The Constitution - Volume 7, Issue 2, 2007
Volume 7, Issue 2, 2007
Source: The Constitution 7, pp 1 –10 (2007)More Less
This lead article on the theme of godfather ism examines the economic basis of godfatherism in Nigeria. It focuses specifically on the nature of the Nigerian state, its economy and mode of accumulation. It argues that the authoritarian nature of the state, the dependent nature of the economy and accumulation pattern which is not based on production but on consumption and exchange provides the fertile ground for accumulation outside genuine productive activities. The patrimonial networks and streams of godfatherism are a necessary consequence of this type of social relations. While posing the question: what is to be done? It responds by making a case for the introversion of the economy for genuine productive activities based not just on primary commodities but also secondary commodities and exchange with linkage to the social needs of the population. Besides, strengthening of the structures of accountability within the state system is invaluable.
Source: The Constitution 7, pp 11 –32 (2007)More Less
Between 2003 and 2005, Anambra State was engulfed in serious political crisis. It reached its peak on 10 July 2003, when the state governor, Chris Ngige, was abducted in what was descriptionbed as the first ""civilian"" coup in Nigeria. The abduction was carried out by elements of the Nigeria police at the service of Chris Uba, the estranged godfather of Anambra politics, who felt that Ngige had violated the patron-client relationship between them which allowed him unrestricted access to the state funds. This article examines this development. It argues that the refusal of the governor to pander to the whims and caprices of the godfather led to the crisis. The presidency which gave unalloyed support to the godfather in the state is implicated in the crisis. Such high-level support led to the nullification of Ngiges mandate and the entrance of the candidate of All peoples Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr. Obi to the leadership. It concludes that the activities of godfathers were counterproductive to the goals of development in Anambra State and calls for the institutionalisation of responsible leadership as the basis of progress in the state.
Author Olarinmoye Omobolaji OloladeSource: The Constitution 7, pp 33 –43 (2007)More Less
The concept of godfatherism is firmly establishing itself as a guiding principle in contemporary Nigerian politics. The question is whether such guiding principle is a positive one, encouraging of democratic consolidation, stability and development most earnestly desired by a nation starved of hope. The activities of Godfathers, their use of violence to achieve control of government machinery make clear that the contrary is the case, that the godfather is the boss of an organised political crime outfit against the Nigerian people. This paper argues that the current prominent role of the godfathers is due to the middleman role they play for politicians seeking political power and legitimacy in the face of an apathetic citizenry. It argues that the consequences of such brokerage activity by the godfather is a perverse one as their very existence and success has demanded terms of exchange that lean heavily in their favour and in which their control over economic and coercive resources facilitates the preservation and manipulation of the scarcities and insecurities experienced by the local populace.
Author Chimaroke NnamaniSource: The Constitution 7, pp 44 –72 (2007)More Less
The paper examines the godfather phenomenon. Relying largely on empiricism, it establishes the traditional and colonial origin of godfatherism It further descriptionbes the nature and dynamics of godfatherism, It argues that the motives and pursuits of the godfather are counter-productive to the social contract in governance, while implicating the press on the creation of the godfather-Leviathian. It argues that the media has a role to play in building a truly democratic society.
Author William Eromosele OdionSource: The Constitution 7, pp 73 –85 (2007)More Less
Godfatherism in Nigerian politics is a term that is age long but has suddenly assumed centre stage in todays political scenario. The origin is hazy and its activities in the Nigerian political landscape colossal. Greed and avarice amongst other reasons account for the prevalence and notoriety of this phenomenon. The disturbing aspect of his development is the consequent lack of faith in the electoral process by both the electorate and the contestants as winners must emerge so long they are 'anointed' by the godfathers. This work therefore centres on the origin, nature and factors that breed godfatherism. Also, it examines its implication for Nigeria s political development and concludes that it has done more harm than good to the Nigerian political psyche.
Author A.A. IdowuSource: The Constitution 7, pp 86 –111 (2007)More Less
The main objective of this article is to examine the immunity clause in section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 which shields the President, Vice-President, Governors and Deputy-Governors from any civil and criminal proceedings while in office. It undertakes an historical survey into the reason for the entrenchment of the provision into some versions of the Nigerian Constitution and the current degree of abuses to which the section is being subjected by the Chief Executives of the State. Relying on primary and secondary sources of information, the article argues about whether the section on immunity should be expunged or drastically amended in view of its adverse effects on the quality of leadership, degree of accountability of the Chief Executives and the rule of law. The argument draws from the current international dimension to the application of the doctrine of sovereign immunity that Chief Executives and other State officials no matter their influence, no longer enjoy absolute immunity in respect of criminal liabilities.