Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

The Pursuit of Primordial Interest as an Explanatory Factor for the Prevalence of Governance Crisis in Nigeria's Fourth Republic

Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

The Pursuit of Primordial Interest as an Explanatory Factor for the Prevalence of Governance Crisis in Nigeria's Fourth Republic

Article excerpt


The prevalence of governance crisis in Nigeria is obvious. Inadequate structural facilities continue to impede quality of life while public office holders live in opulence. With abundant resources serving the interests of the individual in positions of power, the Nigerian state continuously slides backward in sustainable development. This paper investigated effect of illicit satisfaction of politician's cronies' selfish interests over national interest on governance crisis. The paper contended that politicians cronies in a bid to satisfy their primordial interests unduly revel, worship and perpetually make demands on leaders as soon as they ascends power. This in turn propel political officeholders to abandon provision of public good in a bid to satisfy the quests of their cronies. Since they rely on public treasury to satisfy these needs, political leaders therefore resort to looting to access sufficient fund. The paper argued that proclivity towards satisfying the quests of politicians' cronies at the expense of public goods aggravates governance crisis in Nigeria. Thus, corrupt public office holders continue to enjoy the support and receive accolades from the people who benefitted thereof. The paper further argued that, in spite of efforts of anti-corruption agencies and civil society organizations in the fight against impunity and bad governance in Nigeria, the effective and rapid promotion of good governance demands a multi-faceted approach in its practice as it affects democracy in Nigeria. To this end, the paper suggested additional ways of addressing the problem of primordial interests and governance crises in Nigeria.

Keywords: cronies, governance crisis, national interest, primordial interest

1. Introduction

Political inquest and academic discourse in the study of governance, particularly in respect of governance crisis in Nigeria is prompted by unfortunate cases of impunity, corruption, display of ethnic bias, non-adherence to democratic tenets by public office holders and unwarranted celebration and accolades of politicians by their cronies. Governance crisis has thus triggered studies designed to address this menace, considering the benefits of good governance to a nation. Also, in Nigeria, policies that can enhance good governance, promote national interest and consolidates the nation's democracy have been articulated and enforced in a bid to control perceived cases of excessive crave for primordial interests over civic interests by the cronies of public office holders, but it seems these policies are only good as their names suggests on the surface and not effective in resolving governance crisis.

In Nigeria, since return to democracy in 1999, political leaders have always been accused and blamed for bad governance and low sustainable development. Not unexpectedly, public office holder including politicians have been subjected to various accusations for causing bad or governance crisis in Nigeria. The foregoing notwithstanding, not much intellectual resources have been deployed to investigating the roles, cronies of politicians (relations, friends, party loyalist, associates and Godfathers) plays in governance crisis in Nigeria.

These cronies constitutes friends, associates, loyalists and Godfathers of politicians or public office holders as well as ethnic group to which public office holders belongs to, who most times were the first persons to congratulate leaders or politicians who have just ascend positions of governance. These group of people (cronies), according to observations (in Channels Television News) of cases of political violence at All Progressive Party (APC) gubernatorial campaign in Okrika, Rivers State and that of People Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential campaign in Bauchi and Kastina in the just concluded 2015 general elections tend to be culpable of the offence of crave for inordinate satisfaction of their selfish interests, which more often than not, propels them in engaging in criminal activities on behalf of their leaders or politicians at party's rallies and campaigns. …

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