Nigeria needs more Obasekis to ‘betray’ more godfathers

Nigeria needs more Obasekis to ‘betray’ more godfathers

Anytime detractors of His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State bring up the ‘betrayer’ narrative, a salient point that usually comes to mind is the reality established by one of the greatest teachers in history, Jesus, who said in very clear words; “No man can serve two masters.”

On November 12, 2020, when Obaseki took the oath of office for his second term, what he swore was to protect the interests of the people of Edo State and not those of any godfather. It is commonplace for politically inept or disingenuous persons to conflate the roles of political appointees with those of elected executives. While all state appointees answer to their principal - the governor, he, by the powers vested in him by securing the majority of votes of the people, is to fully utilize his executive powers to serve the electorate. That is what democracy represents – for the people, and not for godfathers.

It is only in a morally decrepit political system like Nigeria, where corruption is the order of the day that people throw up sentiments like betrayal of godfathers. Granted that there is political patronage all over the world, where favours are sought and procured between more powerful and lower placed interests. That does not mean that alliances or gentleman contracts that emanate from such should override the overarching function that democracy attempts to serve.

As an executive governor, Obaseki is not constitutionally answerable to the president, except on matters that are on the president’s executive list. So, for anyone to suggest that the governor must remain loyal to non-state actors who have decided to allow their selfish interests supersede those of the people, is nonsensical.

Godfatherism is one of the many curses that have derailed our progress as a democratic nation. As a matter of fact, this country needs more Obasekis to rescue the people from the stranglehold of a few individuals who continue to hold the nation to ransom, some of whom have been in the corridors of power for decades, and have aggrandized more than enough wealth to last ten lifetimes. Godfatherism that is not in the interest of the generality of the people must be dismantled.

Only a bold leader can stand up against unholy powers and principalities, and Obaseki is one of such. He has shown that he has the courage and the astuteness; the tenacity and the wiliness to demystify godfathers at any level. Assuming, without conceding that he has betrayed former political allies and godfathers, he has never betrayed Edo people, and that is all that should count.

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