Ibrahim Obanikoro, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the House of Representatives election in Eti-Osa, Lagos State has declared that his father, Musiliu Obanikoro, is his political godfather.
He made the statement on Monday at a debate organised for candidates contesting the election in the constituency.
The debate was put together by Media Room Hub in partnership with the BBC and Pulse Nigeria.
Other candidates at the debate were Olubankole Wellington (Banky W) 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).
Obanikoro, who said he had been running for elective posts since 2011 when he was 29, said he was the most experienced of all the candidates.
Answering a question on godfathers, he said the concept is an important element of politics.
“I’ll tell you that godfathers have nothing to do with general elections. It’s an internal affair. If you have a party that has a structure on the ground, whether you like it or not, there will be godfathers within that party
The former PDP member: “My father is my godfather. Where do you want me to put the likes of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu?
“I do have godfathers within my party and I appreciate them. 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.”
Answering a question on allegations of corruption against his father in which his name was also mentioned, Obanikoro said no money was missing while his father served as minister, ambassador and local government chairman.
“I will encourage you to (conduct) your research very well. My father was in charge of the ministries of foreign affairs and defence in this country and nothing was reported to be missing. He was a commissioner in Lagos State. If you don’t understand politics, you may not know what is going on. Conduct your research very well,” he said.