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El-Rufai speaks on how to end godfatherism in Lagos

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says he knows how to end “godfatherism” in the politics of Lagos state.

According to PUNCH, el-Rufai spoke at an event organised by the Bridge Club in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Saturday.

The governor said the issue of godfatherism can be defeated by connecting to the people and winning them over.

He said there were about three or four of such persons in Kaduna whose help people needed to be politically relevant but he was able to get what he wanted without their help.

The governor said he defeated and retired the four political godfathers while noting that the feat could be achieved anywhere else.

“Godfatherism, this is Lagos… let me tell you something sir; you know, Kaduna state used to be like that,” el-Rufai said.

“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, ‘ 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.

“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.”

El-Rufai said the number of people who voted during the governorship election in Lagos could also be used as an advantage over godfathers.

“Here in Lagos, you have over six million registered voters, only about a million voted (in 2019 general elections); five million did not vote,” he said.

“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.”

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