Maikasuwa and godfatherism

By Ibrahim Biu

This is not the first time the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA), Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, has taken up arms against the phenomenon of godfatherism in Nigerian politics. He has spoken against it on many occasions whenever he has the opportunity to do so. It has become one of the issues he often likes to discuss with like minds.
Last week Saturday was yet another unique opportunity for the
otherwise quiet and almost shy bureaucrat to again thoroughly lambast the pro-godfatherism proponents. It was on the occasion of the 10th graduation ceremony of the Capital Science Academy, Kuje in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory when he hauled bricks at them and warned people to guard against the evils of godfatherism and its disastrous consequences on both individuals and the society.

After he had expatiated on the dangers of allowing godfatherism to thrive in any society, he went ahead and challenged those who are involved to reveal any of its positive impact if any.
After I have carefully listened to Maikasuwa who enumerated the several evils of godfatherism, especially as it affects the growth of our youth and even the country’s fledgling democracy, I came away with the impression that the CNA has sworn to ensure that godfatherism must be crushed at all cost in order to avoid a situation where its practice could destroy the values of our society and even create dependence on people as a way of achieving ones objectives.

I cannot agree more with him on this issue. This writer believes that there is need to protect the tender minds of our youth against the effects of godfatherism if they are to make any meaningful contributions to their various communities. They must try and avoid godfatherism and be role models in our society and our youth must try to be above board always.

On the other hand, Maikasuwa said, “Godfathers arrogate to themselves the status of kingmakers and power brokers. Godfathers have contempt for the societal saying that “the youth are leaders of tomorrow” because they want to hold the youth in perpetual servitude and subjugation.

He went further to say, “Godfathers offer patronage to the youth but with strings attached and they demand dogmatic allegiance superior to one given to parents. Their sources of wealth are not credible and they have no public sympathy, respect or recognition.

This crop of doubtful leaders must be avoided by the Nigerian youth of today if they are to make any meaningful contribution in the global community.
Maikasuwa dwelt on the need for the youth and almost everybody especially people in positions of responsibility to avoid allowing themselves to be enslaved by our godfathers in the interest of the nation.

To cope with the existing realities of life on ground, the youth he said, must be honest, trustworthy, credible, intelligent and hard working so that whenever they were given leadership positions they will be able to promote the crusade of enthroning accountability, transparency probity and openness in the conduct of businesses and governance. The youth he said, must emulate the sterling qualities of role models while condemning the activities of odfathers in all their ramifications.

Whatever Maikasuwa says about godfatherism cannot be divested from his experience, especially in the recent emergence of the National Assembly principal officers when as required by law he inaugurated the assembly as the Clerk of the Assembly. Even though Maikasuwa acted in good faith and also in obedience to the proclamation mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari sent to him from the Presidency much earlier for the inauguration to be held at 10 am prompt.

On that day, some people, especially those who want to see fault in anything done by others by all means, have faulted the action taken by Maikasuwa to inaugurate the assembly. Some people have even called him names while others have openly berated him. But I am sure all these will not move Maikasuwa from his principled stand. Maikasuwa has been among prominent Nigerians who have severely criticised the godfatherism issue.
Maikasuwa had as far back as 2010 attacked godfatherism phenomenon when he was hosted by his people. He had said, “I have also learnt not to believe in the theory of practice of godfatherism.

Godfatherism, he said, “had never played any relevant role in his career progression and that they are selfish and could hold people hostage in order to dance to their tunes just like he who pays the piper dictates the tune.
I also agree with Alhaji Maikasuwa that “rather than conceding to be dictated and protected by godfathers, I always want to be guided by Almighty God.”

Biu wrote from Abuja.

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