OrderPaperToday- Legal expert, Falila Hamu, has suggested credible solutions to some of the current challenges faced by young Nigerians interested in politics and running for elective offices.
Her submissions followed an interview conducted by OrderPaper Nigeria with Ndi Kato, a young aspirant of the Kaduna State Assembly.
Ms. Kato highlighted the following as barriers for young people who aspire to join in the governance of the country: Finance, Turn-by-Turn system, Gender, Delegate system and Godfatherism.
Proffering solutions to the hinderances presented by the current turn-by-turn system, Ms. Hamu reiterated the need for young politicians to go the extra mile by understanding the structure of political parties they belong to and to make themselves readily available to their community or those they intend to represent.
She explained: “This issue of waiting in line, more often than not, typically happens in rural established political parties that have existed for years. As a young person who is seeking to run for office, it is important to understand the structure within those parties and beyond it being a patronage system, you must be able to be known within your ward system because leadership is about representation.
“Two, you should be also be able to earn the trust of those we seek to represent. You start by your ward representative or party members within your area and gradually move up to your state chapter and to a national scale.”
On the cost of running campaigns, the legal expert advises youths to be deliberate with their resources and not to be afraid to let people know they lack resources to back their political desire.
She recommends crowdsourcing because “it is an indication of one, people’s trust in you, [and] two, it gives you more accountability as a person seeking for office, knowing that this is not just funds for me or few people within my constituency, there are people all over the world that are invested in this. So I must deliver.”
Ms. Falila advocated for women to be involved in the political space which she believes will help address gender disparity.
She said: “Politics is a game of numbers and if you don’t have people like you when decisions are being made, in terms of more women being there, [that’s not good]. For the few people who are there, I encourage them to stay resilient and fight on more and encourage more people like them to come on board.”
She indicates that young women should break the barrier of being in the shadows of older women and be bold enough “to break certain written and unwritten rules.”
To stop the practice of delegate system, which is perceived to be skewed against youths, Ms. Hamu noted that radical participation by young persons in political spaces will push for necessary machineries to be put in place for credible direct elections to hold.
Finally, on godfatherism, she resolves that by creating institutional reforms in political parties, this can be curbed. However, she notes that this must not dissuade young people from seeking mentorship from older statesmen.