In Nigeria, the heartbeat of gang looting is the phenomenon known as
‘godfatherism’. The workings are simple. A money bag bereft of
political currency bankrolls the electoral ambition of a hireling and
thereafter position himself for a bazaar, the windfall of his
It is trite to mention that most Nigerians have their fair share of
political godfathers and hirelings. That explains why PMB’s anti
corruption war has neither head nor tail. The old man himself has
inevitably concluded that deodorised shit is still shit. Anyone that
agrees to be fed with this stuff has no option than to walk about with
mouth oozing with stench.
Recall the long-drawn out battle between the proponent of Amala
politics, Alhaji Adedibu and former Governor Ladoja of Oyo State. It
was widely reported that Adedibu had decreed for himself a sizeable
chunk of Ladoja’s monthly “Security Vote,” as returns for his
investment of landing Ladoja in Government House, Ibadan.
Scandalised, the governor fought back with the ferocity of someone
with state apparati on his side. But he lost ultimately when Obasanjo
weighed in as an umpire with Federal Might. Obasanjo viewed the war of
attrition as costly to his party’s overall schemes. He could not
tolerate its high cost in men and material. Obasanjo reportedly asked
Ladoja what the Security Vote was meant for. The Governor replied that
it was for keeping the peace in Oyo State. Good, said Obasanjo, give
some of the vote to Lamidi Adedibu and win your peace. Ladejo was not
fast in playing ball, prompting the PDP leadership to remind him that
in Oyo State, Adedibu was the Garrison Commander.
It was the ever-elusive peace between the godfather and his hireling
that left Anambra State a ghost state during the four-year tenure of
Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju. His successor, Governor Chris Nwabueze
Ngige also ran into troubled waters with his godfathers when he
refused their uninterrupted access to the public till. The burnt
relics of that disagreement have been interred in the annals of Ndi
Anambra as ‘nso ani’ or abomination.
It is godfatherism that reduced Nigerian politics to little more than
a theatre of the absurd. Players in this comic brand of party politics
drape themselves in elaborate togas, and answer to funny appellations
before presenting themselves for the electoral contest. A man intent
on contesting the governorship becomes “His Excellency” even before
the first ballot was cast. The one eyeing the Federal or State
legislature styles himself “Honourable” well before election morning.
In the face of this compulsive annexation of political titles, Anambra
voters have for almost a decade and half proven repeatedly that the
crown belongs to the people and not the wearers. I laughed
hysterically a few days ago when news broke that a certain political
hireling had switched party because he has refused to wake up from a
self-inflicted delusion of occupying the Government House, Awka.
This was the guy whose godfather bequeathed Anambra State to as
“settlement” for being a faithful houseboy but got rebuffed by Ndi
Anambra. He then tried the backdoor of some satanic judicial officers
using mouth-watering largesse. But he was confronted by the fact
that the state was not up for sale. Now, his resort is to political
harlotry! It is probable that nobody told him that a fish in water
does not sleep.
If switching of parties could work in Anambra State, Dr. Ngige would
have been one of its earliest beneficiaries. It was Ngige who revealed
by political sagacity that, with good intentions, one could govern
Anambra State successfully. He ran Anambra state on a stolen mandate
for nearly three years during which period he earned himself some
goodwill. When eventually his goodwill account was overdrawn by his
crossing of carpets, Ndi Anambra promptly told Ngige, who is popularly
known as Onwa “Moon” to live up to his title, not only in luminosity
but also in the fact that the moon is for a season.
Back to our man whose “achievements” include being the brother of the
man who organized Ngige’s abduction and the torching of the Awka
Government House and the ownership of an honorary doctorate degree
without owning a credible GCE certificate. Ndi Anambra will yet show
again why they are special. Ndi Anambra would yet prove that who they
partner with matters a great deal, which is why they are always
careful regarding who gets to govern them.
From where we stand, we are receiving feelers regarding attempts to
intimidate us. We are reading attempts at making us feel despised. We
are reading attempts at blackmailing us. In all these, we look back at
the historical defeat of Amaechi by Wike. We see the courage of Ayo
Fayose in the face of tyranny and we recall the trenchant containment
of Obasanjo’s gestapo by Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige when the former
attempted to annex Anambra State as a part of his personal estate… and
we conclude that metals will be traded at the blacksmith’s anvil at
the appropriate time.