- The Not Too Young To Run movement paid a courtesy visit to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
- The delegation made up of major youth groups in Nigeria, sought the support of the presidency for the passage of the age reduction bill
- The bill has been transmitted to the president by the National Assembly and it's awaiting assent
A large delegation of the The Not Too Young To Run movement paid a courtesy visit to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday, April 19.
The visit is in line with the movement's consistent advocacy to ensure that the age reduction bill sees the light of the day.
Speaking during the visit, leader of the delegation and co-convener of the movement, Samson Itodo, demanded for youth inclusion in Nigeria's political process.
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He noted that young Nigerians are open to conversations with the older generation as regards governance, adding that “young people have the intellect if we give them the chance.”
According to him, the clamour for generational shift is growing because “there is a need for young people to participate in the political process.”
He, however, stated that the movement is not asking the elders to leave the political arena for the young ones, but are asking for Nigeria's democracy to be inclusive. Itodo said: “We are demanding for the opening of the political system for young people to actively participate and there is need for the president to assent to this bill when it is transmitted to him.
“This administration needs to make a bold statement by passing this bill so that young people who are qualified to run can kick-start the process. We believe that if the bill is assented to, it will create that space for young people to contribute their own quota to national development.’’
On his part, the sponsor of the bill at the House of Representatives, who was part of the delegation, Honourable Tony Nwulu, said he sponsored the bill in order to close the gap in getting young people involved in mainstream politics.
His words: “I have always said this issue is beyond passing the bill. But the youths have overtime shown that they have the capacity to lead.’’
The lawmaker said that the impact of young people was already being seen across the globe and that it would not be different in Nigeria. “When given the opportunity, you never really can under-estimate what very creative young mind can do. We will not deny the fact that most responsibilities that have been given to young people, they have always performed excellently,’’ he added.
Responding, Osinbajo maintained that the age people run for elective offices is not as important as their competence. He, however, emphasised that it was important for the youth to acquire the required skills that would prepare them for political leadership.
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Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it was still in possession of 7,920,129 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) yet to be collected from its offices across the nation.
The commission disclosed this in a tabular data on consolidated PVCs as at Thursday, March 22, released on Tuesday, April 17, in Abuja. The data showed that 8,271,401 PVCs were yet to be collected as at 2016.
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