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The phenomenons of godfatherism and political conflict have become a plague in the body politics of Nigeria. There is an emerging trend in Nigeria which indicates that an intending contestant must have and depend on a godfather with the requisite wealth and power to get him into elective office. The implication is that contestants no longer rely on their popularity among the electorates but on their chosen godfathers to help them secure electoral victories.
Godfatherism is not new in Nigerian politics. It has only assumed a new form under the fourth republic democracy, partly because the Nigerian economy is still at the primitive stage of capital accumulation by the renters and commissioned agents with little or no productive capacities. Politics therefore is the only means of reaching out at the state resources. This phenomenon has trampled on the basic principle of democracy and has encouraged the failure of necessary structures and institutions to act decisively at correcting the anomalies. Godfatherism in Nigeria is therefore a manifestation of a societal decay. It has become a pestilence to the practice of a true democracy in Nigeria (Edigin, 2010).
Godfatherism has become a factor in Nigerian politics such that very few politicians can achieve success without the stalwart support of godfathers. In Nigeria, the desire of individuals to rule at all cost has sold political leadership to the highest bidders, as whopping sums of money are needed for electoral manipulation. Therefore, desperate politicians who wish to win elections usually seek after godfathers. The implication of this in Nigerian politics is that the country is yet to make appreciable progress in transparent governance because godfathers usually create setback, which hinders democratic growth and development in Nigeria (Edigin, 2010).
Many godfathers in the present-day Nigeria operate like the mafia by displaying similar violent scheming and aggressive „politicking‟, coupled with manipulating devices of having their way by any means. They rely on Machiavelli’s slogan, „the ends justify the means‟. In the views of Bassey and Enetak (2008), godfatherism connote the power and influence of people who are politically relevant in deciding who gets nominated to contest elections and who eventually wins the election. Godfathers are highly politically mobile and can sway political support to the political party and/or candidate behind which they throw their political weight. Those that play godfatherism are known as godfathers while those who benefit from their benevolence are known as godson. Kolawole (2004), sees godfatherism as an institution of political king making through which certain political office holders of tenuous political clout come into power.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
One of the prevailing fundamental and sensitive issues in Nigerian politics that cannot be ignored is godfatherism. The political relationship under successive governments in Nigeria is a reflection of the international economic order, which facilitates the pursuit or regime change by avaricious godfather whose major pre-occupation is to perpetuate their hegemonic political influence for personal interest and aggrandizement (Osuntokun, 2003). Conflict and political godfatherism have undoubtedly ruined democratic governance in Nigeria. It is to this regard that the study desire to examine godfatherism and political crisis in Nigeria using kuje area council, FCT Abuja as the case study
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research questions for the study are:
(1) What is the effect of Godfatherism political conflicts socio-economic development in kuje area council, FCT Abuja?
(2) What is the justification for the fact that political conflicts had become Nigeria’s consistent bedfellow, with a vivid examination of Edo State Government crisis?
(3) What is the way forward to the identified causes of these political conflicts in order to prevent a continuance of its sporadic frequency in Nigeria?
1.4 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main aim of the study isexamine godfatherism and political crisis in Nigeria. The objectives of the study are:
(1) To attempt a disclosure of the Godfatherism and effects of political conflicts by examining the various identifiable causes and effects of Edo State conflict in Nigeria fourth republic.
(2) To firmly establish the fact that political conflicts had become Nigeria’s consistent bedfellow, with a vivid examination of Edo State Government crisis.
(3) And finally, to proffer a panacea to the identified causes of these political conflicts in order to prevent a continuance of its sporadic frequency in Nigeria.
The following hypothesis will be tested during the course of the work.
1. The more monetized the political system is the more the strength of the god-fathers.
2. The more prominent the activities of the god-fathers, the higher the possibility of political instability.
3. The more elected officers depend on god-fathers, the more impoverished the masses would be.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The essence of this study is self-explaining in the presentation of the various facts that constitute the crisis of Edo State in question. This study seeks to provide us with detailed account of these state crisis and indepth and exhaustive (as much as possible) analysis of the various factors that comes into play in the saga. This is in the view to finding a lasting solution and thus preventing a reoccurrence of the anomaly in the Nigerian polity.
It is also not in doubt that other scholars could further explore this area of research, just like a few others have done before me, using this work/study as a launch pad. This could be by lending strength and support to some of the ideas or hypothesis that this work seeks to propagate. If could also be by improving in some or all of the errors that I may have unavoidably made in the course of this research. All of these would aid in navigating observers and future researcher of this topic of study, towards the best stock of intellectually analytic compilation on the topic. The end of all these would in no doubt be useful in preventing a future repetition of the errors that are presently a bane on our development in present day.
Finally, it is also noted that this work could be considered as an addition to the bulk of academic and intellectual endeavours and submissions available on this topic and on related topics, particularly in Nigeria. In the final analysis, this work would be seen as another beam of light thrown in the direction of various political upheavals that has bedeviled the country especially in recent times.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Although the problem of political conflicts is one that is universally acknowledged and pondered upon, the scope of this particular research work would be limited to Edo State in Nigeria and the time frame of study would be the fourth republic (1999 – till date).
The reason for this is because the happenings in the state reflect the trend that being perpetuated nationally. Moreover, any attempt at proffering a long lasting solution to the problem, it is hoped, would also have a bearing on the entire nation.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Godfather: a man who presents a child at baptism and promises to take responsibility for their religious education
Conflict: a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.
Crisis: are deemed to be negative changes in the security, economic, political, societal, or environmental affairs, especially when they occur abruptly, with little or no warning.
Adeoye, O.A. (2009). Godfatherism and the future of Nigerian Democracy. African Journal of Political Science and International Relation. 3(6):268-272
Albert, I.O. (2005). Explaining Godfatherism in Nigerian Politics. African Sociological Review. 9(2):79-105.
Bassey, N and Edet, E. (2008). Godfatherism and good governance in Nigeria: An Appraisal of Nigeria‟s Fourth Republic. Journal of Social and Policy Issues. 5(3):120-130
Chaplin, J.P. (1979). Dictionary of Psychology. New York : Dell Publishing
Diez, T; Stetter, S & Albert, M. (2006). The European Union and Border Conflicts: The Transformative Power of Integration. International Organization. 60(3):563-593.
Edigin, L.U. (2010). Political Conflicts and Godfatherism in Nigeria: A Focus on the Fourth Republic. African Research Review: An International Multi-Disciplinary Journal. 4(4): 174-186
Familusi, O.O. (2012). Moral and Development Issues in Political Godfatherism in Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa. 14(7):11-25
Kolawole, D. (2004). Nigeria: The Struggle for Democratic Consolidation in a Post-Colonial State. In Agagu, A.A. and Ola, R.F. (eds). Development Agenda of the Nigerian State. Ibadan: FIAG (Nig) Publishers.
Mamah E. (2004). First Generation Politician Started Godfatherism. Vanguard Newspaper, August 27, 2004.
Nnamani, C. (2003). The Godfather Phenomenon in Democratic Nigeria: Silicon or Real? International Journal of Philosophy. 1(1).
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