- Demands youth inclusiveness at all levels
The Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement has tasked all Nigerian political parties to domesticate the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law as a deliberate plan to promote youths’ participation in politics.
Convener of the Movement, Mr Samson Itodo, said the movement is demanding that political parties reserve tickets for young people with character, capacity and competence ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Speaking in Abuja at a rally tagged: “National Day of Action for the Declaration of Candidacy and Party Nomination”, Itodo said the event was organised to demand youth inclusion by political parties.
He said; “The group took time out to lead a procession to the national headquarters of the leading parties to urge them to operationalise the Not –Too- Young -To -Run law for the sake of young people.”
According to him “We are also demanding for 298 tickets out of the available 900 tickets for the Houses of Assembly election nationwide and 109 tickets out of the available 360 tickets for the House of Representatives elections nationwide.
“We are asking political parties to prescribe and enforce spending limits for party nomination fees, charges and cost for nomination of young candidates.”
The Civil Society activist said the call became imperative because there were challenges hampering youths’ participation despite that the age reduction bill has been signed into law.
Itodo maintained that the law cannot be a reality if political parties fail to give young people, with the capacity, competence and character, the opportunity to pick tickets, adding that the movement also wants parties to reduce the cost of nomination forms and running for primary election.
“This is our time. No ticket to young people, no youth votes. We want to see young people in the state Houses of Assembly, House of Reps, Senate, governors and even the presidency”, he said.
Claiming that the movement comprises over 50 youth groups nationwide, Itodo warned that the Movement would not hesitate to mobilize about 50 million youths to vote against any party that fails to meet their demands.
In his remarks, another convener of the Movement, Mr Hamzat Lawal, said they recognized that high cost of forms undermined youths’ participation, and therefore demand that political parties prescribe and enforce spending limits for party nomination fees and charges.
Lawal said the Movement is proposing that the cost of nomination forms should not exceed N2,000,000 for presidential aspirant; N1,000,000 for governorship aspirant; N600, 000 for senatorial aspirant; N400,000 for House of Representatives aspirant; and N200,000 for State House of Assembly aspirant.
He also said they are demanding that political parties adopt transparent, democratic and direct party primaries in electing candidates for the 2019 general elections.
Responding on behalf of the All Progressives Congress (APC), National Working Committee (NWC), the National Treasurer, Mr Adamu Fanda, said the party has already started acting on two of the group’s demands.
He said APC was the only party that did not only give persons with disability opportunity to contest but made nomination forms free for women.
Fanda said the time has come for parties to promote an inclusive system because the country belongs to everybody, especially with Nigerian youths having the highest demography in the country and could therefore not be ignored.
Assuring the Movement that its message on reduction in nomination forms would be conveyed to the party hierarchy given that the other demands have already been met by the Party, Fanda said; “I assure you that youths will be carried along in the party under the leadership of Adams Oshiomhole, who is an activist and a freedom fighter so your demands would be looked into” – NAN