Why political parties should do away with godfathers – Oyegun

Political parties in the country have been advised to do away with political godfathers in their respective domains.

The advise is coming from John Oyegun, former national chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

The issue of godfatherism was first brought to the front burner recently by Nasir El-rufai, the governor of Kaduna State.

Mr El-rufai recently advised residents of Lagos State on how to end the reign of political godfathers in their domain, claiming he did same in his own state.

The action of the governor was largely seen as an indirect attack on Bola Tinubu, national leader of the APC who is adjudged to be the politically father of Lagos State.

Making his own contribution, the former APC chairman, in an interview News Telegraph, said godfathers should be done away with in political parties because they prevents the flourishing of internal democracy and breeds corruption.

“I think the basic problem we have all over is the godfather thing. Internal democracy simply means that if 10 people want to vie for an office, so be it. Let the electorate decide,” Oyegun said.

“But when party leaders are the ones deciding who is fit or who is not fit, that becomes a problem.

“That is the decision of the electorate. And when they start displacing persons with their friends and other undesirable inducement, that is totally unacceptable.

“The damage it does is that you are destroying the belief of the electorate in due process. So, it becomes more difficult to accept the result of an election.

“The moment people start believing that they cannot get a fair share, that the system cannot be fair to them, whereas if you painstakingly pursue the process of letting the electorate decide, eventually you will find out that this going to court will begin to go down.

“But once you do otherwise, people would have at the back of their minds that they are not fairly treated and would look for every manner of excuse to go to court.

“That alone opens up the judicial system and the entire political system to another level and different levels of corruption.

“So, the damage is intense and I pray that our politicians will see the need for a proper internal democracy and allow due process and allow the people to thoroughly decide,” the former APC chairman added.