Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues




October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



LUNARPAGES.COM and IPOWERWEB.COM - Despicable WebHosts - Read My Story








Chimaraoke Nnamani

Governor, Enugu State of Nigeria





Although, considering the trend of our immediate political history, we came
on the fillip of the leadership and guts of liberation fighters who dared and
who excelled in mobilization as it were. This had built its own clan of cult
personalities alongside the economic upheavals, which produced masters where
minions once held as their cove.

I am not unmindful of the fact that the supposition of clouts on the plank of
access to fortune and levers of mass communication have been built into our
psyche and so caused a culture of celebration of personality, bigness and
claims to prowess, even without the substance of a real contact with the larger

The intricacy of this reality of our history and the tendency of phenomenal
influence of the rich and the mighty over the common herd leaves the stage for
those who have erected the supposition of the imposition of the will of those
possessed of great material opulence and the requisite hint of "comedy" to
dazzle the masses.

By way of introducing one dimension of this topic, I can say that it is
completely strange to me that today, I, Chimaroke Nnamani, a Wawa kid from Agbani,
in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, having come of the
immediate political experience which contended with a certain level of pretension
about cult personality and having had a headlong collision with what resembles a
godfather onslaught, have been invited to mount this podium of the Nigeria
Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, to take on a subject called godfather
phenomenon ... in democratic Nigeria...Silicon or Real?

Somehow, I feel slightly hampered by the possible implication of my
contribution to this topic since I am at a loss as to whether I am invited to relate my
experiences or to take on the more sober angles which shall provide some
insight into the tendency of the so called godfather scenario in the field of an
elaborating democratic environment.

Frankly speaking, if the invitation is for me to relate my experience, I
apologize that I may be out to disappoint some of my audience. And even while I
may have much to say about my view of the attempt by the elite to create a
godfather zone - a region for a select few - to escape the rigours of proper
democratic mobilization and mass participation, I consider myself not quite
fortified to be on the side of those who should evaluate media impact and roles in a
confusing intellectual grandstanding.

In this regard, my first approach to the challenge of this topic, The
godfather Phenomenon ... In Democratic Nigeria, ... Silicon or Real? is that we have
no choice but to seek to return to the basic context in which Nigerians see
the godfather as a segment of the political process as well as the figure,
standing against the intellectual extrapolations originating in, and also sustained
by, the media.

By way of getting sucked into the American underworld stereotype, some
Nigerians see the godfather scenario as the emergence of a looming and imperious
guardian figure who provided the lifeline and direction for the godson, perceived
to live a life of total submission, subservience and protection of the
oracular personality located in the large, material frame of opulence, affluence and
decisiveness; that is, if not ruthlessness.

In a way, it came to be related as the supremely father figure, who, for the
lack of completeness of the toddling upstart known as his godson, cuts the
paths and upstages the system to prove the mastery of the terrain for the benefit
of the neophyte. Meadow Klansk in his elaborate work on father figures, The
Master Ant, sustains the viability of the father figure but with the proviso
that it must consistently feather, the nest of the upstart, who, even for any
measure of misdemeanour would have no more than spanking.

Certainly, he was not projecting an onslaught, not a disregard for the order,
and not a hint of the looming monster at the city's main gate.

Mark Anthony, the great orator who presented both Caesar's supremacy over
Pompei and the pretension to power, did realize his holy duty as godfather and
pursued the potentials of the young Augustus Octavius Caesar when he declared
that it shall be for whom the power is ordained even at the outset of the war,
the youth crossed my path and upturned the arrangement that I command the West
and he, youth, commands the East.

Even before his holy head was taken on a platter to the princess, there was
no further doubt about the greatness and supremacy of the values argued by John
the Baptist. Yet, he did not get stuck with the pre-eminence of his
preachments to undermine the youthful upstart, Jesus of Nazareth who had journeyed from
Galilee to the River Jordan for the baptism of the great master.

Indeed, it may not have been too difficult for the then proclaimed master to
unsay: "I need to be baptized by you and do you come to me?" (Matthew 3 V 13),
having set the stage for his preparation for a godson for whom he declared,
"...I did baptize you with water ... but he who cometh after me is mightier
than I ... whose sandals I am not worthy to bear..." (Matthew 3 v 11). Yet it was
the same John The Baptist, the ordained prophet, for whom Jesus said in
Matthew 11 v 12 "...verily, verily, I say unto you, among them that are born of
women, there has not risen a greater (man) than John The Baptist." Indeed, even
in the erstwhile Igbo worldview, the godfather is not too strange, only that in
the context it was applied, it never really came to the political scenario
where the supposed "father" lost sleep because the supposed "son" was becoming a

In a brief seminal contribution, Igbo Socio-political System, Eme Awa makes
it clear that the normal Igbo family seeks out a guardian, a sort of a
godfather for the sons, "who are expected to be inspired and motivated by the streak
of perfection, deftness, contact, courage, experiences and accomplishments
associated with the guestmaster." Commenting on the scenario of Igbo merchant
apprenticeship, Ogbunugo Anyiam states in his work, Ndigbo After The War, that,
"to leave the child to fend for himself or to let him live and grow with the
dangers of his father's light-handed upbringing is akin to undue pampering which
is like spelling disaster at the commencement of the journey of life for the
youngster." In Nnam Ukwu - my master - a slim fictional work of Onuigbo Ikoro,
who tried to capture the sustaining sojourn of the Aros of Eastern Nigeria, in
the 16th to 19th centuries, no one was left in doubt about the utility value
of the master, may be a godfather sort of, who had a challenge in bringing up
the child but who must go to sleep in the wake of the exhibition of the
prowess he inculcated in the rising star as the kid is under compulsion to bring to
play, his own version of the journey of life.

If we continue to look at the godfather incident from the foregoing
perspective, we may have to accept the slightly developed theory of Idoma nma-agada-idu
- the young lion - which on learning the whole tricks of the supremely
powerful master and tutor never dared, even if the great fore-runner was hindered by
the finesse of diplomacy and respect for the tradition of the time. These all
confirm the age-old Igbo view that the prayers of any complete man, mind you,
complete man, is that "the child will ascend and indeed surpass the master or
father or uncle. Ekpere nna bu na nwa g'aka nna ya." Somehow, I have this
feeling that The Source Magazine and Udi Hills Nigeria are not getting us here to
listen to the dynamics of the relationships between the pristine guardian
figure- master-and the upstart-son-in our pre-colonial environment. Every
indication shows that the political dimension of the godfather scenario appears more
attractive to the intellectual thirst exhibited for the purpose of this

While we may never discard the reality of the context of master/guardian and
the son - odibo - in real life, the situation of political leadership and
emergence of new factors in the making of personalities in governance, reveal far
deeper, complicated and more intricate factors in establishing the values of
achieving pre-eminence and rulership in a pluralized political setting.

