This research work discusses leadership and national integration in a federal state. The aim of this study is to explain the impact of leadership in national integration in a federal state. The project will be divided into five chapters, chapter one discussed the background to the study. Chapter two deals with literature review, definition of leadership, factors that sustain instrumental political leadership, element of leadership national integration, step to be taking towards national integration. While chapter three discusses the challenges of national integration, the implication of leadership problems on national integration. Chapter four discusses the contribution of Nigerians fourth republic leaders and lastly chapter five deals with summary, conclusion and recommendation.
- BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Nigeria is a country which has been historically exposed to impact of foreign influence. As a nation needs to rehabilitate her sense of values through this, we can integrate confidence in ourselves and build a united and integrated country erected on a foundation of our knowledge, it involves both politics, social, cultural and economic aspect of a nation fostering oneness and unity in diversity.
The concept of nation is the process of constructing or structuring a national identity, using the power of the state. This process aims at the unification of the people within the state so that remains politically stable and viable in the long run, it is also a process of enhancing the capacity of state institution, building state-society relations and also external interventions.
However, I would like to emphasize the fact that nations do not just happen, by historical accident, rather they are built by men and women with vision and resolve. National integration is therefore the product of conscious state craft, not happenstance national integration is always a work-in-progress, a dynamic process in constant need of nurturing and re-invention. National integration never stops and true national integration never rest because all nation are constantly racing up to new challenges.
National integration has many important aspects. Firstly is about building a political entity which corresponds to given territory, based on some generally acceptance rule norms and principles and some common citizenship. It is also about building institutions which symbolize the political entity institutions such as bureaucracy, as economy, the judiciary, universities, a civil service and civil society organization. Above all these, however, national integration is about building a common sense of purpose, a sense of shared destiny, a collective imagination of belonging.
If we are to succeed in national integration we must have a leader that is committed to the rule of law and has a demonstrable sense of fair play and democratic tolerance, a leader with ability and integrity.
Leadership has been described as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”.
According to Mustapha Akanbi (2008) in the challenges of national integration” he distinguished compatriot Chinua Achebe, the trouble with Nigeria is the failure of leadership. Leadership is a critical factor in national integration and it should be understood in two important but related ways. First, there are the personal qualities of integration. Honestly, commitment and competence of individual leaders at the top also there are the collective qualities of common vision, focus and desire for development of the elites as a whole.
Leadership is not everything but it is an extremely important factor unless we have leaders with ability, integrity, commitment and vision, we cannot succeed at national integration.
These are the efforts, the political-and inclusive will of citizens directed at constructing a virile nation. National integration involves or entails purposeful calculated, deliberate and subcritical steps (most especially in a multiethnic society), towards erecting a landscape or political entity where people, irrespective of their differences live harmoniously with respect for individual uniqueness and forge together with common goals.
The challenges facing building a nation are Ferrous terms, Soyinka (2009) posited that “the enemies of true nationhood are multiple and thus, the will to nation-being remains a constant challenges” the nature and consistency of those challenges often narrate the true histories of peoples anywhere, and through the ages. Nigeria, since independence has been embattling with a lot of problems which serves as bane to her booming a nation. One of the problems of Nigerian political Formations is the post-colonial period is the monopolization of the political space by the leadership in the name of national integration and development. Any discussion on democratization process in the country should necessarily bring on board the question of the state power, its use or abuse by the leadership, the restriction of the political space and the role of the opposition in the polity (Ihonbere, 2004).
Leadership, in other words, is an essential element in the process of national integration and reconstruction. The tragedy of most post-colonial African states and Nigeria in particular is that they lack visionary political leaders who will transcenparochial and primordial interest to transform the state into a viable vehicle that could address the basis needs of the citizenry through the provision of adequate health facilities, qualitative education, shelter, food, good roads, water, telecommunication facilities and security of lives and property in our own case, post independence leaders not only personalized power, but also privatized the state for the purpose of primitive accumulation, clientelism and repression of all forms of opposition. Instead of using the state for initiating development, Nigerian leaders utilized it as a vehicle for terrorizing the citizenry, thereby leading to the disengagement of the populace from the public realm (Abubakar, 2004, The Nation, February 23, 2004).
