oa The Constitution - The godfather complex in Nigerian politics: the case of Anambra state, 2003-2005



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.


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