There are far many legacies for which the late Yar’Adua will be remembered for in the annals of Nigeria’s history. It couldn’t be farfetched that during his regime, there emerged new vocabularies in Nigeria polity - words like servant leadership, rule of law, amnesty programme, the seven point agenda etc. It is my intention to discuss his modest achievement before veering into his failure.
4.3 The Personality Factor and Nigeria’s Economy under the Yar'Adua Administration
On assumption in office on 29th May 2007, Yar'Adua rolled out his election covenant with the people of Nigeria, the seven point agenda which was properly conceptualized and comprehensively articulated and the implementation strategies adequately laid out to ensure the realization of Yar'Adua’s vision 202020.
As the driving force of Yar'Adua’s administration’s policies and programme, the 7-Point Agenda constitutes perhaps the most important framework for policy implementation; this means that the success of Yar’Adua’s administration will ultimately be judged by his achievements in these seven key areas.
This study will attempt a summary of the key aspects of the 7-point agenda 1. CRITICAL INFRACSTRUCTURE: The provision of critical infrastructure is vital to President Yar’Adua’s determination to make his tenure as the take-off phase of Nigeria Vision 20:2020. The sub-sectors of electricity, transportation, telecommunications, waterways and the national gas grid distribution are prioritized in the Seven-Point Agenda as a consequence of their cross-cutting significance to the Nigerian economy. A. POWER: In addition to the evolution and development of the electricity industry in Nigeria, the section on electricity traces the causes of the poor performance of the industry. Quintessentially, the section categorizes the issues and challenges into the following: * Technology-related – Inadequate electricity production and supply infrastructure, inadequate gas supply, dearth of investment and funding, inappropriate pricing, management and ownership, and conflicting goals and objectives. * Reform-related – Inappropriate implementation and co-ordination of initiatives and government programme, inappropriate industry structure, ineffective regulation although nascent, and consequences of reform. * Failure to provide adequate and reliable electricity justifies the evolution of initiatives to transform the industry. Central to this transformation strategy are: I. Articulating initiatives to attract private investors; II. Clearly defining roles for private and public sector involvement in power generation, transmission and distribution; III. Improve transmission and distribution networks to support generation capacity; IV. Increase power generation capacity through diversification and installation of gas distribution grids and replacement of existing plants, amongst others. B. TRANSPORT: The thrust of the transport policy is the attainment of efficient inter-modal system that would effectively link the different modes of transport. Not only would this bring down the cost of doing business, but it could as well speed-up the rate of GDP growth.
Rail Transportation: The issues, listed below, form the basis of the strategy for the sector: * Narrow gauge vs. standard gauge – The debate on gauge is a major impediment to clear and focused FG interventions in the railway sector. Consequently, this administration will resolve the issue fundamentally by addressing the matter in a holistic manner. No fresh investment will be allowed that detracts from both feasibility and viability. * Tracks and rolling stock–The major impediment to effective and efficient rail operations is inadequate tracks and rolling stock. This growing gap will be closed through concessioning. * Expansion of the railways – Apart from the Itakpe–Ajaokuta–Warri line (329km) and the Eleme–Onne Port (19km), which remain incomplete, Nigeria has not added anything of significance to the railway system since 1964.
The 7-Point Agenda proposes some expansions as priority projects to link the Federal Capital Territory to the railway system and also to the three major ports. The seaports in Lagos and Port-Harcourt shall be linked to the railways while feasibility studies shall be commissioned on the possibility of linking major airports with the railway to reduce congestion in intra-city transportation.
The major framework for implementing the transformation of the railway sub-sector is concessioning of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC). The Action Plan, with emphasis on changing the legal and the regulatory frameworks, restructuring and concession of NRC and rehabilitation and expansion of railways, will commence in 2008. C. ROAD TRANSPORTATION: The issues and challenges confronting the sector include; I. Over-reliance on road networks II. Poor maintenance of roads, inadequate investment to meet the sector’s requirements; and III. A multiplicity of agencies with conflicting objectives.
Concession of commercially viable road networks, as a way of attracting private sector investment and participation, will be the central plank of the transformation of the sector. Issues pertaining to pricing, institutional arrangement and establishment of a Road Fund are considered important elements for the transformation of the Industry. D. MARINE TRANSPORTATION: The needs, objectives and nature of the proposed transformation of the marine industry form the focus of strategy for this sector. The transformation model revolves around the concession of fixed infrastructure and routes. In order to achieve private sector participation, it is considered that the viability of the waterways will be enhanced when the challenges of draught and dredging of the navigable rivers are tackled. E. INTER-MODAL TRANSPORTATION: Inter-modal systems – Approaching transportation of people and cargoes from an economic perspective means the development of an integrated inter-modal transport system. The transport system with the constituent arteries (road networks, waterways and railways) will link all the sea ports and airports together. The role railway system is expected to play in the inter-modal system is in the haulage of low value, bulk commodities, containers and petroleum products. F. TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Issues and challenges identified as impediments to efficient delivery of high quality service include the inadequacy of infrastructure backbone, dearth of fixed lines, weak or non-existent regulations to deal with anti-competition behaviour, lack of rural telephony coverage and inability to meet universal service obligation, as well as the decisive resolution of the ownership and control of SAT-3 that links Nigeria to parts of Africa, Europe and Asia.
Strategies that shall be used to improve telecommunication services in the country include: * Enactment of Anti-trust law; * Effective regulation; * Infrastructure upgrade by the national operators; * Incremental expansion into rural areas * Decisive resolution of ownership and use of SAT-3 * Effective utilization of the Universal Access Fund G. NATIONAL GAS INFRACSTRUCTURE: As gas reserves decline and grow in importance in the industrialised nations, the resultant rising gas prices in the international market continues to create a preferential pull for export of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). Consequently, there is a disproportionate focus by gas producers in the country for LNG projects. This creates a significant shortfall in the availability of gas for rising domestic utilisation which threatens the economic aspirations of the nation. Gas demand is forecast to grow from the current level of 5 bcf/d to about 20 bcf/d by 2012. Projected growth in the domestic sector is the most visible, growing from less than 1bcf/d in 2007 to about 8bcf/d by 2012.
The energy requirement to sustain an aggressive GDP growth drive is enormous. Currently, demand (export and domestic) for natural gas far outstrips supply, driven by growth in the Power sector and other gas based industries such as fertilizer, cement, methanol, LNG etc. These industries, unable to compete in high gas cost locations, have expressed strong interest in relocating to Nigeria. However, Nigeria needs to demonstrate the availability and affordability of gas or risk losing these industries to competing nations. H. CHALLENGES OF THE GAS SECTOR: A diagnosis of the gas sector concludes that the sector could not possibly respond to the scale of emerging opportunities due to the following challenges: * Inflexible Industry structure: The industry is dominated by a few key upstream players. The 5 big International Oil Companies (IOCs) operate over 90% of the total gas reserves in the country and have a dominant downstream interest, primarily in LNG exports. The consequence of this structure is a preferential focus on gas supply to LNG export projects. This has complicated access to gas for third party downstream investors who require the gas for domestic downstream uses, but have no access to upstream gas supply. Some intervention is required, if the opportunity is to be preserved. * Infrastructure optimisation: The existing infrastructure in the country is inadequate in the context of future demand. The issues with infrastructure include; I. Proliferation of processing plants. II. Infrastructure Capacity. III. Pipeline Connectivity and Redundancy IV. Pipeline Optimization.
