The governor who spoke to news men today, Monday, after an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, stressed: “I have no apologies; I don’t apologize 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 to express their views. “You can disagree, you can abuse me if you don’t like my views but that is it.
Governor el-Rufai, who was answering question as to whether such comments by him had not created conflict between him and the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmad Tinubu, said that there is no dispute between him and anyone in the APC, adding that the APC is one family.
“I don’t dispute with my own party. They may dispute with me but I don’t. I made comments about how to retire god-fathers; it’s a template that we have used in Kaduna and it has worked. If anybody thinks he is a god-father, 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. I made a general statement but people have gone in to overdrive, creating fake news, abusing me and so on. I am thick-skin, I can take the abuse and I will wait for my time when I want to….”
Asked if he would want Tinubu to be retired, he said that he never even knew that Tinubu is a god-father of Lagos, adding that he was only referring to his State for which the question was originally asked.
“What I know for sure is that we have retired God-fathers 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 is hard work, and it is four years. That is what I said and if anyone feels offended by that, that is his business or her business.
“I have not recommendations to Lagos; I am the governor of Kaduna State. I know Kaduna politics pretty well and I played my role in my party towards the success of the party. I have not recommendation for anyone, I am just saying, if I am asked a question and I gave an answer, anyone that feels offended by the answer, it’s his own business.”