Consequently, we must come to view the godfather scenario from the context of
power struggles inherent in a Third-World political economy environment where
access to state authorities is assumed, even if wrongly to translate into
access to vast material fortune. Before we embark on this, it may be necessary to
raise questions on the relationship between the aspiration of the individual
economic and political player on one hand and the state and managers of state
on the other.

Indeed, any formation or in this case, a nation as Nigeria, which embraces
democracy as its approach to political and social organization, ought to have
some mechanics of attaining its objectives. It ought to be established, what the
objectives are; what the interests are; what means and factors should be at
play; at each time and at what tempo?

Ultimately, even as universally appreciated, democracy as a vehicle of social
cohesion, not coercion, ought to attain the platform for cohabitation,
debate, popular participation, free enterprise, high productivity as well as change
which arises from a well placed definition of the entire dimensions of the
state in preparation for the emergence of the new order.

Of course, the dominant facilitator of this is the government, which on the
strength of the mandate of democracy provides the sufficient ground of law for
the running of the other values of the state such as free enterprise, the
infrastructure and the conduct of the substructure.

Beyond this shore, particularly in the famed advanced democracies, the
relationship between the liberal social factors and the fixed institutions of the
state determine the extent of actualization of the formal as well as informal
factor-elements in the perpetuation of the political environment.

In most cases, the liberal environment provided the leverage for the various
social factors, including the individual players, social classes and major
economic players to apply the objective values in throwing up leadership for the
realization of the national dream.

By way of taking off in the case of the state, we may consider the position
of the enabling law, which sustains the government, and in this case a
democratic one. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria defines the state
as a political organization at the level of the federal, state and council.
The fundamental objectives of the state as a corporate entity are to achieve the
fullness of sovereignty, security and welfare, popular participation, orderly
composition of government and recognition of national variety.

These give vent to the claim of the state as the ultimate of our Nigeria
universe. They go further to establish the obligations of the state to the
citizens who are, in turn, duty bound to carry out some statutory functions.

But by the values of natural law and justice, the state must express these
principles, which indeed justify its existence and legitimacy even as some of
these impede individual and group initiatives.

The expected scenario, indeed, derives from the principles of John Locke's
Social Contract theory which, taken from the unavoidable imposition of mutual
obligation - between the sovereign and the people - may bring us back to the
practice of democracy. The practice of democracy, its hindrances, the values as
well as the other factors, cannot be in isolation. So, it must form on the
basis of the people, their interests, prevailing culture, contending social
formation, history and the admissibility of external social influences, which all go
to indicate the peculiar circumstances of the state.

In the case of Nigeria, such anti-cultural factors as systemic disorder,
corruption, poverty, ignorance, colonial experience and ethnocentrism (not
ethnicity) all infringe on the values of democracy such as the law, government and
free enterprise. They also form the background of our democratic experience and
in fact determine the extent to which we can execute Locke's Social Contract.

I say ethnocentrism as against ethnicity because sometimes, we tend to mix
these up. Against the warning from Okwudiba Nnoli, in his epic work on Ethnic
Politics In Nigeria, we ignore the fact of democracy promoting and indeed
prompting the healthy consciousness of the later as a springboard for national
variety against the perverse and rigid reduction of the entire universe of the
Nigeria project to the narrow prism of the former.

Gradually, it is being assumed that the immediate political history of
Nigeria was the root of its systemic disorder and that hope for realignment lies in
the consigning of national experience to amnesia so that the vitiating
tendencies, which characterized earlier national conscientisation efforts, would be
swept under.

This thinking pre-supposes Nigeria as a national taking off on a faulty deck
and which would not get it's bearing with the immediate political history
hanging in the psyche of the people and groups.

Closely related to this argument is one, which holds that whereas the
commencement of the journey of nationhood did not take an excessively different track
from what obtained elsewhere in the world, the making of heroes out of the
processes of liberation struggles in Nigeria left much to be desired.
Consequently, it follows that the emerging leadership betrayed an appeal to the
theatrics rather than leadership and so produced a cult and of course the welter of
neo-colonial leadership, suckling on the values of alien-driven mentally of
superiority and imposition.

The stronger point of that argument has been that the more altruistic efforts
at socialization for popular participation in Nigeria politics arose from
virtually cult personalities whom mimicking the then mysterious colonial agents
cut the image of demi-gods before the timorous pre-independence fellow
countrymen. This situation, it is believed was made more complex by the tendency for
these emerging political elite to also forcibly seize their immediate economic
as well as social environments, having come of the backing of state
institutions and heavy material affluence.

The opulence of their lives, being in a largely pauperized environment,
conferred on them the great aura of oracles and some mystery of being, confounding
fellow citizens. Simply put, fellow countrymen, particularly of the now oil
rich region, could not have been more rattled and bedazzled by the lure to have
a bite of a piece of the plantain fried with the new independence Nigeria

And when they, along with other Nigerians, had to do the "state duty" to line
the routes, pound their domestic utensils and scrub the floor to let the
modern but imperious new African leader, in his overflowing robe - agbada - have a
smooth stride on the street; when they threw off their apparel to hold in the
phlegm of the new native masters; when it was demanded of them to hold their
breath as the new master had his meal; then the roads from Sokoto to
Maiduguri, Kano to Port Harcourt, Enugu to Aba and Lagos to Calabar stood to pronounce
the ultimate new order in a desperate bid to bring back the crest of the
pre-colonial imperial impressions, even as they stood in as holders of a modern
people's mandate.

Somehow, the case has been presented that it was at this juncture that the
first hint of godfather in politics was noted. This goes to say that it is even
very likely that what we have long seen as the evidenced entry of godfather
arose from a deficient social situation in which those who had access to state
resources simply lived it up and dispensed to the others as benevolent masters.

While we look at matters associated with this and weave our way through the
intricate question of ascertaining altruistic leadership, we cannot miss the
fact that we suffered a major socio-political upheaval in the way colonial
values put up leadership, first from those who made themselves available at the
outset of imperialism and later from those who developed the fangs of the
western-style consumeric oligarchies.

Consequent upon this, we need not seek further to appreciate that the
colonial antecedents in our case did upturn, without exception, the primordial order
of succession and so had distorted the entire social formations which
previously provided for institutions charged with spotting and grooming of leadership.

