FRIENDSHIP OF UNEQUALS IN ARISTOTLE’S NICOMACHEAN ETHICS VIS-A-VIS GODFATHERISM IN NIGERIAN POLITICS. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON PHILOSOPHY
Since inception of the current administration in Nigeria in 1999, a major political problem that has plagued the country and has become a socio-political problem is “Godfatherism.” Politics in Nigeria has become a business venture where everyone struggles to participate. To this, S. U. Togbolo opines, politics in Nigeria has become an investment where the investors are set to make profit at all cost, as a result, political brutality is pervading the society.
This is so strong in Nigerian politics to the extent that the godfather is so strong to the extent of having a larger-than-life image in his area of influence. He determines appointments into state executive councils and where necessary, local councils. So this particular posture of the godfather is a new form of business which must attract huge financial returns at the expense of the democratic citizens. This is because the godfathers must be settled from the general coffer.
The relationship that exists between the godfather and godson points to what Aristotle in his Nicomachean ethics on ‘Friendship’ regarded as “unequal friendship.” This type of friendship involves the superiority of one of the parties where each should not expect to receive the same affection as he gives from the other.
So, this particular relationship of the godfather and the godson requires that whenever the godfather sneezes, the godson catches cold and fever. In fact, the presence of the godfather literally dwarfs the godson. Moreover, to fear him is the beginning of wisdom for the godson.
Therefore, there must be a guide to check the excesses of the godfathers by instituting constitutional and legal checks on electoral and electioneering procedures that involve money, sponsorship and practices that undermine democracy and art of government. This will help to maintain decency in politics and check against the crisis of Godfatherism.