MAT. NO. U96 / 6090288











Leadership has continued to constitute itself to be a clog in the wheel of progress of Africa towards achieving the objectives of development.

The studies connotes that the major causes of war, political instability, economics crises, military intervention in politics and violation of human rights emanated from leadership. More so, development has eluded Africans because leadership with vision, commitment, patriotism and discipline has not been easy to come by in most African states.




                                                         CHAPTER ONE

1.1          INTRODUCTION

This study tends to trace the trends of leadership and development in Africa vis-à-vis the impediment militating the quest for achieving a sustainable social economic and political development. The Africa continent is arguably the popular continent in the world, and perhaps the poorest continent in the world but she is blessed with abundant human and material resources. What has been lacking in Africa (Nigeria and Congo) is leadership, the emergence of a general accepted popular) leader to mobilize the human and material resources of the countries for the rapid production of abundant agricultural and industrial materials and the provision of good life for the generality of the people.


The work analysis the regimes of successive leaders in Nigeria and Congo from independence to the contemporary time. It provides an inept   analysis   vis-à-vis their achievements, problems and contributions to the advancement of development in both countries (Nigeria and Congo).However, leadership question remains an unsettled one in Africa.


Since independence, the natural order of development has been disturbed in almost all the countries in sub-Saharan Africa if these events of the first millennia and the post independence era are used as a mirror to gaze at the future then, there is little hope in sight for the continent.


Contemporary political events and socio-economic statistics of Africa do not give any hope for celebration. Rather these events and statistics indicate that a gloomy future awaits Africa politically and socio-economically. Events such as famine, social chaos, economic stagnation, political de-participation, political breakdown, one party rule and military (internal) colonization have become permanent features in the continent.


The predicament of Nigeria and Congo since independence could be zeroed on leadership, a leader with vision and mission had clouded the two countries since independence. The history of great nations the history of great .leaders (general park of Korea, Nasser of Egypt, Deng of china, castor of Cuba), are great leaders that had helped in the transformation and development of their countries.

Yes, these two countries are blessed with human and material resources in all ramifications, yet, the blessings have not reflected in the lives of the majority. What we have is a situation in which few fraction of the population (cliques) shares the wealth of the nation amongst themselves to the determent of the masses, whose only succor is the almighty God. Leadership has been the bane of both countries perpetual poverty. the leaders only have one peculiar motto, self aggrandizement, they are not always kin or development programmers that will benefits the poor but rather the development programmed they embarked on, are only meant to maintain the status quo of the elites.


It is so sad and dishearten that inspire of the abundant resources of these two countries, 90% of their population are still wallowing in abject poverty. The economic down turn has been transmitted wholesale into the social sector in the form of dwindling health care delivery capability and gross under – funding of education among others. The people have not been passive spectators as their welfare levels are washed away. As living standards, decline people have increasingly become restless, calling for greater participation in charting their path of development. This direct challenge to the authoritarian political set- ups that are dotted all over African content has become the major manifestation.

1.2                   STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The task of leadership in the contemporary Africa is very complex and attracts public attention. A leader without vision is a fraud on society and a country that is unfortunate to be afflicted with that kind of leadership is doomed to move from one crisis to another. This explains why country like Nigeria and development in Africa revolves around many variables which includes the following.

  1. Most of the leaders in Nigeria and Congo trends to be corrupt and this tendency negatively affects the growth of their economy.
  2. Most leaders are indiscipline and thus, makes it difficult for them to control their followers and subordinate.
  3. Most of the developmental programmers embarked on are not people’s orientation in those two countries.
  4. The leaders have engaged themselves in an unscrupulous act that Shouldn’t be attributed to a leader with vision and mission.
  5. Ethnicity `has been a great impediment to the development of and countries, it is a major factor considered in employment and distribution of most of the resources which invariably hindered development growth.

It is on this note that this study focuses on the relationship of leadership as an independent variable in engineering the pace of development in both countries and perhaps in Africa.


The primary objective of this study is to analyze problem inherent in our socio- political cum economic system which is as a result of leadership and development in Africa.

TO determine how leadership in Nigeria and Congo had contributed to the country’s development failures.   To access those factors hindering the leaders form carrying out their statutory duties as state office

1.4             HYPOTHESIS

Nigeria and Congo has been acclaimed as one of the most endowed with natural resources in Africa. Their enormous population and vast land of natural resources cold ideally propel to first rate power in the word under the assumption, the following hypothesis has been adopted.

  1. if leadership principle are applied, it will propels the whole process of economic and political development.
  2. the problem of (Nigeria and Congo) is the inability of their leaders to their responsibilities.
  3. that if the leaders shun corruption, development will be a reality.


  1. it educates the masses that a leader cannot always act AS he pleases. There are certain conditions which he has to consi9der. Exercising his leadership function involves May people. AS such, he is accountable not only for his own performance but also those for his subordinate, whom are subject to his order.
  2. this study will also aid in understanding the roles of leadership in development process.


