By Angela Atabo
Abuja – Mr David Ombugadu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for Nassarawa State, has cautioned youths against putting money above other considerations.
Ombugadu, who is also a member of the House of Representatives, gave the advice while sharing his experience with young candidates at the ‘Not-Too-Young-To-Run’ conference tagged:‘The Convergence, Power, Capacity and Politics” on Monday in Abuja.
“You don’t need money to win elections. You need people, resolve and connections to win elections; you must have commitment to the local needs of the people.
“In my first tenure, I did what nobody had done before. I dug 230 boreholes in three Local Government Areas; Leadership is about impacting the lives of the people.
“You have to earn the trust of your people;even if they want you to do things that are beyond your strength you have to be bold enough to say the truth,’’ he said.
Ombugadu said that as a lawmaker, the paramount duty was to make better laws and not dwell so much on building roads, adding that:“ You have to tell what is possible and what impossible.”
He said that politics was not just about the manifesto because people were tired of grammar, and that what they wanted to see was serious commitment.
Mrs Nnenna Ukeje, Representative for Bende Federal Constituency, Abia, on her part, described politics in Nigeria as a ‘dangerous exercise’.
Ukeje said that the Nigerian political terrain was a dangerous place. She called on the youth to leverage on the strength in their numbers to win elections.
“First is to understand the position you are running for and take time to study the electoral law and ensure not to make promise you cannot keep.’’
Another member of the House of Representatives, Mr Tony Nwulu, said that one of the issues dominating national discourse recently was the need for a generational power shift to youth.
Nwulu, who sponsored the ‘Not Too Young Run Bill’, said that come 2019 and beyond, Nigerian youths could help each other to achieve some feat with the strength that God gave them and bring the desired change.
Mr Samson Itodo, ‘Not Too Young To Run’ movement, said that the conference was a unique platform for young candidates to build their competence, network, share experiences and advocate for greater representation.
Itodo said that the conference was the largest gathering of 400 youth candidates who were running for elective offices in the 2019 general election.
“These young people have defied all odds to obtain candidature of their parties; we felt it was important to bring them together.
“The Convergence promises to inspire and empower them with the kind of skill sets they need to navigate this hostile political environment in the country” he said.
Ms Francesca Mensah, Member of Parliament for Kwabre East Constituency in Ashanti Region of Ghana, stressed the need for proper branding for young candidates running for elective positions.
Mensah explained that young people needed to do proper research and know the electoral law before going into the polls because of the difficulty they faced in politics.
She recalled that she was 22 years when she ran for office in 2016.
She said that she was not only the youngest amongst the 275 lawmakers in the 7th parliament of Ghana but also became the lawmaker who had the highest number of votes in both parliamentary and presidential elections in the country. (NAN)