British High Commissioner Urges Buhari to sign NotTooYungToRun bill into Law

Fresh from the historic feat of the passage of NotTooYoungTorun bill in over 24 states constitutionally required by law, the bill has enjoyed another major boost as British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the bill as soon as its transmitted to him by the National Assembly.

Mr Arkwright said this on Saturday barely 24 hours after the #NotTooYoungToRun movement issued 30-day ultimatum to State Assemblies, National Assembly and the Executive to conclude the ongoing constitutional amendments process.  While congratulating the movement on the historic feat he said, the next step is young people especially women to present themselves as candidates.

He made this known via his official twitter handle saying “I am delighted at this excellent news and congratulate the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign. I urge @Mbuhari to gibe assent as soon as possible. Next step is young people (especially women) to present themselves as candidates”. Mr. Arkwright who has always publicly declared support for the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign is of the believe that, it is important that the voice of young people in Nigeria is heard loud and clear.

As young Nigerians look forward in participating in politics, all Focus is now on President Muhammadu to assent on the age reduction bill after the bill met the Constitutional requirement of passage in State houses of assemblies. The movement also urged state assemblies to conclude and transmit the constitutional amendment back to the National Assembly as soon as possible.

The bill was first passed by the Nigerian National Assembly in a historic vote in July 2017. The bill seeks to reduce the age for running for elective office in Nigeria. With this unprecedented feat, the world looks to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the constitutional amendment. Once the President assents, the bill becomes law making it possible for young people to run for office in 2019.

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.

 

 

OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON THE HISTORIC PASSAGE OF THE AGE REDUCTION BILL BY STATE ASSEMBLIES

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.

On February 15, 2018, the Age Reduction bill popularly referred to as the Not Too Young To Run bill received affirmative votes from twenty-five (25) state assemblies. In other words, 25 state houses of assembly have passed the Not Too Young To Run bill seeking to reduce the age for running for elective office in Nigeria. With this passage, the bill has met the constitutional threshold prescribed by Section 9 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). The Section stipulates that any amendment to the constitution must be approval by at least 24 state Houses of Assembly.

The passage of the bill by the states is historic and unprecedented. This will no doubt enhance the quality of Nigeria’s democracy. We have shown the world that we are a country that believes in its youthful population and is taking concrete steps to address political inequality and social exclusion.  This is a practical step towards harnessing the demographic dividend. The movement therefore appreciates the 25 of the 36 state assemblies that have so far passed the Not Too Young To Run bill. They have registered their names in the annals of history by passing Not Too Young To Run and the Nigerian youth appreciates them. This demonstration of commitment to inclusive democracy and more importantly youth inclusion is recognized. Posterity will be fair to you.

It is against this background that we are inaugurating the following State Houses of Assembly into the Not Too Young To Run Hall of Fame. These state assemblies will henceforth be referred to as Youth Friendly State Assemblies.

  1. Abia State House of Assembly
  2. Adamawa State House of Assembly
  3. Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly
  4. Anambra State House of Assembly
  5. Bauchi State House
  6. Benue State House of Assembly
  7. Borno State House of Assembly
  8. Delta State House of Assembly
  9. Ebonyi State House of Assembly
  10. Ekiti State House of Assembly
  11. Enugu State House of Assembly
  12. Gombe State House of Assembly
  13. Imo State House of Assembly
  14. Jigawa State House of Assembly
  15. Kaduna State House of Assembly
  16. Katsina State House of Assembly
  17. Kebbi State House of Assembly
  18. Kogi State House of Assembly
  19. Kwara State House of
  20. Nassarawa State House of Assembly
  21. Niger State House of Assembly
  22. Ogun State House of Assembly
  23. Ondo State House of Assembly
  24. Plateau State House of Assembly
  25. Yobe State House of Assembly

Since the states started voting on constitutional amendments, only the Taraba State House of Assembly has voted against the age reduction. On 20th December 2017, the movement was disappointed by the decision of the state assembly to vote against the age reduction. This is a major setback for Nigeria’s democracy. We are therefore inaugurating the Taraba State House of Assembly into the Not Too Young To Run Hall of Shame. We urge youths of Taraba to vote out the 11 lawmakers who voted against the will of their people.

