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ABSTRACT

The discourse of godfatherism had so much influenced the socio-economic and political life of the nation especially in the fourth republic. It had gained much attention at the present time as a result of its need forms of articulation. It has become almost impossible for an individual to hold political office either by appointment or election without patronizing a godfather because of their power and influence. In the light of this, this long essay critically examined how poverty, ignorance and corruption contributed to the emergence of godfatherism and the role of the godfathers in carrying out their biding such as, arson, maiming, bribing, abduction and all kings of corrupt styles in other to win elections for their selfish enrich. The study also examined the consequences of this in the fourth republic.

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the Study

The issue about godfatherism in the politics of Nigeria has become a plague in the body of politics irrespective of the political party that are involved. It is a common trend in the political sector in Nigeria that an intending aspirant must have and depend on a godfather with wealth and power to get him into an elective office. The recent trend is that the aspirant no longer relies on their popularity among the electorates but they now depend on their chosen godfathers to help them secure election victory. This whole process undermines the usual popular sovereignty and other attributes that make democracies often unique and preferable to other systems of government. The dominant role of the political godfatherism in Nigerian politics and the competition amongst godfathers to win elections for their godsons with the ultimate aim of controlling state apparatus and resources has necessitate the adoption of varying tehnique to achieve electoral victory. A well distinctive aspect of every state in the country is the nature in which politics is being played and however the institution of the government acts on behalf of the state and through it’s structures, institutions and agencies, government enacts and express the sovereign will of the state. It is the desire of the citizens in the country to get control of the machinery of government for the ultimate purpose of the distribution and redistribution of the scarce resources. The concentration of power and wealth in the state explains the scramble for the control of it’s structures and institutions by the political class in the society, this struggle and the consequent values have impacted on society negatively. In our nascent democratic experience, the power tussles among the members of the political class have resulted in violence in varying forms and intensities. The competition for power becomes intensified as politics is viewed as a do or die affair by the political class. Also the domineering role of godfathers in the politics of the country also contributes to the weakness and vulnerability of the political structures in the country. These weak and susceptible political structures and institutions lack the will power to enhance and encourage democracy in Nigeria. However according to Williams (2004), he said from a general socio-political perspective that “godfatherism can be generally seen as a practice which entails the sustenance of a kind of social and political relationships in which the subordinate looks onto the superior for the propagation and fulfillment of certain roles, desires and interactions which binds both together or in which both have equal stake but with the superior determining what the subordinate gets in the process”. This view that he had presents godfatherism as a relationship between a superior and a subordinate in which the superior has some level of influence over the subordinate. In other words, godfatherism connotes a mutual relationship between individuals in which one is superior and the other a subordinate who relies on his superior partner for favours to help him attain his life goals. In the realm of politics, godfatherism portrays a power-based relationship. For instance, Ukhun (2004) emphasizes that the implicit feature in godfatherism is power. He stated that “power is the determinant or fundamental feature of godfatherism and that the power could be economic, political or even spiritual” (Ukhun, 2004). In the political parties, it is the godfathers that determine who gets nominated to contest elections and who wins in a particular state. It should also be noted that the power and influence of godfathers go beyond the nomination of candidates for elections and determining who wins. Observations have clearly shown that the role of the godfather tends to become more apparent and even more effective after the elections. As Chukwuma (2008) remarks, the godfather settles to dictate who gets what, when and how in the distribution of scarce resources after the elections have been contested and won. Therefore the role of godfathers goes beyond the elections and gets rather stronger and more evident thereafter. A political godfather is seen as one having the abilities and capabilities to manipulate the electoral process to the favors of his chosen godson. The political godfatherism also connotes sponsorship of the contestants in an election by a wealthy and influential individual or group who in return expects protection and other forms of rewards and privileges. Kolawole (2004) therefore sees godfatherism as an institution of political kingmaking through which certain political office holders of tenuous political clout come into power. However as the relationship progresses, the godfather stands to reap his investment, it can therefore be described as a relationship based on give and take, it is also important to note that this relationship is not fixed or determinate, as a matter of fact it breaks over time as a result of the contradictions inherent in godfatherism. In the politics of Nigeria, the rise of the godson to political role tends to threaten in most situations the prominence of the godfather and the godfather may see this as a threat to his preponderance position in the relationship. For example, the work of AdeyemiSuenu introduces an elitist correlation to the understanding of godfatherism, he sees godfatherism as being synonymous with the elites and according to him the elites in the political spheres are known in the Nigeria’s context as godfathers, they are usually the ones who govern, they are known as the kingmakers and often they are seen a strongmen who control politics in their different regions while godfatherism may be accepted as a sub-elite phenomenon, it cannot be entirely accepted as the same or synonymous with being elitism. This view is quite revealing as it unveils the problematic dimensions the phenomenon of godfatherism has assumed in the country. Tracing the history of Nigerians since political independence, it shows that aspirants to political offices who are less financial empowered rely greatly on the financial muscle of the money-bags in the society who invariably become their mentors and political godfathers. The money-bags on the other hand may look for a popular and very outstanding character to invest their money on by encouraging him to contest for an elective office which will be manipulated in his favour. In order to realize the mission, the political godfathers capitalize on the vulnerability of poverty ridden electorates who can be lured with money, food and material things to sell their votes to the highest bidder.

Statement of the Problem

Should money and influence be the only determinant of an election in Nigeria political content?

Must politician join any confraternity or go into feeble and illegal agreement with powerful rich mobile Nigeria before they could contest for an elections?godfatherism and politics will not bring about significant growth/development economically, socially and politically.

The doctrine of separation of power and the theory of rule of law is not best assured. The fundamental human right is well protested as stipulated by the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.

Research Questions

The following research questions were raised to guide the study.

What patterns do godfatherism take in Nigeria political system?

What factors promote godfatherism in Nigerian political system?

What are the general effects of god fatherism in politics in Nigeria?

How does education influence Nigerian politics and politicians in relation to godfatherism?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to investigate the concept of God fatherism, how it influences Nigeria politics and politician and the role of education in Nigeria. How godfatherism is firmly and deeply principle in contemporary Nigeria policies.

This study also examined the role of education in Nigeria politics. How civic education in a democracy is educating government.

 

Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is being divided into two parts namely: theoretical and practical.At the theoretical level, it will add to the knowledge on the roles of the god-fathers  in the affairs of the Nigerian politics, this research will serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently.At the practical level, the study will help our policy makers and those in power to see the negative effect of god-fatherism in the affairs of the politics in the country.

Delimitation of the Study

This study will be focused mainly on the influence of godfatherism in Nigeria and politics in the fourth republic. The role of education basically.

Limitation of the Study

The research was limited only on AnambraState, which is representing the 36 state in Nigeria.

Finance was also an obstacle in the process of carrying out the research.

Finally, take ability of responses is another limitation of this study.

 

Definition of Terms

God father can be seen as man who promise to help a child.

God fathers is also the head of illegal organization especially the mafia.

Politics – in many other academic follows, especially within the umbrella of the social sciences there are many different opinions about what politics is. There is hardly any generally accepted definition of politics. This does not however suggest that politics has no definition.

“Politics” refers to the events that happened around the decision making centres of government.

Politics can also be seen as the struggle for political power and the use of that power for the acquisition of other value power is therefore the central focus of politics.

Education – can be seen as the total process of human learning by which knowledge imparted, facilities trained and skill developed.

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