By Mistura Adeosun
The Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA Africa), an NGO, says it is supporting 230 young aspirants from the South West region, in different political parties, to participate in the 2023 General Elections.
According to it, the initiative, in collaboration with the Not too Young to Run Movement, is to provide the necessary support, inspiration and solidarity for competent leadership in the country.
Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, YIAGA Africa and Convener, Not Too Young to Run Movement, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) in Lagos at the CONVERGENCE 3.0, the largest gathering of young aspirants in South west Nigeria.
The convergence 3.0 series had as its theme: “Leadership, Politics, Elections”.
NAN reports that the programme intends to support and create the opportunity for young people to participate in politics.
Itodo said: “Young people have shown readiness to participate in political activities in the country.
“We have seen young people who have emerged victorious in the past elections, and have demonstrated leadership at the House of Assembly in various states, even in National Assembly.
“So, for anyone who thinks it’s impossible that young people are not ready, we’re only making a bold statement.
“We are providing the evidence that young people are ready because they want to provide excellent public leadership that Nigeria deserves at this point.
“Most of them are already taking membership of political parties, they are fully ready, they have protested, they are registering to vote, and they are indicating interests.
“Anyone who says young people are not ready should come to us and we will show you that there are young people across different parts of the country who are fully ready for positive leadership,” Itodo said.
Also speaking, Hon. Debo Ogundoyin, Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, commended the positive impact of the Not Too Young to Run Movement in contributing to the increase of youth participation in politics.
“The convergence 3.0 by Yiaga Africa is brilliant .
“The work that they have done is impressive, and what they have managed to do is to harness the interest of the youth in active politics.
“So, I’m really happy and glad with the youth involvement and support to youths in politics as well as with the interest exhibited by the youth.
“I am glad with the organisers of the event for harnessing the potentials of future leaders,” Ogundoyin said.
Mr Jude Abaga, a Nigerian rap musician popularly known as MI, highlighted some important tips on rights and franchise for participants to note.
“Number one, every child that is born in your constituency must get an education to have a chance in the world. It is a non-negotiable.
“The second thing is that you cannot hold half of your population in a bad economy and expect that constituency to thrive; women must also be involved economically as well as be self-sufficient.
“The third thing is that every Nigerian has an incredible ability to grow, be resourceful and solve problems for themselves if they feel safe,” he said. (NAN)