Youth inclusion and participation in government has been one of the focal points of the “Not Too Young To Run” movement and through their powerful campaign, the Nigerian constitution was amended to reduce the age for running for elective office in Nigeria. The signing into law of the legislation helped to  address a major impediment to youth participation in politics.

Youths At The National Headquarters of PDP to give their demands (Twitter)

Whilst this is a remarkable feat, the goal of achieving increased youth representation in elective offices will remain a dream if other barriers are not removed.

It was based on this notion that the Not Too Young To Run movement declared August 8, 2018 as the National Day of Action on Youth Candidacy and Democratic Party Primaries. A peaceful  march to the National and state offices of political parties to demand for three major things;

  1. Open and transparent direct party primaries
  2.     Party tickets to young men and women for all elective offices
  3. Limit fees and charges for party nomination

Citizens turned out  en masse across 33 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory to march and  make these demands in a peaceful manner.

Convener of the movement, Mr Samson Itodo expressed satisfaction with the turn out of youths across the country

Imposition of candidates, granting of automatic ticket to candidates and high cost of nomination forms are some of the barriers that have limited youths from participating in the electoral process in some of the major parties in Nigeria because when candidates are imposed on people, you compromise their choice.

The movement believes that if young people are carried along by the parties, the parties would get more support from young people.

They were received by the National Working Committee at the Peoples Democratic Party National Secretariat in Abuja where the party promised to include youths in the electoral process.

Below are some tweets from the rally held at differnt states

https://twitter.com/youthnextng/status/1027142150797107200?s=19

The Nigerian Youths have made their demands and expressed their desire to be involved in the political process at the party level. Only time will tell if the parties heard their demands loud enough. As for them, they have taken action to show they are READY TO RUN!!

Written by : Oyale Adejo

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