The All Progressives Congress House of Representatives candidate for Eti Osa Federal Constituency, Lagos State, Babajide Obanikoro, on Monday said his father, Musiliu Obanikoro, is his godfather.
According to the former Peoples Democratic Party member, he defected to the ruling party because its leaders know how to win elections.
Babajide spoke during a debate at the Civic Centre, Lagos.
The event was organised by Media Room Hub in collaboration with Pulse Nigeria and British Broadcasting Corporation Pidgin News.
Other candidates at the debate were Olubankole Wellington (Modern Democratic Party), Omotesho Bakare (Peoples Democratic Party), Tessy Owolabi (Social Democratic Party), and Ferdinand Adimefe (Alliance for New Nigeria).
Babajide, who said he had been running for elective posts since 2011 when he was 29, said godfatherism was an important element of politics.
He said, “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
Babajide said, “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.”
A participant at the debate asked why he came out for an elective post despite the allegations of corruption against his father in which his name (Babajide) was also mentioned.
She asked if the APC candidate was not using money from the arms deal scandal for his campaign.
Babajide said, “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.”
Wellington promised that if elected, he would make his earnings public, calling on residents to break away from the APC, PDP tradition and vote for him.