Youth Exclusion from Politics’ Crime Against Humanity, Says Dogara

  •  Buhari expected to sign NotTooYoungToRun bill thursday

James Emejo in Abuja

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, wednesday highlighted the importance of opening up the political space to young Nigerians, adding that their continuous exclusion from decision making processes could pass for crime against humanity.

There were also indications baring any last minute changes, President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the bill into law at 1p.m today.

Speaking when he received the Movement For The #NotTooYoungToRun Bill in his office, the Speaker noted that the young are Nigeria’s assets that must be harnessed for the growth and development of the country.
He said: “We just didn’t do it (pass NotTooYoungToRunBill) for the young people but as it is said great leaders bother themselves about the next generation.”

He stressed the importance of youths getting the right training from a young age to enable them take up leadership positions in the future and deliver successfully, adding that the House passed the Bill in recognition of the fact that the time for political leaders to bother about the future of the country is long overdue.

Dogara said:”One thing that we must emphasize and continue to emphasize is that we must get our young people to develop the capacity to participate and lead. We must also ensure that they have political influence. I’ve said this thing somewhere that any environment that exclude half of its population would not be fair, and this is true for the young people that now live in this great country called Nigeria. We have to accord you your rightful place.

“To continuously exclude the young people from participating in taking decisions that affect them, I believe, in my own opinion, would have amounted to a crime against humanity. There is no certainly criminality above excluding a greater percentage of people from taking decisions or participating in taking decisions on matters that affect them.”
He expressed delight that the bill which has become an inspiration to other sister countries to provide legal backing for youth inclusion in governance, will come into law before the 2019 election and assured of help with resolving any bureaucratic issues that may arise.

He added that he would be available to celebrate the milestone when the president signs the bill into law and urged the advocacy team to make a big deal of the feat they have achieved.

Earlier, the convener of the movement and the leader of the delegation, Mr. Samson Itodo, expressed gratitude to the Speaker for keeping up with his promise to promote youth inclusion in politics by ensuring the bill is passed- and commended the speaker’s leadership in pushing for the passage of the bill, saying he inspired them to keep the movement strong.

Itodo also hinted that baring any last minute changes, President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the bill into law at 1p.m today and urged the speaker to help push for accelerated gazetting of the law.