Rejection of Not Too Young To Run Bill by Kano State House of Assembly “A slap in the face of youth”
By Abdulrazaq Alkali
After a long endured advocacy effort by many civil society organizations, youth groups, and political activists across Nigeria led by YIAGA and Hon. Tony Nwulu. The 8th national assembly of Nigeria slated Not too young to run bill as part of the 21st bills considered in the ongoing constitutional amendment.
On 29th October 2017, Organization for Community Civic Engagement (OCCEN) supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in collaboration with Aminu Kano Center for Democratic Research and Training (CDRT) Mambayya House, and Engage Citizen Pillar (ECP DFID) program jointly organized a town hall meeting on the constitutional amendment of 21 bills, which includes that of reduction of age for election, popularly known as “Not too young to run bill”.
The bill was fully endorsed and supported by the majority of stakeholders at the town hall meeting, and a recommendation to that effect was transmitted to Kano State House of Assembly (KSHoA) in form of communiqué. But to our dismay, we were told that KSHoA have unanimously voted on the total rejection of the bill for a very ridiculous reason, which I cannot discuss here due to personality involved.
This means by implication the hard earned inclusive democratic trend built in Kano is now seriously under threat and even start to fade away, due to the action of KSHoA against the aspiring young politicians. This also reveals how our political leaders’ decisions and their practices have denied young people who form a large segment of the voting population in Nigeria a chance to actively take part in leadership positions.
Therefore, I call on the APC led administration in Kano and KSHoA to reconsider their position and pass the “Not too young to run bill” to show their solidarity to youth. The day of reckoning is very near where the same rejected young people will have their turn at ballot box with power to determine the fate of politicians.