As in every society, the pre-colonial order of succession, even in the highly
horizontal and consensus polity as the Igbo republican states or the Yoruba
constitutional monarchy, had adequate provisions for the emergence of
leadership, leaving in the system enough hints for harmonization of contentions so that
these societies ran without distortion and certainly without the
manipulations of the looming benevolent personality.

The attendant colonial insurgence, which sought for an indeed capsized our
old class formations, also enthroned such colonial values, which enabled the
environment for total dominance as in attenuating or indeed, in total eradication
of old values. But such colonial efforts at total transformation or is it
complete recreation of Africa, were to fail as social crusaders questioned the
entire colonial initiative and presented good arguments about letting Africa
resume her journey to the arena of nation-states.

At the moment, it is not for me to get into the very many arguments about the
quality of leadership in our national liberation struggles. But suffice it
that, had Nigeria continued on the track of social formations and the tempo of
nationalism, which led to increased participants at the inception of the
Lyttleton Constitution of 1953/54 and the subsequent internal self governments (1957
upwards) in the then colonies, much would not have been lost in building a
more gainful succession order which would have lasted on experience.

However, we may have, unavoidably, taken a different track of leadership,
particularly with the long presence of totalitarian regime-culture, which
fostered the clout of supreme personalities and promoted the erroneous equation of
the will of the influential individual with that of the whole people.

With nearly 30 of the 43 years of modern Nigeria existence run in the
arbitrary culture of the military and quasi-military regimes, it was almost the rule
rather than the exception that Nigeria ran a tradition of forced accession to
position of state headship and so, those who had access to vast resources or
state power, acted the gods.

Perhaps, the totalitarian order, which fostered the arbitrary culture in
question, appeared to have created the environment where suppositions of national
leadership were without a hint of understanding of the factor of the civil
society. Predictably, a situation of institutional mis-leadership had to ensue
and so, undermined the goal of state, heightening the pervading anomalies as
ignorance, systemic disorder, poverty and corruption. These established the basis
for a weakened state with politically and socially famished citizenry who had
to pawn and clown, giving room for pretenders-to-godly-power to pervade the

Elsewhere, I did point out that this faltering trend of leadership lost its
chances, which I believe, came so often and without terms of reference or
criteria for state governance in the recurring era of military forays in
government. It was, as it is to me today, that the stage achieved nothing other than
exposing the state so badly that it became the rule rather than the exception
that rise of leadership got stuck in the quasi-military culture, which
predictably, had to undermine the rise, growth and development of the civil society.

Previously, in reviewing the order of rise in leadership in the current
democratic dispensation, I had acted on the confidence that a prolonged practice of
democracy, attendant upon a democratically determined super-structure, would
correct much of the rot of the authoritarian military culture. Today, however,
I must say to you, sadly too, that it appears to me - and I am very worried -
that the unrelenting, though originating from the past military and
quasi-military order of dominance in the polity, may be on its way at inducing a
timorous society dragged in fancy by the media establishing for the benefit of the
cult personality and crowd-hiring political comedians who may have had access
to vast fortunes.

I am curious about this flipside-elite arising from a long sojourn in
appointive positions in military governments. Granted that they are still a part of
the society, they may have missed out in the plurality, which sustains the
civil society, and so have not yet settled with this issue of power coming from
the people. If you come from as near as studying their inclusion in current high
state offices, you will note that they have always lived this attitude of the
dominant figure with a measure of pretensions to the old edifices of the full
military authoritarian institutions. Where they may have had roles to play in
appealing to the civil society for reckoning, as in canvassing votes, many
have long forgotten the validity of the society and so refused to part with the
hope of reinventing the dethroned order of imposition of leadership.

I would not have been too bothered about this trend if not the seeming
commitment of the mass media in promoting the evident inclination to cult
personality and the edifices of arbitrary rise to power. Somehow, it can be pardoned
that seemingly working the principles of regime change, particularly the segment
on violent seizure of reins as a way of upsetting the hierarchy, it appears
that Nigeria has always ridden a perpetual track of acquiring democracy by
wresting political control through repeated exercises in political and social
insurgence. This may have been strengthened by the sustained attitude of political
leadership in viewing victory as, perhaps, conquest of not just the political
opposition but the civil society as well.

It may not be entirely surprising since after a long period of military rule,
the state, as observed by Adebayo Williams of the Africa Today Magazine
appeared to be wheeled on the values set by those he called 'retired military
chieftains, their para-military adjutants and civilian storm troopers,' who
invariably, amply too, upset the craved succession order which should come, in-tow,
with democracy.

As pointed out, one remarkable consequence was that the greater bulk of the
citizenry had been pushed further down in the order of appreciating their
political environment. This development first altered the perception of the
citizenry against the state and went further to exploit to the fullest, the
vulnerability of the common herd by the manipulative leadership who may have, as usual,
cultivated the propensity for high political spending attendant upon the
preceding, vast material accumulation.

Such players in the family of accumulative oligarchies have always tended to
advance the cause of pursuing power not for the motive of advancing the
society beyond the present situation but to turn the entire system into a client
which has to work at paying maximum material and prestige (ego) commissions to
the master, sometimes, at the risk of stagnating the state.

Of course, the process and in fact, the business of rising in political
leadership is a costly one in an emerging democracy as Nigeria. It is even costlier
if the enterprise is geared at emerging a chief executive of any of the
executive branches in the nation's political formation.

Worse still, in a formative democratic environment as Nigeria, the
debilitating incidences of poverty, ignorance, corruption and systemic disorder always
narrowed the options to the accumulative oligarchs, who on their own rose from
the clan of permanent political appointees, jobbers, latch-on players in the
arena of power, and so created the situation of "one messiah" - the godfather
if you like - for the people.

Usually, preachments to tackle such depreciating social tragedies as
ignorance, poverty, corruption and disorder dominated their argument for demand for
power or sponsorship of a protege. Such messianic pretensions, propelled by
media-size pictures of stunning opulence, make it possible for the benevolent
factors whom we may call godfathers to emerge and swamp the state and citizen.

Of course, this would-be-godfather or as in some cases, power seeker, may
also be on track to exploit the social segregation induced by the retardation or
the abortion of plural value-structure which should have provided for more
diffused form of social interaction.

Besides, as the cost of putting a government in power is usually enormous,
often times beyond the resources of the individual power seeker, then some sort
of leaning would be on the very few who are ready to finance and pay for
mobilisation of the people for electoral purposes.