The movement would like to place on record that the amendment as passed by the National Assembly and State Assemblies reduces the qualifying age of the President from 40 to 35; House of Representatives from 30 years to 25 years and State House of Assembly from 30 years to 25 years. The age for the Governor and Senate was retained at the current 35 years. This is not totally in line with the demands of the movement. However, we recognize this as a progressive step towards opening the political space for young men and women to participate in electoral politics. The movement will not renege on its demand for the alignment of the voting age with the eligibility age for running for office.

As a movement we are determined to vigorously mobilizing young people to participate actively in the electoral process in the buildup to the 2019 elections as candidates and voters.

Resolutions/Recommendations

  1. We urge the state assemblies to without further delay transmit the amendments to the National Assembly.
  2. We call on the National Assembly to transmit the constitutional amendments to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent as soon as the bills are received from the state assemblies.
  3. We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the constitutional amendment bill especially the Age Reduction bill as soon as the bills are transmitted to him for assent. Should the President delay or declines assent to the bill, we call on the National Assembly to veto the President.

In the interest of Nigeria’s Democracy, the Not Too Young To Run movement gives the State Assemblies, National Assembly and the Executive 30 days to conclude the ongoing constitutional amendments process.

We call on political parties to uphold the principles of internal democracy, transparency and accountability. With the passage of Not Too Young To Run, we expect more youth will seek to political office. Whilst noting that the parties provide a platform for the actualization of political aspirations, we also note that parties can undermine and jeopardize youth candidacy at elections. It is therefore important to reiterate the need for political parties to ensure internal party democracy to safeguard the emergence of youth candidates in the 2019 elections.

In furtherance of our goal, the movement has declared March 14, 2018 a National Day of Action for Presidential Assent. We call on all citizens especially young people to prepare as we march to the Presidential Villa to constructively engage with the President on assent to Not Too Young To Run.

We thank all the young organizers across the country who have constantly engaged with their lawmakers to ensure the passage of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill, we thank the media, civil society, and our partners for the solidarity and support.

One Shared Value, One Shared Goal, #NOTTOOYOUNGTORUN

Our Shared Value, Our Shared Goal, #NOTTOOYOUNGTORUN

Signed

  1. Activista
  2. Abuja Global Shapers
  3. African Youth Initiative on Population, Health & Development (AfrYPoD)
  4. Connected Development [CODE]
  5. The Election Network
  6. League of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (LEPAN)
  7. Mind Capital
  8. The Nigerian Youth Parliament
  9. Orodata,
  10. Project Pink Blue
  11. Social Good Nigeria
  12. TechHer NG
  13. The YALI Network
  14. Youngstars Foundation
  15. Youth Hub Africa
  16. YIAGA Africa
  17. Amplified Radio
  18. Media Insight
  19. Say No Campaign
  20. Vision Alive Foundation, Abia
  21. Youth Initiative for Better Change, Adamawa
  22. Young Activists Initiative Nigeria, Akwa Ibom
  23. Integrity Youth Development Initiative, Anambra
  24. Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Bayelsa
  25. The Bridge Youth Development Foundation, Benue
  26. Exit Lanes, Borno
  27. After School Centre for Career Development, Cross River
  28. DIG Foundation, Ebonyi
  29. Connected Advocacy, Edo
  30. Inspiration Care Centre, Ekiti
  31. New Century Initiative, Enugu
  32. Dandalin Matasa Initiative for Rapid Development, Gombe
  33. Development Dynamics, Imo
  34. Centre for Environmental Research and Development, Jigawa
  35. One Project Afrika. Kaduna
  36. Centre for Advocacy in Gender and Social Inclusion, Kano
  37. Youth Entrepreneurship Support Hub, Katsina
  38. Youth Consensus Forum, Kebbi
  39. Youth Emancipation for the Society (ProjectYES), Kogi
  40. Brain Builders International, Kwara
  41. Grassroots Mobilization Initiative, Nasarawa
  42. Nigerian Young Professionals Forum, Niger
  43. Youth Future Savers Initiatives, Ogun
  44. Youth Aglow Initiative, Ondo
  45. Kimpact Development Initiative, Osun
  46. Young Care Initiative, Oyo
  47. Centre for Youth Participation Advocacy, Plateau
  48. Golden Star Development Initiative, Sokoto
  49. Rural Integrated Development Initiative, Taraba
  50. North East Youth Initiative Forum, Yobe
  51. Golden Stars Development Initiative, Zamfara
  52. Modaville Centre for Development, Lagos
  53. National Organization for Citizens Orientation (NOCO), Rivers State.
  54. Nigerian Youth Action (NYA), Rivers State, Nigeria

