Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, says godfatherism is dangerous to the tenets of democracy in Nigeria.
Speaking during a ‘Thank You’ visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja, Governor Obaseki asked the people of the state to deal with him should he become a godfather.
“God forbid I become a godfather, I should be dealt with accordingly because it is dangerous to the concept of democracy,” he said.
While condemning godfatherism in politics, the governor argued that people who play such roles act outside of the nation’s constitution.
Governor Obaseki warned that if people allow the act to trend in politics and governance, it will be worse than military rule.
“The godfather acts outside of the constitution. He now controls people who are constitutional players.
“If we allow such a situation to continue, it will be worse than military rule. When people who have nothing at stake, who have no checks and balances in them can just arbitrarily decide that this is the way the constitution can be interpreted, that is why the concept is wrong,” he said.
On his part, President Buhari thanked Obaseki coming along with his deputy, Philip Shaibu, to visit him at the State House even after defeating the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just-concluded Edo Election.
The President maintained that he ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and other security agencies not to interfere in the polls to allow the will of Edo people to prevail.
“If contestants have too much money and they decide to spray, so be it. But what I insist is, nobody should go and raise a counterforce to the government, arm heavily-drugged thugs to go and humiliate people.
“I want Nigerians to appreciate that I respect them as Nigerians and that I am bound by the oath I have taken, that their security is in the hands of God and in the hands of the government, which I am leading,” President Buhari said.
Buhari added jocularly that he was congratulating the Edo governor “reluctantly” because he defeated the candidate of his party, the APC.
Governor Obaseki defeated APC’s Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to win a second term as governor of Edo State, destroying godfatherism in the state.
The governor secured 307,955 of the total votes, 84,336 more votes than his closest rival Ize-Iyamu, who got 223, 619 votes.