Proceeding from the foregoing, Nigeria will embark on overcoming the observed lapses, in addition to installing a National Gas Distribution Grid taking off from the Niger Delta Regional Gas Grid. The latter will be a well thought out strategy to make the region the natural location of a buoyant petrochemicals industry linked to the world markets by sea, and to the home market through an effective intermodal system of transport. I. FOOD SECURITY: Agriculture contributes 42% of Nigeria’s GDP and engages over 65% of the country’s workforce. The sector is constrained by enormous challenges, and is characterized by low output, inefficient and antiquated production tools and infrastructure. Approximately 66% of the country’s total land mass of 92.377 million hectares is suitable for agricultural production but about half of that is not cultivated. The technological inadequacies in standardization and quality control have stunted our farm produce, rendering it uncompetitive in local and international markets.
Non-affordability of modern production inputs and equipment, low access to credit/finance and poor infrastructure all combine to make local production uncompetitive. Poor funding which led to total collapse of research and extension services in the sector shall be overcome through the effective deployment of the Natural Resources Fund. Ineffective regulatory framework for enforcing grades and standards for farm produce has made farm output growth difficult.
Government will ensure the optimal performance of agriculture. When left to market forces and pitched against the more efficient, and often highly subsidised external competition, as well as when faced with the vagaries of natural uncertainties, the average, resource-poor, small-holder Nigerian farmer will find it difficult to compete in local and international markets. Critical areas for intervention will include strengthening agribusiness through institution of a profitability and prices support mechanism, land tenure changes, aggressive development and supply of new land resources, technological empowerment of the sector, increased access to credit finance, strengthening of farmer support groups through commercial farmers, improvement of rural access infrastructure, and resuscitation of the River Basin Development Authorities(RBDAs).
Central to these mentioned strategies, is the urgent need for the introduction on the supply side, of the Commercial Farmer to professionalize agribusiness in Nigeria. Additional land for cultivation and idle irrigation facilities around our dammed water bodies provide excellent opportunities to increase farm output and employment prospects in rural areas.
On the demand side, the reintroduction of the Commodity Boards and its licensed Buying Agent will be undertaken to boost the marketing prospects of our farm produce. Also, the new National Policy on Agriculture launched by the previous administration shall be made to, among other things, strengthen national food security, increase production and local processing of agricultural raw materials, and increase employment generation opportunities in the food sector.
Government shall embark on the preparation of a comprehensive National Food Sector Plan (NFSP). The Plan, which must be detailed, implementable and result-oriented, will be the tool for realizing the desirable goals of the interventions recommended above. The NFSP will be the product of collaboration between all significant stakeholders in the Food Sector. The Development Plan for the Food Sector will have definite implementation timelines classified as; short-term activities (2008 – 2010); medium-term activities (2010 – 2015); and long-term activities (2015 – 2020). J. NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE: Security of life and property represents one of the most important constitutional duties of Government. Security and law and order are the foundation on which the success of all initiatives of Government in ensuring good governance is anchored. The authority of government over the people can be legitimized and sustained only to the extent that it guarantees the security of their lives and properties.
The primary challenges of national security revolve around the general economic down-turn. Under no other form of government have the challenges of national security been more daunting and potently sensitive than in a democracy. Lack of security threatens the stability of the polity and the safety of economic and social sectors of society and greatly discourages foreign direct investment, undermining economic growth.
Collaboration of all security organisations in the country is a major step to combating crime. The Military Intelligence Directorate, the State Security Service, the Criminal/State Intelligence Bureau of the Police and the intelligence units of all other agencies must pool resources and create a central crime intelligence directorate. This will also help stem the growing tide of rivalry between the various agencies. The ability to communicate effectively within and between the services will be enhanced.
Government will review the NYSC Act in order to provide legal cover for the youth corpers in crime prevention and community policing. This will be achieved as Nigeria invests heavily on security, and also, properly reward those who put their lives (in the line of fire) to ensure the safety of lives and properties.
Sustained public education campaigns will be used to alert people to the consequences of deviant activities. The community must be directly involved in designing and claiming ownership of programs aimed at reducing crimes. To complement this, government will seriously explore avenues of cooperation with established law enforcement agencies across the world to provide assistance to our law enforcement agencies. K. HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
On the other hand Yar'Adua’s Vision 2020 is a comprehensive framework designed to stimulate economic growth in the country. The framework also offers a blueprint for sustainable political development in Nigeria. One of the main objectives of Vision 2020 is to place Nigeria in the top 20 leading economies of the world by the year 2020. To achieve this objective, Nigeria would have to compete with nations like the United States, Japan, Germany, China, and the United Kingdom, which have traditionally maintained the Top Five ranking of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In 2007, IMF ranked Brazil 10, India 12, South Korea 13, and Indonesia 20 respectively. These nations are expected to vigorously compete with Nigeria in the global economy. Nigeria is ranked 41. The IMF uses criteria based on several benchmarks such as the Gross Domestic Products (GDP), the Gross National Product (GNP), the rise in personal income etc.6
The Yar'Adua administration recorded some successes and failures although the shortcomings outweighed the success. The administration’s core objectives which was the seven-point agenda and the vision 202020 was criticized by the Nigerian people and interested observers of this administration as an abysmal failure. This is not to say though that the president did not set the pace in some certain areas, for example Mr. Yar’Adua became the first Nigerian Head of State to declare his assets. It was commendable and one or two State governors emulated his path by declaring their own assets as well.
Another area in which Mr. Yar’Adua got much credit was his ability to reduce the tensions in the oil rich Niger Delta through his offer of amnesty to MEND militants.
Yar’Adua’s impact was also felt in Nigeria’s banking sector. The Central Bank of Nigeria conducted financial audits of the 24 national banks and discovered 10 of the banks to be undercapitalized. The government replaced many of the failing banks management teams and pumped $6 billion into the sector. Similarly, the Central Bank published the names of prominent loan defaulters in national dailies.
On the other hand, the reforms became short-sighted because credit became largely inaccessible to small-scale businesses, rural communities, real estate sectors, and 65% of the economically active population. Amid accusations of a regionally-driven agenda levelled against Yar’Adua’s government and the Central Bank Governor, they weakened the Southern dominance of Nigeria’s economy.
Corruption was one of the evils the Yar’Adua administration promised the Nigerian people to tackle, unfortunately this became a vague idea that was neither pursued nor tackled.