 

 

All eyes on Buhari as #NotTooYoungToRun Bill Sails Through State Assembly

All Focus is now on President Muhammadu to assent on the age reduction bill after the bill met the Constitutional requirement of passage in 24 states to become law. The age reduction bill popularly known as #NotTooYoungToRun has been passed in 24 states as young Nigerians look forward to participating more in politics as candidates.

The bill met the historic threshold on Thursday when Plateau and Anambra state completed passage of the bill in the 24 states required for the bill to become a law. Earlier in the week, Kebbi, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Kaduna and Niger state joined other history making states in passing the bill that will see the age of running for the office of the Presidency reduced from 40 to 35 years old. Other states that also made this become reality include Kogi and Ogun state.

The Ondo state House of Assembly became the first state assembly to pass the Not Too Young to Run (age reduction) bill as part of the constitutional amendment, followed closely by the Adamawa, Kwara, Benue and Nasarawa State Houses of Assembly who also passed the Not Too Young To Run bill. Borno, Delta, Enugu, Ekiti, Katsina, Yobe and Gombe state assemblies also passed bill in December 2017.

In January 2018, the Kogi state House of Assembly passed the age reduction bill (Not Too Young To Run) while in February 2018, the Bauchi and Jigawa state Houses of Assembly passed the bill. Yesterday, February 6th, 2018, Ebonyi state also joined the Hall of Fame by passing the Not Too Young To Run bill.

The bill was first passed by the Nigerian National Assembly in a historic vote in July 2017. The bill seeks to reduce the age for running for elective office in Nigeria. With this unprecedented feat, the world looks to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the constitutional amendment. Once the President assents, the bill becomes law making it possible for young people to run for office in 2019.

These states have been inaugurated into the Not Too Young To Run Hall of Fame for voting in line with aspirations of the Nigerian people. By this singular act, Nigerian youth have made history and written their names in gold. The passage of Not Too Young To Run is a demonstration of the commitment to the tenets of representative democracy. We commend them for fulfilling their promise to their constituents and the Nigerian youth. Nigerian youth will always remember them for showing leadership in promoting youth inclusion in democratic politics in Nigeria. Posterity will be fair to them.

 

YIAGA AFRICA LAUNCHES #BOUNCECORRUPTION PUBLIC INTEGRITY DEBATES IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS ACROSS NIGERIA

A Corruption survey report by National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) in 2017 shows that majority of Nigerians will accept a bribe when offered or pay a bribe when demanded. According to the report, only 5.3 per cent of Nigerians will either refuse to pay a bribe when asked to or refuse to accept when a bribe is offered to them. The report revealed that young people constitute the largest percentage (95 percent) who are likely to pay or receive bribe as the case may be.  Interestingly, one of the most likely kind of bribe is the payment of bride for jobs in the civil service.

