In progressive because they did not abuse their

In Nigeria, as the records and works of various
authors stand to show, godfatherism in the Nigerian bureaucracy and partisan
politics dates back to the first republic when leaders of the three main
political parties Northern Peoples Congress (“NPC”),

The accounts by Egboh,
E (2009) postulate that the Action Group
(“AG”) and National Congress of Nigerian Citizens (“NCNC”) carefully and
meticulously cultivated godsons that they were convinced would advance the well
being of the citizens. In his work “Niger Delta Youth
Reseiveness and Socio Economic Development of Nigeria”, Egboh, E. stated that Sir, Ahmadu Bello of the NPC, Dr, Nnamdi Azikiwe of
the NCNC and Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the AG were motivated not to use godsons
as surrogates to promote parochial interests, but to promote the developmental
aspirations of the people. Now comparing the aforestated idea of godfatherism
to the crop of political godfathers that we have today, it is manifestly clear
that the first generation godfathers were essentially benevolent and
progressive because they did not abuse their status as godfathers by imposing
frivolous demands on their godsons whom they provided employment or political
space as it is the case today.

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These first generation godfathers were a reservoir of
wisdom and experience to be consulted at anytime and freely on the business of
governance. Egbor went on to state that in a relative sense, the first
generation godfathers were drawn by community sense of interest in seeking to
influence political selection and employment into the public bureaucracy or
seeking to influence the electorates to vote for some candidates of their
choice. It was enough satisfaction for them that they wielded tremendous
influence in the society and this inevitably generated a groundswell of
goodwill and reverence for them as their views on political issues were
scarcely contested in their respective regions of the Country.

 

To Ekezie, N (2009) Corroborating the benevolence of the first generation
godfathers and  understanding the role of
politics as well as the military in an evolving country, Sir, Ahmadu Bello
placed his godchildren in viable institutions and the rewards to the Northern
Nigeria are today self-evidence; Chief Obafemi Awolowo was godfather to a large
number of today’s Yoruba intelligentsia that have applied his teachings for the
benefit of their region; also within the Ibo community, the late Sir Odumegwu
Ojukwu, was godfather to Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who rose to become the first
Premier of the old Eastern Region and later emerged the first President of
Nigeria under the defunct parliamentary arrangement.

 

 

Characteristics
of Godfathers        

1.      Wealth:

By a general consensus, wealth happens to be a major
characteristic of godfather.  Political
godfathers act as the financial backbone for politicians who want to occupy
political offices at all cost. This is considering the fact the fact that the
monies needed for the electoral process lf purchasing nomination tickets,
campaign and elections cannot be provided by the aspirant personally, hence the
need to run to the money bags of the political party for deliverance. Political offices were reserved for the highest
bidders. However, persons who are getting rich by the sweat of their labour are
generally not interested in elective political offices, especially if they have
to burn their hard earned wealth to achieve such offices. On the other-hand Lipset, S.M. states that those
who are stupendously rich and subsequently become interested in elective
political offices, usually make their money through unprincipled behaviour in
the dirty, dark alleys of the political process. Such persons can buy political
offices but lack the proper actio