By Adekunle Williams
Lagos – The Gubernatorial candidate of the Alliance for Democracy in Lagos State, Mr Owolabi Salis, says poverty level in the country had made godfatherism popular in Nigeria.
Salis made the assertion while speaking with newsmen on his arrival from the U.S. on Saturday at the Murtala Muhammad International Airports (MMIA), Ikeja.
He said the country still had high level of poverty because the government had not really practiced true governance.
According to him, true governance bridges the gap between the rich and the poor in meeting the needs of the people.
This, he said, was in terms of providing basic education, health facilities and housing for the people which Lagos State and the country at large lacked.
“The issue of godfatherism is a major challenge in the country because politicians see themselves as gods.
“Aspirants now worship their godfathers just to attain their desired position.
“What we now have in Lagos State and in the country as a whole is that we now worship godfathers.
“Everybody is now preaching sir sir sir just for the aim of getting to a position,” he lamented.
“People now engage with godfathers just to get what they want from them and as soon as power get to their hands, then they now see the real life.
“Such persons will now be after his godfather alone or sometimes neglect him. It has happened in the past and it is still happening and it will continue to happen if poverty is not reduced to the nearest minimum,” he said.
Salis said godfatherism was not only common in the All Progressives Congress (APC), but 0was also in other parties as well.
He said they would raise someone that din’t understand the grassroots politics in the state and impose it on other aspirants.
Salis said this practice should be stopped because it was already affecting the political economy.
The governorship candidate said that the main objective of his ambition was to take Lagos commonwealth back to residents.
Salis said, “My concern is about the economic impact of the less privileged. There is currently a big challenge in Lagos State and at the moment, the gap is not bridged, rather than being bridged between the rich and the poor, is widening.
He said that the rich people were getting richer while the poor were getting poorer, adding that his main purpose was to bridge that gap in basic needs of the people.
Salis said: “If you look at the health, education and the housing situation, they are negliged in the state, the rich people are leveraging on the resources and population of the state to enrich themselves while the poor are being neglected.
“We have a lot of resources in the state but it is just going into the private hands. We want to take government and give it to the people.
“We are going to set up grassroots governance, I don’t want to release the procedural approach but the basic idea is that we are going to practice a grassroots system whereby the people will be involved in how their resources are being used.