20-year-old Nigerian, Obi Ekoba, vies for councillorship seat in Dublin

20-year-old Nigerian, Obi Ekoba, vies for councillorship seat in Dublin

- Obi Ekoba is currently vying for councillorship seat in the Dublin city council election in Ireland

- The 20-year-old Nigerian is currently the youngest person ever to contest for the position

- He also promised to upon assumption of office; when elected, help by bringing more youths on board

20-year-old Nigerian, Obi Ekoba, is currently vying for councillorship seat in the Dublin city council election in Ireland.

He is currently the youngest person ever to contest for the position, thus recreating a positive image for Nigeria on the global stage.

Ekoba is an Igbo boy from Orisheze, Ngo-Okpara local government Area in Imo state. His mother Amaka Umeobi Ekoba moved with him to Ireland when he was two years and he has lived in Drimnagh for most of his life.

The award winning third year student of Trinity College, Drimnagh; a suburb of Dublin, Ireland is vying to be councilor of Ballyfermort/Drimnagh ward under the platform of the ‘Fine Gael’ party in Ireland.

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Known for his exceptional brilliance having graduated with the best overall Leaving Certificate results at ‘Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School, Drimnagh in 2015’, young Ekoba is leaving no stone unturned at balancing his academics with his active participation in politics.

He is also a member of the new Irish community in South Dublin, and recently added another feat after he was elected chairperson of the Young Fine Gael in Trinity College, where he previously served as a treasurer.

“I’ve always had interest in politics from a young age. There is much that needs to be changed on how the Dublin City Council is run.

“In my opinion there is a lot being run inefficiently and I believe I can help to change how it’s run for the better. So when I was asked to run, I thought of the saying, ‘if not me then who; if not now then when’, and I decided to run. I believe I stand a good chance of winning,” he told ThisDay.

Asked of the acceptability level given that he is a Nigerian and the stereotypical assumptions it often portends he said, “I don’t really think there’s a strong stereotypical view of Nigerians here in Ireland. Ireland is a very welcoming and open society, and I have always felt accepted and felt at home here.

“I have never felt openly discriminated against, so I would say growing up in Ireland has been very good one for me. As I earlier said, I believe I stand a good chance of winning because the country is very open, and I don’t think racism would play any deciding factor in the election, because there is no racism here.”

When asked about the election and if he has intentions to come into Nigerian politics someday, he said, “who knows the future; right now I am fully focused on this coming election, and what happens after then only time will tell.”

He also promised to upon assumption of office; when elected, help by bringing more youths on board as workers to effectively tackle the growing menace of youth-gangs terrorising the area.

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Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, on Tuesday, May 7 said the United Kingdom has spent about £795,000 (over three hundred million naira) to promote youth inclusion in politics in Nigeria.

She said this at a conference titled “The Convergence 2.0” organised by the Not Too Young To Run movement in Abuja.

About 300 young newly elected lawmakers of various political parties from across the nation are attending the conference aimed at equipping them for the task ahead.

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