by Kayode Awojobi
Democracy has been rightly defined as government of the people by the people and for the people. As it is currently being practiced in many countries across the globe a system of governance that is expected to bring government nearer to the people and it allows citizens to participate in the formation of policies that pertains to them. Based on the aforementioned fact, it has brought forth several advantages over other system of government, interestingly, many people have been hijacked this system of government to become political gods in an attempt to advocate for the masses.
Just as a two-sided drum, Godfatherism in Nigeria’s politics and every other country that practices democracy where special group of people have been made. It is becoming a norm that people can only get into political office in the country with the backing of a strong and energetic Godfather and politics have become a no-go area for people who do not have such backings. In today’s political world, the fruitfulness or futility of your political ambition can only be guaranteed by a vibrant political Godfather; the opportunity to effectively and efficiently administer the office is still dependent on the Godfather and also the possibility of continuing in politics after this initial test of power is lies in his hands.
In all spheres of life, it is usually advocated that one should have a mentor that one looks up to but nowadays, majority of these politicians are mainly working towards enriching their very own pocket regardless of whose ox is gored. Although, there are a select few working positively towards entrenching good governance and making sure that the masses really benefited from the government.
It is debatable topic amidst young Nigerians who are just developing interest in politics that, godfathers should not determine the fate of political office seekers but they should be mentor who through their numerous experiences in governance, can help channel a path for the next generation. Those who ventured into politics with a definite Godfather have been edged out of the political scene in the country. If this mystery cannot be unraveled by my contemporaries, the older generation of politicians that understand the nitty-gritty of Nigerian politics can enlighten us about it.
Having a Godfather is not the gateway to milking the commonwealth of the people dry, rather, they should be the ones advocating for a better life for the masses to enjoy the dividend of good governance. If people truly lies in the hands of the electorates, they should be allowed to determine their fate. It is a known fact that the opinion of party members should equally count before steps are taking by political office holders as this might affect the party, her ideologies and success in subsequent elections.
It is high time that various political godfathers that surrounds this country to learn from the step taken by great leaders who have governed various nations across the world and they can be referred to as the fathers of democracy or any other form of government, this include, Abraham Lincoln of the United States of America, Nelson Mandela of South Africa and our very own Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo among others. The position of Godfatherism should be used positively and they should remain mentors who gives the direction to the right route towards serving the masses well. A godfather should be an experienced personnel who is ready to transform the world thereby engraving their name in the global hall of fame.
Kayode Awojobi is a bilingual poet cum writer, he was an On Air personality of OOU FM and he is a graduate of Mass communication, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.