n Ubuntu : Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation - What about the followers? Leadership-development deficits and the place of followership in Nigeria

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2078-760X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4950


Discourses on governance and development failures in Nigeria are often woven around leadership issues. Yet, a crucial ingredient in the making of good leadership is also good followership, a concept that has not enjoyed robust representation in the literature of politico-development failures in Nigeria. By acting as the determinants of political ascendancy and/or succession, bulwark against tyranny and insisting on efficiency and accountability, good followership shapes the conducts of leaders and by effect, serves as harbinger of good governance. In essence, therefore, good leadership, and, by implication, good governance, seldom emerges in the absences of good followership. The Nigerian society is characterized by leadership impunity, recklessness and insensitivity to the plight of the people, which stems from inability of citizens to have a say in the emergence and conduct of leaders. The point then is that there is a presence of poor followership in Nigeria. For Nigeria to attain good governance therefore; citizens must become good followers. The paper emphasizes the desire of Nigerians be good followers, and highlights how they are hamstrung by religious sentiments, ethnicity, cultural beliefs, elite manipulation, poverty and illiteracy. The paper submits that a fundamental process in the emancipation of the Nigerian state from bad leadership depends on the desire of the citizens to overcome these barriers. Explanations of these barriers as well as suggestions on how to overcome them form the major thrust of this paper.

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