Are the Elites Nigeria’s Major Problem?


Although this argument appears unending, many analysts believe Nigeria’s staggered growth process was caused mainly by the elites and ruling class who have consistently plundered the nation’s treasury at the expense of her expected development. However, others insist that a nation only gets the leadership it deserves, and that the masses are equally culpable in their apathy and in leaving the elites to run amok in the process of governance. To you, are the elites the major problem of Nigeria’s development, and if yes or no, what is the remedy?


* All the elites in Nigeria were once ordinary citizens. So they are absolutely not the problem. Get rid of all the elites now, and the new set of elites that will take over will not be different. Even if all of the agitations everywhere produce the restructuring or separation that many are seeking, without our character as individuals changing first, nothing will change in the character of those that will inherit the federating components. We are all part of the rot in the system. Instead of praying, we curse our nation at will and still expect it to bear its fruits.

Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* Not really the elite, because the people don’t know their rights, so they tend to worship the elite.

Mrs. Moses Adetoun, Ogun State

* No. A nation will only get the kind of leadership that it actually deserves. The masses are equally culpable in their apathy and in leaving the elites to run amok in the process of governance. Elites are products of the society and act to corruptly enrich themselves and often the greedy poor masses, friends, and relatives e.t.c, who make illegal and unreasonable demands on their political representatives at all levels of government, which encourage corruption hugely. Henceforth, bribery and corrupt acts must be punished severely to deter others.

Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* Nigeria comprises elites of all kinds – economic elite, political elite, intellectual elite, religious elite, etc. Are these people our major problem? Somebody like ex-president of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, is going to say yes. But I beg to differ slightly. I think the problem is the way the elite relates with the Hoi Polloi, which stems from the vanity inherent in us as a people. So when a ‘downtrodden person’ becomes a governor, for instance, he evolves into a problem for society, totally disregarding his humble background.

Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R., Apo, Abuja

* Indeed, the elites are Nigeria’s major problem. God has chosen Nigeria among millions to lead this country to greater height, but they have chosen to lead it into ruin due to their selfish interest and desires. If I may ask, who are our policy makers? Who are the contractors that handle our roads construction, building of hospitals, schools e.t.c? They are our elites that we so trusted, queuing to elect them whether in rain or shine but when they are there, they legislate what will benefit only them. Take a typical civil servant who put in 35 years in service, do you know what gratuity he collects? But our politicians collect hundreds of millions of naira for serving for a two-tenure term of eight years. The contractors abandon their contracts half-way after collecting mobilisation fees and at times part payment. They are supposed to be the light but end up bringing us into total darkness. What a pity!

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* Although it is easier to blame the elites for most of Nigeria’s problems of misrule, oil bunkering and treasury looting, the masses or the led are equally culpable. The elites loot on a spree simply because the masses allow them to do so and even celebrate the endless stealing by the ‘leaders’. The end result is that the people get the leaders they deserve, and until they decide to rebel against selfish elites, Nigeria will continue to be at the mercy of cabals and wicked people in high places. However, the current ruling class needs to be eradicated, just like polio, for Nigeria to survive and flourish.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

* We have good elites that want Nigeria to be great while some bad elites want the treasury to share among themselves for their selfish interest. This government should seek better advice from good elites that want Nigeria to be a great nation, rather than what bad ones would get from government. Those bad elites should know this government is not for sharing treasury meant for infrastructural development. The time of sharing the treasury is over as the past government wasted funds meant for development.

Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* Elites and the ruling class are not the major problems of Nigeria development. But some have contributed negatively in Nigeria’s socio-economy, and are too greedy. They are supposed to manage the youth properly, ensure economical use of their resources and facilitate viable societal policies. In 2015, some few elites and ruling class came up with the slogan “change” which got masses and Nigerian citizens to vote for them to return into victory. In the developed countries, the elites stand for the progress of their nations. Therefore the role of the elites and the ruling class should be taken seriously by the present administration to avert future disaster, staggered growth and high rate of underdevelopment, unemployment, poverty, disunity and corruption.

Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Abuja

* The answer is a big YES.

Ms Nana Opoku, Lagos State

* The elites and ruling class are the main cause of lack of development and corruption in the country. I have not seen any elite sentenced to death or life imprisonment, nor amounts recovered published for Nigerians to know how much was recovered from each as they are Nigeria’s treasury looters. We are on the verge of another political campaign and some of them have started declaring intention to contest. The problem is that up to date the government barks but lacks the courage to bite looters.

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* Yes, the elites and the ruling class from inception have unfortunately caused Nigeria’s staggered growth process by their extremely unpatriotic actions and inactions. They have obviously consistently plundered Nigeria’s treasury at the expense of her projected development. It is responsible for our dilemma, sorrows, tears, blood, and the unimaginable level of corruption engulfing Nigeria so cancerously today. We must restructure our minds and our Nigeria now!

Mr. Apeji Onesi. Lagos State


Yes, they are: 4

No, they are not: 2

Others: 5

Radical tip: Eradicate the elites!

Total no of respondents: 11

Male: 8

Female: 3

Highest location: Lagos (4)

Next Week: Is this Administration Still Fighting Corruption?

The present administration, led by PMB, swept to power in April 2015 on a wave of popularity, and its main appeal then was its pledge to kick out corruption, which is Nigeria’s major hindrance to development. Now after two years in power, many analysts believe the federal government has not done enough to purge its top ranks of high-profile corrupt practices and corruption allegations, with recent leaked memos and top committee investigations. To you, is the administration still fulfilling its pledge to check corruption? If not, what should be done?