Poor Nigerians have no business in politics – Former Minister

Former Minister of Works Adeseye Ogunlewe [Photo Credit: Daily Post]
Former Minister of Works Adeseye Ogunlewe [Photo Credit: Daily Post]

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Adeseye Ogunlewe, has said that politics in Nigeria does not have room for the poor to participate in it.

Mr. Ogunlewe stated this on Friday during an interview on Channels Television.

He was responding to the speculation that the party delegates may be bought over with money by candidates contesting the forthcoming PDP national chairmanship election.

Mr. Ogunlewe, a former senator and a former minister of works, is backing Bode George for the election.

Mr. George has been the PDP deputy national chairman, South.

“Oh, that is politics!” the former minister said when asked about the possibility of the candidates enticing the delegates with money to switch their support.

“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 explained why he was supporting Mr. George, saying the later 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.

Mr. Ogunlewe said that Mr. George, in addition, had served at the PDP headquarters for 10 years, and therefore has the experience for the job.

Mr. George’s candidature has been well-received across the country, he said.

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.

Other candidates for the PDP national chairman are a former governorship candidate of the PDP for Lagos state in 2015, Jimi Agbaje; a former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel; a former minister of education and a professor of political science, Tunde Adeniran; a former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja; a media mogul, Raymond Dokpesi; and a former acting national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus.


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  • thusspokez

    “A poor person does not participate in politics,” he said.

    I wonder how many elected Nigerian politicians were rich before they went into politics?

    • princegab

      It depends on what he meant by poor.

      • Suleiman Alatise

        He made it very clear, if you don’t have money, stay in house.

        • princegab

          How much money makes a richman? Should voters stay home?

        • Otile

          You are wrong. Ogagun did not have money when he went deep into politics, but Atiku saw his value and sponsored him, today Ogagun is the richest politician in Africa. Imam Buhari admitted he had no money when he entered politics, many people listened to him donated their hard-earned cash, lent him huge sums of money and today he is shugaban politician in one Nigeria. Just to give 2 examples.

        • Akani

          99% of Nugerian are poor. 54 % of all Nugerians live on less the $2 a day . Voting is political participation, should 99% of us the chronic poor. Stay out of voting ? Formal sanctioning of Richtocracy!

      • Marcus Garvey ll

        Sadly, some of our people are just as bad as the nasty among Whites. The arrogance of the man in question is another indicator that the poor of Africa and elsewhere have merely exchanged sheep for goats.

        • Akani

          Black sheep or black goat or both ?

    • Akani

      All Nigerian politicians started out poor. Attiku, Obasanjo, Buhari, Babagida, Akpabio, Tinubu and co. This were very poor souls . In many cases their parents couldn’t even aford them an Altima , a ruler, chalk nor exercise book. These theives that lord over us started out poor.

  • DTaj

    Premium Times, this is so disappointing! Adeseye Ogunlewe is a FORMER MINISTER of Works, so why the fake headline “Minister”? What was your motive? This is so unprofessional, PT!

    • Akani

      Once you were a minister you are address as a minister . Former or present, the same tittle.

  • Du Covenant

    Only in Nigeria where such buffoons are allowded to speak. No wonder after 16yrs of PDP madness there was nothing to show for.Well, Nigerian voters are ultimately to decide if we truly have a democracy.

  • government

    What was his worth before he joined politics.The Lagos state internal revenue services needs to check his tax returns.

  • rules_emmanuelO.

    “Ignorance allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have” – James Baldwin.

    What a crass and simplistic point of view. It is unfortunate that it is people with such POVERTY of mindset that we have in the ruling class. And indeed, all the political thugs and corrupt civil servants who have clandestinely crept into the corridors of power in Nigeria were never poor!

  • Igho D Amazing

    This man is a bastard!!

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    • Akani

      Burger!

  • Ibukun Bandele

    This is the main reason, Nigeria will never progress, useless and wicked people

  • Lanre

    Adeseye Ogunlewe. You are a disgrace to Yorubas. No one whose intention is to serve, makes the kind of statement you made. You are one of the reasons we continue working for an independent Yorubaland so our people can know the value of hard work and good governance. You are uneducated. Would Winston Churchill say this to the British? Franklin Roosevelt to the Americans? Rich men serve people in different capacities including politics. But you do not have to be rich to be a politician. A rich man looks for ways to make more money through Business Ventures and not Politics or State Craft. We know that in your Nigeria, where you are a “Respected Elder Statesman”, stealing of Public Funds is State Craft. We know all of you that held public office have files at the EFCC. We also know nothing will happen since the seats of Government in Nigeria are active crime scenes. May our generation correct the ills of your generation. Amen.

  • Akani

    This ugly man also have an ugly heart. Politics to him is for less than 1% of Nigerians . The race of us are their political menu to be chop up, dice up Swallowed up and spit out.Hope Nigerian will remember this next time an insincere politician ask them for their votes.

  • FineBoy

    Very True Ogunlewe.

    So also, Rich Nigerians in Politics have no reason to steal and loot while in office

  • tunde

    That was the more reason why moronic voters will turn out en-masse for 2019 election.

  • tunde

    Ogunlewe don chop money tire ooooh!!!
    If i’m shit,na money,if i’m cough,na money i’m cough and if i’m look road,na money i’m dey see oooooh!!!

    God go help Nigeria from likeness of Ogunlewe.