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2019 Elections: You need godfathers to progress in Nigerian politics - Obanikoro

Babajide Obanikoro of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at a debate for candidates contesting for the Eti-Osa constituency seat in the House of Representatives
Babajide Obanikoro of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at a debate for candidates contesting for the Eti-Osa constituency seat in the House of Representatives

Babajide Obanikoro, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), contesting for the Eti-Osa House of Representatives seat, believes godfathers have an important role to play in Nigerian politics.

The candidate said this while speaking during a debate against four other candidates in Lagos on Monday, February 4, 2019.
When asked if Nigerian politics needs godfathers who control things behind the scenes by sponsoring people for political office, Obanikoro said their influence is not as overwhelming as people believe.
He said godfathers have internal influence on the workings of a party but not a general election.
"I'll tell you that godfathers have nothing to do with general election. It's an internal affair. If you have a party that has a structure on ground, whether you like it or not, there will be godfathers within that party," he said.
 
Babajide Obanikoro of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at a debate for candidates contesting for the Eti-Osa constituency seat in the House of Representatives
Despite understating their influence on general elections, Obanikoro said godfathers are needed to guide the young generation of politicians on how to progress.
He named his father Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defence, and former Lagos governor and APC national chairman, Bola Tinubu, as his godfathers and expressed appreciation for them.
"My father is my godfather. Where do you want me to put the likes of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu? It's an internal affair. I do have godfathers within my party and I appreciate them and give kudos to them," he said.
The candidate concluded that the experience godfathers offer makes them very important to the nation's political process.
He said, "Whether you like it or not, what they have seen, the experience they have, no matter where you're coming from, you can never buy it or have it.
"You need them to move forward, it's a synergy, that's where your ability to negotiate comes in. That you don't need godfatherism, that's a total lie."
 
L-R: Ferdinand Adimefe of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Babajide Obanikoro of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tessy Owolabi of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Omotesho Bakare of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Olubankole Wellington of the Modern Democratic Party (MDP) at a debate for candidates contesting for the Eti-Osa constituency seat in the House of Representatives
Other candidates at Monday's debate are Olubankole Wellington of the Modern Democratic Party (MDP)Omotesho Bakare of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)Tessy Owolabi of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Ferdinand Adimefe of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN).
They all denied having godfathers and urged the nation's voting population to shun godfathers so that elected officials can be more accountable to the people and not vested interests.

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