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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Letter To Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatai Ahmed – By Mr. Rights



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Your excellency, Dr. Abdulfatai Ahmed, Maigidan Kwara and Executive

governor of kwara state. I greet you sir. May your days be long in

good health and abundant blessings of almighty Allah. Amen


Sir, don’t see this letter as if it is coming from a political

adversary, rather, see it as a brotherly unpaid for advice. I get paid

to give such counsel, so consider yourself lucky to have it free.


My Dear Governor, please don’t get me wrong, I am only concerned for

you as a person because in my view, the burden of governance place on

your shoulder seems to be too mountainous for you to handle, hence

your docile kind of leadership since assuming the mantle of leadership

of the harmonious state of kwara.


Ordinarily as a person, I see you as an excellent and extremely

intelligent person, but as a leader, nothing of such reflect in your

day to day running of Kwara state government. Here, it seems not all

intelligent and excellent individuals can replicate such excellence in



Sai Maigida, I want you to recall a publication made in june, 2013 by

the source magazine,it  was titled, ‘’the most powerless governor in

Nigeria’’. I am sure you read it and some how feel embarrassed or

angry for such a publication, but you are not alone despair. Just as

you felt bad, many Kwarans both home and abroad felt the same way.


But instead of feeling angry or embarrassed by the publication, you

should actually be thankful to the magazine and the writers. Through

that publication, you should have asked yourself that, out of the 36

states governor in Nigeria, why am I singled out as the most powerless

governor in the country? If they say its because godfatherism exists

in Kwara, is Kwara the only state where godfatherism exists? Why was I

described as the most powerless governor in Nigeria you should have

ask inwardly.


That publication should have served as an opportunity to prove all

doubters wrong about your personality, you should have carefully

considered some of the issues raised and properly reverse the ugly

trend, but looking at how things are now, it seems nothing has changed

for good since the publication.


Before I go into discussing godfatherism, let me quickly ask you as an

individual, why do you seek political power? Why do you want to be a

governor? Why do you want to occupy any office at all? To the best of

my knowledge, everyone who seek political power Is doing so for just

one reason, i.e, to be able to implement or establish their idea of an

ideal society. While their might be other motives, but this motives

seems to be primary to all aspiring leaders in world history.


As the governor of Kwara State, there is no higher position anyone can

attain in Kwara State beyond that, there is no office that can give

one the total liberty to act for or against the state,there is no

other office that can give an unhindered access to Kwara state

resources,full political and security machinery and other privileges

associated with the office.In a nutshell, there is no other position

that can make one establish his or idea of an ideal state in Kwara

than being the state governor.


if one can become a state governor and yet he his unable to implement

his or idea of an ideal state, not because he has exhausted all ideas

and failed, but because he or she has restricted himself through a

third party intervention. Certainly, such an individual can never do

so ever again even if they eventually become the president of the

world. And such individual is likely to end up in the dark side of

history it must be noted.


Now, let me discuss godfathersim which many believe is the bane of

Kwara and you particularly.


I am forced to ask again, Is godfatherism evil or good?


According to studies, Arguably, a major problem of democratic

governance in Africa and the developing countries of the world in this

contemporary era is the headache of godfatherism. A godfather in the

developing or undeveloped nations of the world is seen as “a segment

of the political process as well as the figure, standing against the

intellectual extrapolations originating in, and also sustained by the


(Churoke Nnamani 2004) Laguda (2004:44) describes a god-father in

Christian parlance as a person who gives a name to child at baptism or

during confirmation. He cites the Oxford Talking Dictionary of words

as defining god-fatherism in both positive and negative terms. He

opines that it could refer to a person who sponsors or provide care or

support for a person or project, or a person directing an illegal and

criminal organization. What the interpretation connotes is that a

god-father is not a ghost but an identifiable person who plays god to

his people. He makes available the wherewithal necessary for his

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proteges to live a fulfilled life, and if in crime or mafia, it could

be an investment requiring some returns from the god-father.

In summary, Laguda is cautioning that the meaning could not be a

straight yes or no as it could impact positively or negatively,

depending on the personality of the godfather.

(Quoted from Salawu (2009). Further, in the view of Ukhun (2004),

strictly, the godfather is simply a self-seeking individual out there

to use the government for his purposes. The cost of this incidence is

enormous to the state as what usually obtains is that when the

incumbent godson is at pains to satisfy the whims and caprices of the

godfather among other competing demands on the scare resources of the

government, the interest of the larger number is savagely undermined.


From the above, it could be seen that a godfather is not necessarily a

bad person depending on the personality of that individual.


So dear Governor, it is out of place to say that you are described as

the most powerless governor because you came to power as governor

through a godfather. Besides, there exist godfatherism in almost all

state of the federation. How come Kwara state and you in particular

was singled out as the most powerless governor?


In my view, this was as a result of your incapability to act

independently in governance outside the claw of your godfather. Many

perceived that you are more intelligent, far more enterprising and

more innovative as an individual than the character you portray as

governor. Many in the state believed your sudden incapacity as an

individual was and still is as a result of your inability to separate

politics of godfather/godson from government/citizens relationship.

You are perceived to have traded the rights and interest of the

citizens to appease and retain patronage on your godfather. More

importantly, many see you as someone who have traded even your own

right to govern to your godfather. This is why many are asking, why do

you want to be governor if you are not ready to govern in your full

capacity as a person? Nobody would hold your godfather responsible for

your incapacity.



It is further believed that, if you act based on your God given

intellectual prowess, certainly, you have the capacity both in term of

innovation and managerial skills to do more than you are currently

doing, but because you are in what people believe to be bondage of

godlike idol, you are unable to act as you deem fit, portraying a

powerless figure.