Of course, there are just a few who are that able to finance the emergence of
government and these few now constitute themselves into monopolists of the
values of the outcomes of governance. These have some definite tendencies, which
if applied, as often happens, they strive to indulge in total control of the
state through the candidates of government who owe them so much for coming to

The incidence of poverty has a strong influence in the emergence of those who
see themselves as 'owners' of government where citizens are incapable of
taking care of their basic needs. The activities of those who are materially
endowed of government through the funding of political mobilization, campaigns
manipulation of the information flow, distortion of the values as well as the
eventual upsurge in contending interests remain the exclusive preserve of the
rich, the big and the daring.

Therefore, the effect of poverty on the electoral behaviour of the less
endowed can be considered in two main dimensions, namely, by psychological and the
physical. The psychological effect is rooted in the poverty of awareness,
which forecloses the ability of the poor citizens to appreciate the dangers
inherent in the abdication of civic responsibilities as they often engage in. This
lack of awareness also provides the root for reservation in relationship with
government. The people rather than see government as an institution which is
built for them and which they have to be a part of, tend to see government as a
remote enterprise created for the elite by the elite. To this effect, they are
frightened of dealings with government, process of governance and candidates
in government.

The physical dimension consists in the constant shortfall in the access to
means of adequate livelihood, which impairs their energy to take active part in
the making and substances of government. By previous policies the citizens
were subsistent in virtually every facet of life and the people have naturally
been reduced to seeking for food to sustain the family rather than engage in the
capital-intensive power drive characteristics of African political

The other factor is the prevalence of systemic disorder, which has left the
citizen with no clearly distinguished ethos of a modern society. One of these
is the absence of the national discipline; we ought to be contingent upon solid
civic education and a responsible citizenry. This gap in the formation of the
state creates its own low points in the citizen who if not properly aware
would constitute a civic nightmare of the state while in turn the state which is
hardly appreciated by the citizenry is viewed with dread and apprehension.

Strangely, the national media whose duty is to provide a direction and take
the mind away from the pretension and imposition of single will act to promote
the cult of the rich, big and powerful, even the total disrespect for the
constituted authorities, rejection of the order in the competition for national
resources and aversion for debate to resolve national crises and issues.

To this effect, the citizens turn mutual predators to one another in an orgy
of dog eat dog. While they hit at themselves in the ensuing uncoordinated
drive at the national resources, they sell themselves to the elite who pretend to
act as the alternative to the state in the provision of better social
environment for the people. The consequence of this systemic disjunctive is the
emergence of 'sole proprietors' of access to state fortune, which we prefer, at this
moment, to call godfathers.

Some how, it can be argued that even in the advanced democracies, there are
institutional actors, which by their abilities to provide social amenities and
security as the state seize a measure of the loyalty of the people to the
state. This situation, largely in response to the profound influence of the
multinationals, the other big businesses, the church or faith and group
consientisation branches, can only be classified as the social integers such as ethnic
tendencies and the other social categories. Their might or influence never
exceeded the life span of the inclusion of the citizen in question.

The other factor-corruption - appears a universal phenomenon but the severity
of its effect in the democratic settings varies from one country to another.
Of course, what defines severity of corruption at the lethal level is the
persuasiveness of corruption. In the other words, it is more intense when, by
certain conducts of persons in authority, corruption appears institutionalized at
high level and so seems accepted as a way of life.

To this effect, it becomes very scary evident of a corrupt environment where
a bidder for government power or job in government accepts the terms of a
would-be godfather in order to receive his support and attendant passage to power.
Naturally, this would excluded the interest of the people in one breadth, and
in another goes to squeeze the people whose interest can hardly be
represented in the proceeding bargain.

The quest for power, which mortgages the interests of the governed, is a
direct evidence of endemic corruption and godfathers would naturally emerge
because of the vulnerability of such disposition of power seekers.

One thing has to be cleared here. Although the would-be godfather never
openly declared his intentions to people who are goaded into probing his political
interests, and although the would be godson sought power, ostensibly to better
the lot of his people, the deciding terms of paymaster is never lightly
stated as keeping a trend of political behaviours which leaves no one in doubt that


It cannot be lost that the godfather was a merchant set out to acquire the
state as a client. However, power seekers, usually in a fix about raising the
vast funds required to contest elections may have to, willy-nilly, plod into the
clientelism accepting the condition for the state under his administration to
maintain an unbroken track of remitting materials or prestige (ego)
commissions to the fat cat elsewhere.

It is obtainable, globally, the interest groups sponsor the emergence of
government and in many cases certain political players who are expected to alter
the cause of administration for the benefit of the sponsoring group.

Usually, the objectives of the various groups set out to factor in their
elements in power are in some cases, inherently similar as they set out to explore
opportunities for maximizing the welfare of their group interests in the
production process of the economy of the state. They may even be motivated by the
desire to bring about their own brand of the enabling laws, which form the
foundation for the thriving of free enterprise.

Though this could be seen to run counter to generality of public interests,
sometimes, it is evident that their ultimate motive may be to seek to realize
these objectives through influencing the policies of government rather than
cornering the entire business of governance as a private enterprise.

Oftentimes, such objective and group-interest driven power financiers in
other countries, in their transaction, make allowance for the effect of other
interest in the system to avoid dysfunctional outcomes in the end. The power
seekers themselves are conscious of the inimical product of total delivery of
governance outcomes to one segment of the economy because they fear public

For instance, in considering a capital project proposal from a sponsor of
government if its employment implications severely limit the capacity of
government to hire labour or constrains other organisations to hire labour, the world
would-be incumbent will think twice before accepting such conditions on offer
to come to power. The practice of group-interest-driven power financiers runs
on objective conditions which would not seek to upset the state for just the
narrow interest of the limited setting but reaches out in the drive for
aggregation of interests which further widens the scope of governance and extends the
dividends of administration to the various segments of the state.

As we know, the objective situation is not for the godfather of the
"sole-proprietorship" genre. He would hear none of it. Indeed, he sees in the rise to
power of his associate or the godson a veritable way of bleeding the society.
Of course, the society is different, particularly where there are the primitive
accumulative oligarchs, who see their rising capacity to acquire more as the
sole vehicle to take the reins of state without the rigours of elections, even
as we have embraced democracy, as a way of political organisation.

