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Saturday 16 June 2018

'Cabals and godfathers are to be blamed for deliberately keeping Nigerians poor' - Fela Durotoye

Motivational speaker and 2019 presidential hopeful, Fela Durotoye has accused godfathers and cabals in politics of keeping Nigerians impoverished on purpose so that they can keep winning elections.

He said poverty is a deliberate strategy by the so-called cabals to influence the electoral system in the country by giving people the least bit of inducements to stay dependent on their generosity.

Durotoye spoke during an interview with Starr Radio UK yesterday when he was asked what he thinks is Nigeria's greatest problem. According to him, if Nigeria is able to break the power grip of godfathers in Nigerian politics, all of the country's problems will be solved as they keep an unhealthy hold on power to the detriment of everyone else.

He said, "If you ask me, the root cause of Nigeria's problem is the structure, the power brace, the godfathers, and the cabals that decide to hold power to themselves and because of the way they decide to hold power to themselves at the detriment of everybody else.

The idea is the way that elected officials are selected by those godfathers and the way that the system is designed to ensure that people are impoverished so that they can reduce the cost of elections.

I tell people that poverty is not something that is natural to Nigeria, it is the result of a deliberate strategy that is there to keep people poor and hungry so that they can bring out a little bit of N1000 or N500 or N300 to be able to influence elections."

Durotoye further called for an end to the delegate voting system in electing party candidates, a decision he said would strenghten internal democracy which should in turn eliminate corruption and promote people-oriented governance.

He said, "the day you make internal democracy work in all the parties where the people are the ones who vote for who becomes the candidate, then you'll break the back of the power of godfathers because they can't bribe everybody; but right now, you have only a delegate system and that delegate system makes sure that it is the people who own the delegates that you have to go and beg. So if I want to run in one of the conventional parties, I have to go and prostrate to the godfathers. When I go and prostrate to the godfathers, guess what happens once I become elected? It is them that I owe my allegiance, not the people and so you find out that that's where corruption comes in.

"Corruption can never leave Nigeria until true democracy comes into Nigeria. What we have today is not true democracy, it is selectocracy. It is the ability of a few people to select who will go and serve everybody else and that's not how it is done in the countries that we admire like the United Kingdom and the United States where we borrowed democracy from. "If we solve that problem and just get every party to be able to allow every member of the party to vote for who will become the candidates of the party, the rest of the problems will be solved."

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