The governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says he owes no one any apology over his comments on how to end godfatherism in Lagos state.
El-Rufai, had said he knew how to end “godfatherism” in the politics of Lagos state.
The governor said having retired the four political godfathers in Kaduna, he was confident that the feat could be achieved anywhere else.
But speaking with reporters on the issue, the governor said he did not regret making the comment.
When asked if he wanted Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), removed as the godfather of Lagos, el-Rufai replied that he is unaware of Tinubu occupying that role, saying it is up to the national leader to say if he is.
He said godfathers could be defeated as far as people are ready to work hard to achieve the feat.
“We are in the same party, we get along very well, as far as I know,” el-Rufai said.
“I don’t know if he is the godfather of Lagos, it is up to him to say that.
What I know for sure is that we have retired godfathers in Kaduna and I have told those that asked me the question that there are six million registered voters in Lagos and only one million voted in the last election, so there are five million people you can bring into the electoral playground and you can defeat anybody if you work hard but it is hard work; it is four years, that is what I said.
“If anyone feels offended by that, that is his business.”
Asked if Lagos should follow the same template he used in defeating the godfathers in his state, el-Rufai said: “I have no recommendation to Lagos, I am the governor of Kaduna state, I know Kaduna politics pretty well and I play my role well in my party towards the overall success of the party.
“So I have no recommendations for anyone. I am just saying If I am asked a question and I give an answer, anyone that feels offended by the answer, that is his own business.
“I have no apologies, I don’t apologise for my views; my views are thought-out and I put them there. I don’t have to explain anything to anyone.
“This is a democracy and in a democratic space, there must be room for people to express their views. You can disagree, you can abuse me if you don’t like my views but that is it,” he concluded.
But in a swift reaction last night, May 13, 2019, Lagos State chapter of APC lambasted the governor, saying talk was cheap, adding Tinubu remained their leader.
A statement by the state’s spokesperson, Joe Igbokwe read: ”They want to be like Asiwaju, they want to command respect, they want the world to accept them the way they have accepted Asiwaju, they want to get great followers like Asiwaju BAT, they want to be admired the way people admire Asiwaju, they want the people to love them the way they love Asiwaju, they want to stand tall anywhere they go like Asiwaju, they want to attract attention like Asiwaju, they want to be celebrated and honored like Asiwaju, they want to be worshiped the way Asiwaju great followers worship him, they want be lifted up the way God has lifted Asiwaju up, they want to be noticed like Asiwaju, they want to stand out like Asiwaju and they want to influence decisions at all levels like Asiwaju, etc.’
“Talk is cheap, anybody can make any statement. They want to be like Asiwaju, they want to command respect, they want the world to accept them the way they have accepted Asiwaju, they want to be admired the way people admire Asiwaju. Tinubu lauds Nigerians on Buhari’s re-election says he will continue anti-corruption fight
“But in actions and deeds, they are not like Asiwaju. In character and intolerance, they are not like Asiwaju. In commitment and hard work, they are not like BAT. In grace and empathy, they are not like BAT. In temperament and love for humanity, they are not like Asiwaju.
“They cannot surrender their home to the people the way BAT has been doing. They cannot fight for others the way BAT does. They cannot deny themselves freedom for the sake of others the way BAT does. They cannot stand for ordinary people the way Asiwaju does.
“They cannot be trusted the way we trust BAT. They cannot give the way BAT does. They cannot sacrifice what BAT has sacrificed for humanity for close to 40 years. They cannot live for others the way Asiwaju has done for years. I can go on and on but he who must lead others must first lead himself.
“We follow our leader, Asiwaju, because he works for us, even when we are sleeping. We follow and honour our leader because he breaks his back for us. We follow him because he cares for all of us. We follow him because he knows where he is going. We follow BAT because he has earned our trust for decades now.
“We follow him because he has never disappointed us. We follow Asiwaju because he is focused and dynamic. We follow Asiwaju because he has not failed us. We follow him because he is dependable.
“We follow him because he fights for us. We follow him because the man is a deep thinker. We follow Asiwaju because he values us without measure.”