This study its information on secondary sources. My personnel experience, textbooks, papers presented by experts on the subject, magazines, national dailies, journals and libraries.


Analytical approach to social problem is often seen solution to the study of a phenomena. We shall adopt the political economy which is based on Maxian material concept of historical laws of human society and its dynamics as a compliment to its declaration that the entire life of a man, infact his consciousness is determined by his material condition. in the works of Prof. Anikpo ‘man’ seed to survive explains or determines his subsequent actions like politics, ideas, culture. Another dimension of this approach is its provision for the use of Hollistic approach which will permit us to look at the problems of leadership in Africa in all ramifications.


This scope of work reveals around Africa hitherto Nigeria and Congo the leaders role in development.

The major limitations of this study how related to several unsuccessful attempts which have hitherto been made by a number of individuals, research institutes and government agencies to development to vast resource potentials in the two countries (Nigeria and Congo) but their efforts hand always been married by a multiplicity of factors like.

We shall adopt the political economy which is based on Maxian material concept of historical laws of human society and its dynamics as a compliment to its declaration that the entire life of a man, infact his consciousness is determine by his material condition. In the words of prof. Anikpo ‘man’ seed to survive explains or determines his subsequent actions like politics, ideas, culture.

Another dimension of this approach is its provision for the use of Hollistic approach which will permit us to look at the problems of leadership in Africa in all raminfication.


                                                              CHAPTER TWO



In the newly independent state of Africa which Nigeria and Congo is no exemption, the political foods or gains are highly united. The competition over these political assets between various political interest groups is rather strife. Especially in state that is federal and heterogeneously ethnical the system in this case for supports and punishment or deprivation for opponents, has produced deep-seated animosity in many cases between group people and even between categories of kinsman. In the process many African states such as Nigeria and Congo have become fractionalized. Nigeria for instance have consequently grown to be sectional, ethnic oriented, selfish and materialistic as they search for a supportive base for their political leadership activities.

The issue of leadership occupies central position in the discourse of development. Leadership is an abstract and ideal variable in the social development of society. The main approach to understanding leadership is based on the assumptions, subjectivity and colored by the author’s orientation, culture as well as personality. As a result the theoretical formation of the leadership concept among social scientists nighlights shifting focus in the orientation1. This goes to show that in the literature available in the concept of leadership, there is no universal theory, various models and schemes have been used to conceptualize this phenomenon due to pervasiveness of the subject, it is one of the most highly researched group variables in the social sciences.

The importance of leadership in society became an issue of vital of discourse in society science with the emergence of the state. the state of nature which was characterized as brutish, nasty, short and poor gradually gave way to traditional society where man gradually recognize his fellow man2. He began to appreciate the importance of his fellow man in his environment and the need to live in a community, gradually he began to realize the need for a leader, the need for a formal protection against enemies and hazards. He further realized that to achieve this in able and dynamic leadership was required accordingly and in his realization of this, efforts were directed in achieving this, what eventually emerged from the traditional society is therefore government, politics and leadership.

A leadership denotes the occupancy of status and the active performance of a role to mobilized more or less organized collective and voluntary efforts towards the attainment of shared goal and objectives3.

Bernard summed up this in a very comparated but simplistic way. To him the concept leadership mean ‘’the quality of the behavior of individuals whereby they guide people or their activities in organized ‘’effort’’4. By this postulation no group of any size or nature can exist without a leadership. Someone has to organize meeting or determine the course of action or see to its implementation. Someone has to represent the group since not all the members can make decision, there must be a leader that will narrow the whole values of the group to arrive at a tangible decision.

Robert M. Maclever suggest that ‘’leadership posses the established right within any social order to determine policies judgment on relevant issues and to settle centre versions or more broadly to act leaders or guide to other men5.

Indeed, the sphere of leaders influence can be noticed in their decision-making. The decision determines not only the size but the quality of the group, organization or nation. Leadership plays a very important role the administration of a nation’s affairs. This is because a nation cannot function effectively without a leader to direct it, in accomplishing goal.

In fact, A. C. Gibbs has argued that leadership is a part of the problem solving machinery of group6. Every leader must see it that he satisfies the expectation associated with his position or influence.

Another contribution to the situational approach of leadership that of Hashim in which he argued that ‘’A good and effective leader has to understand his operational environment, the demand of position and strategies to cope with changing situations, failure to monitor the environment leaders to increasing and problems that can destroy every foundation of the leadership7.

