Passage of the age reduction law popularly known as #NotTooYoungToRun law will not automatically pave way for young people to be elected into elective offices in Nigeria, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has said.
Delivering a keynote address at a celebration conference organized by the #NotTooYoungToRun movement in Abuja on Thursday, Dogara maintained that only by removing economic barriers will young people be empowered enough to run for elective offices.
The speaker who was at the forefront for the passage of the age reduction bill during the constitutional amendment exercise, also advocated the appointment of young people as ministers of states in the next administration.
Power, according to Dogara, is never given freely in any society and charged the youths to brace themselves to wrestle power through participation in politics.
The speaker also decried what he called “generational warfare” that has continued to work against youth inclusion in politics and governance in Nigeria and called on leaders at all levels to train and mentor young people who will lead the nation in the future.
“If we don’t train our our youths we won’t have a future because young people are the future of our country,” he said.
He said Nigeria must channel the energies, talents and gifts buried in millions of its young people to productive activities in order to curtail the increasing spate of violence.
The speaker cautioned that Nigeria must win the war against violence so as to keep our civilization and lamented how public institutions and symbols of authorities have been totally destroyed in the North East region especially Borno and Yobe States which he said has taken the region back to the “Stone Age”.
He stated that there can’t be credible election in the midst of violence in the country and urged young people to unite and “keep the flame burning until we are able to put young people into leadership positions in Nigeria”.
According to him, the current socio-economic and political atmosphere in the country will not allow more young people to run for elective offices unless deliberate windows are created for them to occupy positions.