FEATURE ARTICLE

Saturday, May 18, 2024
[email protected]
Maryland, USA
"MY OGA" SYNDROME

he present political situation in Rivers State has further exacerbated the already known hero-worshipping mentality akin to Nigerian political terrain. There is no gainsaying that politics of godfatherism is clearly the bane of Nigeria's socio-economic advancement.

Wikipedia defines godfatherism as a 'form of political corruption in which an influential individual handpicks another, often less influential candidate, to attain leadership in order to exert authority or influence. This may be due to the unpopularity of one candidate, or to work around incumbency term limits' (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/godfatherism).

Governor Fubara of Rivers State had, hitherto, consistently referenced his predecessor, Chief Wike, as "my oga" - local parlance for 'my master' (godfather). Right from cradle to grave, there is always a natural provision for chaperoning. However, chaperoning, which is normally positive could be counterproductive when it turns to henpecking. From the look of things, chief Wike 'regretted' his 'mistake' for supporting Sir Fubara because the latter could no longer stomach the political chaperoning which spiraled into henpecking.

As a non-partisan politician, I saw candidate Sim Fubara as a loyal, unassuming civil servant. During the campaigns, he barely addressed the audience. His "oga" was doing most of the talking. Even when he became the governor, my impression of him did not change. As the confusion rages, beginning with the conflagration at the House of Assembly and culminating in the so-called presidential mediation effort, it became obvious that "my oga" has suddenly become the traducer.

Without going into the nitty-gritty of the advent of their political dispute, which of course some of us ordinary mortals may not ever know, it becomes obvious that "my oga's" "mistake", which must be "corrected" stemmed from the 'disruption' of "my oga's" 'political structure' that must be maintained in Rivers State.

Although politicians all over the world have some measure of skeleton in their cupboard, Nigerian politicians seem to accumulate multiple skeletons in their portfolios. Otherwise, why would they scramble to install an anointed successor in a democracy, which is supposed to be a government decided by the people? The irony is that when politicians campaign, they promise us free air and free sunlight, and even free seventy black-eyed virgins. None of these is ever fulfilled because they step on our backs to attain the office and turn around to burn the bridge.

The voters who hear nothing but lies from their leaders sometimes accidentally hear some truth when the love is lost between the 'oga' and the 'boy-boy'. The numerous flyovers and other notable projects around Rivers State represent a functional government. But the emerging truth about their funding formula leaves an average Rivers citizen wondering about the honesty of their leaders.

I believe Rivers State citizens are eager to know the outcome of the Board of Inquiry into the finances of the previous administration. But unfortunately, like many other inquiries in Nigeria, it will never be known in our life time. The only certainty is that political transitions in Rivers State and elsewhere remain acrimonious. It is the wish of ordinary Nigerians that political predecessors allow their successors a free reign for the development of the land and the wellbeing of the electorate - so help us God.

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