Youths seek speedy domestication of ‘Not Too Young To Run Bill’
• Decry political domination by elderly leaders
Weary of the continued domination of the country’s leadership by the elderly, Youth under the aegis ‘Youth Next Nigeria’ yesterday protested to the Lagos State House of Assembly seeking a speedy domestication of the ‘Not too young to run bill’ recently passed by the National Assembly.
The protesters, who chanted various solidarity songs, carried placards with various inscriptions such as: Our mumu don do; Youths are able and strong, we deserve to rule; Youths Next, the Future is now; and Screw your Goliath, we are ready to take over.
Others are: The time has come for our voices to be heard; Youths, let us unite and discard tribalism and Youths, don’t let yourselves be used.They lamented that the dividends of democracy have eluded them for the past 18 years, adding that 90 per cent of them were either unemployed or underemployed.
President of the group, Opeyemi Orilowo, who spoke at this year’s International Youth Day, said: “We here to mark the 2017 international youth day, with the theme: ‘Youth Building Peace’ but the situation of the country does not permit peace building.
“The not too young to run bill recently passed by the Senate should be speedily signed into law. Our next walk will be to all the states Houses of Assembly to ask for the immediate domestication of the bill to allow younger people to run for elections.”
Coordinator of the group, Moremi Ojudu, said the youths would no longer be used as thugs during electioneering campaigns, adding: “We say no to youths abuse. We want recognition because we can sit down on the same table and rule.”
The group, however, appealed to the lawmakers to ensure that the Lagos State Independence Electoral Commission (LASIEC) was truly independent, saying the just concluded council polls in the state had many shortcomings.
The protesters urged the House to prevail on their political parties to ensure rebate in nomination forms to enable the youths to curb the challenge of finance dissuading many youths from participating in politics.They also urged the lawmakers to empower the youths and bring them up to take over position of leadership.
Addressing the protesters, Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade said: “You have done what is decent in a democratic setting by coming out to say your minds. Your aspirations have the support of the people. ”
“The Lagos Assembly also participated in the preliminary conferences leading to present happenings in the National Assembly. The two issued you raised have scaled through the National Assembly and states Assembly know about them and they will be addressed.”