Nothing wrong with godfathers in Nigerian politics – Minister

Published January 22, 2021

Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare , has said there is nothing wrong in having godfathers in politics as long as competence is accorded priority .
The minister stated this on Thursday at the unveiling of Lead Generation Initiative, a non- governmental and non -political organisation created by businessman and lawmaker representing Iseyin / Itesiwaju / Kajola /Iwajowa Federal Constituency in Oyo State at the House of Representatives, Shina Peller .
Dare noted that while Nigerians called them godfathers, they were called different names in other countries .
While answering a question bordering on youth participation in politics and necessity of having a godfather , Dare stated that it was not entirely bad.
He said , “ The definition of godfatherism is not a monolith. In the context of our own politics, a godfather is someone who sits there , decides and takes all the decisions , decides who gets what , whether it is resources or positions.
“ Also, before you can become a godfather , you must have paid some dues , you must have a level of influence , you must have some clout and you must have made sacrifices overtime. But beyond that , we also have godfathers for our children.
“ The concept of godfatherism simply means that there are some individuals or influential leaders – who can be in block or individuals – who have the levers of control when it comes to political decisions and appointments .
“ For me , in its entirety , godfatherism is not bad. But godfatherism that sacrifices competence for something else is bad .”
Niger State Governor , Abubakar Bello ; and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara , X -rayed the leadership process in Nigeria , agreeing that it was in crisis and the country needed a new crop of leaders .
Dogara particularly observed that in the political system , persons were being appointed or elected based on their loyalty to political parties and leaders , and not competence , adding that it would spell doom for the country .
Bello and Dogara were special guests at the launch of the initiative.
The Niger State governor concurred with Dogara .

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