Yar’Adua’s promise to improve the country’s paralyzed energy sector did not materialize. The power supply became further deteriorated during his tenure. The poor power supply situation drove investors out of the country and also was a big issue for the home based business men who couldn’t operate their business successfully without adequate power supply.
Nigeria’s infrastructure lacks maintenance and became further deteriorated during Yar’Adua’s tenure. According to a US Department of State report about Nigeria, of the 80,500 kilometres (50,000mi.) of roads, more than 15,000 kilometres (10,000mi.) are officially paved, but many remain in poor shape. These bad roads are often prone to accidents, bandits became kings of the highways, and people were being robbed in broad daylight on Nigerian roads.7
Nigeria’s education system became worse under Yar’Adua’s presidency. The Secondary School attendance was only 32% of males, 27% of females, while the literacy level was 40%. Nigerian State owned Universities, often plagued by academic strikes, were ill-funded and ill-equipped to meet the challenges of the twenty first century. Nigerian students only theorized without the practical knowledge and tools to put what they learned in College to good use.
Yar’Adua failed miserably in the health sector, as President, he travelled abroad for medical treatment. Nigeria’s teaching hospitals were like ghost houses and countless people died as a result of the country’s poor health care system. At the launch of the 2009 State of the World Children Report in Abuja, UNICEF representative, Dr. Soumi Sakai said that one Nigerian woman dies every 10 minutes due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth, while over 500 newborns die daily. snowballed under Yar’Adua’s presidency and the country’s minimum wage was a pittance. This compounded the poverty level in the country and gave rise to prostitution rings and child labor, among other bad vices.
REFERENCES: 1. Adeniyi. O. Power, Politics and Death. New York: Prestige, 2011 2. Josephine Lohor. Nigeria: Yar’Adua- I’m Worth N850m. Retrieved on October 23, 2012 from http://www.nigeriaworld.com, 2007 3. Bakare, Waheed. Retrieved from The Punch,(Article) on October 23, 2012 from http://www.thepunch.com, 2007 4. Mbachu, Ozoemenam, Citizen Diplomacy: ‘’The Challenges for Nigerian Defence and security in the 21st Century’’ being a paper presented at a seminar on citizen diplomacy organised by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, November 29, 2007 5. Mahmood, Abba. ‘’What Manner of Citizen Diplomacy’’ Retrieved on October 23, 2012 from http://www.leadershipnigeria,com, 2009 6. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved on October 23, 2012 from http://www.imf/page/info.com , 2007 7. US Department of State. Retrieved on October 26, 2012 from http://www.usdos/nigeria/.09.com, 2009
Comparative analysis of the Olusegun Obasanjo and the Musa Yar’Adua administrations.
Due to the vast difference in personality and characters of these two past presidents, their style of leadership varied and this had a huge effect on their administrations. As earlier stated in this research work Obasanjo’s fierce, strong and autocratic personality had a major effect on his three terms as the head of state of the federal republic of Nigeria while Yar’Adua’s meekness and gentility also had an effect on his administration coupled with his ill-health which made it harder to lead the nation the way it should have been led.
It should be noted that Nigeria is often seen as the leader of the black world, with her enormous population the country poses as a force to be contend with. A country as important as Nigeria should have a leader that can carry the weight of the country. In the view of this researcher a strong, vibrant leadership is what the country needs especially during these recent unstable times.
This research work will attempt to give a comparison between the two administrations of Obasanjo (1999-2007) and Yar’Adua (2007-2010) considering the major aspect of the country’s economy and also their efforts towards external relations.
The first comparison this research work will attempt to examine will be the policies the two past presidents sought at the beginning of their leadership, the success or otherwise and how their individual personalities affected these policies and the country as a whole.
The Yar'Adua Administration and Citizen Diplomacy
In 2007 the Yar’Adua administration adopted a new policy, the citizen diplomacy; this was a foreign policy thrust under which the Federal Government of Nigeria seeks the assistance of Nigerians at home and in diaspora in its efforts to develop the country economically and politically. Being people oriented, it is a part of the broad range of Nigeria’s foreign policy that promotes the aspects that look into the welfare of Nigeria’s citizens and seek to defend them whatever they are. According to the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Chief Ojo Maduekwe, this new policy means that Nigeria’s foreign policy will henceforth be focused on the Nigerian citizens at home and in diaspora, according to the Minister this is not necessarily a departure from the country’s traditional approach to foreign relations in which Africa is taken as the centre-piece; however, the policy is rebranded to focus on the citizen.1 The country will strive for a synergy between foreign policy and domestic affairs in such a way that the citizen is taken as the focus of foreign policy. In the view of Mbachu, the basic thrust of the new foreign policy initiative revolve around concerns for the basic needs, human rights and socio-economic welfare of Nigerian citizens in bilateral and multilateral engagements with other countries.2
Bola Akinterinwa pointed out challenges before the Nigerian government in praticalising this new foreign approach to include, prevention of Nigerians seeking visas in accredited diplomatic missions from indecent treatment; how to ensure that Nigerians are respected at home and abroad and most importantly how to make Nigerian business entrepreneurs take advantage of Nigeria’s regional and sub-regional peace-making and peace-building efforts. According to him ’As conceptualized, individual Nigerians are to be the main focus of any foreign policy endeavor, they are to be made important stakeholders and first beneficiaries of Nigeria foreign policy efforts in any of Nigeria’s foreign policy concentric circles, more important, they are to be specially empowered to respond to the changing challenges of globalization wherever they may be found.’3
Till Yar'Adua’s untimely death, citizen diplomacy seems not to have yielded the envisaged dividend due to some factors that are both domestic and international. According to Reuben Abati, placing the citizen at the centre of the national programme reinforces the original purpose of the government and when those in power provide necessary leadership, they will without much efforts secure the trust of the general populace and create centers of national solidarity and more agents for national progress,4 this is ultimately lacking in Nigeria, the government does not seem to value the lives of its citizens, a most recent case is that of the 11 year old Nigerian girl that was killed alongside 68 others by a right wing terrorist in Oslo, Norway, the Nigerian government did nothing about the situation. Another Nigerian was killed in Spain, another brutalized in Asia; routinely Nigerians are beheaded in Saudi-Arabia, at home and in the diaspora Nigerians are left to fend for themselves knowing that if they got into any kind of trouble their government will not render any form of help.
Citizen diplomacy was in fact an idealist policy, an unrealizable thought, a dream of the Yar’Adua administration that had no chance of coming true, Yar’Adua lacked international exposure and he surrounded himself with clueless people. Critics of the citizen diplomacy policy have alleged that Nigeria has neither the moral, social, or economic foundation to seek reciprocity in her dealings with foreign nations. For citizen diplomacy to succeed it must be backed up with the sincerity of purpose and approach to Nigeria’s entire problem. The Yar’Adua administration was riddled with corruption, top government officials looted the country’s funds and lodged them in offshore accounts, these so called leaders where figuratively above the law and they did not seek the interest of the citizens.
