Nothing wrong in godfatherism – Sunday Dare
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has said godfatherism in politics is not peculiar to Nigeria
Dare noted that while Nigerians call them godfathers, they are called different names in other countries.
He noted that there is nothing wrong about having godfathers in politics as long as competence is placed above other considerations.
The minister stated this in Abuja on Thursday at the official unveiling of Lead Generation Initiative, a non-governmental and non-political organisation.
LGI was created by businessman and lawmaker representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa Federal Constituency in Oyo State at the House of Representatives, Shina Peller.
He said, “I think we also need a but of contextual clarification. The definition of godfatherism is not a monolith. In the context of our own politics, a godfather is someone who sits there, decides and takes all the decisions, decides who gets what, whether it is resources or positions. Also, before you can become a godfather, you must have paid some dues, you must have a level of influence, you must have some clout and you must have made sacrifices overtime.
“But beyond that, we also have godfathers for our children. Don’t we? I think it is important that – and I am being careful in responding to this – even though we call it godfather in our clime, I can tell you that in other political climes they go by other names.
“The concept of godfatherism simply means that there are some individuals or influential leaders – who can be in block or individuals – who have the levers of control when it comes to political decisions and appointments.
“For me, in its entirety, godfatherism is not bad. But godfatherism that sacrifices competence for something else is bad.”
Dare, who is believed to have been donated by the Tinubu camp of the All Progressive Congress, was Chief of Staff and Special Adviser on Media to the former governor of Lagos State.
When the APC wrested the reins of power from the People’s Democratic Party, President Buhari appointed him as Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) at the Nigerian Communications Commission.
He became a minister in 2019 at the beginning of Buhari’s second time in office.
The minister, however, admitted that the widespread #EndSARS protest that rocked the country last year was caused by lack of trust in government by the youth, among other reasons.
He said awareness campaign on programmes meant for youth development has not been quite fruitful because “our youths never really care because of deficit of trust in whatever is a government programme.”