AN INVESTIGATION OF THE GODFATHERISM AND CREDIBLE ELECTORAL PROCESS IN IMO STATE
The history of political godfatherism is traceable to the colonial epoch through independence era, military interregnum and towards the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in what came to be known as the fourth Republic in 1999 following the terminus of military junta. The staggering posture of godfatherism in Nigerian democratic experiment leaves much to be desired. This stems from the fact that since the adumbration of this nascent democracy on the 29th May, 1999,
Nigerians have witnessed uncontrollable political insecurity, which has threatened participatory democracy, peace, political security and the consolidation of democracy as a result of the activities of political godfathers (Ajadike 2010).
Essentially, the politics of godfatherism in Nigeria has became more visible and widespread like harmatan fire as events unfolded itself in the recent elections conducted variously in 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011 in Nigeria. With the expansion of the activities of godfathers and its eldorado in the 21st century Nigeria, coupled with the godson clientelism, there was greater commitment and manifestations of discontentment in the developing democracy of Nigeria in the areas of political security and participation. It should also be mentioned that the fourth Republic Political godfathers are essentially predatory in their motivation to influence electoral politics and subsequent elections in Nigeria (Gambo, 2007)
Unfortunately, the down of the new millennium witnessed various manifestations of discontentment demonstrated on a patro – client relationship with increasing frequency and intensity bordering on participation, political security, and peace as it torpedoes the consolidation of democratic governance and dividends in the country. Aiyamenkhue (2010:10) noted that:
There has been a lot of crises in Nigeria politics and administration, a crisis of confidence in our elected officials, a lost offaith in our democratic government and an increasing frustration at government, and more also, an increasing frustration at the irrelevance of individual’s vote in our political process. All these crises are caused by the unholy alliance of godfatherism.
As a corollary of the above, the desire to venture into the burgeoning challenges became sacrosanct. The rationale for this project therefore, is to x-ray the activities of godfatherism in the governance of Nigeria especially in Imo state with a view to suggesting ways of eliminating the menace in the body politics of the country