The policy introduced by this administration was a good call, it is desirable, noteworthy and dynamic but it was doomed from the inception, Nigeria as a country is not ripe enough for a policy like citizen diplomacy, there are other issues like corruption and insecurity that needs to be resolved first before such policies can be put in place for positive changes.
The Obasanjo Administration and the Debt Rescheduling Negotiations
The Obasanjo administration was an eventful one in the history of Nigeria’s leadership and governance. It was characterized by a heavy traffic of activities along Nigeria’s international boundaries. It was also unique in several respects. It was both effectively africanist and globalist on one hand and on the other hand it balanced both the domestic and external orientation of Nigeria’s external relations, because of the enormous pressure for Nigeria to regain lost glory in international politics.5
Obasanjo had an unrivaled experience in international diplomacy coupled with a deep sense of Nigerian history. The personalist or individualist style was seemingly inevitable because of his international personality and standing which a former US Secretary of State, Madeline Albright one described as ‘’awesome’’. The mood and mindset Olusegun Obasanjo was taking into governance was captured in his inaugural speech. This would determine or shape a lot of things in his time, including foreign policy which, before 1999, had been poorly handled by the Abacha administration and at some other points before the Abacha era. According to Obasanjo: Instead of progress and development, which we were entitled to from those who governed us, we experienced in the last decade and a half, particularly in the last regime but one, persistent deterioration in the quality of our governance, leading to instability and the weakening of all public institutions. Good men were shunned and kept away from government. Relations between men and women who had been friends for many decades, and between communities that had lived together in peace and harmony for many generations became very bitter because of the actions or inaction of government. Our country has thus been through its darkest period’6 The Obasanjo administration inherited foreign policy structure and institutions that had been battered and weakened by military misrule, particularly during the latter years of the Abacha administration. President Obasanjo conducted summit diplomacy with other world leaders, signed bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements with other sovereign governments and international organizations, received ambassadors and emissaries, attended meetings and conferences of international organizations and multilateral agencies in which Nigeria was a member. The foreign policy actors in Obasanjo’s administration were far overshadowed and boxed up by an overwhelming international personality and overzealous posture of Obasanjo in his own foreign policy cabinet. Put differently, Obasanjo’s foreign policy cabinet consisted only of himself and his onlookers that he employed in the team. According to Fawole, the personalist style of Obasanjo had its good and bad sides. The good sides included his wealth of experience in governance which was probably unmatched by any person in his cabinet or any leader in Nigeria for that matter; his connections and goodwill all over the world; and his respectable personality as the only Nigerian military ruler that willingly handed over power to civilians. The bad sides were probably offshoots of the good aspects of Obasanjo such as experience and international respectability which probably made him arrogant, conceited and opinionated that he alone could run Nigeria.7 The President put his personal imprint on the nation’s foreign policy and external relations, and by the third year in office, he had reportedly travelled out of the country more than ninety times on diplomatic assignments, becoming reputed as the most travelled Nigerian leader since 1960. Akinyemi notes that: Obasanjo’s personalist style manifested in summit diplomacy in which he, and not the MFA, represented Nigeria. This summit diplomacy was informed by his pedigree while out of office. After national and military service, he had attended many international conferences, workshops and forums individually or as a representative of international organizations, notably UN, OAU, Transparency International and Ford Foundation. Obasanjo had created a network of influential friends and world citizens with whom there had been syndicated discussions on good governance, democracy and leadership. The peak of Obasanjo’s preference for summit diplomacy was the establishment of the African Leadership Forum (ALF) in Ota, where professionals, intellectuals, African and world leaders had roundtables on perennial African and global challenges. This was what later probably informed his own part of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) initiatives.8 General Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration articulated national roles Nigeria would assume in Africa that were not only clear, but that were also stated with firmness. For instance, in his inaugural speech of May 29, 1999, the President asserted: Nigeria, once a well-respected country and a key role player in international bodies became a pariah nation. We shall pursue a dynamic foreign policy to promote friendly relations with all Nations…It is our firm resolve to restore Nigeria fully to her previous prestigious position in the comity of nations’’9. The administration articulated a number of roles to assume and strategies to realize them for the sake of Africa’s progress. On meeting global challenges, including globalization, the country set out the task to build on the achievements of the past, identify areas where Africa had not fared and chart a new way forward as regards the socio-economic recovery of the continent. The need to ensure that Africa was fully integrated into the global economy was also articulated for Nigeria which would be through increased participation in such areas as trade, capital flows, information and communication technologies, and human development. The Obasanjo administration also declared the determination of Nigeria to lead the campaign for debt reduction or cancellation for not only Nigeria but for African nations. Regarding the external debt burden as a formidable obstacle to the promotion of economic development in the continent, Obasanjo said that debt relief or cancellation would free Africa’s resources for the execution of poverty alleviation and social programs, thereby enhancing capacity to participate in and belong to the emerging markets, increasing the absorptive capacity for foreign investments in the economies, and helping in the reversal of capital flight.10 The debt burden and debt reduction, debt cancellation or forgiveness constituted part of the domestic imperative to which Obasanjo’s diplomacy was anchored.11 Maintaining that debt relief through forgiveness or reduction had become absolutely imperative in order to freeze a large chunk of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings for use for social and economic development, the administration embarked on a vigorous campaign to demonstrate that consolidation of democracy depended on a successful program of poverty alleviation which was hardly possible under the debt overhang. It is interesting to note that the debt relief or forgiveness campaign had also characterized the domestic environment of the foreign policy of Babangida, while the Abacha regime also had the objective but could not pursue it because it had turned the world against itself by the other attitudes and actions on the domestic scene that were unpalatable to the international community. During the Obasanjo administration there was the campaign for the repatriation of money looted from the national treasury lodged in foreign banks by corrupt rulers, government functionaries and their associates.12 Obasanjo drew up an international convention which would facilitate the repatriation of money proven to have been stolen and illegally transferred abroad into private bank accounts. Part of the Obasanjo strategy was to also stress that the refunded loots could be used to service part of Nigeria’s debts. Obasanjo used his towering international image, goodwill and statesmanship which he had earned from 1976 to 1999 to put Nigeria on a good standing globally. He was a Pan-Africanist military ruler from 1976 to 1979 fighting the cause of liberation and dismantling of apartheid in southern Africa; first military leader to hand over power voluntarily to a democratically elected government in 1979; Chairman of several summits of international organizations, convener of international workshops in Nigeria which hosted serving and past presidents and heads of states, a well-known personality in the UN circles as leader of mediation and reconciliation missions, and a pro-democracy activist who launched vitriolic attacks against former Nigerian dictators since out of power. All these gave him a colossal stature that worked in the interest of Nigeria’s re-emergence as a global and African force. Nigeria’s reintegration to the global system flowing from this towering image of the President, manifested in several ways. It was given the hosting rights and Chairmanship of the 2003 Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM), got the Chairmanship of the G-77 in 2000, and regained its voice both in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and UN, which put Nigeria in strong contention for one of the two slots for Africa in the proposed enlarged permanent membership of the UN Security Council.1 Hence, the fact the world had moved fast ahead during the period of Nigeria’s pariah experience, compelled the government to pull all its strings of international goodwill to move with the tide, and this worked. The Obasanjo fight against corruption, fake and expired drugs, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and smuggling, among others, was more externally motivated than internally induced. The west, led by the US and UK, had mounted pressure on Nigeria to fight all these international crimes, and had even blacklisted the country and rated it as one of the ‘no-go” areas for its citizens. This translated to lots of losses in tourist and investment revenues, and an undermining of its quest to regain global reckoning. To earn the confidence of the international community and be reassured that Nigeria was on the righteous path, the Obasanjo administration wasted no time in instituting the anti-corruption crusade, and created the National Administration of Foods and Drugs Control (NAFDAC), and the strengthening of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), among others.14 The Obasanjo administration enjoyed international acceptance and popularity because of its summit diplomacy and frequent physical presence of the President at global forums where frantic efforts were made to make Nigeria’s voice heard and presence respected. These yielded further dividends for the country, as two serving US Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush came in succession, and which also saw to former US President Jimmy Carter, Microsoft founders Bill and Melinda Gates, and Indian Prime Minister paying either private or state visits to Nigeria. The pariah state had come to occupy a noticeable position in world politics once again. The Niger-Delta
The Niger-Delta is reputed to be the bastion of the economic survival and by extension the corporate existence of Nigeria. Several years of crude oil exploration and production has resulted in environmental despoliation and pollution of the inhabitants of the area desperately poor. These two administrations have attempted to tame the lingering developmental changes of the region. This work will attempt to explicate these administrations’ different approaches to the resolution of the crisis in the region.