The report does not only release data to support the growing rate of corruption but reveals a reality that is beyond worrisome. If we consider that every year millions of young people in Nigeria look forward to being admitted to any of the over 150 private and public higher institution in Nigeria with millions graduating and hoping to be absorbed by the almost absent job market. If we consider that youth unemployment in Nigeria was at December 2017 is was 52.65% or 22.64 million according to NBS report, then we may begin to understand the dire condition we find ourselves. In the center of this is the challenge of corruption that has robbed us of good governance that meets the needs of the people with our national wealth being plundered over the years and presently. We are impoverished in a supposedly wealthy nation and have no better option than to join the movement of citizens united in the fight against corruption. YIAGA Africa in 2017 launched her #BounceCorruption project to mobilize over 20 million Nigerians in the fight against corruption and demanded for accountability.

Under the #BounceCorruption project, YIAGA has successfully launched the Public Integrity Debates in Tertiary Institutions across Nigeria as a platform for harnessing youth views into the anti-corruption crusade as well as for propagating the values of integrity, transparency and accountability. The debate competition will involve selected tertiary institutions across the six geo-political zones of the country. The national debate competition will be in 3 stages. The first stage is the preliminary (zonal), which commenced in the South South Zone, on 12 February 2018 at University of Calabar, followed by the South East Zone, on 15 February 2018 at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Anambra, at 9am prompt. Other zones will follow accordingly.

The knockout stage and the final stage will both take place in Abuja on a date to be communicated later. Schools will constitute debate teams of 2 student each (one male and one female) to participate in the competition. Incentives will be provided to winners of debate sessions. At the end of the competition the debate teams will be encouraged to establish public integrity clubs in their schools.

The Bounce Corruption project which is supported by the MacArthur Foundation is designed to complement efforts by state and non-state actors in the fight against corruption by promoting zero tolerance for corruption and impunity through effective citizen’s oversight and mobilization for accountable governance.

YIAGA Africa is a non-profit, non-governmental, civil society organization that promotes democratic governance, human rights, accountability and active youth participation in democratic processes through research, policy advocacy and capacity development.

 

Signed

Samson Itodo

YIAGA Executive Director

 

Nigerian Youth – The Real Third Force – Itodo Samson

More than one year into the 2019 general elections, the political maneuvering has earnestly commenced. In fact, in Nigeria today, everybody both online and offline are already stricken with political fever and the frenzy of the 2019 elections. Unlike other parts of the world, where the demand for democracy seems low, Nigeria’s case is different. There’s renewed demand for democracy and a heightened quest for good governance and better leadership. The yearning for better leadership after 18 years of democracy is predicated on the failure of the two dominant parties that have steered the affairs since 1999. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ruled Nigeria for 16 years yet development eluded the country. The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) will be 3 years in office in a couple of months and Nigerians are yet to experience the promised ‘‘change’’. It is this failure of government to deliver democratic gains to the people that led to the new quest for quality leadership couched in the new popular lingo in Nigeria political lexicon The Third Force”.

What exactly is the ‘Third force’? Is it a new ideology, political party or a movement? Is the Third Force capable of disrupting national politics in a way, democracy can eventually begin to deliver development to all Nigerians? Since last year, several groups have emerged positioning themselves as the Third Force. It started with the Emerging Leaders Conference, National Intervention Movement (NIM), Red Card Movement, Revive Nigeria to the newly espoused Obasanjo’ Coalition for Nigeria. These groups have one thing in common, Nigerians are tired of bad governance and in need of good leaders. However, what remains absent is a visible plan on how to morph into a political party or evolve as a mass movement sweeping out bad governance.

In recent times, we have seen the determination of the citizens, in particular, young people and their readiness to actively participate in the forthcoming elections.  We are witnesses to the increasing turn out of intending registrants in the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise and collection of Permanent Voter cards. According to the INEC chairman during the launch of European Union Support to Democratic Governance project in Abuja, the CVR exercise recorded a whopping 1 million registrants in 3 weeks. This only confirms the belief people have in the “power of their votes” as a means of asserting sovereignty.