Now, as defined by Paul (2004; 98), godfatherism is from godfather,

which in turn is derived from the concept – god and father. God (note

the big G) means a Being worshipped in the Jewish, Christian, Islamic

and some other religions while god (note the small g) refers to a

being held by some people as the maker or sustainer of an aspect of

reality; a person to whom great importance is attached. He postulated

on the analogy between godfather, and god-child being the person for

whom one takes responsibility by making promises to help grow in a

sphere of life, while the godfather means one who makes a promise to

see the godchild grow and mature in an aspect of life like religion,

politics, and other endeavor. He is further of the opinion that the

idea of godfather connotes importance, notability, eminence,

prominence, significance, weightiness, reliability, greatness of

somebody as well as driving home to the godchild the idea of

capability, experience, pragmatism, and resourcefulness. Its

adversarial or positive impact depends on the personality of god



Here you most understand that, the role of a godfather in governance

could advance the cause of alleviating problems while on the other

hand, it could aggravate an existing problems.


Many Kwarans and the entire nation are seeing that your godfather and

godson relationship with the former governor, Senator Bukola saraki is

aggravating an existing problem and not alleviatin the problems, hence

your tag as the most powerless governor.


Let me conclude this letter by giving you an example of how to restore

people’s confidence in your person while acting in your capacity as



In United States of America,former US president “Abraham Lincoln’s

political adversaries once accused him of being an infidel because he

belonged to no church, and denounced him as a tool of wealth and

aristocracy because he had affiliated himself, through marriage, to

the ‘haughty’ Todd and Edward families of Springfield.  Just as

yourself had been perceived of being powerless because of your

perceived incapacity as a result of your godchild status to the Saraki

political dynasty.

Lincoln realized this accusations might hurt him personally and

politically because they were accusing him of fraternizing with

negative political godfatherism. He responded that only one of his

relatives had ever visited him since he came to Springfield and before

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he got out, was accused of stealing a Jew’s harp.

He, Abraham Lincoln, then charged the people that if he could be seen

as being a member of a proud, aristocratic family and fraternising

with negative godfatherism then, he could be pronounced guilty.

Salawu, (2009). Although, his target audience was satisfied, with his

response, others who were skeptical hinged their conclusion on what he

could do if elected into office.

You, unlike Lincon had gained access to power before you are

confronted with such accusation, it is unlike Lincon who had to deal

with the problem before gaining access to power. After Lincon became

the U.S. President in 1860, he justified the confidence reposed in him

through his actions which pointed to the view that godfatherism may be

inevitable in politics but it did not obstruct positive achievement if

one means well.


Study shows that, the diplomacy with which Lincon prosecuted the civil

war, the 13th amendments of the American constitution, which initially

protected the slave owners and the eventual 1862 Emancipation

Proclamation, setting all slaves free, the 14th and 15th Amendments

which allowed all slaves to vote as well as vying for offices, were

issues which godfatherism attempted to subvert but which the occupier

of the highest political office in the United States of America could

not compromise. Abraham Lincoln’s place in American history is a

hallowed one.


So, if your policies in government leaned more towards the interest of

the people over the interest of the overlord, many would grow to see

you as worthy leader, but the reverse seems to be the case as we

speak. What would people say about you in history?


This s not just about you, Some leaders have been orchestrated into

office through godfatherism, only to use same trust to destroy their

states and hopes reposed in them. The cold war affected the destiny of

many third world countries and an example is the Democratic Republic

of Congo which swallowed a bitter pill of godfatherism. Although,

there were many leaders who have bastardised godfatherism in Congo,

the role of Mobutu Tsetse Seko in playing the super-errand boy for his

godfathers in the West was damnable. He aided his god-fathers to

suck-dry his country’s treasury while equally helping himself through

corrupt enrichment of his foreign accounts. When his godfathers sensed

dangers in their continued fraternization with their godson, and the

exposure of their unholy alliance, he was forced into exile where he

died ignominiously.

Study also shows that, In Nigeria, godfatherism had its successes and

woes. Chief Obafemi Awolowo led a government in Western Region of

Nigeria between 1954-1959 and while there, he was not unmindful of

leaving a legacy of continuity. He was aware of the African proverb

which says that “factory grows as man grows, but it is man that should

grow first, after which he will use the knowledge gained to improve

the factory development in its totality”. He left behind astounding

legacies of institutional structures and men. Those he nurtured as a

godfather are those offsprings manning the length and breadths of the

Old Western Region, Spanning over six states in Nigeria’s 36 State

structure which include, Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo and Ogun state.

No government since 1960 has equaled his legacies. They are solid and

imperishable, and now serve as reference points for Nigerian

generations. Awolowo today is not being remembered negatively for his

godfatherism, rather, some positive accolades continue to grace his



Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, in his end of year message to the nation as

President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in

1964, emphasized the impact of godfather on Nigerian politics. He

admonished Nigerians to dare to ombudmanize so as to expunch from the

Nigerian body politics those parochialisms, whose souls are

dead.Salawu, (2009).

He was of the opinion that irrespective of how an individual got into

a political office, decorum and accountability should be the guiding

principle. By and large, godfatherism will continue to trail us both

nationally and globally and the activities of those who benefitted

through it will always be the barometer to measure its success or

failure in governance. If you act well by being good and helping the

masses live better,you and your godther would be praised and since the

reverse is the case now, sir, you must work to reverse the trend

within this short period.


We recognize the fact that you have achieved some feat in some areas,

but it is far below the state’s investment and expectations. Kwarans

beleive you can do more if you act in your capacity. I hope to see the

real Abdulfatai Ahmed act as a governor in the next few months before

the coming election.

Thanks and may God continue to guide and direct you sir.

AMB. Abdulrazaq O Hamzat (Mr.Rights)

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