Extinction of godfatherism in Nigerian politics

October 28, 2020
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Globally, it is said that politics is dynamic, but it seems the dynamism is more in Nigerian politics considering the sequence of political happenings since the return to democratic rule in 1999.  The tempo of playing politics of godfatherism, in recent times, especially by political elite and those who have the opportunity to be at the helms of decision-making in the country can be termed as ‘fast and furious’.

Known as Africa’s largest economy and battling for stability in its huge diversity, Nigeria has had a fair share of being described as a nation not living up to its full potential and its brand of politics is riddled with godfatherism which has been identified as a curse to Nigerian politics and governance.

Unlike in a saner clime where godfathers are more concerned to regulate public policies in favour of the citizens, Nigerian politicians have proven to be after how they can appropriate government’s contracts, political-cum-public appointments and plundering the coffers of the state. Politics in Nigeria has continually been made very expensive and beyond the reach of ordinary Nigerians.

The economic pressure put on people in the name of godfatherism is overwhelming, even as its effect on good leadership is another cause of concern to many citizens. In many countries where godfatherism is not practised, politicians emerge and put the people’s interest first.

Often times, in our country, puppets are being put forward by godfathers to vie for political offices in order to feather their nest and build political empires at the expense of the people. This, no doubt, stalls national development and growth.

Meanwhile, sometimes, it also leads to dirty squabbles and bitter politicking between the godfathers and godsons when there is fallout. There had been countless debates about the effect of godfatherism on states and even the election process at various times. The build-up to some elections was painted with lots of arguments on who will emerge winner in some states following the fallout between some godfathers and their protégé especially when such godfathers while fighting their former political sons have moved on to publicly support another candidate against the former protégé that they supported.

In many cases as witnessed recently in recent elections, the voice of the citizens prevailed and this marked the beginning of a new era which was established against all odds.

The wave against godfatherism has swept many acclaimed lord of politics and removed from them their acclaimed dominance, leaving them with nothing. Many become completely irrelevant, while some are still holding to the last stroke for survival.

Alabidun Shuaib Abdulrahman,

Abuja

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