programs

STATEMENT BY THE NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN MOVEMENT ON THE STATE OF THE AGE REDUCTION BILL AT THE STATE HOUSES OF ASSEMBLY

We welcome you to this press conference organized by the leadership of the Not Too Young To Run movement on the state of the passage of the age reduction bill at the State Houses of Assembly. The Not Too Young To Run movement is a movement of youth and civil society groups advocating for the reduction of age for running for elective offices to mainstream young men and women in electoral politics. Not Too Young To Run is Nigeria’s largest and most successful youth movement in recent times. The movement is driven by the compelling need to restructure the country’s political system to address the deeply entrenched system of political exclusion and institute inclusive politics, transformative leadership and electoral competitiveness in the electoral process.

Since the #NotTooYoungToRun bill was transmitted to the 36 states House of Assemblies along with other constitutional amendment bills, at least 16 states have passed the bill. Recall that in December 2017, the National Assembly transmitted 15 constitutional amendment bills to the states for passage. The Ondo state House of Assembly became the first state  assembly to pass the Not Too Young to Run (age reduction) bill as part of the constitutional amendment, followed closely by the Adamawa, Kwara, Benue and Nasarawa State Houses of Assembly who also passed the Not Too Young To Run bill. Borno, Delta, Enugu, Ekiti, Katsina, Yobe and Gombe state assemblies also passed bill in December 2017.

In January 2018, the Kogi state House of Assembly passed the age reduction bill (Not Too Young To Run) while in February 2018, the Bauchi and Jigawa state Houses of Assembly passed the bill. Yesterday, February 6th, 2018, Ebonyi state also joined the Hall of Fame by passing the Not Too Young To Run bill.

These states listed above have been inaugurated into the Not Too Young To Run Hall of Fame for voting in line with aspirations of the Nigerian people. By this singular act, the 16 youth friendly states have made history and written their names in gold. The passage of Not Too Young To Run is a demonstration of their commitment to the tenets of representative democracy. We commend them for fulfilling their promise to their constituents and the Nigerian youth. Nigerian youth will always remember them for showing leadership in promoting youth inclusion in democratic politics in Nigeria. Posterity will be fair to them.

The movement would like to register its disappointment with the Taraba State House of Assembly for voting against the age reduction bill. On the 20th December 2017, 11 members of the House voted against the bill making it impossible for the house to pass the bill. It is unfortunate that majority of State Assembly members voted against the will of the people of Taraba despite assurances of its passage by the entire house. We appreciate the 6 members of the House of Assembly who voted for the bill. Thank you for standing in defense of the constitutional right of young people to participate in politics by contesting for elective office. Posterity also will be fair to you.

The movement commends the House of Representatives for passing an amendment to Section 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 As amended to the effect that political parties are compelled to ensure the position of youth leaders must be occupied by persons between the age of 18 and 35 years. This amendment is in tandem with the philosophy of Not Too Young To Run. We urge the National Assembly to expedite action on concluding all electoral and constitutional amendments as the 2019 elections is less 373 days.

According to Section 9 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) a constitutional amendment requires approval by at least 24 state Houses of Assembly. The Not Too Young To Run bill needs at least 8 more states to meet this constitutional threshold! The Movement uses this opportunity to call on the 19 states house of assemblies who are yet to pass the bill to emulate their colleagues by voting YES for the bill. An affirmative Vote for the bill will be another historic step to secure the future of Youths and indeed the next generation.

As we prepare for the 2019 general elections the imperative for youth inclusion especially as candidates for all elective positions is not a matter for debate but a constitutional imperative. The Movement demands that the state Houses of Assembly speedily pass the Not Too Young To Run bill.

The movement would like to place the following on record;

  1. The 2019 elections present an opportunity for young people to assert their power not only as voters or campaign merchants but as qualified electoral candidates. The movement is therefore committed to inspiring and supporting more youth candidates with content and character to run for office through its Ready To Run initiative and other interventions aimed at promoting youth candidacy in the next elections.

 

  1. Data from the Independent National Electoral Commission indicates that about 52% of registered voters are young people between the ages 18 – 35 years. The movement will continue to mobilize more young people across the country to participate in the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise, collect their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and turn out to vote in all elections.

 

  1. To the political class – If you want the youth vote pass the Not Too Young To Run bill; uphold internal party democracy to safeguard the emergence of more youth candidates in 2019 and most importantly commit to non-violent elections.

We call on the 20 state assemblies to urgently pass the constitutional amendment especially the Age Reduction bill in the interest of Nigeria and our democracy. We urge the National Assembly to transmit the constitutional amendment bills to the President for assent as soon as the amendments are received from the states. Any further delay will not only undermine Nigeria’s democracy but could negatively impact on the 2019 elections.

We thank all the young organizers across the country who have constantly engaged with their lawmakers to ensure the passage of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill, we thank the media, civil society, and our partners for the solidarity and support.

One Shared Value, One Shared Goal, #NOTTOOYOUNGTORUN

Our Shared Value, Our Shared Goal, #NOTTOOYOUNGTORUN

 

Signed

  1. Activista
  2. Abuja Global Shapers
  3. African Youth Initiative on Population, Health & Development (AfrYPoD)
  4. Connected Development [CODE]
  5. The Election Network
  6. League of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (LEPAN)
  7. Mind Capital
  8. The Nigerian Youth Parliament
  9. Orodata,
  10. Project Pink Blue
  11. Social Good Nigeria
  12. TechHer NG
  13. The YALI Network
  14. Youngstars Foundation
  15. Youth Hub Africa
  16. YIAGA Africa
  17. Amplified Radio
  18. Media Insight
  19. Say No Campaign
  20. Vision Alive Foundation, Abia
  21. Youth Initiative for Better Change, Adamawa
  22. Young Activists Initiative Nigeria, Akwa Ibom
  23. Integrity Youth Development Initiative, Anambra
  24. Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Bayelsa
  25. The Bridge Youth Development Foundation, Benue
  26. Exit Lanes, Borno
  27. After School Centre for Career Development, Cross River
  28. DIG Foundation, Ebonyi
  29. Connected Advocacy, Edo
  30. Inspiration Care Centre, Ekiti
  31. New Century Initiative, Enugu
  32. Dandalin Matasa Initiative for Rapid Development, Gombe
  33. Development Dynamics, Imo
  34. Centre for Environmental Research and Development, Jigawa
  35. One Project Afrika. Kaduna
  36. Centre for Advocacy in Gender and Social Inclusion, Kano
  37. Youth Entrepreneurship Support Hub, Katsina
  38. Youth Consensus Forum, Kebbi
  39. Youth Emancipation for the Society (ProjectYES), Kogi
  40. Brain Builders International, Kwara
  41. Grassroots Mobilization Initiative, Nasarawa
  42. Nigerian Young Professionals Forum, Niger
  43. Youth Future Savers Initiatives, Ogun
  44. Youth Aglow Initiative, Ondo
  45. Kimpact Development Initiative, Osun
  46. Young Care Initiative, Oyo
  47. Centre for Youth Participation Advocacy, Plateau
  48. Golden Star Development Initiative, Sokoto
  49. Rural Integrated Development Initiative, Taraba
  50. North East Youth Initiative Forum, Yobe
  51. Golden Stars Development Initiative, Zamfara
  52. Modaville Centre for Development, Lagos
  53. National Organization for Citizens Orientation (NOCO), Rivers State.
  54. Nigerian Youth Action (NYA), Rivers State, Nigeria

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *