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Chapter one

1.1 Introduction

The human race will never see the end of its problems until political power is given to the admirer of wisdom “PlatoRepublic”. My first approach to the topic’s challenge is that we have no choice but to return to the basic context in which Nigerians see the godfather or conflicts as a segment of the political process as well as a figure, standing in opposition to the intellectual extrapolations originating in and sustained by the media.

Politics as a notion, when compared to David Easton’s definition, could be said to have existed as early as any formal or informal grouping or organisation. According to the Eastonian concept, politics is the “authoritative allocation of scare values”.

This definition could also be viewed as a struggle for political power to authoritatively allocate these values, beginning with influencing decisions about who gets what, when, and how, and culminating in a contest for the voice of veto over the implementation of decisions made.

However, the above quick summary of the notion of politics would highlight certain crucial variables, such as the values of resources available to be shared amongst members of the group, which are finite and cannot adequately satisfy the requirements of all members.

This is why an authority is required to decide on the allocation of these limited resources, ostensibly based on order of importance. Another thing to consider is that because the decision of ‘what’ somebody would receive from the system is made at the points of power of distribution, there are conflicts and disagreements at these decision points.

When the two components mentioned above are combined, it becomes evident that the political process might be referred to as “war.” And if all of these disagreements cannot be settled amicably through resolutions, the system is in crisis.

The trend of ‘political godfatherism,’ which derives from the creators or sustainers of a particular feature of reality, a group of persons who are held in high regard.

We can then see that there is a relationship between godfather and god-child; a godchild is a child for whom one accepts responsibility by making pledges to assist them grow in a specific area of life, and god-fatherism has become one of the most serious issues confronting Nigeria’s democratic system.

It leads to corruption since you must make returns (he who sows generously reaps generously). The holder of the political post becomes a puppet for his godfather since he who pays the piper calls the tune. When a godson refuses to accept their (godfathers’) demands, he is eventually impeached from political office.

Anenih – Igbinedion, the Sariki – Lawal standoff, the Nwobodo – Nnamani quagmire, the Adebibu – Ladoja crisis, the Uba – Ngige sage, and all other godfather – protégé crises in Nigeria not only pose a serious threat to our democratic experiment, but also to the very essence and validity of our existence as a nation.

The billions of naira spent by Nigerian godfathers to fund their godsons’ races has completely commercialised Nigerian elections, disqualifying individuals of honour, character, and integrity from holding elected public positions. Without a doubt, the situation has become peculiar since the inauguration of Nigerian civil rule on May 29, 1999.

It began with the feud between chief Anthony Anenih (godfather) and Lucky Igbinedion (protégé), the governor of Edo State from May 1999 to May 2003. Chief A. Anenih was said to have favoured Lucky Igbinedion above other candidates for governor of the state, as well as bankrolled his campaign costs.

However, Lucky Igbinedion failed to reciprocate Anenih’s gift by not providing him with enough government patronage and by acting as a devoted ‘godson’. The occurrence took place between Dr. Jim Nwobodo (godfather) and Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani (protégé) of Enugu State.

Eventually, the godson conquered the godfather after a long battle for the state’s soul. (The Essence Library, Godfatherism in Nigerian Politics, 2004, p. 64).

However, during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s second term, the phenomenon of godfatherism becomes increasingly disturbing and harmful to Nigeria’s fledgling democracy.

In Oyo State, South-West Nigeria, Adebidu (godfather) and Ladoja (protégé) are fighting for the spirit of Oyo, which has impacted government and reenacted the state’s notorious political bloodshed.

In the long run, Ladoja won the State gubernatorial election by defeating the incumbent governor, Alhaji Lam Adeshina of the Alliance for Democracy. He was eventually sworn in on May 29, 2003. When Adedibu decided to nominate 80 percent of the new commissioners and special advisers, Ladoja wanted to move quickly.

He duped Adedibu into taking a much-needed vacation abroad, and he ensured that the speaker of the House of Assembly, Moroof Olawale Atilola, promptly approved his list of commissioners, so ending Adedibu and Ladoja’s partnership.

The hostility between Adedibu and Ladoja was on full show during the election campaign for the March 27, 2004 Local Government Elections. Ladoja was left to his own devices until he was consumed with the “impeachment” of the tiger he mounted in 2003. (Celetine Okafor, The Ladoja Impeachment, Jan 14, 2006).

AnambraState’s Chris Uba (godfather) and Chris Ngige (protégé) were both involved in a key episode. Looting, bloodletting, gubernatorial abduction, and judicial ambushes have been commonplace occurrences in Anambra State since the godson failed to play ball as planned after swearing his oath at the Okija shrine.

Until the 16th of March 2006. The godson (Ngige) was eventually ousted from office. (Essence Library Godfatherism in Nigerian Politics, 2004, p. 65).

This situation was extremely representative of how it has always been in the Nigerian politics as it relates to the political elites in society. They are high and mighty, capable of getting their way in any situation, and practically every crisis that occurs is the result of musculature amongst them and amongst themselves.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The preceding section of the introduction to this work sought to provide a sufficient and thorough overview of the many points and manifestations of political disputes in Nigeria’s fourth republic.

