Corruption, Governance and Political Instability in Nigeria: A Dysfunctional Conundrum
The Nigerian State is a victim of high-level corruption, bad governance, political instability and a cyclical legitimacy crisis. Consequently, national development is retarded, and the political environment uncertain. The country’s authoritarian leadership faced a legitimacy crisis, political intrigues, in an ethnically – differentiated polity, where ethnic competition for resources drove much of the pervasive corruption and profligacy. While the political gladiators constantly manipulated the people and the political processes to advance their own selfish agenda, the society remained pauperized, and the people wallowed in abject poverty. This invariably led to weak legitimacy, as the citizens lacked faith in their political leaders and by extension, the political system. Participation in government was low because citizens perceived it as irrelevant to their lives. In the absence of support from civil society, the effective power of government was eroded. Patron – client relationships took a prime role over the formal aspects of politics, such as the rule of law, well-functioning political parties, and a credible electoral system. In order to break this cycle and ensure good governance, accountability and transparency must be guaranteed.
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Department of Public Management and Economics, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa.
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