The Nigeria Political Process prior to the 1999

The Nigeria Political Process prior to the 1999 democratic
rule has been dominated by military dictatorship after several year of
political subjugation or hostage in the hand of military rulers, the political
process seem to be under threat by the emergence of political gladiators.1 Oluloyo,
V. (2014) stated that the phenomena can
be generally seen as a practice which entails the sustenance of a kind of
social and political relationships that exist between the subordinate and the
superior for the propagation and fulfillment of certain roles, desires and interactions
which binds both together or in which both have equal stake but with the
superior determining what the subordinate gets in the process just as Williams, I. (2004) expressed,
in the realm of politics, godfatherism portrays a
power-based relationship. For instance, as emphasized by several scholars and
researchers of this topic, the implicit feature is godfatherism in power. Ukhun, C.E. (2004)  stated that, power is the determinant or fundamental
feature of godfatherism and the power could be economic, political, spiritual,
voodoo etc. , he also sees Godfatherism as a power relationship often skewed in
favour of the godfather who can afford to lord it over the godson, if, he so wishes
owing to his super ordinate influence and affluence. The godfather settles to
dictate “who gets what, when and how” in the distribution of scarce resources
after the elections have been contested and won. Chukwuma,
O. (2008) the role of godfathers therefore
goes beyond the elections of one having the abilities and capabilities to
manipulate the electoral process to the favour of his chosen godson.


D. (2004) Political godfatherism also
indicates sponsorship of contestants in an election by a wealthy and
influential individual or group of who in return expects protection and other
forms of reward and privileges. Researchers therefore, see godfatherism as “an
institution of political king making through which certain political office holders
of tenuous political clout come into power”. Hence, it is a relationship based
on political surrogacy involving financial and moral assistance where the
godfather is the major donor and the godson the primary receiver. Godfatherism,
in its simple form is a term used to describe the relationship between a
godfather and godson. Godfathers are slightly different from mafia and election
sponsors. For Bala J., Sonni G. (1987).Mafianism in politics consist of formidable powerful
blocs that have tremendous influence in the society. It comprises of coalition
of strong socio-economic and political elites that share similar value system,
and under an organized structure. In most cases, there are always godfathers
who control the affairs of the mafia. Godfathers are powerful individuals who
determine “who, what, when and how” in the corridors of power.

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A. (2002), Many godfathers in the
present-day Nigeria operates like the mafia by displaying similar violent
scheming and aggressive campaigns coupled with manipulating devices of having their
way by any means, on bear as Machiavelli expressed- “the ends justify the
means”. Election sponsors, on the other hand are rich individuals that
volunteer to donate generously towards the electoral success of a party or
sponsor candidates during election. He might be less bothered about the active
politics or supervision of government business, but expects friendly policies
from government. Nigeria’s godfathers in the 21st century sponsors election, but
not all election sponsors are godfathers. Godfathers reign across all spheres
of the society: academics, legal, and religion environment. The relationship
between godfather and godson in politics claims the monopolistic use of the
term godfatherism and makes it political. Godfatherism thrives across the
globe. There is hardly any state devoid of the existence and influence of godfathers,
though the level of such influence varies. Fawole
A. (2001), in other advanced
societies, group influence and endorsement could be more valuable than a
powerful individual and it is almost impossible to prevent this sought of

1 Arabian Journal of Business and Management
Review (OMAN Chapter) Vol.
5, No.8; March 2016


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