In reality, rather than godfathers of the "sole proprietor genre" emerging in
such democracies as Europe and America, what obtained is increased production
from the productive process of the sponsoring group or section or interests
to enable that peculiar production area compete more effectively in the overall

Mind you, we started out on the tendencies, which see to the rise of
godfathers or their ilk in our settings as sustained by the prevalence of ignorance.
Elsewhere, in a well-structured and better-informed society, it is virtually
impossible to pretend to godfatherism without stiff and crushing opposition from
the citizenry. In respect of that, then, isn't it really necessary, in a
contra-distinctive dimension, to draw from the image of the French democracy where
it is said that "two French men are a political party or that three French
men are a constitutional crisis?" This idea of two men and three men is a
revelation of the level of awareness in the state where people were imbued with such
powers, flexibility and speed to question the constitutionality of an act and
where people find it easy to organise alternative forums to challenge what
has been constituted but for which they are not settled about.

The predisposition of citizens to challenge government and to successfully
overthrow such government, constitutionally, sounds enough warning to would-be
godfathers who can, indeed, hardly emerge in France. This really shows that the
absence of ignorance and poverty makes it impossible for the emergence of
godfathers while, contrariwise, the prevalence of these make it easy for
godfathers to rise and pervade the environment of the not-so-well-structures politics.

Now, having considered the conceptual and political basis of the incidence of
godfatherism, we may now ask the question what is the cost of this incident
to the government or the citizen? In order words, what are inherent negative
implications, just because there is nothing positive about godfatherism, not
even the so-called benevolent one, in a nascent democracy like ours as it has no
place in advanced democracy?

If we assume that he does operate for the citizen, why does he not allow the
collective method of decision making or building of public policies in
government take place rather than by his or her dictation? And why has he brutally
driven at achieving power by disregarding the views of the populace whose state
he seeks to acquire as a personal cash cow or a symbol of prestige?

Strictly, the godfather is simply a self-seeking individual out there to use
the government for his own purposes. The cost of this incidence is enormous to
the state as what usually obtains is that when the incumbent godson is at
pains to satisfy the whims and caprices of the godfather among other competing
demands on the scares resource of the government, the interest of the larger
number is savagely undermined.

Of course, though with limited resources, States in some noted cases get
constrained by the ever increasing needs to attain, even if minimally, growth and
development, within a usual short and un-streamlined period. If this is
embraced, the demand or greed of the godfather will certainly not be met. When it is
not met, it is definite that the godfather will serve the notice of reminder
to contract a new negotiation for settlement.

The character of the godfather-negotiation for the settlement has the obvious
strings of brutal intimidation and other form of manipulation. The godfather
won't take the pleas on leanness of resources nor would he take the prayer of
the godson for the alternative personnel in recruitment into the high level
and strategic positions in government because he must exert his "pound of flesh"
or power of influence, in all cases.

To him, the judge in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice was decrepit moralist
who found in mercy two qualities: a blessing for a giver and a blessing for the
receiver. He would not compromise his settlement and therefore precipates
crisis. The incumbent godson faces the risk of instability in his administration
as the godfather dares to terminate the oxygen of his administration. The
godfather marshals out an array of political welfare machinery. They create
parallel party structures to that of the government to fan the embers of
disaffection against government.

If the godfather cannot successfully do this, he quickly propels disloyal
projects like suborning non-political organisations to embark on a blitz of
blackmail against the godson in government. If other institutional structures are
not wielded to create unrest in the system, they begin to fabricate imaginable
and un-imaginable charges against the godson, using even the most sober and
decidedly political institutions to make his point and keep the godson under the
most snapping pressures.

Take it or leave it, the archetypal godfather in Nigeria is more than the
ruthless Mario Puzo's kingpins in the Italian Mafia setting. While the fictional
godfather is characterized as "a shadowy, dare-devil recluse, who combines
immense underworld financial muscle with near mythical powers of enormous
proportions," which is to attain a further greasing of the ever-increasing vast
financial empire, the Nigeria type has the added characterization of conceit, ego,
loquacity, pettiness, envy, strife, crudity and confusion.

Following the pervading incidence of poverty and ignorance the devious drive
of the ruthless godfather is accelerated and brings about a spiral of the
negative tendencies, which create an apparent ground swell of mass disaffection.
As pointed out earlier, the easier vehicle for his manipulation is the control
of indices of mass mobilization and information dissemination such as the mass

In most cases, the otherwise knowledgeable professionals of the mass media
who may have been enamoured by the persisting trend of social degradation
arising from the past eras of misrule usually get sucked into the agenda of the
godfather in the fight to undermine the government of the perceived godson. In
that case, the codified responsibilities of the professional of the media get
truncated or bent over, thereby providing the enabling vehicle for the selfish
intentions of the godfather.

Mind you, we should not be misunderstood here to mean that every form of
opposition to government is the work of godfathers. Opposition does obtain as a
veritable, integral part of democracy. It helps to create or reinforce dissent,
which is not destructive to the government but further its strength and reach.
In reality, dissenting is usually very defined because its tone of challenge
and debate is made public and the contending ideas thereto provide basis for
redirect the compass of governance away from precipice.

So, as of necessity here, we must endeavour to separate the normal opposition
tendencies, which derive their content from deviant policies of government
from the incidence of godfather morass, which gears up at appropriating the
resource of the state for the material avarice as well as the bloated ego of one
man who may no longer be in touch with the citizenry.

If we appreciate this, it may be viable to consider the consequences of a
sustained action against the state by the settlement-seeking godfather.

Basically, it produces two forms of reactions from the perceived incumbent

One is a counter offensive to parry such attacks and the other is withdrawal.
In the case of counter offensive, the incumbent godson gathers a fraction of
the resources available to the government to parry the godfather offensive.
The godfather or the pretender to one is a decided fighter prepared to torpedo
the whole state to get his commission in material and in prestige. He leaves no
stone unturned and had no shred of conscience. The countering godson or one
set to establish potency of a people's mandate in a democracy as Nigeria must
be prepared to amass as much, if not more, arsenals to prove the point that the
"son" will, one day, get big the young shall grow. The cost of this is
enormous. None-the-less, it varies from state to state and in proportion to the
severity of the attack in each case.

In the case of withdrawal, the incumbent godson settles down to work on
delivering services to the people. He does not completely ignore the antics and
tantrums of the hostile godfather. He rather skilfully perfects a systematically
organized control and consolidation of structures and institutions, which
share direct interest in government and governance. This enables him to find time
for delivery of values to the polity. The institution and structures of
government and even of extra-governmental are made to sustain, in an enduring order
of robust loyalty and attachment to the incumbent and thereby diminish the
environment for the fostering of godfather hostility.