Back to the big elephant in the room, who is the real “third force”? I submit the real third force is Nigerian youth and they will determine the outcome of the 2019 general elections. Politics is a game of numbers and unfortunately for the actors, youth comprises 52 percent on the voters register in Nigeria.  I know many will be quick to discountenance this assertion claiming young people will vote for any political party or political actor based on what they get. The context is fast changing as young people are gradually recognizing the power they wield in the political process. The emergence of Emmanuel Macron of France, Sebastain Kurz of Austria and George Weah of Liberia as heads of government inspires young Nigerians.

The leaders of these groups claiming to be the Third Force obtain legitimacy from young people. Without the youth, there is no Third Force. The influence of the ruling political class is determined by the extent of their mobilization of young people to serve their political interests. These groups will leverage on the youth energy and tap their resourcefulness to ascend to power and turn around and exclude them when they assume office.  The protagonists of the Third Force and politicians alike are deploying diverse tactics to get the youth vote in the next elections. What they fail to appreciate is the fact that young people understand the importance of politics and they are taking intentional steps to engage by strategically negotiating for power. There is broad based consensus in the youth movement that youth exploitation for political gains must stop.

We launched the Not Too Young To Run campaign and built it around the singular issue of youth inclusion in political processes. The campaign is not limited to removing age barriers for running for office rather it is about rediscovering our citizenship and redressing the age-long inequality that has plagued Nigerian democracy. It was also about ending corruption, diversity management and everything that is bad in the polity to rebuilding the country for the common good. The movement was a silent revolution by young people to rebuild the country. 2019 elections will no doubt be an eye opener for the political class. In fact, this is an open advice to the political class, brandishing the Third Force as an identity is not a guarantee of winning votes especially if the vehicle through which the ambition will be prosecuted is replete with politicians laden with political baggage.

The yearning of the youth is simple, it is a Nigeria, that is not built on ethnic, regional or religious pacts; a country where pursuing daily livelihood is not contingent on geographical extraction; a country where politics is inclusive, a country where public wealth are not filtered away by a thieving elite. Presently, the numbers are in favor of the youth and this should not be easily dismissed. There is a lot of galvanizing by civic groups such as YIAGA Africa, Connected Development, Not Too Young To Run/Ready To Run movement, Emerging Political Leaders Summit, Youngstars Foundation etc. The rationale is to push the huge numbers to vote not just on issues but for candidates with clearly defined metrics to measure success. Uniting the youth constituency is a priority. When youth unite, they positively disrupt politics. Nigeria needs that disruption to move its politics to another level. This is the shift towards restructuring Nigeria.

Samson Itodo is an elections and constitution building enthusiast. He is the Executive Director of YIAGA Africa and Convener of the Not Too Young To run movement. Send comments and feedback to [email protected] He tweets @DSamsonItodo

 

 

YIAGA Celebrates 11 YEARS of Youth Organizing, Promoting Democracy, Public Accountability Advocacy

On this day, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) established as a university organization in university of Jos Plateau state, Nigeria. In 2017, the organization marked a decade of existence in Youth Organizing, democracy promotion and public accountability advocacy. We have grown from a student organization to renowned organization promoting democratic governance and citizen participation in Africa.

We’d wish to recognize all our partners, constituents, supporters and friends for their unflinching support and solidarity over the years. Thank you all for believing in us. You are the reason why we celebrate.

As we commence this journey into the second decade of existence, we are pleased to announce our development in the organization. This development is in line with our new vision and strategic focus. Henceforth the organization will be referred to as YIAGA AFRICA with a new Logo as displayed above. We will continue to sustain our programs in elections, legislative engagement, accountability, social justice and community organizing. However, our program focus will extend to other countries in Africa.

We count on your support as we embark on this new journey to positively disrupt Africa.

Signed.

Board of Trustees

 

STATEMENT BY THE NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN MOVEMENT ON THE STATE OF THE AGE REDUCTION BILL AT THE STATE HOUSES OF ASSEMBLY

We welcome you to this press conference organized by the leadership of the Not Too Young To Run movement on the state of the passage of the age reduction bill at the State Houses of Assembly. 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.

