11 December 2018

Nigeria: #TheConvergence - Kenyan Politician Advises Young Nigerian Candidates Against Ethnic Politics

Boniface Mwandi, a candidate in the 2016 Kenyan parliamentary elections, on Monday, called young Nigerian candidates foolish because they play tribal and religious politics.

He said this while speaking at a conference, The Convergence, an initiative of Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA Africa) and the Not Too Young To Run movement, one of Nigeria's largest and most successful youth movement in recent times.

About 400 young candidates of various political parties converged at the conference which is aimed at empowering them ahead of the 2019 general elections. The event began on Monday in Abuja and PREMIUM TIMES was present to bring live reports.

Mr Mwandi, who is also a renowned Kenyan activist and founder of 234 PAWA, another crowd funding platform, lamented that tribalism and religion has crippled the nation's political system - a menace which he said was passed to young candidates by the older politicians.

In his speech, the Kenyan activist explained that for the younger generation of politicians to succeed, they must be willing to disrespect the corrupt leaders.

"Young candidates are foolish because they play tribal and religious politics. The mistake young people make is trying to play the system that the godfathers set up. To change this, you need to break that system. Nigeria has been sold out.

"This race is not about this particular election, it is about reclaiming your country. You cannot do that without disrespect. You must disrespect the corrupt leaders," he said.

He urged the young candidates to be untied in love with a common goal of solving the problems of the country.

"Have love. Because when you have self-love, you will be able to fight for what is right."

He said as much as money is important, there is need for candidates to build a network of reliable people and to make people believe on why they should give them money.

Mr Mwandi advises candidates to tell Christians and Muslims who give money to churches and mosques, to fund them. "Tell them your dreams; you are not the future but the present."

While urging candidates to be the voters' educator in the midst of their campaign, he asked them not to see defeat as the end of the world.

"Voters are ignorant, they will be bribed; become their educator. Let them know that their vote is their right to choose and know this, even if you don't win, it is not the end of the world."

Nigeria

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