This is done with the view that there is no alternative to the people and
their mandate in a democracy. The major plank then being to perfect a structural
situation, which ensures a smooth and swift contact with the farthest spread
of the political grouping in a very short notice. This has proven to be more
effective with a spread of a political common feeling, which is at the doorstep
of all, way ahead and in touch with one another, against a looming and
merciless who is remote even as he is unrelenting in material avarice and ego.

With this situation prevailing, prudence, political sagacity and astuteness
begins to manifest as the key operational characteristics of the incumbent
godson who is revealing the abilities to implement people oriented programmes.
Thus, the godfather can always be worst in the contest for control of the party
structures and of non-party structures such as non governmental organisations
and all other social organisations that could be mobilized for political action
and support.

Proven cases show that the godfather vigorously pursues a total
destabilization of the state in situation where the incumbent godson in the practice of
withdrawal successfully pursues development programmes as to endear himself to
the people.

There has been, however, the problem of resource availability to cope with
the cost of this approach. This is why some incumbent godsons who had had to
contend with the problems of godfather politics have always viewed this option
with ambivalence. To that effect, some had confronted the godfather by throwing
in the entire resources of the state to do a prolonged battle, which may turn
(as in one case or two) their own massada-the last-ditch battle and may be,
the political suicide.

Considered from the standpoint of shadow of some states, ditto the godfathers
and godsons who had played; the preference tend to reveal a few attempts at
fighting back, ignoring all their exercises in governance. That way the godson
soon gets occupied in the fight and will not implement his programmes. He will
not even pay salaries but will remain determined to take up the godfather in
his game of chaos and total show of crude might.

Expectedly, there is always a failure on the part of the godson when he sees
threats from the godfather as a reciprocal opposite to the struggle to deliver
amply to the people. The temptation there is to take critical resource in the
battle to ward off the threat of the godfather, which eventually translates
to depletion in the resources available for significant social services. I must
have to say in this context that the issue now borders on not just managerial
skill and astuteness in political administration but in the political will to
deeply explore in full ramifications all physical sources that could lead in
the implementation of the inherent viable policies. If this is the case,
intensive and expansive self-sacrifice is name of the game.

Basically, because many Nigerians are not aware, the war between the
godfather and the assumed godson usually rides the dimension, which tends to force the
godson to act in ways, which must ensure the latter's grip on power. That
way, he is only certain of any room to implement programmes for which the voter
elected him. There is no way we can deny the fact that it is incumbent on the
incumbent or godson to fight to retain the legitimacy of his government so as
to earn desired environment to operate.

This has a tremendous impact on the social contract, which is supposed to be
between the citizen voter and the candidate who has the mandate to take the
reign of the authority. If for the reason of that deformity the contract is
negated and relegated, as it were, for an exercise in confrontation or settlement
to the godfather, then the interest of the people is forgone. The people will
have no dividends of democracy and what you have is dividends for the
godfather against the welfare of the voter.

Much have been preached to impugn the characters of our liberation fighters
and nationalists as the earliest harbingers of the anti-values of godfatherism
in Nigeria, having failed seemingly, in enthroning a healthy succession order.
Alongside supposed failure was the reality of the history of three-decade
long sojourn of the military, which devastated the political process, eroded the
civil society and upturned the budding succession order implanted by the early
party formations in the liberation era.

It is not for me to go into the various roles played by early political
motivators such as The Right Honourable Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmmadu
Bello, Joseph Tarka, Aminu Kano, Ibrahim Waziri, Michael Okpara, Ladoke Akintola,
Denis Osadebe and the others which are somehow related as typifying the
modern-day operations of the political godfather. But even as we may not get into
that now, it may be instructive to grasp the fact these distinguished leaders,
as evidenced in time, were principally statesmen who sought to enthrone a new
order which promoted distinct succession patterns and never provided for the
regime of mediocrity as orchestrated in today's world of the ranging godfather.

If for instance we consider this from political life of the sage, Obafemi
Awolowo, it will come to fore without efforts that the institute succession order
was clear - not mysterious, not manipulative, not exerting and not
settlement-headed. It had no semblance, whatsoever, with the current pattern of pressure
on incumbent by claimants to godfatherhood.

Relatedly, the political family of the icon, Nnamdi Azikiwe, worked hard at
carving the tracks for even the neophytes to emerge and cut their teeth in the
enterprise of providing leadership for people. It never worked as the
settlement-seeking godfather, who would swallow an incumbent on account of reneging on
sole proprietor /client deals.

Also, the statesmanship of Ahmadu Bello clearly evidenced the desired
value-driven political game of the era. In the then political clan, in charge of the
north, the issue was the issue of the north as rewarding players of the
federation of Nigeria. It never for the master to thunder down on fellow compatriots
for material settlement as in today's zero-sum game of our ranging

In advanced democracies, one of the most important questions of political
analysis is whether a political power situation as in godfather politics is
primarily a zero-sum game or whether it is possible to see it in variable-sum game
aspects. The variable-sum game against the zero-sum game provides that
different players can all win or improve their positions jointly-not just the
godfather taking it as material settlement for propping the incumbent.

The incident of godfather politics in our system harbours some devastating
implications for our research for national cohesion and development. Thus far,
our definition of the godfather politics, amply and aptly, bears out a
political overlord-godfather-who is a prototype of Machievelli's Prince who would not
advance another Prince's power because it will diminish his own grip on the
citizens and their resources.

Mind you, Machievelli and thinkers in his tradition, see power as a zero-sum
game - the business deal across the table - in which the pay-off to all the
players add up to zero.

What does that mean, may I ask?

It means that whatever one competitor wins in zero-sum game, he can only win
from the losses of the rival. In that case, any winnings of any one must come
out of the losses of the other one. This way, a zero-sum game is a merciless
form of competition where the drive is to brutally crush the other contender
and appropriate the entire terrain as a personal estate or cash cow.

If our nascent democracy is allowed to take roots on the platform of a
competition for power in politics underpinned by Machievelli's zero-sum character,
then the contest of the power is bound to be without end and without mercy.
Such a foundation poses the danger of compromising the harmony of our future
politics and we will be headed for a permanence of instability, which reinforces
the elements of disintegrative tendencies, that way, we would have mortgaged
the progress and posterity of this nation: a situation which provides neither a
worthy political education nor legacy to pride ourselves upon.

This is a direct antithesis to the variable-sum game which stands out as
hallmark of western advanced democracies where all players compete, one with
another but jointly win the expense of the national wealth and resources (values)
which nature has bestowed upon all. This situation of variable-sum game if it
takes root in Nigeria would have made citizens the direct beneficiaries of the
increased power over poverty, literacy, disease, hunger, ignorance and the
other tribulations of the developing democracies.