The Obasanjo Administration and the Niger-Delta
By 1999 when Olusegun Obasanjo assumed office as the president of Nigeria, the Niger Delta was practically on the boil. The people were not happy. Values and infrastructures had deteriorated; the people had become restive and desired immediate intervention in their lives and the life of the region. The rate of poverty was scary. The people of the region had little or nothing to show for playing host to a multi-billion dollar a year industry. Worst still environmental remediation measures were limited and negligible. Farms, streams and the whole environment were constantly under the threat of pollution. All these led to the springing up of ethnic groups, formed largely by the Ijaw and Ogoni, championing confrontations with the Nigerian government and multinational oil companies. The youths of the Niger Delta decided to take their destiny in their own hands.15The gory yet gloomy picture painted above was what confronted Olusegun Obasanjo when he assumed power. Definitely, this nightmare could not be wished away.
Thus, when the Olusegun Obasanjo administration was inaugurated, one of its major actions was to see how to alleviate the crisis in the oil- producing communities of the Niger Delta. In 2000, the President implemented the 13 percent derivation as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution. In what seemed to be a major frontal attack on the festering Niger Delta problem, the federal government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo initiated a bill to the National Assembly on the development of the Niger Delta. The National Assembly in accordance with section 58 (a) and 5 of the 1999 Constitution subsequently passed the bill establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), after the president refused to assent to the bill. As it were, there was disagreement between the Presidency and the National Assembly on the funding of the Commission. The National Assembly claimed to have acted in the national interest by overriding the president in passing the bill. Indeed, the NDDC is charged with a clear mission: ‘to facilitate the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful’.16 Possibly to guard against the weakness of the OMPADEC, the NDDC Act provides for special bodies to supervise the activities of the Commission in order to avoid waste and corruption.
These bodies include the management committee made up of eight directors, a managing director, and a governing council, to give general direction to the management committee, an advisory committee made up of governors of member states of the Commission, to advise and monitor its activities.17 The Commission is to be at the forefront of facilitating interaction among all development stakeholders and identifying priorities and approaches for Niger Delta development. Its responsibility for the sustainable development of the area confers on it, the onerous task of mobilizing resources, effort and initiatives to ensure effective coordination, and coherence. Implicitly, the NDDC also has monitoring functions to ensure that regulations and policies are observed and, it is its task to ensure that the process involved in its function is participatory and inclusive.
The Olusegun Obasanjo’s government also responded to the quest for resource control in oil bearing enclave of the Niger Delta in a number of ways. These include attempting to whittle down the agitation through constitutional arrangement.
For example, to appear responsive to the yearning of the people in the Niger Delta, the Federal Government played safe and struck a compromise in the constitution. This was done by virtue of section 162(2) of the 1999 constitution, which gives back 13 percent of the monies generated from all resources to the various state governments in the oil producing areas. The reason for this concession derives not out of sympathy for the people in the Niger Delta, but possibly because of the ferociousness with which the youths in the Niger Delta were advancing their course.
The Obasanjo administration in some rare instances waved the olive branch to the agitators in the Niger Delta. This was done by putting in place a number of committees to keep the peace in the region. These include: constitution of the
Major General Ogomudia Security Committee on the Oil Producing Areas; constitution of the Governor James Ibori Presidential Committee on the Niger Delta, 2004; constitution of the Major General Muhammed Abdullahi led Presidential Committee on Peace and Reconciliation in the Niger Delta with a special sub-committee to resolve the conflict in Rivers State; and the Niger Delta Peace and Security Strategy allegedly inspired by oil firms in the region.18 It is difficult to assess the achievements of the plethora of committees aimed at tackling the restiveness in the region. What perhaps is not in doubt is that intentions by government are not in short supply. The multiple knee-jerk responses and proliferation of committees is a pointer to the fact that the government is yet to get its bearing right in taming the crisis in the region. Nevertheless, it may not be out of place to posit that the fire-brigade responses of the government so far to the issues in contention in the region is a manifestation of the little premium place on the region despite its economic importance to Nigeria.19
The Obasanjo administration also tried to combat the Niger Delta crisis through the National Political Reforms Conference in early 2005.Some proponents of resource control decided to take the opportunity of the conference to address the issue. After a bitter and divisive debate, the conference ended on July 11, 2005. Among other things, the conference made the following recommendation on the Niger Delta issue: an increase in the level of derivation from the present 13 per cent to 50 per cent. Cognizant of the need for national unity, peace and stability, they agreed to accept in the interim, 25 per cent derivation with a gradual increase to attain the 50 per cent over a period of five years. When it became clear that the president was not in a hurry to implement the recommendation, the militants resumed and intensified their attacks on oil installations and outright kidnapping of oil workers.20 The militants raised the ante of their agitation possibly because of the arrest and detention of Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteers Force (NDPVF) and the impeachment of Dipriye Solomon Peter Alamieyesegha, the governor of Bayelsa state in early 2005.
