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EXTRA: At 53, ‘urban gorillas’ still call me a small boy, says Dalung

EXTRA: At 53, ‘urban gorillas’ still call me a small boy, says Dalung
February 03
13:09 2018
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Solomon Dalung, minister of youth and sports, says though he is 53 years old, “urban gorillas” still see him as a small boy.

The minister described “urban gorillas” as those in charge of the country’s political machinery. He accused them of manipulating the system.

The minister spoke while addressing officials of the permanent mission, Nigeria House in New York.

He was in New York for the Seventh Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) youth forum at the UN headquarters, where he delivered a paper on: ‘The role of youth in building sustainable and resilient communities’.

“At 53 years, they still call me a small boy,” he decried, saying he had contested elections several times and won but was deprived by the ‘urban gorillas’,” he said.

The minister also said that he brought the All Progressives Congress (APC) to Plateau but suffered as an orphan because he did not have a god-father.

He said there is a brewing political revolution against “god-fatherism” in the Nigerian political space.

Dalung added that up till this moment, many Nigerians do not understand the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 election.

He said the victory against an incumbent president in 2015 proved that one could win election in Nigeria without having money.

“There is hope for Nigeria. The victory of President Buhari, up till now, not many Nigerians have understood it; it was a political revolution,” he said.

“What it has brought is that you can contest and win election even when you do not have money. God-fatherism’ was instituted to control elected officials so that they would not go beyond control.

“God-fatherism is a political servitude where you are tested to determine your loyalty. The thing is that without a god father, they believe you can’t be controlled.”

According to Dalung, Nigeria is making steady progress in the areas of infrastructure, economy and security.

“We can refine and build a Nigeria of our dream. We have the best form of selfless ministers in this era. As ministers, most of us do not have houses but we live in rented apartments in Abuja,” he said.

“Some of us lived in Boys Quarters before we got apartments because people were asking for N1.5 million as rent.

“I would have even preferred to stay in Gwagalada but we were told we could not for obvious reasons.”

Dalung said Buhari had made a statement about the rampaging armed herdsmen but that the country would also need to engage its neighbours to stop giving access to the criminals to move freely into the country.”

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