The discourse of godfatherism had so much influenced the socio-economic and political life of the nation especially in the fourth republic. It had gained much attention at the present time as a result of its need forms of articulation. 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. In the light of this, this long essay critically examined how poverty, ignorance and corruption contributed to the emergence of godfatherism and the role of the godfathers in carrying out their biding such as, arson, maiming, bribing, abduction and all kings of corrupt styles in other to win elections for their selfish enrich. The study also examined the consequences of this in the fourth republic.    

TABLE OF CONTENTS                          





Table of Contents                



Background of the Study                    

Statement of the Problem        

Research Questions                

Purpose of the Study           

Significance of the Study            

Delimitation of the Study        

Limitation of the Study            

Definition of Terms               


Characteristics of Godfathers       

Politics of Godfathers (Kingmakers)       

Nigerian’s Godfather’s                        

Effect of Godfather’s Activities               

Socio-Economic Cost                    

Government and Politics                

The Role of Civil Education in Democracy    

Essential Components of Good Civil Education in Democracy

Civil Knowledge                       

Civil Skills, Intellectual and Participatory 


The Research Design                    


Sample and Sampling Techniques           



Validity of the Instrument                

Reliability of Instrument                

Method of Data Collection            

The Interview Method                

Method of Data Analysis        


Analysis of Data                    











An emergent feature of politics in Nigeria is the phenomenon of godfatherism (Regan, 2004). The political class has been instrumental in propagating this political orientation which deliberately nurtures the corruption of the electoral process, governmental structures and equally ensures that the electoral process and state power are skewed towards satisfying the selfish interest of the dominant political mentors otherwise known as “political godfathers.”

According to John (2006), godfatherism has become a scary phenomenon in Nigeria politics. This is because; godfathers have sustained a reputation for deploying their wealth to secure party nomination for candidates of their choice, sponsor their elections including manipulating the electoral process for their selfish interest. This dominant political culture has not only been sustained by the privileged few but has become perverse and is today a major source of tension and political instability in the polity.

The concept of godfatherism is firmly establishing itself as a guiding principle in contemporary Nigeria politics. Godfathers are generally defined as men who have the power personally to determine both who gets nominated to contest elections and who wins in the election (Chibuzo, 2006). In the past, Nigerian society had fewer criminals that the judicial systems attempted to contend with in recent times, our judicial systems cannot contend with such because Nigerian society is building criminals at rapid pales in the late 20th and early 21st centuries through democratization and militarization practices, when the governing systems failed to deliver the other takes over. In democracy one way that regime is breeding criminals is through godfather’s, godfatherism is old fashion enterprise that circulates around nation with different names or headings for centuries. Godfathers in Nigeria is a topic that has not been given enough attention until recent coup that exposed Chief Chris Uba, estranged political Godfather of Chief Dr. Chris Ngige among political criminals that is behind elections or selection of most of our state governors and other law makers. Apparently it appears majority of our state governors are financed by such caliber of person and for those financed by their godfathers get into offices now have huge power in respective states. They assigned civil services and or political positions to who are not of the people but people of the privates.

The role of education in politics cannot be over emphasized. To be effective, civil education must be realistic, it must address the central truth about political life. The federal ministry of education in Nigeria recently introduced Civil Education into the curriculum of students to shape their attitude towards future responsibility. Its statement of purpose calls for more realistic teaching about the nature of political life and a better understanding of “the complex elements of the art of the possible”. The sense that politics can always bring another chance to be heard to persuade and perhaps to gain part of what one wants, is lost, political education today seems unable to teach the civil engagement the slow patient building of first coalitions and then majorities can generate social change (Carter & Elshtan, 1997).

A message of importance therefore is not politics need not, indeed must not, be a zero, sum game. The idea that “winner takes all” has no place in a democracy because if losers lose all they will opt out of the democratic game. Sharing is essential in a democratic society, the sharing of power, of resources and of responsibilities. Those skills and the will or necessary trait of private and public characters are the products of a good civil election.


Due to the overbearing influence of the political godfathers on political office seekers, the latter are robbed of their independence; thus they become mere surrogates and are conditioned in such a way that they become totally subservient to their godfathers. Mbamara (2004) aptly asserts that godfatherism invasion of the polity is for the nomination of political candidate for the purpose of selfish gratification. It is a political slave trade or political sponsorship based on political manipulation with several evil agenda. The problem associated with the cancerous phenomenon is that the perpetrators are no less a people in the society. The paradox here is that these godfathers do not share the core defining attributes of God. Political parties lack the capacity to act contrary to the wishes and aspirations of these godfathers because they look up to them to bankroll their campaigns and to use their influences to see their candidates through elections. However, the researcher is analyzing the influence of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic.


The general objective of this study is to examine the influence of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic while the following are the specific objectives:

To examine the influence of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic. To determine the factors that promotes godfatherism in the Nigerian politics. To examine the effect of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic.