In this sociological approach to the study of leadership Max Weber listed there leadership styles namely, the democratic, laissez faire and authoritarian styles of leadership. The democratic leader encourages his followers to actively participate in the group decision making process. A liaises faire leader on the other hand, has a care free attitude to his duties; he allows his subordinates complete freedom without the necessary supervision. This was the style that was exhibited during Nigeria’s second republic. While the authoritarian leader uses threats to coerce his subordinates into doing things. Max Weber also speaks of the leadership legitimacy which he also identified three sources of legitimacy. These are traditional charismatic and rotational or legal authority. Whose source is the office of the incumbent.8

From this comparative studies of the three leadership style and sources, White and Lipitt concluded that the democratic leader did participate but actively in group activities while the laissez faire style leader did participate but allowed the followers to have complete freedom. Authoritarian style created aggression and hostility between the leader and group.9

A public administrator, regardless of his level in the bureaucratic hierarchy is a national leader. As such he serves as a common source of authority within his own organization of exercising leadership functions which are inherent in his position. As a leader, he can enhance his effectiveness by knowing and understanding the nature, element and function of leadership, as well as adhering to those techniques and practices identified with effective leadership.

In recent usage the idea that leadership might be reducible to some specific competence or to at list of personal attributes has been almost completely abandoned. The quality of leadership inheres not in an individual but in a role that is played within some specified social leadership concludes that leadership is a relation that exist between persons in a social situation, and that persons who are leader in one situation may not necessarily be in other situations10.

The manifestation of leadership behavior can be observer only in relation to other persons who act in response to the leader and who are collectively referred to as the followers. But in so far as leadership usually arouses opposition as well, this following is not co- extensive with some organized group and therefore leadership is not always integrative A.W. Gowdner emphasizes this point in considering the leader as any individual whose behavior stimulates patterning of the behavior of the behavior in some group who constitute this following but not necessarily the group as previously constituted.10

Another element in usage is the position of contrality in the sense that he is the focal point for the activity of his group or nation. The leader frequently initiates action for the group/nation without waiting for the suggestions of his followers. An example is W.F. Whyte’s finding that a follower may originate action for the leader in a pair event (which takes place between two people) but he does not originate that is, he does not initiate action in a set even ( for two or more other) which includes the leader11.

On the postulation that the central influence of leadership must be related to collective action, Lasswell Kaplan proposes that the rank and site identified with the leader and adopts his perspective12.

Leadership is the exercise of power or influence in social collectives, such as groups, organization, communities or nations. None of these associations can exist and achieve its aims without proper leadership.

    Thomas Hobbes recognizes the indispensability of a leader in any nation when he wrote:

                    ‘‘The essence of the common wealth, which

                      (to define it) is one person, of whose act a

                      great multitudes by mutual convenants one

                      with another, have made themselves everyone

                        the author, to the end he may use the strength

                        and means of them all, as he shall think expedient

                        for their peace and common defence.13

Leadership has been a very interesting and importance phenomenon in understanding the existence of society thus it has occupied a very important place in the study of science of society. It is for this reason the catalogue of the studies as scholars continue to probe into the nature and character of leadership. Its roles and contribution to stability or Instability of society as well as the development and the under development. It has been the main bane of struggle in society and thus the conflict and contradiction thereof.

From the classical theorist of society to the most contemporary theorist, from the conservative capitalist theorists to socialist radicalism, the source of conflicts is power. The power to control resources imbedded in the leadership. the extent or degree of application of power or authority is indicative of the type of leadership.

this means therefore that the style of leadership of a particular epoch can encourage or rather accelerates the development of the states. this invariably implies, that the level of development in a country will be determined by the type or rather the style of leadership that is in power.

substantial development that embodies the large part of the country’s population will only be realistic if only the country is fortunate enough to have a leader with ‘vision and mission’



Development is the act process or result of developing. It is a fact or circumstance brings about a new situation either through growth, evolution and / or expansion15. The team development has been variously conceptualized from economic, political, social and national perspectives. All societies do experience development through it has always been uneven and different from one to the other. The reason for the diversity lies in the ecology within which the people developed and the ‘’super structure’’ of the society16. For Walter Rodney, development is an increasing capacity to regulate internal and extremer relationships’’.

similarly, it means “the ability to guard the independence of social group and indeed to infringe upon the freedom of others.

Development perceived from economic perspective means growth on per capital basis, the Gross National product (GNP) and the simultaneous reduction in par mortality rate, increase life expectancy, complex network or roads, gigantic buildings, etc. In short, there is an A leader with this character has eluded Nigeria and Congo since increase the good office, has generated controversy as to the method or path head been taken and / or should have been taken: the capitalist and / or socialist paths.17 protagonist of both paths delineated succinctly the consequences of toeing one paths rather than the other. According to professor Nnoli, both path rather promised ‘the good life”. However, for the capitalist path, its central determining feature is the transformation of labour power of man into a commodity to be bought and sold in the market for gain. In addition, the actual producers of products are separated from their means of production which is controlled by a few people.

For the socialist path, there is no separation of the actual producers (of product) from their means of production. This is concentrated in a social collectively as a whole (i.e the state) values, when produced, are not commodities to be exchanged in the market but to meet the basic needs of the people. Nnoli stresses that the labour are superior to and dominant over those of capital in deciding what is produced, how it is produced and how the product are distributed.

