Bad Leadership Causes, Effects And Solutions In Nigeria

This article was created to critically examine the problem of bad leadership in Nigeria. It will clearly highlight the causes, effects and solutions to bad leadership in Nigeria. I enjoin you to read carefully, as i will pen down everything you need to know about bad leadership in Nigeria.

Solutions to bad leadership in Nigeria

Research has shown that Nigeria is one of the least developed countries in the world. Though it is apparent that Nigeria is blessed with abundance of human and natural resources, development can not take place when there is no good leader to instigate it. This is why it is absolutely right to say that leadership plays a very significant roll in the development of every country.

Having known this, it is wise; as citizens of Nigeria, to be conscious of the factors that causes bad leadership in Nigeria, the effects of bad leadership in Nigeria, and more importantly, solutions to the problem of bad leadership in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, before we go into details, i would like to clearly explain what bad leadership really mean. This will help you to clearly understand other parts of this article as we continue.

Also read: Examination malpractice in Nigeria: causes, effects and solutions.

What is bad leadership?

Leadership has been defined by Wikipedia as the ability of a person to lead, instruct or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. It is the process by which agent induces a subordinate to behave in a desired manner – Bennis.

From the above definition, bad leadership can be defined as the act of leading in a wrong way. It can also be defined as the act of leading without having the essential qualities of a good leaders. Some of these qualities are: accountability, honesty, integrity, positivity, passion & commitment.

Now that you have known what bad leadership really means, we will discuss some of the major causes of bad leadership in Nigeria.

Problem of bad leadership in Nigeria
Problem of bad leadership in Nigeria

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Causes of bad leadership in Nigeria

Below are the major causes of bad leadership in Nigeria since we got independence in 1960:

  • Docile nature of Nigerians.
  • Lack of the sense of judgement.
  • Political apathy.
  • Greed.
  • Lack of patriotism.

Docile nature of Nigerians:

When you lead people who are very submissive and gullible, i will definitely want to cash in on their ignorance one day. The docile nature of Nigerians has made even the supposed good leaders of Nigeria, to turn bad. It is because Nigerians are gullible and always silent when leaders do what pleases them, that bad leadership has continued to grow in Nigeria.

Let me give you an example, in 2020 the ruling part of Nigeria (APC), went round the country, sharing some amount of money to citizens in other to win their votes. At that time, nobody spoke against this. Nobody even cared to know how the money they shared to thousands of people in Nigeria came about. The only thing people struggled for, was to get their own share of the money.

Lack of the sense of judgement:

Another apparent cause of bad leadership in Nigeria, is lack of the sense of judgement. Nigerians have failed to acknowledge the fact that the manifestos, wealth or political party of a politician, does not make him/her the best candidate in an election. This is why we (Nigerians) are always cowled by the sweet tooth of politicians. Nigerians are always get perplexed when they are asked to elect a leader, and that is why they always vote a bad leader into power.

Nevertheless, i have created an article that clearly explains the right things to consider before voting in Nigeria. You may want to read it here.

Political apathy:

Political apathy is also a cause of bad leadership in Nigeria. You will agree with me that most citizens of Nigeria don’t care much about politics in their country. This is really a problem because, whenever the leaders in power, finds out that the people they are leading; don’t have interest in political affairs, they will lead wrongly for their own personal interest.

This is why i always recommend citizens to vote in every election. The truth is that, before any leader will do something wrong for his benefit, he must consider the kind of citizens he is leading, and the level of “checks” on his activities. If his followers are always vociferous, his level of irregularities will be low because, he knows that his followers are watching him closely.


There is no doubt that greed is the major and most evidential cause of bad leadership in Nigeria. It is basically on the side of our leaders. When people are elected to lead Nigeria, most of them use that opportunity to loot all the money they can, instead of doing what they were elected into power for.

Bad leadership in Nigeria

This has been a custom in Nigeria over the years. It has gotten to the extent that even the so called anti corruption agencies that were given the power to fight corruption and stop looting in the country, did nothing to bad leaders that were reported to have committed a crime.

Lack of patriotism:

Another reason why Nigeria always have bad leaders, is the lack of patriotism on the side of almost every citizen. Nigerians don’t care about anything that will contribute to the development of their country. They are only concerned about the satisfaction that they will derive from whatever they do. This is the mindset of every Nigerian, and that is why bad leaders always surface in our political system.

To clearly explain this, I will tell you my experience in a voting center at Lagos. In the recent 2015 general elections, my friend and I went out to vote for the president candidate we supported. On getting there, one of the popular political party in Nigeria, started given out money to influence voters. To my greatest surprise, all the people who came to vote there, instantaneous changed their minds. They quickly joined the next queue, so that they will be in the pay roll. After that incident, I clearly understood why Nigeria is not developing.

