ANIMASAWUN, Gbemisola A. (2013) Godfatherism in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic: The Pyramid of Violence and Political Insecurity in Ibadan, Oyo-State, Nigeria
Godfatherism based on a patron-client relationship has emerged as a phenomenon hindering participation, political security and peace as it torpedoes the consolidation of democracy since Nigeria’s fourth republic commenced in 1999.
Widespread political violence created insecurity whenever the godsons failed to fulfil pledges made to their godfathers especially on the allotment of appointments and sometimes sharing of state resources amongst others in many states of the country. It made politics violent and extractive rather than being peaceful and productive. In Oyo-State, Chief Lamidi Adedibu, an Ibadan based octogenarian was the godfather of politics in the State because of his ability to ensure victory for many seekers of elective offices in the State. From 2003 to 2007, violence and political insecurity pervaded the political space especially in Ibadan consequent upon the broken relationship between Chief Adedibu and Senator Rashidi Ladoja after the latter reneged on promises made to his godfather on becoming the governor of Oyo State in 2003.
This paper examines Chief Adedibu as political godfather and the variables that sustained him within the context of the theory of economy of affection espoused by Goran Hyden. The study was carried out in three out of the five Local Governhment Areas in Ibadan metropolis using mainly qualitative methods of indepth interviews with purposively selected respondents considered germane to the objectives of the study including late Chief Lamidi Adedibu. This paper concludes that Adedibu’s patronage system of politics was pyramidal with him on the top; while the poor, lumpens and thugs, members of the transport union and local politicians constituted the core of his dependants and vectors of violence.