An emergent feature of politics in Nigeria is the phenomenon of godfatherism (Regan, 2004). The political class has been instrumental in propagating this political orientation which deliberately nurtures the corruption of the electoral process, governmental structures and equally ensures that the electoral process and state power are skewed towards satisfying the selfish interest of the dominant political mentors otherwise known as “political godfathers.”

According to John (2006), godfatherism has become a scary phenomenon in Nigeria politics. This is because; godfathers have sustained a reputation for deploying their wealth to secure party nomination for candidates of their choice, sponsor their elections including manipulating the electoral process for their selfish interest. This dominant political culture has not only been sustained by the privileged few but has become perverse and is today a major source of tension and political instability in the polity.

The concept of godfatherism is firmly establishing itself as a guiding principle in contemporary Nigeria politics. Godfathers are generally defined as men who have the power personally to determine both who gets nominated to contest elections and who wins in the election (Chibuzo, 2006). In the past, Nigerian society had fewer criminals that the judicial systems attempted to contend with in recent times, our judicial systems cannot contend with such because Nigerian society is building criminals at rapid pales in the late 20th and early 21st centuries through democratization and militarization practices, when the governing systems failed to deliver the other takes over. In democracy one way that regime is breeding criminals is through godfather’s, godfatherism is old fashion enterprise that circulates around nation with different names or headings for centuries. Godfathers in Nigeria is a topic that has not been given enough attention until recent coup that exposed Chief Chris Uba, estranged political Godfather of Chief Dr. Chris Ngige among political criminals that is behind elections or selection of most of our state governors and other law makers. Apparently it appears majority of our state governors are financed by such caliber of person and for those financed by their godfathers get into offices now have huge power in respective states. They assigned civil services and or political positions to who are not of the people but people of the privates.

The role of education in politics cannot be over emphasized. To be effective, civil education must be realistic, it must address the central truth about political life. The federal ministry of education in Nigeria recently introduced Civil Education into the curriculum of students to shape their attitude towards future responsibility. Its statement of purpose calls for more realistic teaching about the nature of political life and a better understanding of “the complex elements of the art of the possible”. The sense that politics can always bring another chance to be heard to persuade and perhaps to gain part of what one wants, is lost, political education today seems unable to teach the civil engagement the slow patient building of first coalitions and then majorities can generate social change (Carter & Elshtan, 1997).

A message of importance therefore is not politics need not, indeed must not, be a zero, sum game. The idea that “winner takes all” has no place in a democracy because if losers lose all they will opt out of the democratic game. Sharing is essential in a democratic society, the sharing of power, of resources and of responsibilities. Those skills and the will or necessary trait of private and public characters are the products of a good civil election.


Due to the overbearing influence of the political godfathers on political office seekers, the latter are robbed of their independence; thus they become mere surrogates and are conditioned in such a way that they become totally subservient to their godfathers. Mbamara (2004) aptly asserts that godfatherism invasion of the polity is for the nomination of political candidate for the purpose of selfish gratification. It is a political slave trade or political sponsorship based on political manipulation with several evil agenda. The problem associated with the cancerous phenomenon is that the perpetrators are no less a people in the society. The paradox here is that these godfathers do not share the core defining attributes of God. Political parties lack the capacity to act contrary to the wishes and aspirations of these godfathers because they look up to them to bankroll their campaigns and to use their influences to see their candidates through elections. However, the researcher is analyzing the influence of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic.


The general objective of this study is to examine the influence of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic while the following are the specific objectives:

  1. To examine the influence of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic.
  2. To determine the factors that promotes godfatherism in the Nigerian politics.
  3. To examine the effect of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic.


  1. What is the influence of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic?
  2. What are the factors that promotes godfatherism in the Nigerian politics?
  3. What is the effect of godfatherism on Nigerian politics in the fourth republic?


HO: There is no significant relationship between godfatherism and development in the Nigeria politics

HA: There is significant relationship between godfatherism and development in the Nigeria politics


The following are the significance of this study:

  1. The results from this study will educate the political stakeholders in Nigeria and the general public on the influence of godfatherism on the politics and general development. It will also enlightens on the factors that promotes godfatherism.
  2. This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.



This study will cover the extent of godfatherism in Nigeria politics while evaluating its effect on the fourth republic.


Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

 Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work




John, A.A. (2006). Godfather politics in Nigeria. IFES: DFID

Carter, K. & Elshtan, H. (1997). “Manifesto of Communist Party in Marx etal. Historical Materialism. Moscow: Progress Publishers p.84.

Regan, E.F. (2004). The rise of godfathers in Nigerian politics. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited.

Chibuzo, O. (2006). “Godfatherism” in Nigerian politics. “Ozodi Osuji weekly lectures of African countries #5 of 54: Burkina Faso”


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