What is the influence of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic? What are the factors that promotes godfatherism in the Nigerian politics? What is the effect of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic?


HO: There is no significant relationship between godfatherism and development in the Nigeria politics

HA: There is significant relationship between godfatherism and development in the Nigeria politics


The following are the significance of this study:

The results from this study will educate the political stakeholders in Nigeria and the general public on the influence of godfatherism on the politics and general development. It will also enlightens on the factors that promotes godfatherism. This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.


This study will cover the extent of godfatherism in Nigeria politics while evaluating its effect on the fourth republic.


Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

 Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work


John, A.A. (2006). Godfather politics in Nigeria. IFES: DFID

Carter, K. & Elshtan, H. (1997). “Manifesto of Communist Party in Marx etal. Historical Materialism. Moscow: Progress Publishers p.84.

Regan, E.F. (2004). The rise of godfathers in Nigerian politics. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited.

Chibuzo, O. (2006). “Godfatherism” in Nigerian politics. “Ozodi Osuji weekly lectures of African countries #5 of 54: Burkina Faso”



This research work highlights the key issues on this effect of gofatherism and politics in Nigerians political context in the fourth republic. A case study of Anambra elite under executive governor Chief (Dr.) Chris Nwabuze Ngige and Chief Chris Uba as the godfather.

Chapter one of this research work, gave an insight as to what godfatherism is all about. In this chapter we were exposed to the ways and the manners of satisfying aspirants compelling need for the support and sponsorship of money bags.

Chapter two, gave a comprehensive and detailed analysis on the issue of godfatherism in politics.

Chapter three employs the research methodology and also the instrumentation to be used.

Chapter four, gave an analysis of the result of the questionnaire was explicitly analysis.


Research on personably attributes has indicates that, clearly there are not strongly answers to personality out some variable or parameter like the hereditary situations and environmental factors may contribute to any behaviour. Critics argue that ethics are based on “values” and values systems are fixed it an early age by the time. People staff writing in most private and political or public sector, their ethical values are already established, the personality reflects churches, mosques temples and in school. Therefore, critics have concluded that ethics cannot be formally taught but must be example. Our leaders (political) must set ethnical standards by exampling of what they say and do.

In the light of the above, in “gritty” the words of Governor, Nyame in favour of godfatherism in politics, it is much easier fortunately to reach a “gritty verdict on why the famous godfatherism. In favour of god fathers suggests that Chief Chris Uba as a individuals in democratic attempt to shape the political culture of the state before and after he leaves office to benefits his political reference. The verdict is clearly “guilty” as charged.

In a typical African society today traditional kingdom is the only monarch in existence, which of late of formed as private kingdom due to the limited role. Traditional Chiefs played since the introduction is now creating a democracy or public kingdom. When you acquire wealth legally or illegally ones voice becomes an authority. A look at Chief Chris Uba of strong favour of godfatherism in politics, in suggesting the Uba in attempting to create such kingdom whose he can make use of the illegal wealth and dictate the future of Anamrba state and in anticipation Nigeria after Chris Ngige steps down. AnambraState cannot be run by a voice of an individual creating an enterprise of one voice in multi ethnic nationalities such as AnambraState will be very dicey.

In conclusion the answer to the Anambra saga rests in the massive restructuring and over haunting of Nigeria’s political system towards the building of an equity based egalitarian, fair and just society, this must encompass elements of commitment towards national restructuring. If those steps are not meticulously allowed another, Anambra might be around the comes as we are beginning to see in Oyo State between Chief Adediba and Governor Rasheed Ladiya, in Kwara State between father and son Alhaji Suraki and Governor Bukola Saraki.


Since many among us are running dirty and dubious business, our prospective or state governors have to go through such sponsorship to be elected or selected, the federal government of Nigeria, must discourage such behaviours by slashing fees within the search of candidates, or no fees to be paid by candidates campaign in their chose party affiliation and their parties screen those individuals thoroughly and preliminaries with no regards to favouritism, but ability to lead.

Recall? Our leaders and lawmakers are people representatives therefore to elect leaders that do not promote public or business interests and the development of our states must not be allowed to contest election or rule that most competent aspirants must be those that could properly represent the people. The need for prospective state governor’s sponsorships through godfathers is encouraging the entrepreneurs of godfatherism to run our state and select our leaders who are incompetent as we all run our respective state. Nigeria society do not need deem fits politicians, but fits capable political leaders.

The final verdict and acceptable in the godfathers in kindness, normally Nigerians must be reorganized or repositioned for the future generations where no one seeks favours for reasons or making money and calling shots instead, godfathers in kind can still cal fairly ethical shots and live a lifetime with fewer problems when our leaders seek godfatherisms in cash would likely be on the loose creating enemies and up in jail.



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