‘Delay In Passing Not Too Young To Run Bill Jeopardy To Nigeria Democracy’
By Nedum Noble
Nigeria States’ House of Assembly who are yet to pass the Not Too Young To Run bill have been urged to speedily do so for the interest of the youths and Nigerians in general.
The Not Too Young To Run movement who made the call yesterday in Awka, Anambra state, said further delay in passing the bill would amount to jeopardizing the Nigerian nascent democracy.
Addressing newsmen on the state of the passage of the bill at the State Houses of Assembly, Anambra State Coordinator, Nonso Orakwe said affirmative vote for the bill would be another historic step to secure the future of youths and indeed the next generation.
He expressed displeasure over the states yet to pass the bill, noting that since the bill was transmitted to the 36 states House of Assemblies along with other constitutional amendment bills, 15 states were yet to pass the bill.
He said the movement was particularly disappointed with the Taraba State House of Assembly for voting against the bill.
“It is unfortunate that majority of State Assembly members voted against the will of the people of Taraba despite assurances of its passage by the entire house.
“Six members of the House of Assembly in December last year, voted for the bill, while eleven members voted against the bill, making it impossible for the house to pass the bill,” he said.
Appreciating the six members that voted for the bill, the coordinator stressed that “posterity will be fair to you for standing in defense of the constitutional right of young people to participate in politics by contesting for elective office.”
According to Orakwe, Ondo state House of Assembly was the first state assembly to pass the bill as part of the constitutional amendment, while Adamawa, Kwara, Benue and Nasarawa State Houses of Assembly followed suit.
“Other states that have endorsed the bill are Borno, Delta, Enugu, Ekiti, Katsina, Yobe, Gombe, Kogi and Kebbi, Bauchi, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Ogun, Niger and Abia,” he hinted.
He further commended the House of Representatives for passing an amendment to Section 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) to the effect that political parties are compelled to ensure the position of youth leaders must be occupied by persons between the age of 18 and 35 years.
“This amendment is in tandem with the philosophy of Not Too Young To Run. We urge the National Assembly to expedite action on concluding all electoral and constitutional amendments as the 2019 elections are in about 365 days.
While commending the states where the bill had scaled through, the coordinator praised the lawmakers for fulfilling their promise to their constituents and the Nigerian youth.
He said they would always be remembered by the youths
for showing leadership in promoting youth inclusion in democratic politics in Nigeria.
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