Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Godfatherism has different meanings to different people. The term godfather is used for big boss that maintains political control of a territory by ensuring that either he or his self-chosen appointees are elected to govern such areas.

They build loyalists around themselves and use their influence to manipulate the rest of society.

These godfathers in most cases become powerful due to the important leadership positions they hold or have held, their wealth, their ability to mobilise grassroots support, amongst others.

As 2023 election draws nearer, lets look at four political godfathers that wont have say in the election.

Abiola Ajimobi:

He already dug his political grave in 2019 after he lost his bid to Senate and could not secure his candidate emergence as Governor of Oyo State.

He contested in 2011 under the ACN and was elected governor of Oyo State in a keen contest.

He was returned in 2015 under the APC and became the first person to occupy the Oyo governorship seat twice in the state.

This actually fetched Mr Ajimobi the nick: Kosheleri (It has not happened before).

By the time the 2019 elections came, the residents had gotten tired of Mr Ajimobi and the APC.

Bukola Saraki:

The Saraki dynasty is a very strong one in Kwara State. Before Mr Saraki, his father, the late Olusola Sarakis political structure was such a strong force that except you align with him, you were not likely to succeed as a politician in Kwara State.

The structure had produced six governors in the state since 1979.

Mr Saraki who has been the President of Nigerias Senate since 2015 could not deliver Kwara for his party in both 2019 presidential and governorship elections. Worst of it all, he also lost his re-election bid to the Senate.

It is not sure whether he can maintain his former position if being a capacity in the next election.

His trouble started after the 2015 elections when he defied the APC, to emerge the Senate president; working in cahoot with PDP lawmakers.

Things, however, got worse for Mr Saraki as he lost his senatorial seat. His anointed candidate for governorship was also defeated in all the 16 local government areas in the state with the magic of “Oto ge”. Overall, the PDP lost woefully in all the 2019 elections in Kwara.

George Akume:

George Akume is another godfather whom things did not work in his favour during the 2019 election.

Since his election as Benue governor in 1999 on the PDP platform, Mr Akume has held a firm grip on the politics of Benue. After he completed his tenure in 2007, he moved to the Senate. He won his Senate seat again in 2011 despite defecting to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and was elected the Minority Leader of the Senate.

Mr Akume was again re-elected senator for Benue North-west in the 2015 elections on the platform of the APC, a party formed by the merger of different parties including the ACN.

Mr Akume also largely contributed to the victory of Samuel Ortom in the governorship election in Benue. Both men, however, went separate ways in the aftermath of the repeated herdsmen crisis in the state. Mr Ortom moved to the PDP while Mr Akume remained in the APC.

For the first time since 1999, however, Mr Ortom lost an election in Benue despite being a staunch member of Nigerias ruling party. The APC also lost the presidential and governorship election in Benue.

He may not have his say in 2023.

Ibikunle Amosun:

Although Ibikunle Amosun, the outgoing governor of Ogun State, won his Ogun Central senatorial bid under the platform of APC, he failed to help his godson, Adekunle Akinlade, emerge as governor.

In December 2018, Mr Amosun vowed to work against his partys governorship candidate in the state. His preferred governorship candidate, Mr Akinlade contested under the platform of Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

Mr Akinlade won a controversial governorship primary of the APC conducted by the party in the state. However, a panel sent by the headquarters of the party conducted a separate primary which produced Dapo Abiodun.

Mr Abiodun is the favoured candidate of ex-Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, and his former Ogun State counterpart, Olusegun Osoba.

Mr Amosun tried to ensure his protege became governor against odds, even working against his party. However, the 12 years he spent holding elective positions could not help deliver Ogun to his anointed candidate.

Though, he is a serving senator, he cannot boast of securing 2023.

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