Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

Effects of Elitism and External Debt Crises on Nigerian Citizenry

Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

Effects of Elitism and External Debt Crises on Nigerian Citizenry

Article excerpt


This paper examines the nexus between the elites and external debt imbroglio on Nigerians. It argues that the flakes of the debt crises are the killings and bombings in different parts of the North with the psychological fear in the south that this billowy suicide flame will soon waftin. The method adopted in this work is the content analysis of external debt profiles since 1961 up to June, 2012. Data extracted are consequently used to test a hypothesis using the t-test at both 0.05 and 0.01 levels of significance. However, the two types of elites show that they are agents of political decay, a description Samuel Huntington gave to the military in the sixties. The results indicate that there is no significant difference between the military and their democratic elites. Problems emanating from these high external debts are high unemployment rates, decaying infrastructure, delayed or outright stoppage of promotion, among others. Consequently, frustration propels the followership, sponsored by some disgruntled elites, to express their disgust in different ways such as suicide bombing and forming of religious, cult and ethnic militia. All this has led to the insecurity of lives in the polity. The antidote is for the political elites to find lasting solution to the debt crises and to desist henceforth from taking foreign loans .This is the veritable desideratum to propel the country towards meaningful and sustainable development.

Keywords: elite, democracy, military, external debt, bombing, capital flight

1. Introduction

Crises have, over the years, become a recurrent feature in the Nigerian polity. This has manifested in various forms since independence. For instance, there were the various crises which culminated in the first military coup d'état on 15 January, 1966 (Anifowose, 2006; Harriman, 2006). There was the war of attrition; known universally as Nigerian civil war, between the Late Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu-led Biafra and the federal troops. This crisis was not only fought at home, but also had an international dimension. There was the leadership succession crisis among competing ethnic elites, at various periods, among others. These crises were resolved beneath the veneer of a more potent problem: the rivalry among the federating ethnic units with different historical and cultural background (Agbese, 1985).

The particular crisis, at the moment, which, superficially, is intractable, is the recent spate of killings and bombing, initiated in the North by a religious but Islamic sect. This crisis, at inception, was based on the rejection of western education. It, however, moved away from that objective to target and to attack the Christians and their churches in the North. Other organisations in the Northern part of the country including the United Nations office were attacked. But these latter attacks were, apparently, mere subterfuge to cover up the real motive.

The central theme of this paper, therefore, is that these insurgencies in the North, as well as similar disturbances in other geo-political zones of the South, are, among other factors, product of the aftermath of external debt crises which had impacted adversely on the generality of the citizenry. However, the major preoccupations of this study are to explain the statement of the problem, state appropriate hypothesis which guided this study, examine the concepts of elite and debt, discuss the conceptual framework into which this research work is suited, statistically test the hypothesis, analyse the results, and proffer some possible antidotes before reaching some conclusion.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria, it is often said, is rich in resources (World Factbook, 2012). However, due to the ineptitude and greed of the political elites these endowments are not properly managed (Sanusi, 2010; Akinyemi, 2012). This has, over the years, affected the political and socio-economic development of the country. Consequently, the political managers source for loans both within and outside, in order to widen the frontiers of public funds and to create more money which they can divert into their private pockets. …

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