Friday, June 29, 2018 12:08 am
Mr Ketil Karlsen, the Head of European Union (EU) Delegation, has urged Nigerian youths to strive toward occupying political and public offices of their choices after the actualisation of the Not-Too-Young-to-Run law.
Karlson made the call at the Not-Too-Young-to-Run Conference on Thursday in Abuja, saying the presidential assent for the law marked the beginning of another journey in the youths’ quest to be public office holders.
He commended the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari for the making the law a reality, describing the gesture as “worthwhile” as it would enhance youth participation in national affairs.
According to him, the demographic distribution of Nigeria’s population shows that the youth make up 60 per cent of the population and are the future of the country.
“It is time to get all involved in politics, you don’t win a match by having half of your team sit on the bench; you need to have more participation whether from youths ,women and people with disabilities.
“ The Not-Too-young-to-Run Law is a huge opportunity to take the youth agenda forward but I will also like to warn against complacency here.
“This is no time to rest on your oars. There is a saying that everything fits on paper but implementation takes a complete renewed energy .”
Karlsen said that the real important step was the actual implementation as the law was only the beginning of a very fascinating journey into real politics.
In his contribution, Denmark’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Torben Gettermann, commended the Not-Too-young-to-Run Movement for its success of getting the bill to become law.
Gettermann attributed the success to the use of social media through the hashtags
“When I first saw the hashtag on Not-Too-young-to-Run, it made me think and say there is a universal issue of youth inclusion in politics.
“The issue is not just a Nigerian one, it goes far beyond Nigerian borders and today the movement is influencing other people globally.
“Though Denmark has some young people in politics like the youngest parliamentarian is 21 years old but there is still a long way to go.’’
Gettermann said that Nigeria had enthusiastic youths filled with passion and the drive for entrepreneurship and passionate to see the country prosper.
He, however, stressed the need for another hashtag aimed at enhancing youth participation and promised to fund it.
The envoy said the young people needed to be supported financially to achieve their political goals.
Mr Dominic Williams, a representative of the British High Commission, said constitutional change was hard the world over.
William congratulated Nigerian youths for achieving the milestone, saying that one mountain to their political participation had been removed.
“What this shows is that when you are together you can move mountains, so having moved one, you can now see clearly to move the other ones and with all units working together.
“This will help to get young people into political offices at all levels.
“You have the support of the British Government as you to do this ahead of the elections in 2019, ’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigetia, , NAN, reports that the event was organised by the Not-Too-young-to-Run Movement to celebrate the signing into law of the bill.