The Obasanjo administration also initiated the Council for the Social Economic Development of the Niger Delta. The Council, which was likened to the United States of America’s post World War 11 Marshall Plan for Europe entails several far reaching measures and is reportedly valued at over N20 trillion, most of which will come from the oil industry.21 The programme, it is envisaged, will also create some 20, 000 new jobs for the locals. Another facet of the plan is the pledge by President Obasanjo to flag off the N230 billion ($1.75 billion) highway- the long abandoned East-West road; the dredging of the River Niger; upgrading of the Petroleum Training Institute, (PTI), Effurun, Warri to a degree awarding institution; establishment of a Federal Polytechnic in Bayelsa State by September 2006: rural electrification of 396 communities; water supply for over 600 communities, and appointment of an officer in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to coordinate the various intervention programmes by all tiers of government and those of the oil companies and development partners.
Although Obasanjo’s strong and powerful nature saved the country in some aspects, his personality and the effect it had on his judgment as regards the Niger-Delta situation can be described as unsatisfactory. It is found that the intervention efforts of the administration were not far reaching enough. The tendency of the administration to use force to intimate genuine agitators for environmental conservation and development of the region fuelled the crisis. More importantly perhaps, is the fact that the observable developmental initiatives of the administration were done without political commitment and sincerity.
The Yar'Adua Administration and the Niger Delta
The Yar’Adua administration assumed office in May 2007 and this offered fresh initiatives for the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis. It should be recalled that by 1998, there was a worst case scenario as epitomized by 92 attacks on the oil industry which resulted in the fall of crude oil exports down to 1.6 million barrels per day. As noted by International Crisis Group, Shell was most affected by the militants attack on oil installations and confrontation with military. The country lost at least $23.7 billion to oil theft, sabotage and shut in production in the first nine months of 1998 and about 1,000 people were killed within the same period.22 By March 2009, production from its offshore business had plunged to 300,000 bpd down from one million before the crisis in the region in 2004.The attack on Bonga, a 43.6 billion floating, production, storage and offloading vessel and deep water subsea facility 120 km off the coast and the attack on Atlas Cove woke the government to the freighting dimension of the crisis . As the crisis has deepened, so also have crime and lawlessness. Statistics compiled by the International Maritime Bureau for 2008 show 40 reported incidents on piracy in the Delta including 27 vessels boarded, five hijackings, 39 crew members kidnapped. This situation threatened to place Nigerian waters second only to Somalia as the world’s most dangerous. The 21st January 2009 incident in which gunmen attacked the M.T. Meredith, a tanker carrying 4,000 tons of diesel fuel, was one of the most daring acts to date. The Bonga attack coupled with this suggests that pirates ‘ have an increasing ocean going ability to threaten maritime energy assets’.23 To Yar’Adua, this deplorable situation was unacceptable and he elected to take certain confidence building measures to tame the Niger Delta monster. This thinking as it were was aimed at involving the insurgent groups in a dialogue with constituted authority. The main purpose for seeking this accommodation with insurgents is effectively economic rather than political because the impact of continued instability and conflict in that region on the rest of the nation was becoming searing.
As noted by WANEP, the creation of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee which mediated in peace agreements with militants in core states of the Niger delta in December 2007, a visit to the creeks by members of the Senate and a huge budget allocation to the region in 2009 are some of the confidence building measures.24 It must be added also that the release of Asari Dokubo, the leader of the Niger Delta Volunteers Force and the Governor General of the Ijaw, the then Governor of Bayelsa state, DSP Alamiyesegha were aimed at responding to some of the conditions set down by the militants.25 The Yar’Adua administration donated 10 speed boats to some of the militants groups that participated in the signing of the peace agreement by Bayelsa chapter of the Niger Delta Conflict Resolution Committee in December 2007. These boats were meant to be used for surveillance and monitoring of activities of criminals in the waterways. It is believed that making the militants part of the efforts to secure the Niger Delta waterways would ensure effectiveness as they understand the terrain better.26 One other way the administration tackled the restiveness is to constructively engage the militants. In this direction, there was the desire by government to persuade the militants to form and register private companies that would be hired to provide security for pipelines and other oil industry facilities.27 Although this initiative was heavily criticized, the government was convinced that the use of militants as pipeline guards will put an end to armed conflict and provide jobs for the people. Other than the above, the administration established the ministry of Niger Delta. The ministry created in September 2008 had a twin mandate focusing on infrastructure and youth empowerment.28 indeed the ministry possesses a great potential in assisting to address the developmental problem in the area. However, for this to be achieved, it is imperative that the ministry be well funded. The allocation of a paltry sum of money to the ministry in the 2009 budget does not portray the government as serious in using the ministry as a purveyor of development in the power.29 if history is anything to go by; there is nothing to suggest that the newly created ministry would perform any wonders as anticipated by the government. In fact, as they say in the development circle, there is just no verifiable indicator around to depute that the ministerial mechanism would work. This is so because the bureaucracy in Nigeria has never been an engine of growth and national development in Nigeria especially following the advent of the military in Nigeria government and politics in 1966. Instead, it has been a study in gross inefficiency, waste, graft, and national stagnation. Given this, ‘making of a ministry as mechanization to addressing the long drawn developmental challenges of the region, at the risk of sounding monotonous, is a voyage of fantancy’.30 The creation of the ministry was received with mixed feelings. Many also believe that despite the criticisms that trailed the creation of the ministry, the Yar’Adua administration by bringing into reality a ministry to cater for the long neglected region, has taken what could amount to a giant leap for his administration and the country, if properly executed. What appeared to a revolutionary approach to bringing peace to the Niger Delta was the creation of the amnesty programme by the Yar’Adua’s administration. To give bite to this, on June 25, the president granted amnesty to the Niger-Delta militants with effect from August 6 and gave them 60 days within which to surrender their arms and renounce militancy. In his Independence speech President Yar’Adua stated that ‘with a view to engendering lasting peace in the area, we proclaimed a general amnesty and granted unconditional pardon to all those who had taken up arms as a way of drawing attention to the plight of the people of the Niger Delta’. He went further to state that ‘ on this day and in the spirit of rededication, we renew our commitment to confronting the challenges of critical infrastructure in the Niger Delta, food security, security of lives and properties, human capital development, land tenure and wealth creation’.31 The programme required the militants to surrender their weapons and in return, they would receive a presidential pardon, education, training and access to a rehabilitation programme. By the expiration of the October 4, deadline which the federal government gave the militants to disarm, virtually all the key militants had embrace the amnesty deal.32 In all ,8,299 militants registered with Presidential Implementation Committee from seven states out of the nine states of the Niger Delta. Most arms came from Bayelsa which had 130,877, Rivers, 82,406 and Delta 52,958.33 It was Yar’Adua’s way of stooping to conquer a complex problem that defied all previous solutions. In working towards this Yar’Adua has shown a willingness to both react with firmness and also offer compromises whenever possible. He sanctioned certain actions and appointments that indicate that he is ready to try anything in the effort to reduce the endemic instability that he inherited in the Niger Delta. The speed with which he confronted the various attempts to undermine his resolution to grant full amnesty to the insurgents is remarkable.34 To demonstrate his commitment towards building a new Niger Delta where justice and fair play would reign, Yar’Adua outlined his blue print for the development of the region in the post amnesty phase. The Federal Executive Council, approved about N200 billion for the construction of roads, bridges, hospitals and schools targeted at accelerating the pace of development in the region. Among the projects approved is the establishment of Federal Polytechnic of oil and gas in Bayelsa State and 44 other projects for infrastructural development in the Niger Delta. The policy would cost N14.88 billion and will be completed within 104 weeks. There was also the proposal to upgrade facilities at the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Effurun to the tune of N5.727 billion within 72 weeks. In terms of infrastructural development the federal government earmarked N177.133 billion for 44 major contracts which would be executed the NDDC. This would entail the implementation of the Niger Delta Master Plan through the fast tracking of projects like the on-going east-west highway, the construction of the Atlantic coastal highway and the construction of the east west rail line running through Calabar-Uyo-Port Harcourt- Yenagoa-Warri-Benin-Lagos.35 In its determination to nip the bud once and for all the intractable problem of the Niger delta, Yar’Adua proposed making the people in the oil bearing enclave part owners of the oil industry. The idea is to make them have 10 per cent equity in the existing joint venture operations to assuage the oil producing communities. We note however that some of the policies enunciated are already being implemented. The construction of the East- West road and the engineering design of the coastal road are in the front burner. The federal university of petroleum resources in Warri is in full swing as well as the Polytechnic of oil and gas in Bayelsa state. Training programme for the rehabilitation of the ex-militants is ongoing Yar’Adua was also willing to wield the big stick to flog recalcitrant militants into line, in November 25, 2008, the government set up a special force on security in the maritime sector, and it also boosted the resources of the Joint Task Force. The Inter-Agency Maritime Security Task Force on Acts of Illegality in Nigeria’s Territorial Waters, is to identify all illegal activities and security breaches in the coastal waters and recommend immediate remedial actions.