However, an over concentrated on economic development gives an erroneous impression that it constitutes the totality of development. There are also political, social and national development entails the processing of psycho-social reconstruction of people of hitherto diverse nationalities, religious, histories, culture, etc. into a new sense of common belong and shared identity.

Meir sees development as a process of cumulative change that results from positive forces that raise productivity. The role of development planners is thus discovering and promoting these positive forces that raise real income per head, create more employment opportunities, achieve a wider distribution of the gains from development and the National efforts and national resources for foreign ones.

Development planning is an instrument of social and economic progress. It seems from the premise that ‘economic development would not, under historic condition existent, take place by itself automatically…….it must be planned.18

All the existing conceptualization of development raise the same point about transforming the physical and social environment with which human beings operate for purpose for enhancing their standard to life. They all assumed that some kind of effort is necessary to eliminate whatever obstacles the militate against the desire of individuals and groups. It appears therefore that development generally is the consistent attempt by human beings to emancipate themselves from both natural and man made obstacles in order to achieve a more fulfilling life. 19

Development is conceptualized here both at the level of individual and at the level of society. At the level of society as whole, development implies the increasing control over the environment, improvement in the skill and creativity of the majority of people, and the attainment of the ‘good life’

The united Nations Generally Assembly resolution 1710 (XVI) designated the 1960s as the United National Development Decade and viewed that the objects of the first Decade was to.

‘Accelerate progress towards self sustaining growth of the economy of the individual nations and their social advancement so as to attain in each under developed country a substantial increase in the rate of growth, with each country setting its own target, taking as the objective a minimum rate growth of aggregate national income of 5 per cent at the end of decade20.

Our view of development could be ill-conceived and misguided if we equate development with certain artifacts of growth such as national income, cars, roads, good houses, fly-over, iron and steel complexes, airways etc. This issue is whether these things have an immediate bearing on the life of the majority of the population.

Today’s conceptualization of development as a multi dimensional process involving changes in structures attitudes, and institution as well as the acceleration of Economic growth, the reduction of inequality and eradication of absolute poverty21 is more preferably to the development of the under developed world which the United Nations wanted to achieve. A pursuit of development along this conceptualization will be in the right direction.

Moreover, available literatures on development are sharply divided on what causes underdevelopment in the Third world. It is in this respect that Hopkins insight are very useful.

Development in popular usage connotes the external socio-economic and political structures and these usually identified with the rich industrialized societies of Europe and North America. In that case, underdevelopment prevails in the poor, un-industrialized areas of the world located mostly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America otherwise known as the third world”23

The curious part is that the third world countries under went centuries of colonialism, and now under going colonialism by the countries of Europe and North America.

These exploitation has caused under development to the third world countries has caused development to the countries of the world located in the North hemisphere.

In accordance with this temper creation, Patrick Heinecke observed that “Nigerian” condition is hidden pace of the industrialized societies, whose accumulated material wealth has been made possible only by the impoverishment of semi-colonial countries like Nigeria.

Africa has been in the depth of a crisis of monumental proportions since the early 1980. This crisis is manifested in various forms. It is a food crisis. Mass hunger and starvation accompanied phenomena decline in agriculture production in some African countries during the 1970s and 80s. Between 1978 and 1981 the annual rate of growth of agricultural production in Africa was 1.9%.

Development thus necessitates an increase in production employment. This implies an increase in the share of the poorer sections of the society in the national product. In particular, development policy must be concerned with preventing the impoverishment of the rural sector-especially of small farmers- as a consequence of growth for an industrialization programme that feeds upon the agricultural labour is by its very nature a self-defeating programme. The agricultural sector generates an overwhelming large proportion of the surplus that is necessary for investment in most poor countries. A reduction in agricultural productivity is a sure sign of an impending decline in domestic resource mobilization. Development policy must therefore encompass an agricultural strategy which promotes the production of the rural producers.

Employment expansion and equitable income distribution are most important element of development policy.

The unprecedented level of inflation in many economics in Africa has seen living standards attained over the three decades of independence practically eroded. The inflation rate for the continent which stood late 12.9% in 1987, had by 1989, risen to 20.95. Africa contributes less than 1% of total world manufacturing added. Her contribution of global trade is equally negligible. This position has its domestic counterpart in the declining welfare levels of the vast majority of the African people.




