By Our Correspondent
The Not Too Young to Run bill has received the endorsement of the Presidency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
“Im yet to see anyone in the Muhammadu Buhari administration that is opposed to the age reduction bill.
Osinbajo said this on Wednesday in Abuja while engaging young Nigerians at the One-On-One Mentorship Series 1.0 organized by the Civic Innovation Lab with innovators, entrepreneurs, public servants and members of civil society organizations.
The Vice President, at the event also stated that beyond the advocacy for age reduction for contesting for elective offices, young people must be prepared to take up leadership roles in the country.
It can be recalled that the Not Too Young To Run Movement recently raised concerns on the delayed transmission of the age reduction bill to the President for assent. The movement showed its agitation saying, the delay portends danger for aspiring young people ready to leverage on it in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
With just over 300 days to the polls, the lack of assent to the bill will not only impact on the planning of young aspirants but have an impact on the overall intendment of the amendment itself, which is to promote inclusion and grant access to young persons in the elections. We are worried that the whole intendment of the bill may be defeated with this delay in assent.
The Movement in a Press Statement said, “Nigerian youth are ready and must be part of the 2019 elections not just as voters but as candidates. We will also like to remind the 8th National Assembly; history is on their side having passed the bill, in the first instance.
“We, therefore, advise them not to allow any inter-agency tension, procrastination or scheduling challenges affect them from carrying out their responsibilities to citizens especially young people, who constitute 70 percent of their constituents. It is trite that African best practices encapsulated in the African Union and Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), normative instruments that all amendments to the constitution must be concluded at least 12 months before the elections.
“The delay in the passage of all these constitutional amendments raises challenges to the integrity of the electoral process. We will continue to reiterate that election is a process, and when amendment processes are tacky, and then the process is already being undermined”.
Convener of the Not Movement, Executive Director, Samson Itodo has also called on the National Assembly to without any further delay forward the Not Too Young to Run Bill and other constitutional amendment bills to the President for his assent. He added, “we are also utilizing the opportunity to remind the president of the importance in expeditiously signing the bill into law, upon receipt from the National Assembly”, he said.