Wednesday, 14 February 2018

If you want our votes, pass our Bill, Not-too-young-to-run movement urges CRSHA

State Leaders of #nottooyoungtorun CRS
|14 February 2018 | Ukorebi Esien 

The cross river state chapter of the Not-too-young-to-run movement, a movement of youths and civil society groups advocating for the reduction of age for running for elective offices, Tuesday, called on the 8th Cross River State House of Assembly (CRSHA) to particularly pass the Age Reduction Bill popularly labeled the #NotTooYoungToRunBill if youths must vote in the forthcoming 2019 elections. Thedailynewsng can confidently report. 
This was contained in a press release, made available to pressmen in Calabar where the group urged the 8th CRSHA to speedily pass the recently amended constitution by the National Assembly particularly the #NotTooYoungToRunBill into law. They alleged that a delay of the passage will undermine Nigeria's democracy. They also urged the National Assembly (NASS) to forward the constitutional amendment bills for presidential assent immediately the state finally register their inclination. 

The movement argued that the 2019 elections present an opportunity for young people to assert their power not only as voters or campaign merchants but as qualified electoral candidates and that data collated from the Independent National Electoral Commission indicates that about 52% of registered voters are young people between the ages of 18 – 35 years.

Furthermore, the group demanded the political class to ensure the passage of the bill if they want votes from Nigerian youths, stating that it will continue to mobilize more young person’s across the country to participate in the ongoing continuous voter's registration exercise, collect their Permanent Voter Card PVC and turn out to votes in all elections.

The statement reads in part, 'We call on our state assembly to urgently pass the constitutional amendment especially the Age Reduction bill in the interest of Nigeria and our democracy. We urge the National Assembly to transmit the constitutional amendment bills to the President for assent as soon as the amendments are received from the states. Any further delay will not only undermine Nigeria's democracy but could negatively impact on the 2019 elections', it warned. 

'As we prepare for the 2019 general elections the imperative for youth inclusion especially as candidates for all elective positions is not a matter for debate but a constitutional imperative. We demand that our state House of Assembly speedily pass the Not Too Young to Run bill ‘, the group added.

The state coordinator of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement, Mr. Etim Effanga, commended the 21 states house of assemblies that have passed the Age Reduction Bill saying that these states have been inaugurated into what it refers to as the Not Too Young To Run Hall of Fame, he listed the states to include: Kogi, Kebbi, Bauchi, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Ogun, Niger and Abia, Yobe, Gombe, Ekiti, Delta, Nasarawa, Enugu, among others. 

Mr. Joseph Edet, one of the leaders of the group in the state, while fielding questions from the press informed that Cross River State House of Assembly was yet to pass the Not Too Young To Run bill. That while the House had assured of its passage on Friday 12th January 2018 after sitting on Wednesday 10th January, it was yet to seat officially. He said reasons were not known why they had not passed it. He called on them to consider its immediate passage. 

Mr. Odey Friday, a leader of the group in the state also disclosed that the movement has a well-structured plan to support any young and credible youth across the country who want to contest for any elective office, Mr. Odey also said that the movement, having consulted wide and applied all techniques required to lobby the state house to pass the bill is also planning to stage a peace walk anytime soon.

'According to Section 9 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended), a constitutional amendment requires approval by at least 24 state Houses of Assembly. The Movement uses this opportunity to call on all state house of assemblies who are yet to pass the bill to emulate their colleagues by voting YES for the bill. An affirmative Vote for the bill will be another historic step to secure the future of Youths and indeed the next generation. 

The #NotTooYoungToRunMovement is reportedly Nigeria's largest and most successful pro-youth/youth movement in contemporary times. It's inspired by the compelling need to restructure the country's political system to address the deeply entrenched system of political exclusion and institute inclusive politics, transformative leadership and electoral competitiveness in the country's electoral process. 

Ukorebi Esien
Blogs and Publishes for Thedailynewsng
Social Media Strategist|Politics Blogger|Telling the Nigerian story one article at a time. Views are mine