Since the #NotTooYoungToRun bill was transmitted to the 36 states House of Assemblies along with other constitutional amendment bills, at least 16 states have passed the bill. Recall that in December 2017, the National Assembly transmitted 15 constitutional amendment bills to the states for passage. The Ondo state House of Assembly became the first state  assembly to pass the Not Too Young to Run (age reduction) bill as part of the constitutional amendment, followed closely by the Adamawa, Kwara, Benue and Nasarawa State Houses of Assembly who also passed the Not Too Young To Run bill. Borno, Delta, Enugu, Ekiti, Katsina, Yobe and Gombe state assemblies also passed bill in December 2017.

In January 2018, the Kogi state House of Assembly passed the age reduction bill (Not Too Young To Run) while in February 2018, the Bauchi and Jigawa state Houses of Assembly passed the bill. Yesterday, February 6th, 2018, Ebonyi state also joined the Hall of Fame by passing the Not Too Young To Run bill.

These states listed above have been inaugurated into the Not Too Young To Run Hall of Fame for voting in line with aspirations of the Nigerian people. By this singular act, the 16 youth friendly states have made history and written their names in gold. The passage of Not Too Young To Run is a demonstration of their commitment to the tenets of representative democracy. We commend them for fulfilling their promise to their constituents and the Nigerian youth. Nigerian youth will always remember them for showing leadership in promoting youth inclusion in democratic politics in Nigeria. Posterity will be fair to them.

The movement would like to register its disappointment with the Taraba State House of Assembly for voting against the age reduction bill. On the 20th December 2017, 11 members of the House voted against the bill making it impossible for the house to pass the bill. It is unfortunate that majority of State Assembly members voted against the will of the people of Taraba despite assurances of its passage by the entire house. We appreciate the 6 members of the House of Assembly who voted for the bill. Thank you for standing in defense of the constitutional right of young people to participate in politics by contesting for elective office. Posterity also will be fair to you.

The movement commends the House of Representatives for passing an amendment to Section 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 As amended to the effect that political parties are compelled to ensure the position of youth leaders must be occupied by persons between the age of 18 and 35 years. This amendment is in tandem with the philosophy of Not Too Young To Run. We urge the National Assembly to expedite action on concluding all electoral and constitutional amendments as the 2019 elections is less 373 days.

According to Section 9 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) a constitutional amendment requires approval by at least 24 state Houses of Assembly. The Not Too Young To Run bill needs at least 8 more states to meet this constitutional threshold! The Movement uses this opportunity to call on the 19 states house of assemblies who are yet to pass the bill to emulate their colleagues by voting YES for the bill. An affirmative Vote for the bill will be another historic step to secure the future of Youths and indeed the next generation.

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. The Movement demands that the state Houses of Assembly speedily pass the Not Too Young To Run bill.

The movement would like to place the following on record;

  1. The 2019 elections present an opportunity for young people to assert their power 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.

 

  1. Data from the Independent National Electoral Commission indicates that about 52% of registered voters are young people between the ages 18 – 35 years. 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.

 

  1. To the political class – If you want the youth vote pass the Not Too Young To Run bill; uphold internal party democracy to safeguard the emergence of more youth candidates in 2019 and most importantly commit to non-violent elections.

We call on the 20 state assemblies to urgently pass the constitutional amendment especially the Age Reduction bill in the interest of Nigeria and our democracy. We urge the National Assembly to transmit the constitutional amendment bills to the President for assent as soon as the amendments are received from the states. Any further delay will not only undermine Nigeria’s democracy but could negatively impact on the 2019 elections.

We thank all the young organizers across the country who have constantly engaged with their lawmakers to ensure the passage of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill, we thank the media, civil society, and our partners for the solidarity and support.

