Owolabi Salis, governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in Lagos State, on Tuesday said that his campaign was self funded.
He also said that “no godfather was behind his quest for the governorship seat of Lagos”, adding that he funded his campaign from his retirement savings from the United States.
Salis, a chartered accountant and lawyer, had in 2003 and 2007 aspired for governorship seat of Lagos on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), before defecting to the AD where he was given the ticket as the party’s 2019 governorship flag bearer.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the AD was the first party to rule Lagos State after the return to democracy in 1999.
Speaking with newsmen in Lagos, Salis said his quest into politics was borne out of the need to rescue the poor in the state.
“It is disheartening that politics in Nigeria has come to be associated with money. In other climes, money do not play a major role in determining who wins.
“Recently, I saw a governorship candidate returning from a campaign with about 300 vehicles in his convoy. It brought to mind why people have to mortgage their conscience to seek for funds from the wrong places to run for public offices.
“In Europe and America, you will see candidates with not more than two cars, some even use taxis to go for campaigns.
“The decision is made based on what they have to offer to the people not how much they have to share or votes they have to buy,” he said.
The AD candidate said it was time Nigerians looked at ideologies and what candidates had to offer, taking into consideration their pedigree before casting their votes.
According to him, there is need to correct some of the anomalies in the nation’s political culture so that our democracy will take its pride of place amongst other democracies of the world.
“I have over 30 years of practice experience of Law, Accounting, Finance and General Consulting with standard international exposure and project management content.
“I understand the dire consequences of funding a campaign from outside and the consequent implication of the piper payers who must dictate the tunes.
“My plea to the people of Lagos is to resist intimidation and not sell their votes but to vote based on their conscience, protect their votes and have in mind that their votes are what will make or mar their desires for better governance for the poor in the state.
“We can no longer afford an elitist kind of governance in Lagos. Attention must be given to the poor in all aspects of their needs. This is why part of my agenda is policies that will give reprieve to the poor in both health and economy,” he said.
He said his administration, if elected, would also invest in the culture of the people of Lagos which he said would put the state on a higher scale for tourism earnings and investments from the globe.
“The AD in 1999 kick started the on-going projects in Lagos State. We did it before and we can do it again because governance is a continuum. People can change parties but policies and plans remains,” he said.
NAN reports that Salis’ One Nigeria Project, which is activated in cultural rally and music concert on October 1 of every year, has gone a long way in uniting different ethnic groups in Lagos.