This was done in conjunction with a brief description of the concepts “godfatherism” and “political conflicts” in any system, society, or political grouping, while also taking into account the frequency of these crisis circumstances in Nigeria as a whole.

Haven examined the various manifestations of the notion. It is appropriate that we strive to identify the problem(s) that produced a conducive atmosphere for these crises to erupt and grow.

The first issue that can be identified from the analysis of the above-mentioned political conflict narrative is pervasive corruption, which is accompanied by unpatriotism. Nigeria has consistently been ranked among the top five countries in terms of corruption, spurred by a desire for the concept of patriotism,

which has led to the typical Nigerian viewing governance and government as a tool for exploitation and self-aggrandizement. So, while the masses yearn for uplifting leadership,

they have mercantilism as their watchword and do everything in the hope of monetary gain and payback. Anambra, Oyo, Enugu, Edo, and other places remain classic examples of this predicament.

The second easily recognised difficulty in the complete case scenario of the Oyo, Anambra, Kwara, Edo, Borno, and other political crises is “Elitism”. While the concept of elitism as a problem is not widely acknowledged.

Another issue that could be considered an evolution of the previous problem notion is political godfatherism. Political godfatherism is a concept that, while commonly practiced around the world, has taken on troubling and worrying dimensions and proportions in the nation today.

It has become necessary to have powerful political godfathers before standing for any public post, including political appointments. Unfortunately, like in Anambra, Oyo, Edo,

and elsewhere, most of these godfathers give their services in exchange for money bribes that are shockingly large and lavish, and contrary to the accepted norm of people-centered service.

1.3 Hypothesis.

The following hypotheses will be tested during the course of this project.

1. The godfathers’ power increases as the political system becomes more monetized.

2. The more prominent the godfathers’ activities, the greater the risk of political instability.

3. The more elected officials rely on godfathers, the poorer the masses will be.

1.4 Objects of the Study

(1) To seek to uncover the Godfatherism and effects of political disputes by investigating the different identifiable causes and consequences of the Edo State war in Nigeria’s fourth republic.

(2) To thoroughly establish that political disputes have become Nigeria’s constant bedfellow, with a detailed investigation of the Edo State Government crisis.

(3) Finally, provide a solution to the recognised causes of these political conflicts in order to prevent their sporadic occurrence in Nigeria.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The essence of this study is self-explanatory in its presentation of the different factors that contribute to the EdoState crisis in question. This study aims to offer us with a full overview of these state crises as well as an in-depth and complete (to the greatest extent possible) investigation of the many forces at play in the story. This is done with the goal of finding a long-term remedy and preventing the anomaly from recurring in Nigerian politics.

It is also clear that future researchers might delve deeper into this field of research, as a few others have done before me, utilising this work/study as a springboard. This could be accomplished by providing strength and support to some of the ideas or hypotheses that this effort wants to promote.

It might also be by correcting some or all of the mistakes that I may have unintentionally produced during the process of my investigation. All of these would help to guide observers and future researchers of this area of study to the best stock of intellectually analytic compilation on the subject.

The completion of all of these would undoubtedly be beneficial in preventing a future replication of the faults that are currently impeding our progress.

Finally, it should be highlighted that this work could be considered an addition to the vast body of academic and intellectual attempts and submissions on this and similar themes, especially in Nigeria.

In the end, this work will be viewed as another ray of hope in the face of the myriad political upheavals that have plagued the country, particularly in recent years.

1.6 Scope of the Study

Although the topic of political disputes is widely acknowledged and debated, the scope of this research would be limited to EdoState in Nigeria, with a time period of study of the fourth republic (1999-present).

The reason for this is because what is happening in the state reflects the national trend. Furthermore, any attempt to provide a long-term solution to the problem is expected to have an impact on the entire nation.

1.7 Methodology

The nature of this research necessitates the use of a secondary source of data in order to give relevant data. An effort will be made to collect secondary sources from literature such as books,

magazines, newspapers, journals, the internet, and other similar resources. Questionnaires will be distributed to voters in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria, as the primary source.

1.8 Definition of Terms

(1). Godfatherism:- Godfatherism is defined as “a male godparent: a sponsor—one who pays the bill.” The leader of a criminal investigation”.

(2) Politics:- The struggle for power, which is defined as the authority to select, develop, and implement choices and policies that must be approved by society. It is a struggle for power in government, particularly executive authority.

(3) Elites: These are a small group of people who believed they held the qualities required to gain full social and political authority.

(4) Crisis: Refers to an unstable situation, a rapid onslaught of agony, or tension. Violent conflict between two people over an idea or possession.

(5) Conflict:- Refers to disagreements in ideas or on a particular issue between groups of people or one individual.

(6) Bargaining: The presentation of ideas and counter-proposals by two opposing parties in the hope of reaching an agreement or equilibrium.

(7) Godson: A godson is a male godchild who is placed under the care of his godfather.

(8) Saga: Long story of brave acts.

(9) Clog:- get plugged by thick or stiff materials.

(10) Clog:-a little figure of a person that can be moved, or a group or person whose activities are directed by another.

(11) Elastic:- This is something that can be tweaked but not repaired.

(12) Chameleon:- A person who alters her or his attitude, opinion, etc. to suit the situation.

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