-To mobilise 50million youths to vote out Political parties that refuse their demands
Nigerian youths on the platform of the NotTooYoungToRun movement have unanimously rejected automatic tickets by political parties as well as the imposition of candidates on the voting population.
Executive Director and Convener of the Movement, Samson Itodo stated this while speaking with Journalists on the sidelines of the NotTooYoungToRun National Day of Action on Youth Candidacy and Democratic Party Primaries, which held simultaneously in 33 states of the federation and Abuja.
According to Itodo “We have demanded that parties uphold democratic and direct party primaries. Young Nigerians and citizens today have risen in the country to tell political parties. We say no to automatic party tickets, no to candidate imposition, because it undermines our democracy and reduces the competitiveness of electoral politics because that is what democracy is about
“Election is about competition and when you give people automatic tickets or impose candidates on them you compromise their choices he said. Adding that democracy is about majority and the youths constitute the majority of voters, so it is important that the party takes this to heart seriously
The Convener added that other demands by the youths are that political parties reduce the cost for running for office because leadership is about service, adding that parties need to take intentional steps to give young men and women as well as persons living with disabilities tickets
Stating that the declaration was very clear, he said “for all legislative seats, we need 30 per cent of legislative seats across the country as well as 109 seats in the federal house”.
All political parties, if you don’t give youths tickets, if you do not reduce the cost, be rest assured that young Nigerians will go to the Polls and will vote you out. But it is very important that as young people we have risen. We are going to register for those who have not registered, we are going to collect our PVCs and as a movement that enjoys the support of Nigerians and the International communities we will mobilise 50 million registered young Nigerians to vote against any party that does not accede to our demands
He added that any political party that wants the youth vote in 2019 must also operationalise the NotTooYoungToRun law that was signed and passed by the President on May 21
“We do not expect that political parties will fail to accede to our request as it would be suicidal. The NASS tried it and saw the consequences, the Presidency almost tried it, they saw the consequence. Do not take the Nigerian youth for granted, do not take us for granted” he restated.
Mr Itodo said “There are 68 political parties and realistically we are unable to reach all the 68 political parties, but what we are doing is to engage political parties that will provide leadership for the others. Today we are going to go to CUPP, APC, PDP and ANN and we will ensure that our declaration gets to all registered political parties”.
A strategy team member of the movement Hamza Lawal, said for us today, we are mobilizing, organizing and most importantly educating ourselves to march to political party offices.
Again this is quite historic because it is happening in the 36 states, simultaneously and we are taking our demands to tell them, if you do not give young people tickets , we would not vote for you, so again this is an opportunity for political parties as we are saying, we do not want the old norms.
“Today we do not want money politics because money politics is about investments that would be recuperated after elections. We are saying young people who are the majority of the electorate, who are registered and have their permanent voters cards (PVCs) would come out enmass on election day and vote for political parties that uphold the principles of internal democracy and allow young people to strive politically”
As far as we are saying we are excited about the Bill, we are assaying we must operationalize it and let young people run for office.
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