In a country like Nigeria what can we do where there is no merit, no integrity, no rule of law, where “godfatherism” and going to the shrine to swear in allegiance before sponsorship to contest in elections has become the order of the day? Also, in Nigeria where there is money politics where money decides who comes in and who goes out of political offices. Do you want to talk about the exorbitant cost of party registration, expression of interest form and campaign costs? You saw the debate on the source of Trump’s campaign fund and its abuse in the congress.
All these sum up to the Politics of The Privileged; where a sincere man cannot smell politics in Nigeria unless he is a money bag or an appendage to one. In the quest to enter politics and meet up with the financial responsibilities, one is tempted into godfatherism politics. This encourages corruption and puts integrity at stake. Political sponsorship is the bane of the nation. People are not ashamed to ask for political sponsorships because they believe it’s a worthwhile investment and a way of survival.
The youths can continue to live on unrealizable hope and seduced to believe that they are the future leaders as they say. Can the youths meet up with the numerous demands in Nigerian politics? A sincere, honest and educated Nigerian who wants to help his country may not have a taste in Nigerian politics of today unless he wants to indulge himself in Nigerian “politricks” and its nuances.
He who wants to enter into Nigerian politics must reexamine the Nigerian core values. We have a sovereign country with core values where a president can be an example of rule of law and therefore nobody is excluded from the law as our founding fathers. The reason why we have a kangaroo government is that those in authority do not respect the rule of law and the constitution thereby acting contrary to them and becoming dictators. Politics in Nigeria is about the people oppressed; me and you. Sometimes, the political thinking of some people portrays selfishness and nepotism which jeopardizes hope and unity in Nigeria. Institutions depend on beliefs and values. If bad politicians destroy those beliefs and values we are left with voodoo politics.
The politics of godfatherism as recently seen in Edo’s political jingoism is still vibrating. The popular slogan now is “Edo nor be Lagos or Eko”. This is a powerful metaphor which showed that Edo citizens have realized their lingering political setbacks and fought against them. Their recent action leads to the demystification of godfatherism which is all over Nigerian politics. The people of Edo have realized the great power they possess to elect those to represent them without listening to the misleading Gospel from the godfathers. The political bargaining was too much. The people were able to overcome the choices the godfathers were making for them rather they made their own choice which is a sign of unity of purpose.
One thing politicians should ask themselves is “Have we done anything that will make people remember us or that we lived” Are they going to remember us by our scattered buildings all over Nigeria? Will history remember us? Are our footprints not going to be left on the sand of history? Are our names going to be left in the records of dirty political history? Are we not meant to expand the boundaries of our communities, towns, villages and our country? That is the goal of man. Man must make positive history. That is the purpose of man’s life. Politicians should know that legacies left behind make citizens remember them. Politics of money and godfatherism has created a political amnesia in Nigerian politics instead of lifting Nigeria on the global scale. The politics of godfatherism and mismanagement of resources led to the impoverishment of the citizens.
He who wants to enter into Nigerian politics must reexamine the Nigerian core values. We have a sovereign country with core values where a president can be an example of rule of law and therefore nobody is excluded from the law as our founding fathers. India has escaped being the number one poverty capital of the world and shifted the mantle to Nigeria. India has advanced in several ways and is even among those that promised to produce vaccine for Corona virus. Today all the drugs in Nigeria are manufactured in India but distributed by our pharmaceutical companies. We are caught up with buying and selling and the promotion of other countries’ technologies. This continuous mismanagement has led Nigeria to be among the most corrupt Nation in the world. The question every Nigerian is asking now is “After Edo’s political battle, which next State needs the liberation from godfatherism? The guess is yours!
Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a Social Justice and Peace Advocate.