The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, on Friday said it is high time Nigerian youth began to chase out aged political lords who have over stayed their welcome in the country’s polity.
The minister, who said this while addressing officials of the Permanent Mission, Nigeria House in New York, blamed those he called “urban gorillas” whom were in charge of the country’s political machinery for manipulating the system.
“The ‘Not too Young to Run’ is an advocacy that is sending strong signals to political lords that they had overstayed their welcome; either they give way or they will be forced out.’’
“At 53 years, they still call me a small boy,” he decried, saying he had contested elections several times and won but was deprived by the ‘urban gorillas’.
However, Mr Dalung said President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory against an incumbent in 2015 had proved that one could win election in Nigeria without having money.
The minister recalled the brewing political revolution against ‘god-fatherism’ in the Nigerian political space.
“There is hope for Nigeria. The victory of President Buhari, up till now, not many Nigerians have understood it; it was a political revolution.
“What it has brought is that you can contest and win election even when you do not have money.’’
“God-fatherism’ was instituted to control elected officials so that they would not go beyond control.
Mr Dalung said ‘god-fatherism’ is a political servitude where you are tested to determine your loyalty. The thing is that without a god father, they believe you can’t be controlled.
The minister was in New York for the Seventh Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum at the UN Headquarters where he delivered a paper on: ‘The role of youth in building sustainable and resilient communities’.
Earlier, Nigeria’s Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Samson Itegboje commended the Federal Government for the steady progress in the areas of economy, infrastructure, fight against insurgency and anti-corruption.
The Nigerian ambassador pledged that the missions’ would continue to bring their expertise to bear on the international stage so as to lift the flag of Nigeria high among the comity of nations.