The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has again taken a swipe at Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He insisted that the days of godfatherism on Nigeria were gone and that Lagosians should unseat those still in place.
El-Rufai spoke with State House correspondents on Monday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Asked to shed more light on his earlier statement, El-Rufai said he stood by what he said, which was widely reported on the media.
“I don’t know if he (Tinubu) is the godfather of Lagos. What I know for sure is that we have retired godfathers….If anyone feels offended by that, that’s his business.
“I have no apology for my views, they are well thought out. I put them there, I don’t have to explain to anyone. This is democracy; people are free to express their views.”
It was recalled that last week, the governor at an event organised by the Bridge Club, noted that the key to defeating godfathers was in going directly to the people.
During the question and answer session, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and three-time commissioner in Lagos State, Dr Muiz Banire, had asked El-Rufai how godfatherism could be dealt with.
Responding, 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.”
El-Rufai doubles down on his comment about godfatherism in Lagos. Says he doesn’t know if Tinubu is the godfather of Lagos politics.
“If he is tell him say so.”
Says if anyone feels offended by his comments “that’s his business.”
“I don’t apologise for my views,” he said.