- Kayode Akiolu, son of the Oba of Lagos and rep-elect for Lagos, says he took advantage of the “Not Too Young to Run” act to win the February 23 election
- Akiolu said as one of the first few young Nigerians to benefit from the act, he will make sure it doesn’t go out of order
- The incoming lawmaker also said he would work to provide ideas on improving education, training and jobs to close the opportunity gap in his constituency
- Akiolu also stressed that he would be accessible and accountable to his constituents; not forgetting the elderly, the less privileged and the physically challenged
House of Representative member-elect, Kayode Akiolu (APC-Lagos), said that he took advantage of the “Not Too Young to Run” act to win the February 23 election.
Akiolu, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, March 17 in Abuja, said that the act paved the way for young people to seek political office in the country.
Legit.ng gathers that he said: “In Nigeria today, more than half of our population are younger than 30. So, if we’re old enough to vote, we’re old enough to run for office too.
“That’s the idea behind the #NotTooYoungToRun; the campaign initially launched in support of Nigeria’s Age Reduction Bill.
“Signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 31, 2018, it has given young Nigerians like me the opportunity to serve my constituency and my nation.”
According to him, between 1999 and 2015, the average age of the country’s representatives rose from 43 to 50.5 years.
“All the while, Nigeria’s population trended younger and younger, until reaching its current median age of 18.
“As one of the first few young Nigerians who have benefited from the movement, I will make sure that the act will not be out of order.
“Let’s not forget that the absence of youth in decision-making processes in government has created disillusionment among Nigerian youths with regards to Nigeria’s political parties and the ruling class.
“Presently, Nigeria has a high unemployment rate, most of them youths, but there are lesser policies than those required to halt this problem. If the youths of a country are jobless, then there is bound to be an increase in vices,” he stated.
Akiolu said that since politics was a way addressing social issues in Africa, priority would be given to such issues when he assumed office.
He added that the interest of the people that elected him would be uppermost in his agenda.
“I scored 12,988 votes to defeat the candidate of the PDP, Adamoh Olagbenga, who scored 4,345 votes. The people of my constituency longed for change to get me here and I won’t disappoint them.
“Being a young person and having confidence in me, their interest will be uppermost,” he explained.
He stated that his constituents had conferred on him, the right to legislate on their behalf and represent their interest at the House of Representatives.
Akiolu stated that such trust would motivate him to attract developmental projects to his constituency as well as to partner with the state government in moving the state towards good governance and progress.
According to him, economic opportunity is the leading domestic issue of the time and the key to reinvigorating the economy is quality education.
Akiolu said he would work to provide ideas on improving education, training and jobs to close the opportunity gap in his constituency.
“I have vowed to increase the standard of education of my people and to ensure that more federal government presence is attracted to my constituency in terms of projects and social welfare interventions.
“As a legal practitioner of over a decade, I joined politics to use my experience and the instrumentality of the law to bring about positive legislation that will impact the lives of the people of Lagos Island federal constituency 2, Lagos state and the nation as a whole," he said.
He, however, added that he would be accessible and accountable to his constituents; not forgetting the elderly, the less privileged and the physically challenged.
The Not Too Young to Run bill was an initiative pushed by about 54 youth’s organisations in the country, calling for more youth inclusion in the nation’s politics and policy-making.
The initiators requests included reducing the age required to contest for the posts of the president, governors, senators and members of the House of Representatives.
The act now provides for Nigerians to contest for president at the age of 35 and governor or senator at the age of 30.
It is a change from the initial 40 and 35 years limit, which was mandated by the constitution.
The bill also stipulates “that 25-year-old people can now legislate in the national and State Assemblies across the country.”
Akiolu, who is 38-years-old, is the son of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu.
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Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that members of the Not Too Young To Run movement led a procession to the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The movement demanded that political parties reserve tickets for young people with character, capacity and competence, in the 2019 general elections.
They also demanded for 298 tickets out of the 900 tickets for the Houses of Assembly election nationwide and 109 tickets out of the 360 tickets for the House of Representatives elections nationwide.
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How Nigerian youths protest made the National Assembly pass the 'Not Too Young To Run' bill - on Legit.ng TV: