The 2019 General Elections are almost here but, so many candidates are relatively unknown and so, YNaija is offering a free platform for young candidates not more than 35 – notwithstanding the political office.
The YNaija series titled YNaija Politico is a platform where young candidates for various offices for 2019 can talk about their aspirations and how they hope to achieve whatever they have outlined to the people they hope to lead. It is, indeed, an opportunity to reach a wider audience.
Balogun Danjuma is one of such candidates who has taken the opportunity of the Not Too Young To Run Bill to take up a political office.
Read this interview with him below:
Why would you rather be a politician?
It is very rare to find people who have studied the art and science of politics as an academic discipline and decide to practice same by seeking opportunities for civic engagement and public office. I have studied political science as an undergraduate and in postgraduate level. It is practically cool to practice what I am good at. Politics for me is a field I am comfortable playing.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Balogun Danjuma and I am a graduate of Political Science from the University of Ado Ekiti. I also hold a Masters Degree in the same discipline from the University of Ibadan. I have a track record of active community service. I was at a time the head of the Egbeda Youth Forum, actively participating in government at the grassroots with initiatives that have direct impact on residents.
With a potent mix of education and active community engagement, I have the zeal for leadership and politics expressed on a bigger platform that is why I am contesting for Oyo State House of Assembly, Egbeda constituency under the African Action Congress (AAC).
What do you think of Nigerian politics and youth inclusion?
Our trust has been betrayed for far too long by the old and conventional politicians who only seek wealth and fortune for themselves and their immediate family alone. It is time for vibrant youth all over Nigeria to seize power from the power brokers and cabals.
How important is this decision to run for office to you and the people who you hope to represent?
Serving my people is something I am passionate about. Our mission statement is making Egbeda a better place. Togetherness, development, inclusiveness and dividend of democracy for my people is what I crave for. True representation is what my people need in this dire time.
How far have you gone with understanding and solving the problems of the people you aspire to lead? What yardstick(s) will these people use to go all out to vote for you?
My people want someone who feels their pain, someone who has lived almost all his life in the constituency. Someone who knows the area like the back of his hand. My people need someone who has tried to help them even when he is not in the position of power. These yardsticks can only be found in my candidacy. That is why my people will go all out to support me.
Do we see another politician who will bundle unrealistic and/or unhelpful projects into his budget?
Egbeda has not really been fortunate with people who represent them. We have had Honourables who, after they winning their election, run abroad or to Lagos or even Abuja. These people do us no good. They come only during election time to share grinders and transistor radios in the name of empowerment. Egbeda people are saying No to Ero ata and Ero ilogi politics… We are taking back what rightfully belongs to us.
What really is Legislative Representation to you?
Legislative representation is the major tool in the development of a society. How can a society develop without rules and regulation? Legislative representation entails how to make government work for the people. How to make laws that will take our people from their current state of impoverishment to a better standard of living.
Is there a politician who inspires you and do you see this person or people as godfather(s)?
The one politician that currently inspires me is Omoyele Sowore. Sowore came into the Nigerian political landscape like a tsunami… He has done well for himself at SaharaReporters and, he is right here to implement good structures and make Nigeria free from the shackles of corrupt cabals.
In your relatively short time in the Nigerian political space, are there things you have learnt that you will like to share?
I have learnt that even during the time of great misdeeds, people who love their communities will rise up and save it against all odds.
How confident are you about winning the election?
I am confident in the coming election. If INEC makes everything free and fair. It will be a smooth ride for us.
What if you lose the election?
That’s a good question. I am not a political jobber. I have strings of businesses that fetch me my means of livelihood. I will go back to my businesses and keep helping my people at the grassroot. Politics is not the only way to help your people. It is just the fastest way.
What final thing will you like to say about your decision to run?
The major reason why I made my decision to run is because the political parties in my state – Oyo – are fond of supporting candidates that are uninformed and most times people with the lowest qualifications. The incumbent is a 65-year-old man who is likely to fall asleep during plenary. He should be retired at 65. The other candidates are also people who can’t be trusted to give meaningful representation. They are party dogs who will only do “Yes Sir” to the Governor. They can easily be compromised and can’t effectively checkmate the excesses of the Governor.
If you are a candidate/aspirant (18-35) or know someone who is, please send a mail to [email protected]