In May 2000, the Federal Government launched a full scale military offensive against the militants in the creeks. The attack on Gbaramatu by the Joint Task Force: Operation Restore Hope viciously decimated the community as fighter jets, warships, naval gunboats, grenades artillery and bombs were unleashed on the people of the community.36 The bombardment of this community was consequent upon the kidnapping of some people in the region. This resulted in heavy casualty in the camp of the military and the militants.
It is significant to stress that the military approach was not the driving force of the Yar’Adua’ administration as this was sparingly used. The amnesty programme was a master stroke as hardly any genuine incentive for the militants to remain in creeks.
There is balance of evidence to suggest that though Yar’Adua administration was brief, it had a revolutionary impact in the denouement and resolution of the Niger Delta conflict and by extension, the sustainable development of the oil-bearing enclave. The point was made that the regime meant worst case scenario when it was inaugurated in 2007.A careful perusal of previous efforts to checkmate the crisis in the region failed due in part to lack of political will and vested interest. The commitment and sincerity of Yar’Adua which culminated in the granting of amnesty to the militant was a master stroke as this naturally allowed other developmental initiatives of the administration to fall on fertile soil. The death of the president after a protracted illness almost created vacuum in the pursuit of the peace process in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
NOTES: 1. Bakare, Waheed. The Punch, July 31, 2007 2. Mbachu, Ozoemenam. Citizen Diplomacy: The Challenges for Nigerian Defense and Security in the 21st Century, Being A Paper Presented at a Seminar on Citizen Diplomacy at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. Lagos November 29, 2007 3. Akinterinwa, Bola. ‘’Foreign Policy under the Yar’Adua Administration’’ This Day Newspaper, 2007 4. Abati, Reuben. North Korea and Clinton’s Citizen Diplomacy. Nigerian Village Square, 2009 5. Ibid 6. Obasanjo, Olusegun. ‘’Nigeria, Africa and the World in the next millennium’’ statement at the General Debate of the 54th Session of the UN General Assembly. New York, September 23, 1999. 7. Fawole, WA. Understanding Nigeria’s Foreign Policy Under Civilian Rule Since 1999: Institution, Structure, Processes and Performance. Ibadan College Press, 2004 8. Akinyemi, B. Professor, Former Nigerian Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Former Director General Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. Interviewed in his Ikeja-Lagos office on October 4, 2009. 9. Obasanjo, O. Text of Inaugural Address as President, May 29, 1999. 10. Obasanjo, Olusegun. Address at the 37th Ordinary Session of the OAU Assembly of the Heads of State and government, Lusaka, Zambia. July 1, 2001. 11. Akindele, R.A. ‘’The 1999 Constitution and Foreign Policy’’ Akindele R.A and Bassey E.A (Eds) (2000) Selected Readings in Nigeria’s Foreign Policy and International Relations. Ibadan: Vantage Publishers. 12. Ibid p.26 13. Saliu. H. Essays on Contemporary Nigerian Foreign Policy, Vol.2. Ibadan: Vantage Publishers, 2000, Pp.243-262 14. Ibid p.254-255 15. Olukorede. Y. The Long Years of Neglect. Tell Magazine, weekly. Lagos, March 2007, PP.5. 16. NDDC Act 2000. Retrieved from http://www.NDDC/report/archive:077562 17. Ibid section 2,3,4,9,11,19 18. Ebiri. K. Way Out Of The Niger Crisis. The Guardian. Lagos. April 5, 2006. PP.42 19. Aghalino S.O. Corporate Response to Environmental Deterioration in the Oil-Bearing Enclave of the Niger-Delta. In: S.O McCaulay, S.O Aghalino (Eds): Perspectives in Conflict Resolution and Management in Delta State, 1999-2007. Enugu: Rhyce Karex Publishers. P.129-146. 20. This Day. The Niger-Delta Master Plan. Lagos. April 16, 2007 21. This Day. International Crisis Group. Lagos. April 18, 2006. 22. Federal Republic of Nigeria. Report of the Technical Committee on the Niger-Delta; Vol.1.November, 2008. 23. Nincic. D.J. Maritime Piracy; Implication for Maritime Energy Security, in Journal of Energy Security. February 29. Retrieved on November 21, 2012 from http://www.aprodex.com/maritime-piracy-implication-for-maritime-energy-security-259-blaspx, 2009 24. WANEP, Warn Policy Brief: Niger-Delta Crisis and Yar’Adua’s Administration: A Critical Issue and hurdles. February 20, 2008. Retrieved on November 21, 2012 from http://www.nigeriancuriousity.com/2009/09/niger-delta-amnesty-dividends 25. Niger-Delta Militants.This Day. November 12, 2007 26. WANEP, Warn Policy Brief: Niger-Delta Crisis and Yar’Adua’s Administration: A Critical Issue and hurdles. February 20, 2008. Retrieved on November 21, 2012 from http://www.nigeriancuriousity.com/2009/09/niger-delta-amnesty-dividends 27. Lewu. V, Saleh T. Pipeline Vandalisation: FG set to hire Delta Militants. Vanguard Newspaper. May 21, 2008 28. Taiwo. J. Nigeria: Yar’Adua Creates Ministry of Niger-Delta. This Day Newspaper. September 11, 2008 29. Obiyan. A.S. The Niger-Delta Problem and the Yar’Adua Response, From Repression to Development Promoting Choice. In; I.B Bello-Imam and Deremi Abubakre (Ed) Yar’Adua’s Seven Point Agenda: An Assessment. Ibadan: College Press, 2009. 30. Nwokeoma. J. President Yar’Adua and the Niger-Delta. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from http://www.internationalpeaceconflict.org/profiles/blogs/7808888:blogspot:73772, 2010 31. Yar’Adua: Independence Speech. The Guardian. October 2, 2009 32. Ajaero. C. (2009). The Road to the New Niger-Delta. Newswatch Magazine. Wedenesday, November 4, 2009 33. Eregha. E.E. The Niger-Delta Conflict and the Challenges of Post Amnesty. In: Akpotor. A.S. et al. Sustainable Environmental Peace and Security in the Niger-Delta. Abraka: Delta State University, 2009 34. Egwemi. V. From Militancy to Amnesty: Some Thoughts on President Yar’adua’s Approach to the Niger-Delta Crisis; Current Research Journal of Economic Theory, 2010, PP.136-141 35. Ajaero. C. The Road to the New Niger-Delta. Newswatch Magazine. Wedenesday, November 4, 2009 36. The Gbaramatu Attack. Retrieved on November 22, 2012 from http://www.pointblanknews.com/082214.html , 2000
