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Fredrick Nwabufo: Godfatherism will still dog Edo

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The campaigns of the first-tier contenders within the Edo governorship election have been largely ensconced within the agitprop of godfatherism. Whereas Godwin Obaseki, incumbent governor of the state, claims he’s wrestling in opposition to the forces of recidivism who’ve held Edo down and who wish to hold lording it over the state as godfathers, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, his challenger, struggles to shake off the tag of being a flunkey of those ‘’patrons’’.

In line with Obaseki, his re-election will finish godfatherism in Edo. Actually, the governor mentioned his cardinal mission within the state is to finish godfatherism. However what’s the plausibility of this noble quest? Will Obaseki’s re-election actually sever the pharynx of godfatherism in Edo? Is he honest about interring the stays of this atavistic scourge in our politics? Or will there be a re-alignment with the godfathers from the social gathering on which stump he stands?

On Ize-Iyamu, I feel he is aware of he runs with a baggage. He is sort of a sprinter who goes right into a race with heavy locker-room chattels in tow. He grapples with a credibility disaster. His proponent, Adams Oshiomhole, is his Achilles heel; so, he swedges in opposition to himself and his promoter, looking for redemption from the burden of Oshiomhole.

Most of Ize-Iyamu’s public statements have been on the defensive. He by no means ceases to remind everybody that “the one one who is basically my godfather is God himself”. In his desperation to shake off the dirty garb, he mentioned on a programme on Come up TV in August that Oshiomhole was his “staffer”.

He shrieked: “…So, for any person like me to now describe him as a godfather or say Oshiomhole is my godfather…. On what foundation? Now we have had historical past of sturdy engagement. Now we have disagreed and are available again collectively; so, what you see is mutual respect. Oshiomhole is working for me; he’s campaigning with me as a result of he’s additionally obsessed with his social gathering profitable Edo and you may’t take that away from him.”

However one factor stands clear: Obaseki can not finish godfatherism in Edo and Ize-Iyamu can not wash himself clear from the stain of godfatherism even when he makes use of hyssop. They’re each merchandise of the identical primitive political system and bastions of the identical order.

Our political course of is cannibalistic; it’s canine eat canine. Nationwide curiosity succumbs to group and particular person curiosity in our model of politics. It doesn’t reward rebels or individuals of unbiased disposition. To likelihood on political workplace, it’s essential to contort your ideas and private integrity to suit into the agenda of the keepers of the political platforms, notoriously thought to be the “godfathers”. The godfathers management these political platforms. They maintain the reins of political development.

It’s the purpose I imagine Obaseki can not finish godfatherism in Edo. Actually, he has solely switched godfathers. Those that supplied him the Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP) ticket on a limb – after he was rejected by his former social gathering, the All Progressives Congress (APC) — did so at an important price. It’s apparent to a neophyte of political readings that the “house owners” of the PDP didn’t supply their platform to Obaseki to run for a second-term in workplace with out some buying and selling. The house owners of the social gathering will definitely search to recoup their funding. The insularity of curiosity is supreme in our anachronistic politics.

And to aver that godfathers have to be localised inside a state or a political entity is minimising the vulgar tentacles of godfatherism. Godfathers are like colonialists; they exist even on the fringes however with proboscis deep into the heart of each state, nation, sector and establishment. It’s actually ludicrous — Obaseki’s marketing campaign theme of extirpating godfatherism in Edo as if a godfather(s) should come from Edo or be resident there.

Curiosity isn’t locational and godfatherism defies faith and ethnicity. The alleged godfather of Oshiomhole, Obaseki’s predecessor who’s catholic, is a Muslim from the south-west, and he has been for the reason that former APC nationwide chairman was governor in 2008 — after his political platform, the Labour Celebration, entered into an entente with Motion Congress Celebration which gave him a strong construction and backing to attain his ambition.

So, Obaseki ought to save himself the twaddle of ending godfatherism in Edo. I imagine he has initiatives to point out for his first time period in workplace. He ought to marketing campaign on them. Latching on the godfatherism trope betrays his efficiency vacuity. The individuals of Edo need good governance – past changing an outdated obnoxious order with a brand new one.

Actually, so long as the current political ecosystem subsists, godfatherism will stay in Nigeria. For this reason now we have to battle as individuals to liberate ourselves from the noose of those troglodytes. Whoever wins the Saturday governorship ballot in Edo, the established order will stay unchanged.

Sure, I’m pessimistic. I’ve my causes.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a author and journalist


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