Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives has said the House is committed to passing the #NotTooYoungToRun bill in order to lower the age requirements for elective offices to ensure youth inclusion in politics.
The lawmaker said this on Wednesday at the National Assembly while addressing the plenary session of the Nigerian Youth Parliament.
The #NotTooYoungToRun bill seeks to alter sections 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the Nigerian constitution. It is aimed at reducing the age of eligibility for elective offices across board, and to introduce independent candidacy to our electoral process.
Hon. Dogara said as elected representatives, it is the lawmakers duty to make sure that their constituents’ voices are heard especially in a country with a youth population of over 60 per cent.
We committed ourselves in our Legislative Agenda to give priority to – ‘necessary legislative interventions to promote equality and inclusion, and entrench the rights of women, youths and vulnerable groups in the society
Mr. Dogara added that one of the major challenge affecting Nigeria’s youth population is unemployment.
“As your elected representatives, this gives us nightmares.”
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports has also endorsed the ‘Not Too Young To Run” proposed bill which is undergoing legislative attention of the National Assembly (NASS).
The ministry is urging the leadership of the National Assembly to quicken the passage of the bill to facilitate generational paradigm shift and lunch Nigerian youth into “floodgate of youths into the Nigerian political system.”
The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, gave the endorsement on Monday at the Senate Chambers during the Second Sitting of the Third Session of the Nigerian Youth Parliament in Abuja.
The Minister was represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Abdulrazak Salau noted that time has come for the Nigerian Youth to be given more opportunity to participate in public affairs.
Around the world, campaigns are underway to promote the rights of young people running for public office by seeking to lower the legal age of candidacy.
In Nigeria, the #NotTooYoungtoRun campaign has embarked on a mission to address age discrimination in candidacy for the legislative and executive branches, and serves as inspiration for the global campaign.