“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.”
El-Rufai added that the fact that only one million out of the six million registered voters in Lagos voted in the last general elections was an opportunity to end godfathership in the state.
He said, “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.”
Speaking further he addressed the issue of money saying it would require about N2bn to do the job, which he said the businessmen had.
“With about N2bn; if you start, you see these guys with black ties, they will give you the N2bn. 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.”
After a widespread bashing on the comments, El Rufai possibly bowing to pressure was quoted recently as saying his god-fatherism comments were not meant for Tinubu.
The question then is this,who was he referring to with the comment?
Virtually everyone knows that Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the undisputed god-father of Lagos politics,a title even he himself has accepted and doesn’t deny.
For El Rufai,while we may not be sure yet just what informed his deluge of public outbursts almost all centered around the candidature of the national leader of the party, it certainly alludes to one undeniable fact: that even him is thinking ahead of the politics around 2023 and who becomes Nigeria’s next president.