Oshiomhole’s Obaseki: Where Godfatherism meets Mentoring
Where is the meeting point between the concept of godfatherism and mentoring? This was the puzzle Veteran journalists, also known as living ancestors in the media world attempted to solve, while absolving Governor Adams Oshiomhole of allegedly imposing the Chairman of the Edo State Economic Team, Mr. Godwin Obaseki as preferred candidate for this year Edo state gubernatorial election.
Scholastic Celsius Ohain, retired Assistant-in-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria and ‘untiring’ Alhaji Usman Abudah, were of the view that the concept of godfatherism have been demonized and misunderstood in this part of the world saying Governor Adams Oshiomhole may have mentored a preferred aspirant in the art-of-governance who will contest his party’s primary, All Progressives Congress with others.
Abuda who was the first Guardian Correspondent in the then Bendel State, Punch Newspaper among other assignments both at the national and local levels, urged aspirants and politicians alike, not to entertain any fear or feel threatened because Oshiomhole cannot impose his mentored aspirant on the people in a democratic setting.
According to him, “Godfatherism is a natural phenomenon but some people are misunderstanding it”.
He shared his thoughts at the maiden edition of the Mayaki’s Roundtable held at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre, Benin City recently.
“Look at it this way”, Abudah said.
“A man has nine wives with two sons from each of the women. As a very focused man, you see these children, but you don’t know who is playing truancy, who doesn’t stay at home and duty post, you don’t know who among them is a cultist, you don’t know the one who searches your pocket when you go ease yourself, but you have to take time to get the best out of them to take over from you.
“So, a lot of Nigerians do not know the meaning of godfather; it does not mean you impose somebody but mentoring someone to believing your idea and passion about some particular issues. It is the mentoring of persons and identifying one among them, who can carry-on those ideals for you.
“And so, godfatherism should not threaten anybody. It is a concept, because the man who seats there as Governor needs a man who can perform when he vacates his seat”, Abudah explained.
But, Mr. Celsius Ohain, sees it from another perspective.
“On this issue of godfatherism”, Ohain said, “it is unfortunate that we have made it to connote and denote something very negative.
“It’s all about mentoring. Somebody who is so good at something, he has excelled and become the best in that field and as such, feels somebody should succeed him or he should mentor people to grow up like him but unfortunately, in our own environment, we have subverted that concept and bastardized godfatherism and that is why it has this negative connotation.
“Godfatherism is supposed to be a very noble concept of grooming and mentoring people unto excellence”, he said.