Group makes case for participation of youths in politics

Group makes case for participation of youths in politics

Monday, July 30, 2018 5:44 pm

INEC logo

The Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement on Monday in Abuja called on youths not to vote for any political party that did not reserve tickets for young people and women.

One of the Strategy Team members of the movement, Ms Cynthia Mbamalu, made the call at a news briefing on National Day of Action on Youth Candidacy and Democratic Party Primaries.

Mbamalu said that the movement was a non-partisan group that galvanised young people across political parties to be recognised and given the opportunity to aspire for political positions, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

She said that the interest of the group was above party interest, adding that regardless of the parties youths found themselves, there was need to uphold the interest of youths being given opportunity above all else.

She said that based on the timetable issued by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), party primaries were expected to commence from Aug. 18, 2018.

Mbamalu said that to this end, the movement would be engaging political parties to make some demands that would enhance youths and women participation in politics.

She said that part of the demand was for political parties to reserve party tickets for young men and women with character, capacity and competence.

“The tickets should be disaggregated as follows – there should be 298 tickets for youths in the State Houses of Assembly from the six geo-political zones.

“The South-West which has 176 constituencies should reserve 53 for youths, while the South-East with 129 constituencies should reserve 39 for youths and South-South, with 160 constituencies should reserve 48 for youths.

“The North-West with 216 should reserve 65 tickets for the youths while the North-East with 156 constituencies should reserve 57 for youths and North-Central with 153 constituencies should reserve 46 for youths.’’

Similarly, Mbamalu said that 109 House of Representatives tickets should be reserved for the youths from the six geo-political zones.

She said that the South-West with 71 constituencies, should reserve 21 tickets for the youths while South-East with 43 should reserve 13 tickets for the youths.

She added that South-South with 55 constituencies, should reserve 17 seats for youths while the North-West with 92 should reserve 28 tickets for the youths.

Mbamalu said that the North-East with 48 constituencies should reserve 15 for the youths while the North-Central with 49 should reserve 15 tickets for the youths.

She also urged political parties to prescribe and enforce spending limits for party nomination fees and charges.

She said that the cost for nomination of candidates should not exceed N2, 000, 000 for presidential aspirant, N1, 000, 000 for governorship aspirant and N600, 000 for senatorial aspirant.

The group member said that for House of Assembly, aspirant should pay N200, 000 for nomination and N400, 000 for House of Representatives.

She also urged political parties to adopt open, transparent and direct primaries in the candidate selection process.

Mbamalu said that political parties that failed to meet the demands would not be voted for by youths, adding that youths had the number and the ability to carry out the threat.

She said that the group had been able to build a community of youths across the country and in more than 700 local governments which believed in youths’ participation in politics.

“2019 is going to be a show of numbers so if the youths are not carried along, we will mobilise our numbers to take action against such parties.
“So, we will impress upon the youths to have visible seats in state houses of assembly and House of Representatives and if that is not done, we will not vote for defaulting parties,’’ she said

Another member of the group, Mr Hamzat Lawal, said that as part of the group’s strategy, Aug. 8 had been declared National Day of Action on Youth Candidacy and Democratic Party Primaries.

Lawal said that the group would organise a march to the national and state offices of political parties to push the demands.

He said that the National Day of Action would hold simultaneously in Abuja and the 36 states across the country on the same date.

He said that the group believed that election remained a mechanism for asserting Nigerians sovereignty as a people.

Lawal affirmed that the group was committed to mobilising 50 million registered young men and women to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and vote in the 2019 elections.

Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.