Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai on Monday defended his views on retiring godfathers from Lagos state politics.
El-Rufai who addressed State House correspondents in Abuja after a closed door meeting with president Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa said he does not care if anyone was offended by his views.
“I made comments in Lagos about how to retire godfathers. It is a template that we have used in Kaduna and it has worked. If anybody thinks he is a godfather, the template may apply to him but I am not in dispute with anyone.
“I expressed my views firmly and very clearly, there is no human being that I am afraid to express my views on, and when I am ready to express my views, specifically on a particular name then I will do so but I haven’t” he said.
On whether his comments were directed to the former governor of Lagos state and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Bola Tinubu,the Kaduna state governor said he does not know who the godfather of Lagos is.
He said, “I don’t know if he is the godfather of Lagos, it’s 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 but only one million voted,’ in the last election. So there are five million people that you can bring into the electoral play ground and you can defeat anyone if you work hard.
“It’s hard work, it’s four years. That is what I said and if anyone feels offended by that, that is his business or her 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 express their views.”
El-Rufai at an event in Lagos a week ago told a gathering of Lagos professionals that retiring godfathers requires hard work over a period of four years and reaching out directly to the electorates for their support. He urged the professionals not to be discouraged from politics by the influence of godfathers adding they can be defeated.
The Kaduna state governor said he was at the presidential villa yesterday to update the president on the current state of security at the Abuja-Kaduna expressway. He said the road is now safe for commuters owing to the security arrangements put in place to curb the menace of criminals.