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STATEMENT BY NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN MOVEMENT ON PUBLIC DIALOGUE SERIES WITH POLITICAL PARTIES ON YOUTH CANDIDACY AND PARTY PRIMARIES

Ladies and gentlemen of the press,

On August 8, 2018, the Not Too Young To Run Movement hosted a National Day of Action on Youth Candidacy and Democratic Party Primaries across the 36 states of the country and the FCT. The National Day of Action organized a march to the National and state offices of political parties as they prepare to hold primary elections to select candidates for the 2019 general elections.

The movement engaged all the registered political parties to make the following demands;

  1. That Political parties reserve party tickets for young men and women with character, capacity and competence.
  2. That political parties prescribe and enforce spending limits for party nomination fees and charges. The cost for nomination of candidates should not exceed;
  • House of Assembly Aspirant – N200,000
  • House of Representatives Aspirant – N400,000
  • Senatorial Aspirant – N600,000
  • Governorship Aspirant – N1,000,000
  • Presidential Aspirant – N2,000,000
  1. That Political parties should adopt open, transparent and direct party primaries in the candidate selection process for the 2019 elections

Despite the commitments from the leadership of the various political parties at the National and state level, the Movement notes with concern the announcement on the cost of nomination forms by various parties which presents a major impediment to youth participation in politics. More worrisome is the tactics deployed by some state governors to thwart the political aspirations of young aspirants. In some states, nomination forms are sold to aspirants after approval has been given by the governor of the state. In other words, party executives cannot sell nomination forms to young aspirants until the approval of the Governor is sought and secured. This is undemocratic and dictatorial in every respect.

The Movement also commends parties that have taken intentional steps to accede to the demands of the Movement and have ensured that the cost of nomination forms is not a hindrance to youth candidacy within their political parties. Notable amongst them is the United Progressive Party (UPP) and Young Progressive Party (YPP).

We urge the national leadership of political parties to caution state leaders of the parties against subverting party guidelines in the candidate selection process. State governors should desist from undermining the integrity of the candidate selection process through imposition of candidates and intimidation of young aspirants. Parties should ensure guidelines for party primaries are widely publicized to promote participation and accountability.

As part of efforts to further operationalize the Not Too Young To Run act in the 2019 elections, the Not Too Young To Run movement will host a Public Dialogue Series with Political parties on Youth Candidacy and Party Primaries. The goal of the public engagement series is to provide a platform for young aspirants registered under the Ready To Run platform to engage with party leaders on emerging threats to youth candidacy in the build-up to the commencement of party primaries. The dialogue is an opportunity for party leaders to harvest youth inputs as well as address some concerns relating to the candidate selection process in parties. Parties will utilize the platform to share policies/intentional steps they are taking to ensure democratic primaries as well as the emergence young women, men and PWDs get party tickets.

The Public Dialogue Series will also provide an opportunity for the leadership of the parties to engage with young aspirants on youth candidacy and democratic party primaries in the 2019 elections. The Dialogue will also create a platform for party leaders to harvest youth inputs as well as address some concerns relating to the candidate selection process in parties and create a safe space for parties to share policy actions aimed at safeguarding the emergence young women and men and PWDs in the political party as well as facilitate intergenerational dialogue on leadership, politics and representation.

The movement appreciates the leadership of the various political parties that have reserved party tickets for young men and women with character, capacity and competence; prescribed and enforced spending limits for party nomination fees and charges; as well as parties that have adopted open, transparent and direct party primaries in the candidate selection process for the 2019 elections.

We thank all the young organizers across the country who have remained resolute and have constantly engaged with their stakeholders to ensure the success of the Not Too Young To Run Movement, 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

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