Since independence, Nigeria has never had sagacious leaders that had performed in terms of provision of infrastructures and meeting the socioeconomic needs of the masses. The first reason why Nigerian leaders do not perform is unpreparedness for leadership positions. Nigerian leaders are mostly accidental leaders! They have no blueprint of what they want to achieve in office. How many Nigerian leaders were prepared before they suddenly occupied leadership positions?
In the 1959 pre-independence elections, the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) got the majority votes but the votes were not enough to form the government so the NPC formed a coalition with the National Convention for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC). Alhaji Ahmadu Bello as the leader of the NPC supposed to be the prime minister but turned it down on the ground that he could not leave the Sokoto Caliphate as the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Region for Lagos to lead the country. Thus, he picked Sir Tafawa Balewa to become the prime minister while Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe became the president as the country adopted the parliamentary system of government. Since Sir Tafawa Balewa did not prepare for the exalted position of prime minister he couldn’t achieve anything substantial within the period he led the country.
When the unfortunate first coup occurred on January 15th, 1966, and Major-General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi became the Head of State, he was not also prepared for the task that strolled into his hands. He promulgated the Unitary Government Decree 34 that turned the country into a unitary state and had nothing to show for his six months old administration as the counter-coup of July 29, 1966 took his life! How was the administration of General Yakubu Gowon who also became an accidental head of state after the counter coup and ruled the country for nine years? He led the country into the unfortunate civil war as he ordered the federal soldiers to fire the first bullet that started the war which lasted three years! His regime witnessed the oil boom in the early 1970s but said “The problem with Nigeria is not money but how to spend it”. At the time he made that statement, how many refineries, universities, hospitals, railway lines, good roads, industries, did he build? Did he provide infrastructures for the country since he did not prepare for that enviable position?
General Murtala Mohammed who ousted General Yakubu Gowon spent only six months in office before he was assassinated in an aborted coup led by late Col. Surka Buka Dimka. So, we cannot ascertain whether he was prepared for the position of head of state or not. General Olusegun Obasanjo who was deputy to late General Murtala Mohammed suddenly became the head of state and spent three years in office. He too was not prepared so he did not know what to do as he spent our oil money to organize Festac 1977.
Alhaji Shehu Shagari wanted to contest for a senatorial seat but he was suddenly anointed to become the president of Nigeria. He assumed office as the first executive president of Nigeria on October 1, 1979. His administration failed Nigerians woefully and three months into his second term, he was overthrown by General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) on December 31, 1984. General Buhari spent barely two years in office when he was also ousted by General Ibrahim Babaginda on August 27, 1985. General Muhammadu Buhari spent almost two years as head of state which were wasted years as no development can be traced to his regime except the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) agency he set up. He was not prepared for that office but was power drunk. General Ibrahim Babaginda who assumed office on August 27, 1985, spent eight years in office. At the time he stepped aside on August 27, 1993, the country was at the point of disintegration due to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election which was presumably won by late Chief M.K.O. Abiola. The only thing that can be traced to his administration was the creation of eleven states! He aspired to become life-military-president!