Richard Ginika Izuora
Youths in the country have been challenged to contest for elective offices in the country as part of capacity building.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, made the observation at the opening of a two-day retreat for young legislators at the federal and state levels on Monday, October 4, in Lagos.
He said the government had been preparing and equipping the capacity of youths as future leaders.
According to him, President Buhari’s assent to the “Not-Too-Young-To-Run’’ Bill, was to ensure greater participation of youths in parliament and in government generally.
“In preparation for 2023 general elections, we must realise that greater participation of our youths should not be mere rhetoric.
“Power is never handed over on a platter. If you don’t bid, you can’t win. We must also register to vote.
“The whole essence is to ensure that youths get involved in the process of democracy and also in the parliamentary process,’’ Osinbajo said.
He urged youths, who were ready to throw their hats into the ring in 2023, to join political parties or form new ones also adding that the essence of the “Not-Too Young To Run’’ Bill would be defeated if the youth failed to run.
Osinbajo said that the youth eligible voter population was still very low, stressing that their turnout on election days had always been abysmally low stressing that young persons in other clime volunteer to mobilise eligible voters for the registration process for political parties; they canvass for votes and they participate in political parties’ congresses and conventions.
The Vice President urged national, state, and local government parliamentarians to inculcate the culture of internship and mentorship for youth; with a view to foster an enduring legislative practice.
He said that such would make democracy, leadership, governance, peacebuilding and legislative strengthening a continuum.
Osinbajo said that the participation of youths in democratic processes would inject fresh ideas; build public interest; ensure efficiency as well as engender good governance.
He said, since youths are coming with fresh ideas, it will stimulate the economy; advance democracy and strengthen the legislative process, adding, “The involvement of young persons in the democratic and legislative processes will give us a better democracy; and opportunity to make Nigeria a greater country.”