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Advocates for more youth inclusion in governance at a National Day of Action of the Not Too Young To Run Movement

Yiaga Africa Expresses Concern at The Exorbitant Cost of Nomination Forms by Political Parties for the 2023 General Elections

Yiaga Africa notes with concern the high cost of nomination forms being charged by political parties in preparation for the 2023 general elections. We recognize that political parties are essential to democracy and the participation of young men and women as well as persons with disability is necessary for political inclusion. We believe that increased representation of young men and women and persons living with disabilities in political office will enhance the quality of democracy and governance. With the passage of the Age Reduction (Not Too Young To Run) Bill into law before the 2019 general elections, it was envisaged that young people would take advantage of the Not Too Young To Run Act and contest for office en-masse in the 2023 general elections, as this would give them ample time to prepare for the elections. However, going by the high cost of nomination forms that have been announced so far by some political parties ahead of the 2023 general elections, it is safe to say that this is a deliberate attempt to marginalize women, youth and persons living with disabilities (PWDs) from participating in the political process as candidates in the forthcoming general elections. 

We note that this is a huge disservice to teeming young Nigerians and women who nurse the ambition to run for elective office in next year’s general elections. It is imperative to state that this practice does not bode well for Nigeria’s fledgling democracy as it further marginalizes women, youth and persons living with disabilities and seeks to undermine the emergence of young men and women candidates in the 2023 elections. These groups make up the largest demographic in the country from participating in the political process, with young people constituting over 60% of Nigeria’s population and 54% of registered voters. The expensive nature of Nigeria’s politics has been established to be a structural barrier to women and youth political participation; thus, it is saddening to see that political parties, which remain the primary medium for contesting elections in the country, continue to perpetuate this injustice. 

We welcome the concessions made by some political parties to women, youth and PWDs and call for a further downward review of the cost of nomination forms to allow for an inclusive process without discrimination to any group or demography of the society. 

Signed

 

Samson Itodo

Executive Director,

Yiaga Africa

 

 

About

Yiaga Africa is a non-profit civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement. With its operational base in Abuja, Nigeria, Yiaga Africa focuses on in-depth research, providing critical analysis on key democratic and governance issues, crafting practical solutions, training and empowering citizens to lead change in their community. Yiaga Africa implements several innovative programs aimed at stimulating active citizenship, protecting human rights and deepening democratic governance. We invest in building networks and social movements to drive social change and transformation. Yiaga Africa has leadership structures and members in all 36 states and 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Nigeria.