GodFatherism: A Political Virus In Nigeria

Godfathers have sustained a reputation of deploying their wealth to secure party nomination for candidates of their choice.

The 2019 general election is drawing nearer by the day with many political parties amplifying their efforts to walk their way into the hearts of Nigerians.

This Election, though still months away, has seen politicians jumping ships with reckless abandon. Anyway, this piece is centered on a virus that has been damaging our democracy and crippling our economy.

Godfatherism, the virus, is defined as a form of political corruption in which an influential (GodFather) member of a party assists another person climb to leadership. Since 1999 Nigeria, has witnessed the rise of too many political gladiators, who are tyrannical in their actions.

Godfatherism has become a terrifying phenomenon in Nigeria political scene, the reason being that, Godfathers have sustained a reputation of  deploying their wealth to secure party nomination for candidates of their choice, sponsor their elections including manipulating the electoral process for their selfish interests. This prevalent political custom has been preserved by the privileged minority, and is today, a major source of tension and political instability in the country.

A case that readily comes to mind, is the recent Gubernatorial elections in Ekiti state. The sitting Governor went as far as anointing his “Protege”, declaring that he carries the anointing of God. Sometimes, the actions taken by these so-called Godfathers in a bid to have their way can be very diabolical and bloody, I guess it is really a do or die affair for them.  

In Nigeria, the Godfathers are political criminals that are behind elections or selection of most of our state governors and other lawmakers. Evidently, it appears majority of our state governors are financed by a GodFather, and for those financed by their Godfathers, when they get into offices, the Godfather will then possess enormous power in those states, assigning civil services and, or political positions at will, subjecting the sitting Governor to a figurehead role, and becoming the De-facto head.

For clarity, let’s get a little bit academic here shall we? Mbamara (2004), “asserts that Godfatherism invasion of the polity is for the nomination of political candidate for the purpose of selfish gratification”, meaning that these so called Fathers, who take up a God role in the life of their political sons/daughter, are more interested in their own political survival and relevance. It is a political slave trade based on political manipulation, devious schemes and repression of the citizens free will. Political parties lack the capacity and or capability to act against the wishes and aspirations of these Godfathers because they look up to them to fund their campaigns and to use their influences to see their candidates through elections.

Obviously, we all know one or two Godfathers who have hijacked the free flow of electoral process, turning their states or constituencies into a personal business. The election is few months away, lets get our acts together.

On a final note, this is a quote by Winston Churchill “ Hear this young men and women everywhere and proclaim it far and wide. The earth is yours and the fullness thereof. Be kind,but be fierce, you are needed now more than ever before, take up the garment of change for this is your time. Winston Churchill was 24 when he made this clarion call.

We are too bright, adventurous and fluid to be political slaves, you know what do, but I will remind you. Get your PVC.

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