A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adeseye Ogunlewe, has said that poor Nigerians should not bother trying to be active in politics.
Mr Ogunlewe stated this on Friday during an interview on Channels Television.
He said this in reaction to the supposition that party delegates will be ‘paid’ by candidates of the forthcoming PDP National Chairmanship position.
Mr Ogunlewe, a former senator and a former Minister of Works, is supporting Bode George for the election.
“Oh, that is politics!”
“A poor person does not participate in politics,” he said.
“A poor person has no business in politics. A poor man cannot win an election in Nigeria; how would you campaign? If you are poor, stay in your house,” he said again.
Mr Ogunlewe repeated the remark twice, which prompted his interviewer to ask him if he reckoned that the candidates would indeed buy over delegates.
“No, no, no, they would not buy, but it is not going to be on empty hands,” the former minister responded.
He added, “You don’t play politics on empty stomach.”
Mr Ogunlewe said he was supporting Mr George because he had sacrificed a lot for the development of the party.
“He had the opportunity he would have made himself a minister, but he gave it to me. And he has given it to six of us in Lagos state alone.
“He had the opportunity of being an ambassador, but he refused. He also refused to be a gubernatorial aspirant,” Mr Ogunlewe said of Mr George.
The former minister apart from dismissing the notion that young Nigerians should be encouraged to take over the leadership of the PDP, spoke against candidates in the South-west stepping down for one another, arguing that that would be against the spirit of democracy.
The candidates should be encouraged to go out and test their popularity, he said.