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PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GODFATHERISM IN MODERN NIGERIAN SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GODFATHERISM IN MODERN NIGERIAN SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

abstract

It seems that godfatherism is not only in conflict with the practice of democracy but has also hindered its development. It is an aberration of the system and should not be associated with democracy. Godfatherism is a cog in the wheel of sustainable democracy and it has discredited some politicians, institutions and created unhealthy atmosphere for the political system. The urgent and total removal of the practice of paternalism or godfatherism from the Nigerian political system is necessary for the survival of democracy in the country. A system that neither recognized law nor by convention should not be allowed to exist in our nation. However, its abolition would be extremely difficult in Nigeria. This is because it is the rich and the most powerful people in the society that play the role of godfathers. They have used the system to maintain the status quo in the political system and to enrich themselves.

chapter one

introduction

1.1     Background of the Study

Nigeria is presently practising a presidential system of government in which there are executive, legislative and judicial arms. Nigerian Presidential system of government is also called “FEDERAL REPUBLIC” where by the people are to be democratically elected to represent their people in various arms of government. According to Ogugua in Dukor (2004:102),

These attributes characterize a democratic system: (a) Political equality (b) a government responsive to the popular will, and (c) rule by the majority than by a minority.

Furthermore, Democratic equality is classified into five separate types:

Political equality

Equality before the law

Equality of opportunity

Economic equality

Equality of respect or social equality. (Dukor 2004:95).

These are the essential characteristics and equalities of democracy, which are supposed to be the case of Nigerian democracy. But we have a dozen of problems with regard to democratic practice in Nigeria. These problems include:

Rigging of elections.

Political godfathers as sponsors to electoral fraud.

Political thuggeries that create havoc in society.

These are the major problems facing Nigerian democratic system of government today. But among all these problems, we are going to investigate the existence of godfatherism in Nigerian system of government.

Godfatherism in Nigerian politics has become a social problem, which has ravaged and permitted the entire blood stream of our political system negatively. The original meaning and idea of Christian godfatherism has been greatly misused, abused and bastardized such that of a different stage of our political system godfatherism transformed and metamorphosed negatively in dimensions. (Coker  2004:37). It is one of the political headaches in Nigerian democratic system today. (Dukor 2004:v)

The existence of godfatherism in Nigerian politics has led to many problems. Some of these problems accordin to Mbamara (2004:60) include:

Political killing.

Thuggery

Abduction

Kidnapping etc.

The activities of the godfathers in democracy has crippled democratic choice, which subsequently shrinks democratic space. This often  that creates serious electoral problems as the godfathers employ all legal and obnoxious means to win elections. The sportsmanship variable, which makes politics of election interesting, has been sacrificed. Anarchy, insecurity, chaos and violence become the order of the day. (Wale 2004:77)

Philosophers, from Socratic to the contemporary time, may not have spent their handsome time thinking about the problems of godfatherism, but there are some of t heir theories that relate and also serve as a guideline to the practice of godfatherism.

Socrates and Plato, for instance, talked of virtue and knowledge which the student, disciple or godson acquires by proximity which the teacher, master or godfather (MacDonald 1941:2-30, 41-168, 175-256). Kant on the other hand talks fo moral maxims which can be adopted by every one, godfather and godson inclusive, without generality of contradiction (Kant:1848). For John Rawls, Justice and fairness are, indeed, different concepts, but they share a foundamental element in common, which is called the concept of reciprocity. The6y represent this concept as applied to two distinct cases: Justice to a practice in which there is no optionwhether to engage in it or not and one must play and fairness to a practice in which there is such an option, and one may decline the initiation. Here both the Godson and Godfather in nigeria’s politics are expected to abide by the rule of justice and fairness. The Godson too has obligations in fairness to his Godfather. (Rawls:1971).

PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GODFATHERISM IN MODERN NIGERIAN SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

Therefore this work will investigate the existence of godfatherism in Nigerian present democracy.

1.2     Statement of Problem

The problem of this work is how to establish the existence of godfatherism in Nigerian democratic system of government. The causes of this practice and also its ethical and political effects will also be highlighted.

Socrates/Plato, for instance, talked of virtue and king which the student/disciple/godson acquires by proximity with the teacher/master/godfather. (MacDonald). Kant’s categorical imperative talks of moral maxims which can be adopted by everyone, godfather and godson inclusive, without generality contradiction (Kant: 1878).

The crisis of godfatherism has been observe as the major problem of democracy in Nigerian government today, and one wonder why the practice subsist despite its damages to the socio-economic and political system of government in Nigeria. The problem is that not all the aspirant to political office in Nigeria can raise on their own, the substantial resources usually necessary to compete in the country’s violent and corrupt political system. In many parts of Nigeria, successful candidates are often sponsored by powerful individual known in Nigerian parlance as political godfathers. The problem of this work is therefore how to use a philosophical method to establish the existence of godfatherism in Nigerian system of government and its implications to her system of government.

1.3     Scope of the Study

PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GODFATHERISM IN MODERN NIGERIAN SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

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