Challenges of Democratic Leadership and Governance at the Grassroots in Nigeria: 1999-2015
This paper examines the concepts of democratic leadership and governance at the grassroots level in Nigeria from 1999-2015. It appraises the qualities of leadership in a democratic setting in view of the fact that Nigeria being a transition society is laden with a plethora of problems in her process of democratisation, such as weak institutional framework, absence of constructive opposition at the grassroots level and inadequate political education. The study evaluates the impact (if any) of democratic leadership on governance at the grassroots level in Nigeria. It equally review the success, failures, strengths and challenges of democratic leadership at grassroots level in Nigeria. Finally, the study makes some suggestions that could improve democratic leadership and governance at the grassroots level in Nigeria. Primary and secondary data were obtained. Primary data were obtained from interview conducted on both traditional and political leaders in some selected communities and government officials in rural and community development ministries while secondary data was obtained from published books, journal articles, newspapers etc. Data collected was analysed using simple descriptive analysis. The result reveals that the country has not demonstrated enough seriousness and sincerity of purpose in the manner in which the grassroots administration was operated. It is further discovered that the election of political functionaries at the grassroots level in Nigeria is not largely determined by the local people rather, it is subjected to the influence of political executives at the state level. Finally, the study recommends the full implementation of 1999 constitutional provisions for a more effective operation of grassroots administration.