David Ombugadu, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State, has told young political candidates in the upcoming 2019 election that they do not need money to win elections.
"You don't need money to win elections. You need people, resolve and connections to win elections," he said.
He said he dug 230 boreholes in three local governments of the state among other projects without budgetary allocations.
Mr Ombugadu, a member of the House of Representatives representing Akwanga local government, made the comments while speaking at a three-day gathering of about 400 young candidates of various political parties, which commenced on Monday in Abuja.
Different speakers, including young lawmakers from other African countries and leaders with inspiring stories, were at the event and took turns to enlighten the 400 young candidates on the best strategies on winning elections and leadership.
The event tagged 'The Convergence: Power, Capacity, Politics' is an initiative of the 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.
While using his "achievements" to explain to the candidates how he has stayed relevant in politics over the years, the lawmaker said he was able to execute vital projects in the state through networking and 'meeting with the right people'.
"... In my first two years as a lawmaker, I dug 230 boreholes in three Local Governments and that is my track record. What people want to see is life-impacting projects," Mr Ombugadu explained.
"I brought the biggest transformer in Nasarawa State through serious commitment and networking.
"The transformer I brought is worth about N800m and no budget allocation for my constituency at the national assembly can give you that kind of money but the good thing about what we do is networking."
He explained how he executed the projects in the state even without budgetary allocations.
"I have been opportune to represent Nigeria in three countries and that is what you benefit when you are in the national assembly.
"Your interaction with fellow parliamentary members in other countries might translate to dividends of democracy to your people and the reason why I have been able to sustain this level of influence is because of these life-impacting projects I executed in Nasarawa state.
"I have an NGO. We have covered 11 local government out 14 in Nasarawa.
"We have covered every ward in those LGAs. We have built more than 60 boreholes in churches and mosques. We do not go to the LGAs without having a project to commission. That is our basic approach. We are winning this election and we will dedicate it to the Not Too Young To Run Movement."
PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately verify the claims of the governorship candidate but an investigation last year at Ubbe/Ogba in Akwanga LGA (Mr Ombugado's constituency) and Ambana village in Lafia, Nasarawa State provided what appears a clearer picture of the rot in the primary healthcare system.
Mr Ombugadu who is popularly known as 'davematics', polled 745 to beat his closest rival, Solomon Ewuga, a former senator who polled 551 votes, in the PDP contest for its governorship flag bearer.
He is the current chairman of the House of Representatives committee on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.