Â Segun James
Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for Lagos State in the 2015 election, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has told youths who are desirous of going to politics not to expect to get to political positions on a platter of gold.
This sentiment was also shared by other political office holders who counselled the youths on building political and campaign structure in order to launch themselves into the political space.
At the event organised by the GLEEHD Foundation with the theme: â€˜Nigeriaâ€™s Emerging Political Leaders Forum â€“ 2019 Election and Youth Participation in Political Leadership in Nigeria: Prospect and Strategies for Young Leaders,â€™ Agbaje told the youths that contrary to their feelings, money is not the first priority into seeking elective position but having ideas, aims and goals and a strategy to achieve them.
According to him, they must make themselves relevant by participating actively in the activities of their political parties of choice.
This was supported by the Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos State, Mr. Fouad Oki, who was also the Director General of Governor Bola Tinubu, Raji Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode governorship campaign organisations.
Oki however counselled them to shed the toga of too-young-to-run even as he told them that nobody is going to hand power to them simply because they are young.
The APC vice chairman said any of them who has something to offer must be ready to throw themselves into the ring to be seen and be heard.
He added that in politics, all is not about elective positions as there are other areas where the youths can be useful.
â€œIf you are aspiring for any position, make yourselves available, recognise your abilities and your limitations in the scheme of things,â€ he said.
On the syndrome of godfatherism in the polity, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora said he saw nothing wrong in it, adding that it was a system that is practised all over the world.
He insisted that it is system of mentoring by an experienced politician to a budding younger politician.
Mamora told the young men that in seeking elective position, they must build political structures around themselves.
Such structures, he insisted, must either be inherited, adopted or built by the individual.
On money politics, Mamora said that politics was monetised during the days of the National Republic Congress (NRC) and Social Democratic Party (SDP).
â€œThat was when money bags came into being,â€ he cried.
The Nigeriaâ€™s Emerging Political Leaders Forum (NEPLF) is an initiative of GLEEHD Foundation for Leadership and International Development, an international organisation headquartered in the United Kingdom with an African regional secretariat in Nigeria established to promote the development of Africa and Africans.
The forum aims to bring together over 1000 Young and Emerging Political Leaders interested in running for public office in 2019 in Nigeria. The Lagos Forum will be followed by other forums in the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria, with sessions scheduled to hold in Abuja, Abia, Calabar and Other cities.