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Title :

Corruption and the Leadership Question in Nigeria: Some Reflections on the Significance of the Sokoto Caliphate.

Authors :

Sulaiman Shehu

A major crisis of the Nigerian state today is the dangerous dimension of corruption in all sectors that drive its political economy. This problem is generally manifested in the flagrant abuse of office and misuse of opportunities by those entrusted with leading state affairs. For instance, it is today normal for leaders to initiate programs of development with tough stance against any form of corruption in it. However, those who take the lead in breaking the laws are either these leaders or their associates and then the followers, most of whom always hope to get to the “top” or “make it”. This way, such laws and policies rarely make meaning on the social and economic underdevelopment ravaging the nation. Thus, historicizing corruption as it affects Nigeria one find governments since independence carrying different brands of the fight against it, even though the same governments have continuously been blamed for the dismal failure to overcome many developmental problems of the nation. In most cases with Nigeria, past regimes and governments are seen as major contributors to the backward movement of the country because corruption has rather continued to grow as more opportunities for development are discovered. The oil and recently gas sectors are clear examples in this sense. This paper therefore attempts to highlight how leadership of the nation instead of leaving waste the treasuries should strive to end such looting so that the social and economic degradation in the national political economy will be kept at the lowest level. With examples from the founding leadership of the Sokoto Caliphate, the paper posits that incorruptibility is certainly the way for Nigeria‟s leadership to lead the fight against corruption and derailing the country‟s development process.