‘Get rid of godfathers’ – Oyegun tells APC

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Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has called on the party to get rid of godfathers and entrench internal democracy.

He lamented that the phenomenon called godfatherism had done so much damage to political parties and democracy in the country.

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DAILY POST reports that Oyegun’s call is coming barely three weeks after another chieftain of the APC and Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai made a similar demand and provided a recipe for dethroning political godfathers in the system. 

Oyegun, who conducted the first general primaries of APC in 2014, said the lack of internal democracy in political parties had increased the number of cases in court.

He urged the APC and other political parties to shun godfatherism and allow internal democracy thrive as the consequences of lack of it were too grave.

He told Newtelegraph: “I think the basic problem we have all over is the godfather thing. Internal democracy simply means that if 10 people want to vie for an office, so be it. Let the electorate decide.

“But when party leaders are the ones deciding who is fit or who is not fit, that becomes a problem.

“That is the decision of the electorate. And when they start displacing persons with their friends and other undesirable inducement, that is totally unacceptable.

“The damage it does is that you are destroying the belief of the electorate in due process. So, it becomes more difficult to accept the result of an election.

“The moment people start believing that they cannot get a fair share, that the system cannot be fair to them, whereas if you painstakingly pursue the process of letting the electorate decide, eventually you will find out that this going to court will begin to go down.

“But once you do otherwise, people would have at the back of their minds that they are not fairly treated and would look for every manner of excuse to go to court.

“That alone opens up the judicial system and the entire political system to another level and different levels of corruption.

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“So, the damage is intense and I pray that our politicians will see the need for a proper internal democracy and allow due process and allow the people to thoroughly decide.”

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