Convener of a non-governmental organisation, New Light of Today’s Leaders Initiative (NETLIN Youths In Politics), Micheal Obinna Nwabufor, also known as Mike Premium, has opined that the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill that was signed into law might be ineffective and unsuccessful as long as young people cannot afford the huge and outrageous cost of electoral process in the country.
He added that the huge cost may deter young people that are passionate about being part of the electoral process in Nigeria and making a difference in the governance and politics of this country.
The Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria. The Bill was conceived and pushed by several civil society groups including NETLIN.
Nwabufo who spoke at a book launch in Abuja recently, said the law will not fulfill its main purpose of creating room for young people with fresh ideas to be actively involved in politics as long as few youths earning legitimately, will not able to participate in politics due to the prevalent ‘money politics’ in Nigeria.
He said, “Look at the data from each political parties. You will be amazed the huge amount you have to pay for nomination forms even for the smallest elective posts, the cost of mobilisation for primaries alone, what party godfathers expect of you in some cases that we have heard; it all shows that young people stand no chance in the game regardless of any law that makes them inclusive by age. Money controls a lot and we all know how bad it is out there. How many young people can feed themselves comfortably daily?”
According to the seasoned brand analyst and automobile parts dealer, he noted that until there is a level playing ground for everyone regardless of their social status, young and people with good intentions have no chance in Nigerian politics.
He, however, said NETLIN was working hard to sensitise youths at the grassroots levels and orientate them of the need for massive youth participation in grassroots politics which may be the only solution.
According to him, when youths get involved in politics at the grassroots level, they can influence decisions and policies.
New Light of Today’s Leader Initiative (NETLIN Youth In Politics) is an NGO and a network of over five million youths across the country is driving for massive youth inclusion in politics through awareness programmes, empowerment schemes and mentorship programmes.