  1. Awujo. Element of Management; Apile publishers, Owerri (1991) P. 154
  2. Mc Gel Recee Sociology: An introductory: Holt pres New York 1980:p.356
  3. Encyclopedia of social sciences N.Y Macmillian. Comp. Vol. Ix. 1933
  4. Ekpenyoung S. Element of sociology: African Heritage and pub. Lagos 1993 p. 103-104.
  5. Maclever R.M.the web of Government. Macmillian New York 1947 p.83
  6. Gibbs A.C Leadership. Handbook of social Psychology: cam. Vol. 2pp . 877-920 Gardner Lindsay (ed) Aderson Wester 1954
  7. Hashim Y. (ed) Issues in public sector management in Nigeria Ahmadu Bello University press Zaria 1985 p. 144
  8. Weber Max. The three types of legitimate rule 1961pp. 11-14 in Amaitai Etzoni (ed) complete organization: A sexidoxicel leaders New York .
  9. White R, Lipitt R.. Autocracy and Democracy New York Harper and Raw 1960 chap.415
  10. M Stogdill, personal factors associated with leadership:
  11. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan edited with an Intro. By C.B. Maythersona, London 1968 Chap.18.
  12. Hanks, P. (eds.), Hamlyn Encyclopedia World Dictionary London, the Hamlyn publishing compl ltd., 1976.
  13. Nnoli, O. Path to Nigeria development. Dakari, CODESRIA BOOKS series, 1982.
  14. Lange O. (1961), Economic development, planning and International Corporation. Cairo: Central Bank of Egypt.
  15. Mark Anikpo, “the peasantry and the Dilemma of Nigerian underdevelopment” in pans African social science Review.
  16. Walter Radney, How Europe underdeveloped Africa, Bedle L’ourverture, London, 1922. Also in Dr. Henry Atapitei, Lecture note on imperialism
  17. Tadaro N.P Economics for developing world, London, UK. 1982
  18. Hoppkins A.G., An economic History of West Africa, London 1973
  19. Mark Anikpo, Op cit, 1996,p5.
  20. W. Goulner studies in Leadership, New York: Harper Bros. 1950, p.17.





The subject of leadership has always generated much interest and polemics in all human callings, be it in the military, politics, the university or among trade or professional unions. This is because of the importance of leadership in motivating individuals and groups towards desired objectives leading to the establishment of cohesion in any organization. Leadership is an art which must not only be learnt but also practiced. A leader must possess the essential natural potentials and exercise these qualities in each given situation. leadership is part of management. Leaders and managers are a select few among human beings who influence other being to bring out their latent capabilities and integrate individual efforts towards the objective of their organization.

Thus, leadership is the art of influencing people to achieve set-out goals. It is dynamics motivating process. Leaders motivate and guide people towards achievable goals through such management activities as planning, organizing, directing and controlling. When we focus particularly on leadership, then we are talking of a leadership that allows the flourishing of the democratic ideas and and ensures political stability that has been seen as a sine qua non for the overall improvement of the life chances of our people. We are infact, talking of a leadership that shines out like a star and radiates brilliance all round thereby providing light for others in society to see and follow: a leadership that tolerates various attitudes and opinions in society and is thus able to carry the people along on whatever task it sets about.

The pertinent questions are to what extent can one see leadership in Africa as demonstrating the qualities that we have enumerated? To what extent can leadership in Africa be said to have aided the improvement of the life chances of their people?

In order to answer these question we will turn to an examination of the role of the leadership that Africa has experienced from the pre-independence era to date.


The essence of colonialism is so well-known and documented that it requires no further details. Its purpose was the exercise of power by metropolitan authorities for raw materials for their industries and markets for their finished products. With few men on the ground to and their exploitation venture, the colonialists sought a way of using the leadership they could get. However, with education and enlightenment, some African saw beyond their noses and started agitating for some involvement in their country. These agitators started with a desire to have the benefits of the colonial officers and merchants. By the time leadership started co-opting more people to press for their personal demands, the colonial master decided to incorporate them into the scheme of things. It was this class of people that they selected and nurtured as the future governing class of their countries.

Thus, the leadership at independence passed from the British lords to a conservative and reactionary group of people who claimed to have spear headed the struggle for de-colonization but who in fact only stepped into the shoes of the colonial matters. What in fact happened was that though at independence, the physical presence of the imperial power was ceremoniously extinguished, the imperial interest power and influence increased through the instrumentality of the new leaders.

Leadership from an African perspective connotes that leadership is based on ethnic grounds which has remained the bane of Africa till date.

Great leaders like Fidel Castro of cuba and Mao Tse-tung of china has eluded Africa in all ramifications. The china of mao Ise-tung was cut off from the rest of the world for over two decades. During that period it was not solely the fault of the Chinese that the average westerner know nothing of china or knew only its cruel and negative side. Even for the United Nations” china” meant only the small island of Taiwan. Officially, the world had no knowledge of the vast continent china with its more than six million square miles of territory and over one billion inhabitants.

Mao Tse-tung being a great leader of vision, has succeeded in imbuing every Chinese with the meaning and importance of service so that today every Chinese whether he be a civil servant or a factory worker, is proud of the work he does, in developing this spirit. Mao was able to use tradition for his starting point. As john k. Fairbank, sinologist at Haward university, points out, the Chinese are the “most socially minded human beings among the people of the world23 Confucianism and Taoism had taught the Chinese to see themselves always as part of a whole, a people or a state.

