Political dynasties exist around the world. In the United States in 2001, George W. Bush became the first modern president whose father (President George H.W. Bush) had also been elected president.
(The sixth president, John Quincy Adams, served from 1825-1829 and was the son of the second president, John Adams.) Bush also became the first U.S. president to hold the position for longer than his father.
In East and South Asia, there have been many daughters of heads of state who have been elected to the same position, such as South Korean President Pak Geun-hye, former Philippines President Corazon Aquino, and former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In Pakistan, in a rare occurrence, a husband took over from his wife, Benazir Bhutto.
Africa has a more mixed experience. Seven countries on the continent have had both father and son (and one brother) lead the country: Botswana, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Gabon, Togo, Mauritius, and Malawi. These are different from Morocco and Swaziland which are kingdoms.
In each of these cases, the succession process has been different, as has the interim between father and son.
However, to guard against the creation of birthright dynasties as opposed to merit-based family political dynasties, recent events suggest that countries should and must have clear constitutional processes for succession as well as open transparent freely contested elections.
In Nigeria, political leaders are fast planting their children in political offices using their influences, resources and political party platforms.
First Republic federal lawmaker, Chief Saburi Bankole saw his son Dimeji elected member of the House of Representatives and emerged Speaker apparently due to his brotherhood fraternities with the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Even Obasanjo’s daughter, Iyabo after serving as a Commissioner in Ogun State went ahead to represent the state as a Senator.
Second Republic Senate Leader, late Dr Olusola Saraki handed over his political dynasty to his children, Dr Bukola Saraki who became Senate President in the 8th Senate. Also his daughter, Gbemisola Saraki went as far as contesting the Kwara State governorship election on the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) but lost to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
His father, a military President of Nigeria, Muhammed, son of late General Sani Abacha recently emerged as the governorship candidate of PDP in Kano. He had previously contested the governorship election in Kano on the platform of CPC and lost.
Apart from Abacha, whose son is being propped up to become a state governor due to his father’s influence, a former governor of Jigawa State and PDP chieftain, Alhaji Sule Lamido succeeded in making his son the governorship candidate of the PDP in the state ahead of 2023.
Like an anointed candidate, Mustapha polled 829 votes to defeat former Minister of Power, Hon. Saleh Shehu Hadejia, who scored 0 votes out of a total of 832 votes cast.
Strongman of Ibadan Politics, late Lamidi Adedibu after successfully mentored many politicians, fielded his son, Kamorudeen in senatorial elections and he represented Oyo South in the 7th Senate.
Educationist and activist, late Chief Lam Adesina was Oyo State governor from 1999 to 2003. After his demise, his political groups within the APC compensated the family by giving his son Dapo a House of Representatives ticket to represent Ibadan South East/ North East federal constituency.
One-time Senator and former Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro had his son elected lawmaker to represent Eti Osa State Constituency in Lagos State.
Former governor of Oyo State, late Otunba Christopher Adebola Alao- Akala’s son, Olamijuwonlo recently won the APC ticket for Ogbomoso North, South and Oriire Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
As a preferred candidate, Olamijuwonlo, a former chairman of Ogbomoso North local government area, polled all the 150 votes to clinch the ticket of the APC.
Daughter of the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, Marilyn Okowa-Daramola, won the Ika North East ticket for the Delta House of Assembly.
Also the daughter of former governor James Ibori, Ms Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu clinched the PDP House of Representatives ticket for Ethiope West federal constituency by defeating the incumbent in a rerun election.
Umar Ganduje, son of sitting Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, emerged as the flag bearer of the APC for Dawakin Tofa/Tofa/Rimingado Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Umar Ganduje was the only contestant as the stakeholders from the constituency chose him as a consensus candidate following the withdrawal of his opponent, Junaidu Yakubu, after a reconciliation meeting arranged by the senator representing Kano North, Barau Jibrin, and the House of Reps member representing Bichi Federal Constituency, Abubakar Bichi, before the primary election.
Governor Ganduje paid the price by rescinding his senatorial ambition for the incumbent Senator Jibrin in a reconciliatory effort to prevent the lawmaker from dumping the APC.
Idris Abiola-Ajimobi, son of late former governor of Oyo State, late Abiola Ajimobi, emerged the APC candidate for Ibadan South-West II State Constituency of Oyo State House of Assembly. He emerged as the consensus candidate in honour of his late father’s position in the party.
Another sitting governor, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State had his son, Bello El-Rufai, emerge winner of the APC ticket for the House of Representatives in Kaduna North Federal Constituency.
Former Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose’s son, Joju emerged the winner of the PDP House of Representatives ticket for the Ekiti Central Federal Constituency I comprising Ado and Irepodun/Ifelodun.
Another former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba got his son, Olumide the APC third term ticket for the House of Representatives seat for Abeokuta North /Odeda/Obafemi-Owode federal constituency.