Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory against an incumbent in 2015 had proved that one could win election in Nigeria without having money.
Dalung, who said this, while addressing officials of the Permanent Mission, Nigeria House in New York, said there was a brewing political revolution against ‘god-fatherism’ in the Nigerian political space.
Dalung said: “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.
“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 Youth Forum at the UN Headquarters where he delivered a paper on: ‘The role of youth in building sustainable and resilient communities’.
He said: “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.’’
The minister blamed those he called “urban gorillas” whom he said were in charge of the country’s political machinery for manipulating the system.
“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’.
The minister also said that he brought the All Progressives Congress to Plateau but suffered as an orphan because he did not have a god-father.
According to him, his advocacy is to liberate the young people, reorient the mindset of many Nigerian youths that have been enslaved.
He also called on young people to understand the political system they were coming into so as to better strategise.
According to Dalung, Nigeria is making steady progress in infrastructure, economy and security and called for unity.
He said: “We can refine and build a Nigeria of our dream.
“We have the best form of selfless ministers in this era. As ministers, most of us do not have houses but we live in rented apartments in Abuja.
“Some of us lived in Boys Quarters before we got apartments because people were asking for N1.5 million as rent.
“I would have even preferred to stay in Gwagwa but we were told we could not for obvious reasons.’’
Dalung said Buhari had made a statement about the rampaging armed herdsmen but that the country would also need to engage its neighbours to stop giving access to the criminals to move freely into the country.
Earlier, Nigeria’s Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambasaor 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.