Nigeria and the Politics of Unreason: A Study of the Obasanjo Regime


When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn in as a democratically elected president of Nigeria in May 1999, hopes were high that his regime would help wake the country up from its deep slumber and fix most of the problems caused largely by decades of unimaginative military autocracy. President Obasanjo himself promised to reverse the incident of worsening poverty, give the treasury looters a good fight and improve the appalling conditions of education, the economy, social infrastructure, and security of life and property. Nigeria and the Politics of Unreason, a brilliant and lucid analysis of the sociopolitical and economic problems facing Nigeria, assesses how far the Obasanjo regime has lived up to its promises between 1999 and 2003. It concludes that the president’s Ostrich leadership-style has turned the country into a place where sociopolitical and economic problems remain perpetually unresolved.

This book was therefore borne out of the need for solutions to the unreasonable politics practiced by Nigerian politicians that leads to weak economy and corruption, poverty, insecurity of life and property, political godfatherism, and decay of the educational institutions and social infrastructure in the society. Given the extensive research involved, this book is expected to be beneficial to students and teachers in the department of social sciences (Politics, Political Economy, Political History, International Development Studies) in tertiary institutions. It could also serve as a good reference guide for policy-makers and the general public.

This book is divided into four parts. Part I (Chapters 1 & 2) deals with background issues on political activities in Nigeria leading to the 2003 politics, and Part II (Chapters 3, 4, & 5) addresses leadership, corruption, and poverty, which are the major problems facing the nation today. Part III (Chapters 6, 7, & 8) focuses on the economy and the state of education in Nigeria, while Part IV (Chapters 9, 10, & 11) deals with political instability, insecurity, and political godfatherism, and concludes with discussions on ways and means to control electoral frauds in future.


Part I

Chapter 1

Introduction: Nigeria and the Politics of Unreason

Chapter 2

Political Parties and Electoral Commissions

Part II

Chapter 3

Virtue and Leadership Challenges in Nigeria

Chapter 4

Corruption in Nigeria: Understanding and managing the Challenges

Chapter 5

The Poverty Profile of Nigeria

Part 111

Chapter 6

The Nigeria Economy: Technology and Productivity

Chapter 7

The Economy: Inflation and Economic Survival

Chapter 8

The State of Education and the Health of the Nation

Part 1V

Chapter 9

Political Instability and Insecurity

Chapter 10

Political Godfatherism and Nigerian Politics: A Case Study of Anambra State

Chapter 11

Conclusions: Understanding and managing the Challenges of the 2003 Elections


Victor E. Dike, currently an adjunct assistant professor, School of Business and Information Management National University (Sacramento-Campus) Sacramento, California, is the author of Democracy and Political Life in Nigeria [Zaria, Nigeria: Ahmadu Bello Univ. Press, 2001]. The Osu Caste System in Igboland: A Challenge for Nigerian Democracy [Kearney, NE: Morris Publishing, 2002], and Leadership, Democracy, and the Nigerian Economy: Lessons from the Past and Directions for the Future [Sacramento, California: The Lightning Press, 1999].