One Shared Value, One Shared Goal, #NOTTOOYOUNGTORUN

Our Shared Value, Our Shared Goal, #NOTTOOYOUNGTORUN

 

Signed

  1. Activista
  2. Abuja Global Shapers
  3. African Youth Initiative on Population, Health & Development (AfrYPoD)
  4. Connected Development [CODE]
  5. The Election Network
  6. League of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (LEPAN)
  7. Mind Capital
  8. The Nigerian Youth Parliament
  9. Orodata,
  10. Project Pink Blue
  11. Social Good Nigeria
  12. TechHer NG
  13. The YALI Network
  14. Youngstars Foundation
  15. Youth Hub Africa
  16. YIAGA Africa
  17. Amplified Radio
  18. Media Insight
  19. Say No Campaign
  20. Vision Alive Foundation, Abia
  21. Youth Initiative for Better Change, Adamawa
  22. Young Activists Initiative Nigeria, Akwa Ibom
  23. Integrity Youth Development Initiative, Anambra
  24. Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Bayelsa
  25. The Bridge Youth Development Foundation, Benue
  26. Exit Lanes, Borno
  27. After School Centre for Career Development, Cross River
  28. DIG Foundation, Ebonyi
  29. Connected Advocacy, Edo
  30. Inspiration Care Centre, Ekiti
  31. New Century Initiative, Enugu
  32. Dandalin Matasa Initiative for Rapid Development, Gombe
  33. Development Dynamics, Imo
  34. Centre for Environmental Research and Development, Jigawa
  35. One Project Afrika. Kaduna
  36. Centre for Advocacy in Gender and Social Inclusion, Kano
  37. Youth Entrepreneurship Support Hub, Katsina
  38. Youth Consensus Forum, Kebbi
  39. Youth Emancipation for the Society (ProjectYES), Kogi
  40. Brain Builders International, Kwara
  41. Grassroots Mobilization Initiative, Nasarawa
  42. Nigerian Young Professionals Forum, Niger
  43. Youth Future Savers Initiatives, Ogun
  44. Youth Aglow Initiative, Ondo
  45. Kimpact Development Initiative, Osun
  46. Young Care Initiative, Oyo
  47. Centre for Youth Participation Advocacy, Plateau
  48. Golden Star Development Initiative, Sokoto
  49. Rural Integrated Development Initiative, Taraba
  50. North East Youth Initiative Forum, Yobe
  51. Golden Stars Development Initiative, Zamfara
  52. Modaville Centre for Development, Lagos
  53. National Organization for Citizens Orientation (NOCO), Rivers State.
  54. Nigerian Youth Action (NYA), Rivers State, Nigeria

YIAGA Commission Scholars for Legislative, Development Research

The Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement Centre for Legislative Engagement (YIAGA-CLE), with the support of European Union, has commissioned 10 academic researchers from across Nigerian universities as scholars to conduct advanced research on the legislature and national development. The YIAGA-CLE Scholar Program (YSP) Induction workshop on advanced research methodology which held 2nd-4th, February exposed these scholars to emerging trends in research methodology in the areas of Legislature, Elections, Peace and Security, Youth and Gender to generate research outcomes that will help improve policies for the development of Nigeria.

Speaking during the induction workshop, YIAGA board Chairman and country director, PLAN International, Dr Hussein Abdu, said, the Scholars induction program is the beginning of work with cohort of scholars exposing them to dynamics of development research to shape thinking to enable the implementation of the nature of research useful to Nigerian development. The Program according to Dr. Abdu, aims to promote the development of the legislature through innovative research, capacity development and advocacy on legislative practice and procedure.

Under the YSP, researchers will provide cutting edge research that will enhance the technical capacity of legislators and promote the development of the legislature.

Also speaking at the workshop, YIAGA Executive Director Samson Itodo emphasized the need to strengthen the legislature to enable effective decision making saying “there is also need to strengthen the relationship between CSOs with the academic personnel, ensuring that research produced in schools respond to the social and political needs of the society.

In this vein “a collaborative and complimentary approach will be used so that research output will be useful to all stakeholders in both the civil society and legislative terrain while using the language everyone understands”, Itodo said.

While appreciating YIAGA for the initiative, one of the scholars Ernest Ereke, said his capacity has been built immensely during the course of the workshop saying, the knowledge he got from the two-day induction workshop is equivalent to what he pays for online programs on advanced research.

