“It will be political suicide for the President not to assent to the #NotTooYoungToRun bill because millions of youths are in support of this bill.”
The #NotTooYoungToRun bill which has been passed by the National Assembly and thirty-four state houses of Assembly seeks to reduce the age limit for those seeking elective positions.
Youths in their numbers stormed Unity Fountain Abuja on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, for the the national day of action of presidential assent for the #NotTooYoungToRun bill
Addressing journalists, the executive director of Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth, and Advancement (YIAGA), Samson Itodo told journalists that the piece of legislation currently enjoys the support of over sixty percent of Nigerians.
Itodo urged President Buhari to sign the #NotTooYoungToRun bill “if he wants youths’ votes in 2019.”
“It will be political suicide for the President not to assent to the #NotTooYoungToRun bill because millions of youths are in support of this bill,” Itodo declared.
“We have constantly held that if he wants the youths’ vote in 2019, then make sure you pass the #NotTooYoungToRun bill. So, if the President wants the youths’ vote in 2019, he has to assent to this bill,” he announced.
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Beyond assenting to the bill, the youths are also seeking a level playing field for young people seeking political office.
“This message goes to the APC administration and other political parties because beyond assenting to the bill, we expect political parties to uphold the principles of the bill of transparency and the tenets of internal democracy. This is because a lot of young people are going to join political parties and we expect that they will practice internal party democracy by creating a level playing field for these youths.
“This is not about the youth population alone but about the fact that there are young people who have capacity, competence and integrity and our constitution should be amended to create that space because the quality of democracy is undermined if you take out inclusion,” he added.
Other speakers at the fountain harped on the importance of signing the bill.
Despite President Buhari’s rejection of the Peace Corps bill and other proposed legislations, the group expressed optimism that the bill will become law.
The youths then proceeded on a march to the Aso Rock Villa to pass their message to the President.
They were received by the two of President Buhari’s aides; Lauretta Onochie and his special assistant on youth as other cabinet members were attending the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
The youths objected and sought to wait for a cabinet member to addressing them.
Minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, addressed the youths after three hours of waiting at the entrance to the Villa.
Sirika assured then that the president will assent to the bill adding that "he is a democrat and will always listen to young people."
President Buhari has a thirty-day window to sign the bill into law.