By Musa Adamu
President of the Senate, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said that the passage and assent to the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill, will be the first phase in the journey for more youth inclusion in politics.
The President of the Senate, according to his Special Assistant on New Media, Olu Onemola, said this at a meeting with the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), led by Samson Itodo, its founder.
Saraki encouraged youths to advocate for free and fair elections, stating that the next step in the advocacy process is to ensure that more young people have their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs).
“Let me congratulate you on the campaign that helped in the passage of the Bill in the National and State Houses of Assembly. What you have done has become a reference point across the continent.
“You need to use same energy that you applied to the ‘Not Too Young to Run’, to push for free and fair elections. When you have the voice, you have the numbers.
“So the first thing for the advocacy that will support ‘Not Too Young to Run’ must be free and fair elections.
“The only way you’re going to make a difference is for you to have your voter’s card.
“‘Not Too Young to Run’ has just finished phase one. Phase two is ensuring that you have a lot of young people that have PVCs and letting everyone know that you have PVCs so that all the political parties will pay attention that you have the numbers.
“My advice for all young people is that, this is not a short race, it is a marathon,” the President of the Senate said.
At the meeting, speaking for YIAGA, Samson Itodo, its founder commended Saraki, the Senate and the National Assembly for the passage of the Bill.
“This is the first time that we had a National Assembly whose leadership played a visible role in the passage of the Bill. The fact that you played a part in providing the leadership for the passage of the Bill is significant.
“We want to convey our appreciation to you and the other 108 members of the Senate that we are pleased with this development. You and your counterparts in the House of Representatives have written your names in gold,” Itodo said.