The Not Too Young To Run movement is a movement of youth and civil society groups advocating for the reduction of age for running for elective offices to mainstream young men and women in electoral politics. Not Too Young To Run is Nigeria’s largest and most successful youth movement in recent times. The movement is driven by the compelling need to restructure the country’s political system to address the deeply entrenched system of political exclusion and institute inclusive politics, transformative leadership and electoral competitiveness in the electoral process.
The journey of the Not Too Young To Run Movement which began since 2009 with the advocacy for age reduction in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has consistently organized youth demands for inclusion as candidates within the political space.
In May 2016 the campaign for age reduction in the 8th Assembly began with the constitution amendment process and the long journey has reached the last and final stage in the process with the successful passage of the Bill at both the National Assembly and State Assemblies and the onward transmission of the Bill to the President for presidential assent as required by the Constitution.
The confirmation of the transmission of the age reduction bill for political office (Not Too Young To Run bill) and other constitution amendment bills to the President for assent was received with great joy by the movement as that restored the hope of young Nigerians who are patiently waiting for the Constitutional amendment to enable them run for office in the 2019 general elections.
The Movement is aware of the position of the law, which makes presidential assent a condition precedent for the passage of bills into law. In particular section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which provides inter alia ‘the power of the National Assembly to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and, except as otherwise provided, assented to by the President’.
As we prepare for the 2019 general elections the imperative for youth inclusion especially as candidates for all elective positions is not a matter for debate but a constitutional imperative for democratic development.
The Movement hereby demands:
- That the President gives his assent to the age reduction Bill within the next eight (8) days as a democracy gift to young Nigerians whose only demand is to be included in the democratic process.
- That the president fulfils his commitment to youth development by assenting to the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill and the other Constitutional Amendment Bills.
The movement also wishes to state here that the support from the youth will only come if the Not Too Young To Run bill is speedily passed into law.
The 2019 elections present an opportunity for young people to assert their constitutional right not only as voters or campaign merchants but as qualified electoral candidates. The movement is therefore committed to inspiring and supporting more youth candidates with content and character to run for office through its Ready To Run initiative and other interventions aimed at promoting youth candidacy in the next elections. Young people are ready for 2019 and will only be giving their support to political parties who uphold internal party democracy to safeguard the emergence of more youth candidates in 2019 and most importantly commit to non-violent elections.
The movement will continue to mobilize more young people across the country to participate in the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise, collect their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and turn out to vote in all elections.
We thank the President in anticipation for his assent to the age reduction bill as a democracy day gift to young people in Nigeria.
We thank the National Assembly and State Assemblies for their support to the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill.
We thank all the young organizers across the country who have remained resolute and have constantly engaged with their stakeholders to ensure the passage of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill, we thank the media, civil society, and our partners for the solidarity and support all through this journey.
One Shared Value, One Shared Goal, #NOTTOOYOUNGTORUN
Our Shared Value, Our Shared Goal, #NOTTOOYOUNGTORUN
- Abuja Global Shapers
- African Youth Initiative on Population, Health & Development (AfrYPoD)
- Connected Development [CODE]
- Dean Initiative
- The Election Network
- League of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (LEPAN)
- Mind Capital
- The Nigerian Youth Parliament
- Project Pink Blue
- Social Good Nigeria
- TechHer NG
- The YALI Network
- Youngstars Foundation
- Youth Hub Africa
- YIAGA Africa
- Amplified Radio
- Media Insight
- Say No Campaign
- Vision Alive Foundation, Abia
- Youth Initiative for Better Change, Adamawa
- Young Activists Initiative Nigeria, Akwa Ibom
- Integrity Youth Development Initiative, Anambra
- Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Bayelsa
- The Bridge Youth Development Foundation, Benue
- Exit Lanes, Borno
- After School Centre for Career Development, Cross River
- DIG Foundation, Ebonyi
- Connected Advocacy, Edo
- Inspiration Care Centre, Ekiti
- New Century Initiative, Enugu
- Dandalin Matasa Initiative for Rapid Development, Gombe
- Development Dynamics, Imo
- Centre for Environmental Research and Development, Jigawa
- One Project Afrika. Kaduna
- Centre for Advocacy in Gender and Social Inclusion, Kano
- Youth Entrepreneurship Support Hub, Katsina
- Youth Consensus Forum, Kebbi
- Youth Emancipation for the Society (ProjectYES), Kogi
- Brain Builders International, Kwara
- Grassroots Mobilization Initiative, Nasarawa
- Nigerian Young Professionals Forum, Niger
- Youth Future Savers Initiatives, Ogun
- Youth Aglow Initiative, Ondo
- Kimpact Development Initiative, Osun
- Young Care Initiative, Oyo
- Centre for Youth Participation Advocacy, Plateau
- Golden Star Development Initiative, Sokoto
- Rural Integrated Development Initiative, Taraba
- North East Youth Initiative Forum, Yobe
- Golden Stars Development Initiative, Zamfara
- Modaville Centre for Development, Lagos
- National Organization for Citizens Orientation (NOCO), Rivers State.
- Nigerian Youth Action (NYA), Rivers State, Nigeria