The entire production profile in an economy of a state under godfather
politics is very poor one. The self-seeking godfather unchangeably is not altruistic
enough to embrace policies, which favour increased popular participation in
the production process. His vision for the creation of job through massive
investment in the real sector of the economy - that is in the agriculture and
industry - is insular and narrow, for fear of power diffusion in the economy,
which threaten his sole-proprietor-status in the state. In order words, any focus
in capacity building and economic empowerment is viewed with critical negative
attitude. If you like, the evidence of godfather politics is the recurrence
of the territorial and material conquistador whose avarice for gold, will cause
a drive, non-stop, for more lands, more people and more fortune. But he never
bothers about developing the land or nurturing the people for further
perpetuation of the land. These shall come and go, he shall move on to new

Columbus, we remember, overran and upturned the vast West Indies for gold and
other fortune, but what appealed to the conquistador about the native people
was that while they must be rooted out of their lands, they would in addition
be good servants, whose last pint of blood had to be dropped for the benefit
of his increasing estate.

Arga Khan also routed the long and widespread civilizations covering most of
the present further Asia but left in the wake of his immeasurable fortune,
devastated territories, wounded pride, rape of culture and waste of humanity.

Back home here, the mainstay investment focus of the godfather is in building
extra legal and lawful forces such as thuggery, and in inspiration to other
delinquency industry, which thrive on the periodic dole outs of the godfather.
This has vast effect on the multiplicity of the lumpen-proletariats, which as
held by political scientists, is the culture of building non-productive
societies such that will live out their lives on the whims and caprices of the
godfather, this godfather in turn, covers them into his muscle to pursue his
state-ownership of sole-proprietor interests.

Increasingly, the operational dynamic of these negative forces tends to build
into structures that exactly tally with the features of private armies. The
manifestation here is bizarre, both in terms of building virile youth for
national growth and development and of effort at national cohesion and
consciousness. This is because the youth (male and female) in that setting do not
cultivate the culture of building enduring and positive social and economic
endeavours. They rather prosper, of course temporarily.

In a culture of violence characterized by ephemeral pleasure and penchant for
ecstasy, which carry them through a whirlwind of life and eventual

The nation is the worst for it as the actions transport into the system a
riotous form of life comparable to the conduct of disorderly soldiers serving in
an army of occupation who lay waste humanhood as they pillage on the people.
The tragedy of this is that this godfather who pretends to be a mentor to youth
actually works at destroying the male youth who are used as his soldiers
without condition of service but who can get killed in service to the powerful but
merciless godfather.

Indeed, godfather politics can entirely be held responsible for the festering
of youth delinquencies and the failure of orderly succession in government.
In the bid to appease the godfather, governance is vitiated and policies
impeded. Besides, the godson is under intense heat to accede to the godfather or
face eviction and replacement from among the retinue of other contending and
willing godsons, ostensibly to serve the godfather better.

The other multiplier effect of this reaches into the recruitment in
governmental institutions and structures, which if allowed, witness massive infusion of
mediocrity and a fetish of equivalents. That of course has implications
against the proficiency and effectiveness in governance.

The state's image off-shore is not particularly favoured in the instance of
godfather politics for the simple fact that the productive focus in the economy
of the state as preferred by the godfather has adverse effect on competition
and quality and quantity of products as well as capacity for production. The
state thus, cannot develop an industrial base and a corresponding within the
global economy. To this effect, the state therefore becomes a dumping ground for
all manners of products, inferior and sub-inferior, as the aftermath of

Against the backdrop of the foregoing, it has become obvious that the
overriding essence of godfatherism in Nigeria consists in mercantilism, clientelism
and prenbendalism. As we all know, a merchant who acts outside the context of
the profit motive would sooner be run out of business or be put out of

Ordinarily, the edifice for effective operation of the clientelist-enterprise
is in constructing the structure to hold very firmly the deciding factors of
the environment. This confers on the godfather the 'right' to determine the
commission (his profit) for every enterprise, which he in turn reverts to his
ultimate advantage.

The prebendalist, in our midst, is the grandstanding socio-political
wheeler-dealer whose dominant machinery creates and nurtures the traditional,
political, situation to control the political behaviour in the environment. In most
cases, this is the business of a group whose select and sometimes elitist
members pervade the modern society with a measure of legitimacy of culture and other
values. Certainly, they are not set out to effect better policies but for
either the political prestige of the custodians of the old order or the material
benefit of the prime actors on the scene. Sometimes, we mix this up with the
term called oligarchy.

In his work, Democracy and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria, Richard Joseph
holds that the extent of the practice is in the nature of certain interests to see
power as instruments for the furtherance of their traditions. While, as
always the case with godfathers, the state in his control will be geared at
providing further material profit, he fought with a baffling measure of tenacity the
consolidation of the tradition which negated open and competitive societies.
The large and indeed more dangerous import of this is that such political
environment, which impedes open development of the society, easily exposes the
state to the fetish tradition of political patrimony, which burns the promises of
civilisation and stifles the will and energy of future generations.

In the recurring profit motive in the mode of operation of the godfather, the
interest of the rightful stakeholders in democracy- the people - can never be
mentioned. Of course, it cannot be mentioned if as we have experienced, the
godfather has no hint of interest beyond profiteering or beyond personal
material gains which the process must afford him.

Elsewhere, I had expressed my preference for the injunctions of Locke and
Rousseau on the (social) contract between every democratic voter and leader.

It has always been my position, as Locke taught the world, that there is this
inviolable contract between the voter and the democratic leader. It is one
bound in time and in terms. In our particular case, it comes as a mandate of
four years, which as statutorily provided, and can be democratically renewed.

The dominant term of this contract is that the political leader on the
democratic saddle must grapple with and solve the problems of the people who have
elected and conferred on him certain privileges and rights. The people were
quite conscious of the implication of conceding such enormous powers to the leader
but they expect their security, road, food production, housing, health, water
and the others to constitute the leader's main concern. If therefore a voter
comes to the polling booth to cast his precious vote for you, he expects in
return that when he gets home and turns on the tap or light, he will get water
or electricity, respectively. Where the case is to the contrary, he expects
that you should genuinely lose sleep for the failure of those facilities.

The political leader who appreciates the terms of this contract dutifully
applies himself to them but one who is hamstrung by the ruthless,
settlement-seeking, godfather will have the interest of the people circumscribed.

The emphasis here should be that the whole intentions and actions of the
godfather, are completely antithetical and unpretentiously negate the open and
negotiated society, which arises from the seasonal contract established by Locke
and Rousseau. Indeed, the development of plurality in social order as well as
the social elements, which reinforce the rise of the culture of the
alternatives, offends the godfather.

Now, if we say that with democracy taking roots in Nigeria and with some
state incumbents clearly acquitting themselves in settling the terms of the social
contract, would it mean that the days of the godfather are numbered?

My answer is "no" and I mean a vehement "NO" for that matter.

The truth is that it is likely that every political godfather is
sophisticated up to some level. It is also true that the environment, which still harbours
undue skirmishes on the strength of chauvinism, can always provide a fishing
ground for troublemakers. More so, for a society whose intellectual plank of
the mass media hardly applies the strict rules in awarding marks, it is like a
no-holds-barred for the unquenching thirst of the godfather.

Initially, I had maintained a position not to join in pillorying the
intellectual leadership of the media given my belief that we are all on our way of
picking the bits of the truly independent civil society.

However, it looks so much the godfather owes so much to the media, which
ascribe all manner of powers to him. In fact, at a stage I began to wonder whether
the media had any yardstick to determine the clout and political relevance
they ascribe to some political players. I will not dare call this ignorance as I
have been amply advised that there are media languages, but I must say that
sometimes I get confused with these terms. Where it has not been up to a
generation, the media say it is a dynasty. Where a political player may not have
impacted on the people in over two decades, the media say he is the chieftain and
father of the politics of the zone. Where the player has largely remained
removed from any meaningful contact, only registering a presence by hiring
commercial motorcyclists as his own measure of weight, the media thunder about a
tumultuous crowd.

Perhaps, for want of the words to justify boastful headlines, the media build
imageries and swell the heads of those who would have realized their own
limitations and settled for lesser and more compatible engagements.

Somehow, sometime, I think I get tempted to say that our media, so robust and
unpretentious, are magic institutions. They create fathers from impotent men
and they make lords from paupers without accepting any objective analysis for
the enterprise they have embarked on.

Considered the other way, I think our media have caused many a political
humble element to bloat and commit suicide. Or else how do you explain the
situation of a man, erstwhile humble political player, who would have settled for
what his entire being can fetch, only to assume such vast pursuits which exceeded
his mental, intellectual and material abilities just on the prompting of the

I do not intend to negate the duty of the media in making heroes, but
frankly, I question the spur created for minions to seek to ride on the will of the
people perhaps, to confirm the borrowed and bloated image cast on him by the

Of course, in the desperation of Nigeria godfather to retain his image of his
media and indeed appropriate more of the material rewards of politics.

He can device all manner of tricks including the curious forays into ethnic
and quasi-ethnic agitation. It is usually on this that typical godfather
anchors his claim of concern for the people, by his preachment of his brand of
democracy woven around amala, akpu and tuwo. And do you know what? The media sing
yo-yoo all the way.

In fact, one clear track of manipulation of the godfather is the segmentation
of the political environment into immediate and perishable need zones: the
political party people, ethnic people, party and personal loyalists, own
caucuses, own inner circle, personal fashioned coalition and patron statuses. With
the principal method tied around akpu, tuwo and amala.

It is only a wonder to me, even if it is not absurd that the media have not
sought to ascertain if these would effectively eliminate the fundamental
premise on which faked affection is usually built. And although the central singsong
is akpu, amala, and tuwo, would the operative environment derive the
capability of setting the material interests of the people, if only we sing about the
quick and perishable need? Well, what can you do? After all, again, the media
will hoot: yo-yoo.

When the typical godfather's business fails and it is impossible for him to
continue observing the rules of the game, he resorts to ethnicism to garner
support and evade the long arms of law. When he impedes the system and the full
weight of the law dangles close-by, he screams up the sentiments of one of the
segments of the environment and demands albeit loudly, that the objective
conditions should be expunged to suit his interests. As usual, the media are at
hand to sing yo-yoo.

Rather than talk about the ship of the State, he talks about zoning. Rather
than talk about the structure of a nation, whose strength in variety has hardly
been exploited, he resorts to blackmail and declares all discussions
foreclosed. Rather than seek the enabling environment for the wider conscientisation
of the citizenry, he pursues a closed society steeped in mediocrity and such
other fetish likes which had hindered civilisations elsewhere. Rather than
acknowledge the dawn of democracy and follow suit to work at consolidation of the
return of order in the dispensing of national values, he thunders and whines,
moaning over the cheers extended to others even while he craves to be applauded
at every turn. And why not, if the press will be there to sing yo-yoo,
without as much a tie back or reference to place a current position side by side
with recently canvassed ones.

The challenge of our countrymen, we believe, lies in realizing that, "they
that are greedy of applause but who burn their time and energy working to
prevent cheers for others," do not portend the slightest indicator of democracy.
They actually impede the already acclaimed highest form of human civilisation,
especially in the field of social and political organisations.

If then the entire scenario as presented for the audience of The Source
Magazine and Udi Hills Nigeria, fits into the phenomenon called godfather
situation, it now becomes imperative that we answer the question: Godfather phenomenon
in democratic Nigeria Silicon or Real? Initially, I had deliberately kept from
initial definitions, preferring in the process to get us acquainted with the
conceptual and experiential nuances of the godfather morass.

Objectively related, it is incongruous to talk about godfather and democratic
society. But consequent upon our peculiar background and the newness of our
democracy, it is even viable to accede to the cliché that everything goes.

However, the reordering of the society, based on the global standards of
building the normal plural civil society, ridding the crest of the age-old
liberty, equality and fraternity, there appears to be a duty imposed on the entire
factors in national conscientisation. It should not have reduced to the limiting
matters of good or bad, far or near, moral or immoral, silicon or real,
decent or indecent and the like.

To me, the entire burden is on the media. If it accepts that democracy
anchors on plurality and that he who delivers democracy dividends especially in
provision of roads, pipe-borne water, housing, access to health facilities and the
others, not feathering the nest of the settlement-seeking godfather, holds
the true democratic card, as he has done his bit of the social contract, then we
go home, saying as we normally do in Enugu State.

To God Be The Glory.

- Governor Nnamani delivered this pre-inaugural lecture of The Source
magazine and Udi Hills Centre for Public Affairs.. in Lagos recently(May 2003).


horizontal rule

© 1999 - 2006 Segun Toyin Dawodu. All rights reserved. All unauthorized copying or adaptation of any content of this site will be liable to  legal recourse.


Segun Toyin Dawodu, P. O. BOX 710080, HERNDON, VA  20171-0080, USA.

This page was last updated on 10/27/07.