CHAPTER SIX Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations This chapter is a convergence of the explorations from chapter one to chapter five in a summary. From the findings enunciated, it makes policy recommendations and concludes, making suggestions for practical action and future research. SUMMARY The preoccupation of this study has been to examine the role of personality in the conduct of Nigeria’s external relations using as case study the 1999-2007 Obasanjo administration and the 2007-2010 Yar’Adua administration. Divided into six chapters including this one, this work of research delved into the inner mind of humans using the Carl Jung and B.F Skinners theories of personality. These theories gave an insight into personality and human uniqueness which affects their everyday thinking and decision making. This study examined the role of leadership and how it affects the nation as a whole. Also using examples of leadership and its effect from other climes this study shed light on the personalities of Nelson Mandela, Theodore Roosevelt and Adolph Hitler and how their various country’s history would not have been the same if these great personalities had not been involved. The second chapter of this work examined Nigeria since colonialism, and the mode of conduct of diplomacy. It went further to examine the growth of the country under military and civilian rule and how the personality of these various leaders affected their decision making, there were the erratic and spontaneous leaders like Abacha whose nature not only affected their administration but also the country as a whole, Abacha’s erratic nature which is due to his military background led to Nigeria been tagged as a pariah nation up until Obasanjo’s administration. There were other leaders like Murtala who wouldn’t be forgotten in a hurry as their love and passion for the country and the continent generally showed in their decision making. One thing this research work revealed is the fact that there is no room for growth in the country If it’s been led by a meek or gentle leadership an example is the Shehu Shagari administration, his meekness was taken for granted by even the people around him, corruption was heavy in the land and thus there was no room for improvement. This work assessed the Obasanjo and Yar’Adua administrations, their weaknesses, failures and successes, the personality factor as a determinant of their decision making. Obasanjo’s strong and autocratic personality was his weakness and also his strength, he was able to make decisions on his own, he did not have to seek advice from anyone, he was well travelled and he had vast knowledge and experience but was too strong-headed to listen to anyone’s advice, he had a know-it-all attitude that affected his judgment, his administration and in turn the country. The late president Umaru was a listener; he was attentive and had an approachable nature. Unlike his predecessor he had a calculated approach towards situations, this earned him the nickname ‘’Baba go slow’’, his ill-health was a huge problem for his administration and it set the country back in so many ways, maybe if the late president had been hale and hearty maybe the country under his administration would have recorded unquantifiable success even more than his predecessor. In the fifth chapter this work attempted a comparative analysis of the two administrations using the two major aspects; the Niger-Delta which is of huge importance to the country and its leadership as it is the basic source of the existence of the country’s economy, and these leader’s policies and contribution to external relations. From the research work it became evident the role of their extremely different personalities in the success or otherwise of their administrations. CONCLUSION
Over six billion people live on this planet and yet no two of us are alike. Our differences are predominantly reflected in our distinctive actions and our personal appearances. For centuries people have wondered what makes each of us act the way we do, the same people have come to the conclusion that actions reveal our character traits, which in turn reveals our personality. Our personalities make us unique. Furthermore people distinguish themselves from others by their personal blend of characteristics and the level of emphasis placed on each trait. This distinction reflects our personality and makes us who we are: ‘’one in six billion people’’
The unique blend of traits of a leader creates his or her leadership style and determines the quality of leadership ability. Individuals with certain personality traits including integrity and honesty, vision, good judgement, compassion, self confidence, perseverance, enthusiasm, initiative, intelligence and knowledge, sincerity, humanity, personal courage are more likely to become effective leaders. With regard to these last four leadership traits, Sun Tzu believed, ‘’he who masters them wins; those who do not care are defeated.’’
The challenge of leadership is to know yourself, know your people, know your enemy and balance the right personality traits and preferences in the right situation and at the right time. If this is accomplished the odds of success will increase. RECOMMENDATION In the view of the present situation in Nigeria and its deteriorating role on the international scene, a new direction becomes imperative for the country. Its leadership must be taken seriously as the leadership of any nation is of utmost importance. Today’s Nigeria should develop a brand of leadership that can contend not only on the local scene but also on the international scene. As this study as earlier pointed out, Nigeria is a very important nation with her huge population it’s regarded as the leader of the black world, ergo the leadership should be taken seriously. Personality study is recommended for the selection of Heads of States in the country, debates should be taken seriously and leaders should not only be selected based on the intellectual capabilities but also their personality and character, sincerity is a very important factor when it comes to leadership, a sincere leader that has the interest of his subjects at heart would do everything to protect their interests. Today, Nigerians do not feel the bond with their country, and who is to blame them? When they don’t feel secured even in their own houses, the government has done little or nothing to improve their livelihood, more than 70 percent of Nigerians live in abject poverty while the leaders they have elected to govern them loot away their money and live like kings in foreign lands. ‘Nigeriacentrism’ is long overdue; the government under the right leadership should cater to its citizen’s welfare first before it takes on the role of ‘big brother’ on the African continent Nigeria needs fearless leadership, the country needs a leader that knows the country, and realizes the plight of the masses, this work strongly recommends that its time Nigeria got rid of the selfish leadership, leaders that are only interested in enriching their own pockets and this can only be achieved through a rigid selection process. Finally, this research work has proven that with the right study of characters and personality the right leader can be elected to lead this great nation the way it deserves to be led, this research work recommends that in the future, a panel of psychologists be put in place to study candidates and prescribe the right individual to be elected into office based on personalities that would benefit the country and steer the country in the right direction.
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