Mao introduced one important change. He linked the idea of equality to that of service, thus removing service from its old vertical or hierarchical content and situating it on a horizontal or egalitarian level. In china today, to serve the people mean to regard all as equal, to be at the disposal of our another. The Chinese have taken every means possible to keep this new spirit of service and equality intensely alive and to revitalize it from time to time. Mao Tse-tung is a great leader of rebute the most African’s would have love to have.

This is also the theme that has been explored in some details by claude Ake. Like mytelka and Langdon, Ake notes that the African governing classes use political power for their own class and private accumulation4.

Professor Ake also observes that the accumulation by these class has done little to lessen the grip on African economics of international capital. Professor Milliband’s observation on this general phenomenon is important enough to be quoted here. In the past, colonial social formation, he notes that the state must be taken mainly to ‘represent’ itself in the sense that those people who occupy the leading position in the state system will use their power, to advance their even economic interest, and the economic interest of their families, friends, and followers or clients. A process of enrichment occurs, which assumes a great number of forms and leads to a proliferation of diverse economic ventures and activities. In this process, a genuine local bourgeoisie may come into being and grow strong, with continuing close connections to the state and its leading members, who are themselves part of that new bourgeoisie.

African leaders in the colonial era fought zealously to liberate their people from colonialism. They press for support from the masses to accelerates self-determination, they believe they have a right to determine the course of their life. Kwame Nkrumah was of the view that ‘Africans should seek first political freedom and every other things would be added to them. What preceded after the independence of most countries in Africa areas that, the great leaders that initiated the struggle for freedom, new made do with their premises of giving a better life to the people. The quick development they promise the masses after independence was never to be but rather they propagate the sufferings of the people. They were only eager to step into the luxurious houses left behind by the colonial masters and perpetuate their wealth to the detriment of the masses. One principal proposition of the post-colonial elite is that the present elite is a unified group with common interest in dominating the poor and directing state affairs to suit its particularistic interest, another is that the post-colonial elite is incompatible with development of the rural poor.

Looking at leadership from an African perspective, one would be forced to believe that politics is now played on ethnic ground, corruption have gone wholesale and self aggrandizement is the order of the day. There are always riot on who to control the state, these struggle sometimes leads to civil war and political instability. They were never bothered about the development of a common man in the street, the only development they sought for is the one that is directly beneficial to their government. The agitation for national unity in the colonial era has been abandon by the leaders and what is now in vague is ethnic unity.

All in all the leadership of Africa have done nothing positive to alleviate the poverty of Africans, but rather they were busy enriching themselves. A continent like Africa blessed with abundant mineral resources shouldn’t been languishing in abject poverty when most of their so call leaders are ranked among the richest in world. What Africa needs is a patriotic leader in all ramifications that would articulate the resources of his country for development purposes. A government that would project national outlook and not ethnic outlook is the cry of all Africans for now.





In Nigerian situation, I will not hesitate to say that our main objective is that of development. In this sense, development can be seen in a more rounded sense. It has to be qualitative improvement can be measured in terms of the extent to which our people are able to acquire material goods and services as well as a number of capabilities that give them the psychic feeling of being participant citizens in the process of controlling nature and making nature yield its abundance and being in a position toward dangers from the environment.

The qualities of a good leader include among others, ‘humility, honesty, commitment to hard work, ability to conceive programmes of permanent value, firmness, fairness, vision, patriotism and integrity”. It is very obvious to say that Nigeria has not been fortunate to have a leader with the enumerated qualities. Because each contender for power, whether at national or regional level, was desperate to retain or gain office. For without office its chances for capital accumulation would be gravely jeopardized, violence and thuggery became synonymous with politics people killed in the fight to gain or retain office. Here, as under colonial rule,26 those in power used their power with little or no restraint to maintain their privileges, and to replace these out of power who wanted to replace them, 27 those who were not in power sought power with the same indifference to the rules of the game’. The ruling parties made it possible for their members to retain their clients by judicious allocation of public services to their constituencies. Constituencies represented by opposition members invariably suffered deprivation, whereas those who supported the candidates of the ruling party were better off.28 such use of the states welfare allocation functions for purely partisan purposes translated into the concentration of social amenities in constituencies of government party supporters.

Nigeria leadership since independence is plagued with self-aggrandizement. For the Nigerian governing class, development is synonymous with personal enrichment, and that the use of state power for this process was theoretically and practically accepted by them. It showed also that to achieve or retain power, ethnic appeals were made. The Nigeria leaders are only concern on developing urban areas. Nigeria rural areas is glaringly underdeveloped. It is……not only economically backward, the gap between it and the urban areas has been widening….’ The living conditions of (its inhabitants) have remained virtually unaffected by development effort29. More specifically, the rural sector is characterized by very low or deplorable human living conditions. The majority of its inhabitants hardly meet basic needs of adequate and decent food, health, education and clothing. There are also death of modern social and infrastructural facilities which according to professor Idachaba “consist of physical, secrete and institutional forms of capital which aid rural residents in their production, distribution and consumption activities as well as enhance the quality of life. They include wide range of facilities and services such as roads, electricity, pipe borne water, education, health, agricultural machineries, cooperative and market systems professor Idacha’s study, provides a wealth of data revealing great urban-rural disparities in the distribution of these infrastructures in favour of the latter. This is not unexpected given the country’s urban biased development policies and strategies inherited from the British colonialists. There is a disproportionate allocation of public resources for urban at the expense of rural development.

