A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Hon Ahmed Buhari, in Lagos, condemned the phenomenon of godfatherism in the country’s political system, saying he does not need a god father to become the president of Nigeria come 2019.
Buhari gave the condemnation while speaking at the 4.0 National Young Leaders Summit convened to mark the 40th birthday of the president of the Computers Allied Products Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), Comrade Adeniyi Ahmed Ojikutu.
Speaking on the theme of the summit: ‘The Equilibrium: The Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”, Buhari, who was on the panel of speakers at the event, said god fatherism has led to imposition, which he described as one of the major causes of corruption in Nigeria.
According to him: “I don’t believe in god fatherism and I don’t need a god father to become the next president of Nigeria Godfatherism has led us to where we are today, because it leads to imposition, which is one of the major causes of corruption in the country.”
Buhari added: ”We must look beyond god fatherism and do the right thing. As much as I encourage mentorship, I don’t subscribe to god fatherism.
“Of course, having a mentor is good, we must also realise that age is not a function of good leadership. Our political scene is plagued by irregularities and to clear all these issues of the past, we have to reconcile,” he observed.
His views, however, contradicted the position of the the All Progressives Congress Women Leader for South West, Chief (Mrs) Kemi Nelson, who also spoke at the event. The APC Women Leader had stirred the hornet nest when answering the question on the role of god fatherism in Nigerian politics, saying: “I don’t have a problem with god fatherism, because you need someone to get you to the top.”
According to Nelson, “Your grammar will not win election for you, politics is beyond what you write on twitter or your social media page.
“You don’t just wake up one morning, saying you want to become the president of Nigeria without having contributed your quota from the grassroots, and you need the elderly ones in the political space to get you
“We have youths in the APC and they are contributing their quotas. So, we should stop saying that the youths are not given a space in Nigeria politics; make yourself relevant from your ward, do the right thing and you will be reckoned with,” Kemi opined.
Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan, who also spoke at the summit, buttressed Nelson’s point, saying even Nigerian statesmen and early political leaders such as Chief Obafemi Awolowo and others were all mentored by the British.
Also present at the event was the former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, who is also a presidential aspirant under the Young Progressives Party (YPP). Moghalu stated that 2019 is not about politics but about a choice the citizens have to make, come 2019.
According to Moghalu, ”2019 will not be about politics but about the choice we have to make; a choice between security and insecurity, a choice between provision and lack of provision. And that will be the essence of 2019 election.
“There has to be a paradigm shift, come 2019, because what we have is not politics but a political industry, where few people at the top milk away the resources that are meant for the people.
“Over 85 million Nigerians are living in extreme poverty because we have been led by economy-incompetent and ambitious people. We need leaders who can unite us; we need men and women who are visionaries and not ambitious self-seeking people in 2019,” he observed.
Fela Durotoye, a presidential aspirant, urged the youths present at the event to get their permanent voters card, saying that is the only way to demand for the real change they desire in 2019.
“Choose to get involved by getting your permanent voters card (PVC) because that is the only way to demand for the real change.
“We must also encourage others not to sell their votes, because when they do so, they sell their rights to demand for the change they want,” Durotoye advised.
Convener of the summit, Ahmed Ojikutu, while speaking to newsmen at the event, which held at the NECA House, Ikeja, Lagos, said the aim of the programme was to bridge the gap between the old and the young, to see how both can work together for the betterment of Nigeria.