African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Democracy and good governance: Nigeria’s dilemma

Ilufoye Sarafa Ogundiya
Department of Political Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Sokoto State, Nigeria. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 April 2010
  •  Published: 30 June 2010


Despite its enormous resources and huge potentialities, Nigeria remains grossly undeveloped. Consequently, political instability, abject poverty, acute youth unemployment, heightened crime rate, poor health prospects and widespread malnourishment have been the main features of Nigeria’s political economy. The development tragedy in Nigeria fits into the trends of political instability for which Africa has become infamous for in the past three decades. This further lends credence to the arguments by some students of African politics that governance is one of the major problems in Africa. This paper argues that the problem of development in Nigeria is a problem of governance; when defined in term of the proper, fair and equitable allocation of resources for the achievement of the end or purposes of the state, which is the promotion of the common good. The paper submits that for good governance to be feasible in Nigeria, sound anti-corruption policies devoid of mere speeches must be put in place. Furthermore, the paper recommends a functional legislature, a viable and independent judiciary, and the attitudinal transformation on the part of the political elite, the absence of which good governance and development will continue to be a mirage.


Key words: Corruption, instability, underdevelopment, democracy, good governance.