Effects of bad leadership in Nigeria

Having known the various causes of bad leadership in Nigeria, it is wise to also discuss the possible effects of it, if nothing substantial is done to reduce it. Below are the effects of bad leadership in Nigeria over the last few years:

  • Increase in corruption.
  • Increase in poverty rate.
  • Brain drain.
  • Military coup.
  • Increase in death rate.

Increase in corruption:

This effect is already obvious in Nigeria. One of the most contributing causes of corruption in Nigeria, is bad leadership. It transfers corruption to every sector of the country. Take for instance, when there is bad leadership, there will definitely be low salary for workers. When teachers and lecturers are not paid very well, they tend to foster examination malpractice in Nigeria.

So you see, that is how it will increase corruption in Nigeria. If nothing effective is done, it will even get to an extent when corruption will be indomitable in the country.

Increase in poverty rate:

If we keep on having bad leaders in Nigeria, an increase in the poverty rate of the country will be inevitable. This fact is uncontestable, as it has been confirmed that Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world. Funnily enough, we are also one of the top countries with the richest soil for agriculture. This should tell you that bad leadership is one of the problems of Nigeria indeed. More so, an increase in poverty rate will lead to more damages to the citizens of the country and even to their unborn children.

Brain drain:

Last week, i wrote an article about the causes, effects and solutions to brain drain in Nigeria. In that article, I clearly explained the damages that Nigeria will face if there is an increase in the rate of brain drain. Well, drain drain will also be inevitable if bad leadership continues in Nigeria.

Obviously, bad leadership facilitates poor education and lack of the social amenities in the country. This will inversely make the country unbearable for highly educated, skilled and talented people in Nigeria. Thus, they will be left with no choice, than to migrate to other countries for a better life. No doubt, this is the most destructive effect of bad leadership in Nigeria. It will incessantly continue if nothing is done by Nigerians to stop bad leadership in Nigeria.

Military coup:

One of the possible effects of bad leadership in Nigeria again, is military coup. In Nigeria, the military always interfere with the activities of a civilian government, when the government supports dictatorship and corrupt activities. Thus, bad leadership to a very large extent, can cause a military coup in Nigeria (Just like it was done in the past).

The only shortcoming of this intervention is that, even when the military intervenes; there is always no peace because, even the military government will be autocratic and undemocratic. This has taken place in Nigeria several times. Notable among them is the 1966 Nigerian coup d’état which overthrew Prime Minister Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

Increase in death rate:

Last on the effects of bad leadership in Nigeria, is an increase in death rate. An increase in death rate of the country cannot be circumvented, if bad leaders continue to run Nigeria’s political affairs. This is so because, bad leadership leads to poor facilities in hospitals and Medical Centers around the country. Therefore, there will be little or no place for citizens who need medical attention in the country. This is one of the most dangerous effects of bad leadership in Nigeria.

causes of bad leadership in Nigeria

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Solutions to the problem of bad leadership in Nigeria

Since we already know the causes of bad leadership in Nigeria, it will be very easy to proffer solutions to the problem. Below are some cogent solutions to bad leadership in Nigeria:

Nigerians should always vote the right leader:

Like i have stated already, lack of the sense of judgement is one of the causes of bad leadership in Nigeria. In light of that, if Nigerians should strive to always vote the right Leader, both in the federal, state or local level of government, the problem of bad leadership will be greatly reduced. This is the most effective and cogent solution to the problem of bad leadership in Nigeria.

Citizens should always speak out when they sense any wrong activity:

If Nigerians have been speaking out whenever they sense corruption, leadership in Nigeria would have been marked by accountability. The reason why Nigeria is flooded with so many bad leaders is because, citizens are always silent to corruption. Trust me; this will go a long way to curb this problem of bad leadership and corruption in Nigeria.

Nigerians should be patriotic and concerned about the political affairs of their country:

Previously, I mentioned “Unpatriotic citizens” as one of the people who cause bad leadership in Nigeria. A patriotic citizen is a citizen who has his/her country at heart. In other words, a patriotic citizen will always want to the progress and development of his/her country.

This may be very difficult to achieve in Nigeria, since Nigeria is more driven by unpatriotic nature. That notwithstanding, if you can change your mindset about your country, and I also change mine, we will can help save this country from bad leadership together.

Leaders should be devoted to doing what they were voted into power for:

Leaders should also try to keep to whatever they promised before elected into power. As a leader, even if you see other leaders leading wrongly, looting money and engaging in other corrupt activities, you should be exception. Truly, that is what makes a good leader. Nigeria is said to be so corrupt because, it is apparent that almost all the political positions in the country, are occupied by corrupt officials. Personally, I doubt if any is not corrupt.

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For Nigeria to develop, our government/leaders must grow significantly. Well, this cannot be done by just one person. It must be a conjunction of all our efforts. This was why Horgan said that “the end of leadership involves getting results through others and the team“. By this, he meant that “good leaders are
those who build teams to get across a variety of situations“. I strongly believe that the solutions proffered above will go a long way to curb the problem of bad leadership in Nigeria. It will inversely bring about development in Nigeria.

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