Poor leadership has unarguably been recognized as a major national question around which many socioeconomic and political problems revolve in Nigeria. It has led to decadence and a squandermania mentality which breeds all sort of vices, mass poverty, absent and decaying infrastructure, kidnapping, agitations, banditry, and all kinds of insurgency. Playwrights, like other social scientists, have continued to interrogate this ugly phenomenon, which make socioeconomic and political development a will-o’-the-wisp in the country. This paper attempts to examine Emeka Nwabueze’s A Parliament of Vultures and Uche-Chinemere Nwaozuzu’s The
Candles, especially as they deploy the vulture and the candle, respectively, as metaphors to elucidate the question of leadership failure in the unstable and politically explosive minefield that is Nigeria. The study adopts Clifford Geertz’s thick description approach to interpretation as its methodology. The researchers discovered that self-aggrandizement, incompetence, “firebrigade approach,” poor institutions, lack of meritocracy, blackmail, and violence were the social realities that encumber the flowering of good governance in the country.


corruption, democracy, military, politics socioeconomic, squandermania, thick description

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

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