Given the undesirable elements that characterized Nigerian political leadership, some people feel that the Nigerian past has been squandered, the present mortgaged and the future so uncertain that politics could no longer be taken for granted.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The focus of this project is to examine the impact of leadership on national integration in Nigeria.
I believe that all the problems in Nigeria, including political instability lack of political and social economic development nepotism corruption and all the vices that plague Nigeria today stem from this single problem, very few Nigerians believe they have any stake in Nigeria. Hence, Nigerian leaders pay lip service to the issue of restricting Nigeria and crafting a new constitution for the new Nigeria. Restructuring of Nigeria into a true federal political system will give authentic meaning to the adjective “Nigerian”. Meanwhile, Nigeria as it is now, a pseudo federal political system is not progressive and must be erased for a true federal political system, and simultaneously, all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria should confer to negotiate a mutual coexistence.
- PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study therefore is summarized as follows:
- To find out the attitude of leadership towards national integration
- To examine the dimension of leadership with a view to achieving national integration in Nigeria
- To shed more light on the nature of leadership in Nigeria
- The study will provide basis for effective guidance to modify student attitude towards national integration
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Do Nigeria leaders understand the essence to build nation for future?
- Does Nigeria sociologically known for fear of chaos?
- Do Nigeria leaders lead us in building the system of government we need?
- What are the distinct challenges facing the leaders of a nation?
- What role does leadership play in national integration?
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The project is being carried out purposely to examine the impacts of leadership on national integration in Nigeria. The study shall cover the performance of leadership and its effects on national integration in Nigeria and it will mostly base on the fourth republic experience.
The methodology adopted in this study Is a blend of historical, descriptive and analytical research methods. The historical research will allow us to describe the antecedent and precedent from the past and present and learn from them which can be purely factual and descriptive. This means invariably the sources of the data will be mainly library research and content analysis. This library will involve the use of relevant textbook on leadership and national integration in Nigeria and other relevant books on the study.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of this work is to allow us to know the activities of people toward national-integration. This study is significant because it would fix integration in the nature of the readers. And will also teach the students the impact of leadership on national integration in Nigeria. It will be of benefit to the government Parastatals in order to correct impediments in various sectors (social, political, cultural e.t.c) so as to ensure good leadership as well as rapid development.
This study will be of benefit to the society at large, citizens or followers to contribute their quota towards national development and good leadership. It will enable us to know the root of the problem as a nation and to know how to find and elect a leader who have the interest and adopt to understand the imperative and to discipline concept of where we want to go as a people, and the sense of mission to stay on the path and achieve greatness.
It needs to be stressed that the nature, character and quality of leadership greatly affect not only the level of national cohesion and development at the domestic level, but also the image and influence of the country in international relations. Thus, behind great nations are great and visionary leaders who transcend parochial cleavages and corrupt tendencies in the management of state power. The impact of the nature and character of political leadership is enormous. This is because the state operates mostly as the property of those who hold political power and their entourage, rather than as an impartial system of institutions serving the general interests. The privatization of the state, together with the resulting failure to fulfill the people aspiration for democracy and economic development, has led to the erosion of its legitimacy and reduced capacity for good governance.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
Leadership: Adesina (1980) defined leadership as the dominance and prestige accompanied by the ability purpose. Yuki (1998) defined leadership as a process of influencing the activities of an organized group of people towards goals and achievement.
National Integration– This refers to a concerted effort to bring people or people together for the purpose of achieving common objective. Amustut Z. (1990,180) sees it as the name given to the group of processes involved in the growth and development of the nation.
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