The #NotTooYoungRun Act has abolished the constitutional impediment to the political participation of young people in the electoral process. However, how does it transcend into an actual increase in the qualitative and quantitative representation of the teeming youth population in Nigeria?
To address this, YIAGA Africa launched the Ready to Run movement which is dedicated to inspiring young men, women and people living with disabilities to run for office by providing technical support to address the challenges that are likely to undermine their emergence as candidates and eventual winners of elections.
On the 19th of September, YIAGA Africa in partnership with American Corner Ibadan, with support from the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria Project(EU-SDGN) organized the Ready To Run Southwest Young Aspirants Dialogue to provide a platform for youth engagement where young aspirants regardless of political affiliations present their personal profiles and manifesto to the public as citizens who indeed have the right credentials and proven track record to run for office.
Speaking at the roundtable, a sitting lawmaker, Hon. Saheed Fijabi stressed the need for young aspirants to promote issue-based campaigns in order to strengthen accountability. The dominant concern raised by the aspirants includes the high cost of nomination forms of some political parties, lack of internal party democracy, the correlation between expectations of the electorate, constitutional responsibilities and economic realities, godfatherism and importantly, the monetisation of the electoral process.
The program gave an insightful perspective on the preparedness of young people to run for elective offices. The 19 Aspirants signed a pledge to uphold the tenets of democracy and commit to the development of Nigeria when/if they assume office.