YIAGA PARTNERS INEC ON YOUTH ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY

The Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) is partnering with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in developing a strategic framework for engaging Nigerian youths in the electoral cycle. To this end, a strategy meeting was conveyed with stakeholders to kick-start the process.

The development meeting which held over a two (2) day period from January 31st – February 1st in Abuja, had participants from youth led organizations across the country, as well as People With Disability (PWD) and INEC officials, all contributing to the development of the strategy.

Delivering his opening remarks; Director, Voter Education and Publicity INEC: Barrister Oluwole Uzzi stated that, ‘the participation of citizens in the electoral process is a sine-qua non for measuring the quality of elections.’ According to Barrister Uzzi, ‘an inclusive electoral process is an indicator of a country’s democratic development.’ He concluded by saying, “management of elections must ensure principles of inclusion and representation are guaranteed in their operations”.

The INEC Youth strategy development is to be driven by Four (4) key principles namely; Ownership, Innovation, Partnership and Sustainability and Accountability and is expected to be focused, inclusive, participatory and sustaining in order to cover various classes of youths including, Men, Women and PWDs. Series of meeting is expected to be held in the coming months as the INEC Youth Strategy is developed.

YIAGA Executive Director Samson Itodo, in his remark lauded INEC for the initiative saying “it is very commendable that a public institution identifies a gap in the electoral Process and its taking necessary steps to bridge the gap”.  According to Itodo, there are several entry points for young people into the electoral process beyond just being voters as he reiterated that, young people can be candidates, election observers and Ad-hoc staff. He also advised INEC to retain its cohort of youth, especially from National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to enable the commission build a community of young people.

The INEC Youth Strategy meeting featured sessions on strategic thinking by Youth Organisations, Civil Society Organizations and INEC officials on how to develop an effective way of including Young people in the electoral process.

 

European Union launches a €26.5 million programme in Support of Democratic Governance in Nigeria

The European Union today re-affirmed its commitment to supporting Nigeria’s electoral process with the launch of a programme aimed at promoting transparent, inclusive and credible elections in the country. The programme tagged EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN), is a €26.5m initiative. It is funded under the 11th European Development Programme (EDF), over a five year period.

The overall objective of the EU-SDGN is to contribute to the reinforcement of democracy in Nigeria through building strong, effective and legitimate democratic institutions. Inclusive, participatory and transparent elections are a pre-requisite for a strong democracy.

“Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Nigeria is at a pivotal moment that allows the country to take important steps to consolidate democracy and strengthen the electoral process. The European Union continues to partner with Nigeria in the on-going reform process with a view to strengthening the capacity to conduct well-managed elections and with ample participation of all Nigerians. For this to happen, all must contribute, from the key institutions to the political parties and candidates, from media to civil society,” said Ambassador. Ketil Karlsen, Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS.

The project will be anchored in the priorities identified by the Nigerian government. It also builds on  the recommendations of the European Union Election Observation Mission made after the 2015 general elections as well as  those of the EU expert Identification and Formulation Mission to Nigeria. More specifically, it will focus on five thematic areas of support:

  • Improved quality of electoral administration in Nigeria;
  • Effective discharge of legislative function in compliance with democratic principles and standards;
  • Enhanced pluralism, tolerance, internal democracy and equality of opportunity of political parties and the political party system;
  • Fair, accurate and ethical coverage of the electoral process by the media, including radio and social media and
  • Women, Youths and Marginalized Citizens; Civil Society Organisations and other relevant agencies contributing to enhance the electoral process.

The programme is to be implemented by ten partners, including; The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Institute of Media and Society (IMS), International Press Centre (IPC), BBC Media Action, Albino Foundation, Cleen Foundation and the Westminster Foundation For Democracy.

For more information please contact:

EU Delegation Press Officer: Mr Modestus Chukwulaka

Phone: +234 9 4617800/7, mobile phone: 0803 311 3017          .

[email protected]