May 19, 2024

Rivers crisis: NADECO backs Fubara, kicks against godfatherism


By Clifford Ndujihe

The National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, USA chapter, has cautioned against the raging political crisis in Rivers State, and threw its weight behind Governor Siminalayi Fubara, saying it “will never support any move to entrench godfatherism in Nigeria and Rivers.”

The foremost pro-democracy group spoke against the backdrop of the crisis involving Fubara, factional members of the state House of Assembly, some political appointees and immediate Rivers Governor and Federal Capital territory, FCT, Abuja Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike.

In a statement by its President, Mr Llyod Ukwu, NADECO said: “Godfatherism, a nefarious practice wherein powerful individuals manipulate the political arena by handpicking less influential candidates to serve their interests, poses a grave threat to democracy, transparency, and the rule of law.

“NADECO USA underscores the dire consequences of allowing such

practices to take root in Nigeria, particularly in Rivers, which include circumventing term limits, perpetuating power imbalances, and shielding individuals with dubious pasts from accountability.

“All over the world when you mention the name ‘godfather’ what quickly comes to mind is the movie “The Godfather” and the criminal mafia and mob world of the Gambino, Lucchese, Genovese, Bonanno, and Colombo crime families.

“However, in Nigeria the scourge of godfatherism and gangsterism has negatively affected the people in terms of dividends of democracy.”

Urging the people of Rivers to rally behind Fubara and reject the machinations of those seeking to impose godfatherism upon them, NADECO USA warned of “the dire ramifications of succumbing to such political machinations, which threaten to erode the fabric of society and imperil the democratic experiment in Nigeria.”

It continued: “Godfatherism must not only be stamped out in Rivers but in the entire country and in our political and administrative systems. These corruptive tendencies increase the financial base of the godfathers by creating a wide range of problems in our politics and administration.

“This must be tackled head-on because they use such monies to place their godsons and proteges in various positions of government. The deleterious effects of godfatherism are abundantly clear, as evidenced by the erosion of electoral integrity, the stifling of dissent, and the consolidation of power in the hands of a select few.

“NADECO USA calls for a united front against this pernicious practice, emphasising the importance of safeguarding the principles of democracy, accountability, and transparency.”

As Nigeria grapples with the scourge of godfatherism, NADECO USA said it remained steadfast in its commitment to upholding democratic values and promoting good governance, adding, “we reiterate unwavering support for Fubara and urge all stakeholders to join forces in the fight against political corruption and malfeasance.”