The scenario of Nigeria polity from the first republic to the present dispensation is characterized by the struggle to control the “national caek”, this struggle has always been intensed among the leaders. The state is an instrument of an economic power because those who hold state power use it for their own economic purposes and the economic purposes of whoever they choose. This use of state power assumes many different forms, including of course the suppression of any challenge to the supremacy of what turns in effect into an economically and politically dominant class. The wealth of the nation does not reflect in the economic and social condition of the people. The wealth of the country is shared among few cliques in the country who uses their power to suppress any form of agitation from the masses.

From the first republic to the present dispensation each government had initiated a developmental programme to alleviate the problems of the masses. But the fact about this developmental programmes is that, it is only an avenue for the government patronage to enrich their selves. It has not in any way brought any tangible development to the masses it was meant for.

Development is only accorded to those in power, the average Nigerian is neglected.

Nigeria leaders have not in any way instituted any meaningful programme that would improve the deplorable condition of the Niger Delta people, where the bulk of Nigeria wealth is generated. Moreso, the general condition of life in the country is in a very pathetic condition. Billions of dollars has been looted by the leaders from the Nigeria treasury which are never accounted for. From Awolowo, Zik, Balewa, in the first republic to all and other regime that came after it, had one way or the other siphoned Nigeria money in all ramifications.

Because Nigeria had never had a patriotic and committed leader, development will continue to be a mirage in all ramifications. The masses will continue to live in squalor while the leaders would have access to the good things of life.



The Congo, in size situation is quite unique in Africa. It shares frontiers with nine African states and stretches from the Atlantic to lake Tangayika. Not only is it larger than any other African States save to Sudan. In economic terms the Congo is potentially one of the wealthiest countries in Africa as the variety of its natural resources is equaled only by Nigeria, Nigeria Algeria and South Africa.

Taking into cognizance that Congo is one of the wealthiest states in Africa one would have thought that development would be in a large scale. This is not to be, because Congo has been plagued with civil crises ever since their independence. Congo was given independence on June 30, 1960 under the leadership of Joseph Kasavubu as president and Patrick Lumumba as prime minister. Both were leading members of the movement National du congolais (MNC), the political paryt that command the largest number of votes in the paliamant. The idea logical problem within the party and between Kasavubu and Lumumba was that the former was pro-Belgians while the later was an ardent anti-imperialism. Another political figure of the drama was Moise Tshombe, the premier of the mineral rich Katanga. He was a wealthy man. Conservative and pro-Belgian. Thus the new Congolese leadership held differing political varies along the entire spectrum. The Congolese independence ended in disaster four days after declaration. The soldier mutiny was joined by civilians who demanded material and psychological reward of independence.

Patrice Lamumba that had a vision of developing the country as never allowed to actualize his dream, he was killed by the America CIA with the help of Kasavibu and Tshombe because he was seen as an anti-imperialism. The economy of the Congolese ass entirely controlled by the imperial powers. Mobutu Sese-Seko took over the realm of affair in 1965 the government of Kasavubu was overthrown by the military. Mobutu brought doom to the people of Congo, he ruled for more than three decades. In his development was a total mirage. Poverty was in a wholesale. The wealth of the country was perpetuated by his family and his cronies.

The country was in a deplorable shape, courtesy of Mobutu self aggrandizement. 90% of the population wallows in abject poverty, this is when Mobutu is said to be the wealthiest man in the world after Shah of Iran. This has been the story of Congo inspite of her abundant resource. The revenue accrue from these resources had never reflected in the lives of the people. Mobutu never believed in the development of the country but rather he believes in perpetuation of wealth.

The government of Kabila that ousted while the leaders are busy enriching themselves the masses are dying of hunger. Civil war continues to strife in these country and the masses are the most affected. The economic condition of the people is nothing to write home about, but this is a country blessed with abundant mineral resources.


Taking a comparative analysis of leadership and development in Nigeria and Congo. We are more or less trying to look at the common features of the two country’s leadership and their roles towards development.

Nigeria and Congo got their independence the same year (1960), though from different colonial master, since both countries attained independent development has been a mirage.

Nigeria an Congo are two countries in Africa blessed with abundant mineral resources, but the unfortunate thing about the two countries is getting an ideal leadership, that is committed and patriotic in all ramifications. Empirical data has shown that ethnic politics corruption and nepotism has been the order of the day.

