The Guardian
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‘Godfatherism adversely influences Nigeria’s politics, development’


[FILE] Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress

Presidential candidate of African Action Congress (AAC) party, Omoyele Sowore, has identified how Nigerian leaders ‘weaponise’ social ills such as fear, poverty, hunger, religious and tribal biases, and stereotypes to undermine the Nigerian people and corruptly enrich themselves.

According to him, politicians in the name of godfathers have silenced the masses through wholesale rigging, thieving and murdering while the people are compensated with acute lack and despondency.

In a statement made available to The Guardian recently, Sowore explained that by financing the elections of major candidates and determining who emerged through corrupt party primary processes, Nigeria’s godfathers have ensured ready and steady access to the nation’s coffers, pausing only to throw bones to the next candidate who promises to provide access to yet another cache of the national cake.

According to said, “To truly complete the cycle of oppression, the average Nigerian is taught that this is the only way politics could be practised. They take turns producing stooges, calling it zoning. They sponsor messages of division, employing details like the state of origin and political sharia to divide Nigerians amongst ethnic and religious lines. Meanwhile, these godfathers stay united in their vision of raping, pillaging and looting Nigeria into nothingness. They look beyond any ethnic or religious lines to divide up the country as they see fit.

“The oppression is so thorough that it quietens any dissenting voices and turns Nigerians, renowned worldwide for their resilience and resourcefulness, into quivering cowards, grateful to just be alive to see another day, regardless of the untold hardships they are waking up to face.

“Godfathers have oppressed Nigerians by emphasizing money in politics, bankrolling incompetent officials, sponsoring violence, vote buying and so on. These are all just paved stones on the way to situating thieving government officials to steal for them by proxy.

“By de-emphasising the influence of money in politics, my candidacy has disrupted Nigerian politics, beginning with the ringing of the proverbial bell for the demise of the godfather.”

Sowore, however, noted that democrats do not need godfathers to finance a true campaign.

The ‘#TakeItBack movement,’ he noted, has systematically dispelled myths and fallacies perpetuated by the ruling class to hold Nigerians in a vice-like grip of corruption and fear. By running a crowd-funded presidential campaign, he said they had disrupted the status quo of Nigerian politics, and also proving two things to be true: foretelling the end of godfatherism in Nigeria

Sowore noted that Nigerians were ready for true change geared towards rewriting the narrative and removing the old generation of leaders.

Accordingly, he stated, “Perhaps, the most telling indication of this new paradigm is the extent to which Nigerians claimed the campaign as their own. Beyond the official strategies implemented by the campaign, this organic movement saw Nigerians take full ownership of their politics. Unprompted, they created jingles and flyers; eagerly, they engaged their fellow Nigerians on street corners and in public transport. These patriotic Nigerians stoutly defended their newfound hope to the hilt, refusing to return to the brainwashed days of All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”

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