Godfathers” in Nigerian politics don’t usually run for office themselves, but many believe they are the ones who decide the election winners and losers.
The conflict arising from godfatherism has become one of the greatest problems facing the Nigerian political system. The holder of the political position becomes a stooge to his godfather because he that pays the piper dictates the tune.
In Africa and other developing countries like Nigeria, godfatherism has become the central point of political vandalism this is as a result of the overconcentration of authority and capital of politicians explains the ascent for the control of the structures and organizations by the political class in the nation, this struggle, and the resulting values have obstructed significantly on society in a various ways (Ohiole & Ojo, 2016:1).
Politics of godfatherism and regionalism has featured prominently in the political history of independent Nigeria. The problems arising from godfatherism are myriad and it is one of the greatest glitches facing the Nigerian political system. The problem is such that the god-son oftentimes is a stooge of the godfather �and he that pays the piper dictates the tune (Edigin, 2010:174)�. The failure of the god-son to meet the demands of the god-father is often punished with impeachments or denial of re-election. He also observed that with the return to democratic rule in 1999, the country witnessed a heightened tempo in the politics of godfatherism, which has affected the socio-economic and political development of the country.
According to John (2006), godfatherism has become a scary phenomenon in Nigeria politics. This is because; godfathers have sustained a reputation for deploying their wealth to secure party nomination for candidates of their choice, sponsor their elections including manipulating the electoral process for their selfish interest. This dominant political culture has not only been sustained by the privileged few but has become perverse and is today a major source of tension and political instability in the polity.
The concept of godfatherism is firmly establishing itself as a guiding principle in contemporary Nigeria politics. Godfathers are generally defined as men who have the power personally to determine both who gets nominated to contest elections and who wins in the election (Chibuzo, 2006). In the past, Nigerian society had fewer criminals that the judicial systems attempted to contend with in recent times, our judicial systems cannot contend with such because Nigerian society is building criminals at rapid pales in the late 20th and early 21st centuries through democratization and militarization practices, when the governing systems failed to deliver the other takes over. In democracy one way that regime is breeding criminals is through godfather’s, godfatherism is old fashion enterprise that circulates around nation with different names or headings for centuries. Godfathers in Nigeria is a topic that has not been given enough attention until recent coup that exposed Chief Chris Uba, estranged political Godfather of Chief Dr. Chris Ngige among political criminals that is behind elections or selection of most of our state governors and other law makers. Apparently it appears majority of our state governors are financed by such caliber of person and for those financed by their godfathers get into offices now have huge power in respective states. They assigned civil services and or political positions to who are not of the people but people of the privates.