Development has been neglected by the country’s leadership are more interested in enriching themselves to the detriment of the masses. Mobutu and Babangida are siemese twins that had ruined the economy of these two countries. The former was in power for over three decades while they later ruled for eight years, amongst themselves they carted away billions of dollars from the country’s treasury which invariable accelerated the external debt of both countries. Nigeria and Congo had never had leadership that is compatible with development. The rural powers in these two countries have been neglected and development is a thing of the rich alone.

It is very pertinent to say that Nigeria and Congo are very rich in mineral resources that their citizens could have afforded a luxurious life if they’ve been blessed with a good leadership. The peculiar problems among these two states are constant struggle on who controls the state, which had always left the countries in chaos. Inspite of various programme institutes by the leadership of both states to alleviate the suffering of the people, development still remain elusive. This is so because this programme is only an avenue for the ruling elites and their cronies to enrich themselves.

All in all the leadership of Nigeria and Congo have never done anything tangible to improve the living condition of their citizens. The developments of the leaders embarked on are only beneficial to them alone. The kind of development the leaders put in place is not commensurate with the revenue of the state, also the people that are in control of the states made perfect use of the state in accumulating wealth for themselves. How do one explain the present scenario of Nigeria and Congo, in the midst of abundant resources, if not for the corrupt syndrome of both nations leadership, which had left the people in perpetual poverty, development a would have been a reality.



  1. Claud Ake, Explaining political instability in news States JMAS. 11,3619737.358
  2. See enchoro furgititie offender, PP.104-5; K.W.J Pest. The Nigeria Federal Election of 1959, Oxt. Uni. Pres.
  3. Olatumbosum, D. Nigeria’s Neglected Rural majority Ibadan, Oxford Uni. Press 1985, P.1.
  4. Idachaba F. Rural infrastructure in Nigeria. Ibadan University Press. 1985, PP4.
  5. Ibid PP5.
  6. This manifested in countries developmental plans annual budget allocation and developmental project.
  7. Raph Milliband, Marxism and politics. Oxford University Press London. 1977, PP108-109.




It has often been argued that the problem of development in Africa is leadership is truly the bane of our development in Africa. The leadership sought every means possible to circumvent the lanes to achieve their personal objective. It has also been said that Africa leadership lacked appropriate and properly defined policy direction, which invariably retard developmental growth. The reason for this is because they have run out of ideas without even knowing it and so they mistake clichés for brilliance and inspiration. This is very serious problem because it is absolutely necessary if a society has to mobilize itself, it has to have vision, for when there is no vision, the people perish, as they say. The fact of running out of ideas is evident in the frequent changing or abandoning of policies and programme.

Development will continue to be a mirage in Africa because the leadership are choosing ineffective externally oriented strategies of development. The reason why they are choosing these externally available for mobilization. We want to develop by the developed countries helping us with more trade, integrated rural development and new international economic order. Our leader want the World Bank, to give us more money and on easier terms. Also they want to west to generously transfer technology to us. It is pertinent to say that all can do for us, in terms of the relationship that already exists. Our success or failure therefore depends on them whether it will be possible for them to transfer more technology and so on. So it is a development strategy which will only succeed if the developed countries are willing to allow it to succeed. This means that Africa leadership are depending on the energies or the mobilization of the people because they alienated themselves from the people; and because the contradictions between them and the people are so sharp that the people are no longer available for mobilization.

The people are now cynical and indifferent. In the so-called ignorance they infact perceive how the system is, and what the possibilities are. Thus at election time, they sure they get their own share. You say it is corruption. No it is not corruption. They are very shrewd. They know that this is the only time they will ever get something. They want to take it while they can. It shows the extent to which the people have gotten cynical and are longer available for mobilization for development.



All in all, the leadership of Nigeria and Congo since independence have not in any way help in alleviating the poverty of the masses, rather they’ve engaged themselves in wealth accumulation. Inspite of the abundant resources available to both countries 90% of their citizens are living in abject poverty.

Both nations have plagued with bad leadership since their independence. The people have been totally alienated by the leaders and self-aggrandize is the order of the day.





There is need for ethical revolution in Nigeria and Congo. This is to ensure that we inculcate good values in our people to make them shun greed and unbridled acquisition even at the expense of others.

The government at all levels must be accountable to the people always; and must have a substantial measure of popular support. There must be a mechanism for changing the government with or without violence when it becomes necessary to do so.

The government must have sufficient strength stability and competence in public administration to be able to formulate and implement development policies and programmes. A drastic effort must be made to check corruption and management in all its ramifications and at all levels.

There is need for a strong, qualitative and visionary leadership in all aspects of life. Leaders that are out to serve the people and not steal public funds, leaders of the caliber of Abraham Lincoln, Mr Se-Tung, Fidel Cashro etc are a sine qua non for a country’s growth and development. When such a leadership emerges in Nigeria and Congo, there will be a change in the entire life of the people.



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