…says he owes no apologies to anyone

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA – GOVERNOR Nasir el-Rufai Monday stated that he owed no apologies to anyone regarding his last week’s advice to Lagos residents to discountenance godfathers in their political dealings, because he did not know anyone of them.

Governor el-Rufai who spoke to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, however did not mention any names.

Recall that the Kaduna State Governor’s recent comments in Lagos were largely construed by pundits in the media as a deliberate attack on the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who has a strong influence on the political developments in the State.

But el-Rufai told journalists that he stood by what he said, even as he dismissed insinuations that he was at loggerheads with the party leadership.

According to him, “There is no dispute between me and anyone in the APC, the APC is one family, I don’t dispute with my own party. They may dispute with me but I don’t.

Kaduna state Governor, Nasir el-Rufai

“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.”

Asked if he wants Tinubu retired as godfather of Lagos politics, the governors said he was in same party with the former governor and they got along very well but “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.”

On why he was at the State House, the governor said “I came to see Mr President to brief him on the general security situation in Kaduna which I do from time to time and also to update him on the various initiatives by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the SSS, and the Army with a view to improving the security situation in Kaduna in general and particularly along the Abuja-Kaduna road.

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“I want to say that the initiatives put in place have made the road quite safe now. I can say confidently that anyone get in that road because I don’t want to go into details of the measures that have already been put in place but I am confidence with the security system in place now that people can be confident to drive on the Abuja-Kaduna road without any fear.”

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