A civil society organisation, Project One Nigerian, wants Nigerian youths to participate in politics.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday, convener of the group, Bisayo Busari-Akinnadeju, said those who led Nigerians after independence were youths.
“Shehu Sagari became a federal legislator at the age of 30 and a minister at 35. M.T Mbu became a minister at the age of 25 and Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom at the age of 26. Richard Akinjide became the minister of education at 32, Maitama Sule became Oil Minister at 29, Audu Ogbeh was a minister at the age of 35,” she said.
“Today’s reality is a polity where Nigerian youths are used as election consultants, social media battalions and political thugs but seen as unfit for younger generations to take up political positions.
“While the youths control the majority of votes cast during elections, they end up controlling nothing after politicians win elections”, she added.
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On the issue of campaign funding, Busari-Akinnadeju noted that the group had introduced an initiative to help young Nigerians in this regard.
“An important requirement for those aspiring for political office is campaign funding,” she said.
“No matter how good a candidate’s intentions might be, lack of adequate financial support can be an obstacle to a successful campaign and Project One is keen on empowering youths across the nation in its Fund the ‘Preneur programme which will kick off in Ondo state in 2019 and five other states of the country in its first edition,” she added.
She urged the National Assembly to transmit the Not Too Young to Run Bill to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent to enable Nigerian youths vie for elective positions in the 2019 general elections.
The group which expressed concerns over the growing cases of hate speeches across the country further disclosed plans to honour the composer of Nigeria’s national anthem, Benedict E. Odiase at its forthcoming conference.