2019 INEC Timetable And The Fate Of The NotTooYoungToRun Bill

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2019 INEC Timetable and the Fate of the NotTooYoungToRun Bill, By Moshood Isah

2019 INEC Timetable and the Fate of the NotTooYoungToRun Bill, By Moshood Isah

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It is no longer news that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the schedule of activities for the all-important 2019 General Elections and this basically means that there is now a sacrosanct timeline which all electoral activities must fall within. According to INEC, both the presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on February 16, 2019, while the governorship and state assembly elections will also hold same day on March 2, two weeks after the presidential election.

This piece was written by Moshood Isah. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

The dates for the election might not be as important as the timelines for the party primaries and submission of candidates form to INEC, for these will ultimately determine which candidates political parties will impose on Nigerians to choose from. The conduct of party primaries, including the resolution of disputes arising from these for national and state elections, according to the INEC timetable, has been slated for between August 18, 2018 and October 7, 2018. This basically means that young Nigerians have barely 10 months push for the #NotTooYoungToRun bill, to make up our minds to run for political office and pull through the bottle-neck of political parties.

Kudos to the National Assembly, the Senate and House of Representatives who have played their own parts by passing the #NotTooYoungToRun bill since July 2018. Although it took a bit of time for the bill to get transmitted to the state houses of assembly, however its been over a month since the bill has been with these state assemblies. Thus, it’s time to give the final push to see that at least 24, if not the 36, states pass the age reduction bill, along with the independent candidacy bill. This will not only give young Nigerians aspiring for political office the opportunity to run in 2019 but will also afford us ample time to navigate the hassles of political parties and other conundrums ahead of the 2019 general elections. More so, independent candidacy is another bill on the table of the state houses of assembly, which is also as important as the age reduction one. The independent candidacy bill, if also completely passed, will help young politicians to completely evade the intrigues in political party politics.

Its cheering to know that the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign, a citizen-led movement driven by the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) has been embraced beyond just Nigeria but across the sub-African region and other parts of the world. The movement, comprising YIAGA and other youth-friendly organisations embarked on ferocious advocacy across Nigeria, ranging from town-hall meetings, nationwide protests, the engagement of lawmakers, dissemination of letters to lawmakers, social media campaigns and every other legitimate means to get the attention of Nigerians and indeed the world.

The massive presence of youth organisations, media outlets – including broadcast, print, online, and social media discussions on the #NotTooYoungToRun town hall meeting back in December 2017, coupled with unending conversations on the issue, go a long way in showing that young Nigerians only need a little push to actualise that necessity of taking over their own future. The need for the inclusion of youth who make up about 70 percent of the African population is a no brainer and should not be up for debate.

Borne out of the NotTooYoungToRun campaign is the ReadyToRun – a movement dedicated to inspiring young men and women to take a shot at public office. This is in a bid to make a statement that young people can demonstrate excellent public leadership, while addressing Africa’s governance challenges. Scrolling through the #ReadyToRun website reveals a whole lot that citizens are not only taking giant strides towards leadership but also the youth have been educated and sensitised enough to know the social resources they possess in their repertoire.

Within two months of launching the #ReadyToRun platform, over 160 young men and women have expressed interest to run for political office at various levels. This is no doubt borne out of the urgent need for responsive, accountable and innovative leadership on the African continent. Therefore, after intense perusal, the platform looks like an avenue that will inspire young people to participate in and sanitise politics in Nigeria on the long run. Although, there is a general perception that Nigerian politics tends to be dirty, recent experience has showed that only the players are dirty, which makes preparation for the next phase of the political dispensation inevitable.

Political campaigns and winning elections are complex enterprises which require specialised skills and knowledge. Undoubtedly, there are numerous opportunities for young people to run for elective office. However, such opportunities must be tapped into by people with the requisite capacity and competence. As we continue to generate knowledge on youth candidacy in Africa through monitoring trends on youth participation in politics, it is important to utilise any opportunity at hand like the #ReadyToRun platform which will profile and promote youth candidates with capacity, integrity, competence and creativity.

With the launch of the #ReadyToRun platform, young candidates can be located, mobilised and supported in the bid to eliminate all forms of phobia and apprehension faced by the youth when it comes to contesting and winning elections. This also comes with training opportunities, through organisations, to build leadership and organising capacity.

2019! Young People are ReadyToRun!!!

Moshood Isah is media officer of Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA).

This piece was written by Moshood Isah. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

Datboyjerry

Datboyjerry

I am but your herald boy in the art of the pen.. An eccentric Environmental Biologist smouldered in the glorious epiphany of online journalism. If you ever find my article unduly insipid, sue me and i’ll refund you...

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