I can end godfatherism in Lagos politics – El-Rufai

The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has advised Lagosians on how to end godfatherism in the State’s politics.

El-Rufai gave the advice on Saturday while responding to questions after delivering a lecture in Lagos at an event organised by the Bridge Club, tagged: “An evening with His Excellency Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State.”

The Governor said he defeated and retired four political godfathers in Kaduna State, adding that the feat could be replicated anywhere, including Lagos State.

Asked by a former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress and now Chairman of the Board of the Assets Management Company of Nigeria, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), how to tackle godfatherism, which he described as one of the drawbacks for professionals and businessmen who might want to go into politics, El-Rufai said: “Godfatherism.

“This is Lagos.

“Let me tell you something sir: you know, Kaduna State used to be like that.

“There were three or four politicians in Kaduna that you could not become anything unless you had them on your side.

“Those were the godfathers of Kaduna politics and you had to carry them along and you know, the three words, ‘carry them along’ mean paying them regularly.

“But we chose a different path and the long and short of it now is that after this election in 2019, we have retired all of them.

“We had to.

“Here in Lagos, you have over six million registered voters, only about a million voted (in 2019 general elections).

“Five million did not vote.

“If I want to run for governor of Lagos, I will start now.

“I will commission a study to know why those five million registered voters did not vote.

“Where do they go on election day?

“Then I will start visiting them for the next four years.

“I will try and get just two million of them to come and vote for me.

“I will defeat any godfather.

“The key is to go to the people.

“The card reader and the biometric register have given us the tools to connect directly with the people.

“I assure you if you do that for the next four years, connecting with the people, the tin godfather, you will retire him or her permanently.

“But it is hard work.

“It requires three to four years of hard work.

“So, if you want to run in 2023, you should start now.”

On funding, El-Rufai said it would require about N2 billion to achieve the feat.

He said: “With about N2 billion, if you start, you see these guys with black ties, they will give you the N2 billion.

“Many of the godfathers are either on paper or in the mind of people in politics.

“They are defeatable.

“We retired four of them in Kaduna State within a four-year time and they are gone.

“One of them boasted that he put me in the government house and he would take me out.”

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