Youth groups urge National Assembly to veto Buhari’s powers if he fails to pass Not Too Young To Run bill
– #NotTooYoungToRun bill recently got the required 24 states needed to make it a law
– The focus of promoters of the bill at the moment is presidential assent from the executive arm of government
– A member of the House of Representatives, Tony Nwulu, advised the president to repay Nigerian youths for the support given to him in 2015 by signing the bill
On Thursday February 15, history was made in Nigeria as the age reduction bill popularly referred to as the Not Too Young To Run bill received affirmative votes from twenty-five (25) state assemblies.
The state assemblies passed the popular bill which seeks to reduce the age for running for elective office in Nigeria.
With its passage, the bill has met the constitutional threshold prescribed by Section 9 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). The Section stipulates that any amendment to the constitution must be approved by at least 24 state Houses of Assembly.
As it is, the bill is now awaiting presidential assent from the executive arm of government.
Reacting to the news, a member of the House of Representatives, Tony Nwulu, advised the president to repay Nigerian youths for the support given to him in 2015 by signing the bill.
Nwulu was speaking at a press briefing organised by the promoters of the bill today Friday, February 16.
Nwulu urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the bill, noting that “a lot of Nigerian youths championed his election in 2015, it is time for him to pay back.”
“Politicians go out and lobby youths during elections. If they are good enough to vote for you, why are they not good enough to be voted for?.” he queried.
On their part, promoters of the bill, expressed optimism that the bill will enhance the quality of Nigeria’s democracy.
One of the promoters, Cynthia Mbamalu said: “We have shown the world that we are a country that believes in its youthful population and is taking concrete steps to address political inequality and social exclusion.
“This is a practical step towards harnessing the demographic dividend. The movement therefore appreciates the 25 of the 36 state assemblies that have so far passed the Not Too Young To Run bill.
“They have registered their names in the annals of history by passing Not Too Young To Run and the Nigerian youth appreciates them. This demonstration of commitment to inclusive democracy and more importantly youth inclusion is recognized. Posterity will be fair to you.
“As a movement we are determined to vigorously mobilizing young people to participate actively in the electoral process in the buildup to the 2019 elections as candidates and voters.”
The resolutions/recommendations of the movement are as follows:
1. We urge the state assemblies to without further delay transmit the amendments to the National Assembly.
2. We call on the National Assembly to transmit the constitutional amendments to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent as soon as the bills are received from the state assemblies.
3. We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the constitutional amendment bill especially the Age Reduction bill as soon as the bills are transmitted to him for assent. Should the president delay or declines assent to the bill, we call on the National Assembly to veto the president.
The movement gave the state assemblies, National Assembly and the executive arm of government 30 days to conclude the ongoing constitutional amendments process.
“We call on political parties to uphold the principles of internal democracy, transparency and accountability. With the passage of Not Too Young To Run, we expect more youth will seek to political office.
“Whilst noting that the parties provide a platform for the actualization of political aspirations, we also note that parties can undermine and jeopardize youth candidacy at elections. It is therefore important to reiterate the need for political parties to ensure internal party democracy to safeguard the emergence of youth candidates in the 2019 elections.
“In furtherance of our goal, the movement has declared March 14, 2018 a National Day of Action for presidential assent. We call on all citizens especially young people to prepare as we march to the Presidential Villa to constructively engage with the president on assent to Not Too Young To Run,” they said.
A Non-Governmental Organisation, New Nigeria Youth Progressive Alliance (NNYPA), has insisted that Nigerian youths are adequately prepared to take up leadership positions in the country.
The group stated this at a media parley held on Wednesday, February 14, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Speaking on behalf of the NNYPA, its acting president, Emma Bricks Oko, lamented that Nigerian youths have suffered continued political misuse and neglect by the political elites since the advent of democracy.