Revisiting Indigenous Institutions for Leadership Revival in Africa

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Revisiting Indigenous Institutions for Leadership Revival in Africa

Johnson Olawale BAMIGBOSE, Omowumi BOBOYE*
Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: The crisis of governance in Africa has call forpublic outcry over the years. This crisis has eventually led to several challenges including leadership mistrust, climate change, economic recession, youth unemployment, violent conflicts, corruption, sustainable housing, transportation and cities, demography and the youth question, food security, population and city planning quagmires. Quite disturbing is the continual dependence on their colonial masters to champion the path of development even in the 21st century global arena. Hence, development continues to be a mirage in the desert as a result of weak and corrupt political leadership associated with the continent. Based on the foregoing, this paper dwelling on the descriptive and analytical methods revisited the indigenous institutions of Yoruba Obaship as a lesson for leadership revival in Africa. This becomes imminent as the present governance structure has failed to fully address the identified development conundrums. Indigenous institutions should be seen as what can be tagged “Tiwa N Tiwa” and so the lessons garnered can be used in reviving the culture of political leadership in the land. In the same vein, structural-functionalism approach was adopted to explain the imperativeness of indigenous leadership as subjects pay more loyalty to their belief system compare to the over-bloated modern democracy. The paper recommends a revivification of indigenous leadership styles, collaborative governance by both democratic and traditional institutions and incorporation of the indigenous virtues into the political leadership among others.

Keywords: Indigenous institution, Leadership, Democracy and Yoruba Traditional Institution.


The recent developmental conundrums in African continent have spur many to begin the journey to the world of both known and unknown as a recipe. This becomes imminent as today’s governance through the modern structure has failed to entrench the overall transformation of the society. This has semblance with the line of argument supported by scholars in African countries. To put this succinctly, Wunch and Olowu (1990) argued that the tragedy that the contemporary Africa is facing stems essentially from the structural defective pattern of governance adopted by the African political elites since those countries attained political independence in the 1960s.