- The Convergence 4.0, the largest gathering of young political candidates for the 2023 general election, kicked off on Tuesday, November 29
- The city of Kano played host to over 150 young candidates across the 19 northern states of the federation
- During the opening ceremony, Yiaga Africa's executive director, Samson Itodo, said the convergence has, over the years, crafted young politicians breaking the odds
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No fewer than 150 young candidates vying for political office in northern Nigeria converged in Kano state for the Yiaga Africa and NotTooYoungToRun convergence 4.0.
The executive director of Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, made this known on Tuesday, November 29 at the opening ceremony of the event at the Bristol Palace Hotel in Kano state.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Itodo reminisced on the previous convergence stating that it has been an eye-opener for emerging young politicians aspiring to beat the odds and change the order of the political tenets of Nigeria.
Itodo described beneficiaries of the past convergence as “new brands of politicians” seeking to challenge and break from the ill norms of Nigerian politics.
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“There is a new brand of public leaders and politicians who are emerging to change the face and texture of politics by breaking protocols, defeating godfathers, and winning elections without buying votes.”
2023: “Your active participation as young people is critical" - UK govt tells young candidates
Also speaking at the event, Dr Christopher Pycroft, the development director of the British High Commission, said there is a need for Nigeria to embrace inclusive politics as it will play a massive role in nation-building and peaceful co-existence in the society.
“Inclusive political participation is crucial to building stable and peaceful societies, and to building an effective social contract that establishes the relationship between the state and its citizen.”
Pycroft charged young candidates to be sound in mind and mentality, stating that what becomes of Nigeria’s politics in years to come rests on their shoulders.
“Your active participation as young people is critical to the quality and outcomes of Nigeria’s democratic engagement and progress.”
The Convergence 4.0 is a capacity-building event aimed at training young candidates on the tenets of leadership and governance.
The event features keynote speeches, masterclasses, plenary sessions, political fairs, and clinics. It will also feature experts drawn from academia, civil society, professional bodies, relevant tiers of government, political parties, and the diplomatic corps.
2023 election: Yiaga Africa reactivates national election observation structure
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, preparations have intensified across various spheres of electoral stakeholders.
2023 polls: Yiaga Africa, NoTTooYoungToRun movement to kick-off convergence 4.0 for young candidates
Yiaga Africa, the continent's apex electoral observer group, announced its preparedness for the 2023 general elections.
The group says it will deploy its observers across the 774 local governments for the election.