Facts File! GODFATHERISM IN NIGERIA'S POLITICS?! AN INEVITABLE MENACE!



" Godfatherism in politics is an integral part of any form of civil governance anywhere in the world. It is in Europe, America, Asia and controls politics in countries around Africa. So, it is not peculiar to only Nigeria alone.



But, that of Nigeria is peculiar in the sense that, all the political parties we have in Nigeria right now have owners. And, these owners are the people we refer to as the 'godfathers'.

Realistically, these are the Nigerians, who founded the parties and run them to prominence with their ideas, time, money, efforts and risk resources, when you and I can't think of it.

They are the ones, who muted the idea of founding the parties, and so, it is expected they enjoy certain rights and privileges of influence, control, and, nay domination in the running of the administration and operations of those parties.

You cannot use your money to start and run an organization to high growth and prominence, and when it is time to exercise your rights of ownership, stakeholdership and privilege of influence, during decision making or election period, the people you brought in later as mere and non financial members, would now be claiming, things must compulssorily be done according to normal democratic tenets and ideals, even when it is against your favor and interest.

 The question is: Are you the owner or a major stakeholder in how the party is being run and financed?! Or do you have your money in how the party in being funded, organised and run in the democracy?!

That is the issue!

As it stands right now in Nigeria, many, in fact, almost all the political parties we have in the country right now have founding owners; proprietors and funding  investors, and these are people we know have been exercising their influences and controls in the process of taking decisions to get what they want in those parties and from those parties.

These owners are the people Nigerians naively call the 'godfathers'. And, I bet you, they will continue to run those parties with the deserved Godfatherism status and mentality for as long as they are the financial, administrative and operational owners of those political institutions. It is their rights in democracy, because it is where they have invested so much in.

In a nutshell, they are the owners and the drivers, and the other members of the parties are just the mere tools for organisation, operations, expansion and  electoral contests in the country's democracy, except their money is involved as well.

However, if Nigerians feel they must now run their democracy without the influence of these so-called godfathers and influential political actors, then Nigerians must decide to own their own political party.

And, that is the true party of the mass movement of the people of Nigeria, which could be called the 'Peoples Party of Nigeria'.

This party must be founded by the people; funded by the people; run by the people and grown to high social prominence by the people.

If this could be achieved in Nigeria by Nigerians, then this is when Nigerians could always stand their ground to say 'No to the control, influence and dominance of certain people in the party, during the decision making process.

But, without this, the political parties in Nigeria will continue to be run by those people we accuse as 'godfathers', and there is nothing anybody can do about it, except to keep talking, complaining and destabilsing the polity.

I cannot create a political party; keep funding it with my time, efforts, risk and material resources, and when it is time to reap from my investment, you now tell me to go and sit down for things to be run through normal democratic ideals, because it is democracy.

What type of democracy will encourage you to send away those, who spent their resources to build a political party for strangers in the party to take over the control of decision making processes.

And, when I allow that, the people who did not know how I founded and grew the party with my sweat and that of few other financial members, will now come from no where to keep reaping the fruits of my labour.

That is why the like of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; President Muhammadu Buhari; Atiku Abubakar; Rotimi Amechi; Bukola Saraki and many other politicians of note  some Nigerians ignorantly castigate as godfathers in Nigeria's politics today, will continue to operate in their political parties to remain relevant; be in charge and call the shots, because they are the owners of their parties. But, because it is democracy and it is a game of numbers, that is why you and I have to be necessarily brought in or accommodated as members to make the party big in number and electoral strength.

On this realistic note, if Nigerians feel to continue to have godfathers in Nigeria's democracy is wrong, then they should do well to create their own political party.

And, that party must be funded equally, commonly and generally by the money of everybody and run by the efforts of everybody.

If I contribute 1000 naira, you contribute 1000 naira, with that, it would be difficult for anybody to claim to have more sense of ownership than the other.

But, for as long as we continue to have political parties founded and run with only the money, time, efforts, ideas and risks of only certain people, those few  people will continue to run the parties and call the shots as those godfathers you complain about.

Right now in Nigeria, the political parties that are running the electoral system  have founding fathers and owners. And, those are the godfathers you complain about.

As I speak, Nigeria does not have any political party truly owned collectively by the mass movement of the people of Nigeria.

The ones we have now, have owner investors and those are the people we unfairly castigate everyday as the godfathers.

I cannot use my brain, money, time, material and risk resources to found and grow a political party to prominence, and when it is time of decisions and to exercise my influence during elections, you now tell me to go and sit down that you want to run democratic ideals, which at the end of the day, might relegate me to the backgrounds.

It is not done anywhere in the world!

Those people you unfairly castigate as 'godfathers' in the politics of Nigeria, are the ones who thought of creating a political party, when we were not thinking about it; spent their money, when we can't; donate their material resources, when you refused to do it; use their precious times to run it, when you use your own to run your businesses; risk their lives to travel round the length and breadth of Nigeria, when you can't et cetra. But, when it is time to exercise influence of rights in the party they suffered to build, you now say they should stay away to allow you, who did not contribute as much as they did to run democratic ideals"

- Olukayode Salako Writes from Omole Estate,  Lagos. .

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