Paper Title
Offor, Macaulay Arinze & Eze Christopher Obinna
Law, Leadership, and Social Sciences

The inherent danger or harm of political godfatherism in a fragile democracy like Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. Gadfatherism is an evil building block for corruption, bad governance, political instability, retrogression, under development, mediocrity and perpetual poverty of the people. The series of political imbroglio experienced in some states of the country has exposed the negative impacts of crude political godfatherism in Nigerian politics. This study therefore tries to unveil the problematic dimensions the phenomenon of godfatherism has assumed in Nigeria, especially during this fourth republic. The study exposes the instruments implored by the godfathers to achieve their objective, which include political violence, vote buying, diabolic oath-taking, unlawful impeachment, etc. The study also examines the relationship between the godfathers and the godsons before and after elections. The study adopted descriptive approach and therefore collected its data from secondary sources. The study reveals that the political relationship between the godfathers and godsons under successive government in Nigeria is a reflection of anti people’s political behaviour by voracious godfathers whose major pre-occupation is to perpetuate their hegemonic political influence and control personal interest and accumulation of abundant wealth. The study recommends attitudinal change, serious legislation against money politics, positive perception of politics, strict compliance to the electoral acts and guidelines, condemnation of evil and celebration of good; and patriotism as the solutions for positive change.

godfatherism, politics, impeachment, political violence, electorate


The politics of godfatherism has come to stay as a political culture and a guiding principle in contemporary Nigeria politics. Godfathers are generally defined as men who have the power and financial capacity to decide and determine who gets nominated to contest elections and who wins in the election. There is an emerging brand in Nigeria which indicates that an intending contestant must seek for blessings and sponsorship from a rich and powerful individual or individuals 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 victory.

It has become almost impossible for an individual to hold political office either by appointment or election without patronizing a godfather because of their power and influence. However, the assistance of the godfathers can never be ex-gratia in patriotism. The godfather uses all he has to make sure his godson wins an election or gets political appointment with the hope of getting or receiving something greater in return. Godfatherism in Nigeria is a political investment where the investors are set to make profit at all cost, hence, the godfathers can do anything humanly and spiritually possible to protect their investment. This can be achieved through vote buying, political violence, manipulation of election results in collaboration with the electoral body, political assassination, blackmail, impeachment, defection etc.

The fourth republic politics in Nigeria has, more than before, become plagued by the overbearing presence and influence of political godfathers. Most politicians see political godfathers as the most convenient means of winning elections. However, experience has shown that the patronage of political godfathers carries with it great consequences, for the public and the political stability of the country (Afe, 2018).

According to Kolawole (2018) the word godfatherism has been affecting the political system and party arena since the country returned to a democratic status and has a negative reflection on the society. If a proper and right candidate is not elected to represent the citizens, such a society will lack the dividends of democracy and the morale to vote, because most of the candidates who represent them are imposed by some elite in society.

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