FEATURE ARTICLE

Wednesday, December 26, 2018
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THE EVILS OF GODFATHERISM AND THE REALTY OF IT IN THE NIGERIAN POLITY

he enormity and the reality of Godfatherism in the Nigerian politics remain the one single highest deterrent to the success of our fledgling democracy. One thing that I find amusing is my coming to terms with it and accepting the fact that while a gubernatorial, a senatorial or a presidential candidate may have good intentions about implementing the social and welfare programs that will improve the lives of citizens, the role of the Godfather cannot be ignored if victory is to have a fair chance at the poll. The truth of it all is that, one had to seek help from the Godfathers to be relevant, and to win major elections. Such matter-of-factly is sad, disgusting and depressing when one had to go back to those who had been part of the status quo;hence part of the problems and to ask for help.

It comes to me as a shameful acceptance for Nigeria that, the values contained in bureaucratic rules and regulations are being undermined by the very people entrusted with protecting those values. I sometimes wonder what is wrong with the black nation. What is in our gene? Do we truly know the meaning of leadership? Individualism and selfhood have no place in leadership the way our leaders have conceptualized them. In all the black nations, leadership is individualism and selfhood. While individualism and selfhood in their selves are not bad, our leaders have used them to perpetrate the most heinous act of neglecting what they told the masses their identities were when they sought votes.

A true leader's comfort should be the last thing he fights for; his own comfort should be the last thing on his mind. That is true leadership. What do we see in our legislature today in Nigeria? What do we see in our religious leaders? I have said this more that once that most of the political leaders in the west, especially in America make their money after they left office. There is no means for them to become a millionaire for being a senator or a president in America. Virtually none. They go into politics because they believe there are things they can do better to bring the yearnings of the masses into reality.

The forfeiture of a leader's comfort from the good that he does today will be justified by its futuristic greater good to mankind. The forfeiture of that comfort should not preclude his actions from helping to bring the people out of poverty and suffering. Yet our leaders approach leadership as means to comfort; Yes selfhood. Where is our patriotism. Patrick Daniel Tillman was a football player in the National Football League when he left a multimillion-dollar football contract to join the United States army and fight in the Iraq War. He believed the USA have been done a great injustice when the twin towers were hit by the two aircraft and in a couple of other locations in the United States where over 3000 Americans were killed. He died in the war. May his soul continue to rest in perfect peace.

Many other Americans left their comfort zones to join the United States army; some executives and leaders in their different careers. I use the story of Patrick Tillman as an anecdote to show what selfhood and patriotism and leadership should be like and what, and where, it can take a group of people when applied in the right context. Our leaders go around all over the world. They see things. They see how these nations do things to bring prosperity and good life to the nations. Yet they are content with the less than 2% of the people in Nigeria that are having what may be considered a fairly good life.

Not to be biased, I believe Nigeria has one of the brightest minds in Medicine in the world today. Yet we cannot boast of a single world class healthcare facility anywhere in the country. Among developing countries, Nigeria has the highest rates of private jet owners in all the developing countries, yet no airports; selfhood. Name the best cars in the world that we don't have in Nigeria, yet no roads; again selfhood. Nigerian children are one of the smartest and brightest in the world, yet no schools. Scenes of children in public schools seating on the floors in classrooms in dilapidated buildings are commonplace. Police academies with 20 cadets sharing a piece of fish and yet we complain they take monies from citizen when they are in service. It is commonplace to see police officers in uniforms wearing sandals looking unkept and unprofessional and we complain about security in the country. How do you increase the moral of a police cadet that was always hungry when in training? Yet, we manage to vote-In the wrong crops of people year in and year out because it is all about the Godfather and the cabals.


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