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ITODO: Not-Too-Young-To- Run Act, a victory for Democracy.

(Last Updated On: June 1, 2018)

By James, Michael Igiri
As reactions continue to trail the signing into law of the Not-Too-Young-to-Run Bill by President
Mohammadu Buhari, Convener of the pressure group that championed the cause, Samson Itodo, has
congratulated Nigerians for the milestone reached, saying it is a victory for democracy.
Mr. Itodo stated this during an interview on Political Platform, a programme hosted on a private
Nigerian radio network service early on Friday.
The leader of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement said the signing into law of the bill, has
effectively removed a barrier, and now paves way for the involvement of a more youthful population
in running for the highest political offices in Nigeria ( including the office of the President of the
Federal Republic).
“The passage of the bill has a lot of implications for citizens engagement, legislative accountability,
as well as democratic governance in every sense of the word. This is going to inspire a lot of young
people to seek political offices and contribute their own quota to national development. It will also
increase voter turnout, particularly youth turnout in elections,” he said.
He explained that the vicious trend of recycling leaders has impacted negatively on voter behaviour,
and that a lot of young people had been left with no options but, to not vote at previous elections.
This, he explained, was because their choices were already compromised by virtue of the character
and calibre of the candidates that political parties had hitherto presented.
On the issue of the President’s advice that young people should consider running for the highest
offices in the land after 2019, Itodo, said just as the presidency is a creation of the constitution and
the President by extension has a right to seek for a second term in office without inhibition, the
same can be said of the rights of young people to now seek for such a position in 2019, and that it
was now left for them to decide whether or not to exploit the opportunity in the coming general
elections.
He further stressed that although, the Not-Too-Young-to-Run movement is non-partisan, the body
has challenged its members and have continued to educate them by mobilising members into
joining political parties, registering to collect their voter’s cards, and embarking on a continuous
voter education with the view of galvanising Nigerians towards evolving a new political
consciousness that will eventually deepen the roots of the nation's democracy.
“Although independent candidacy is not allowed as of yet, you are going to be seeing an influx of
more young people joining new parties. You have got parties currently (two of them among the
current sixty-eight registered by INEC). What is required now is a continuous mobilisation and
conscientization of young people to get us where we hope to be,” he explained.
He thanked the Media in Nigeria, for their overall involvement in spotlighting and championing the
cause of the advocacy by pushing for the issues and shaping the agenda in the public domain during
the entire process which eventually led to the passage of the bill.