The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the signing into law of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari is another promise kept by the current administration.
Bolaji Abdullahi, the APC National Publicity Secretary, said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja. He also replied the criticism of the opposition PDP who claimed credit for the passsage of the bill.
“This is indeed another promise kept by the president during his 2018 Democracy Day address and in our 2015 APC election manifesto,” he said.
According to him, the APC has promised to provide opportunities for youth to realise, harness and develop their full potentials.
The essence, he said, was to facilitate the emergence of a new generation of citizens committed to the sustenance of good governance and service to the people and the country generally.
He applauded the efforts of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, under whose leadership the bill was passed in the National Assembly and forwarded for presidential assent.
Mr Abudullahi further congratulated the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), Youngstars Development Initiative (YDI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) who partnered to inaugurate the “Not-Too-Young-To-Run campaign.
“We believe the massive support the bill received, particularly from APC members in the National Assembly, speaks volume of the progressive ideals the party continues to identify with and champion, irrespective of partisan considerations and interests.
“This is indeed a major milestone in advocacy efforts to ensure increased participation and inclusion of marginalised groups, in this case the youth in Nigerian politics,” he said.
He noted that the youth comprise roughly half of the Nigerian population, adding that it was only right that they take their rightful place within party leadership structures and elective positions at all levels.
The APC spokesman expressed confidence that the new law would inspire a new thinking among many Nigerian youths pertaining to their roles in elections and politics.
He maintained that youths should not be used as disruptive elements, thugs and social media mobs, stressing that it was possible for young people to lead politically and occupy elective positions.
Mr Abdullahi, however, said that it was unfortunate that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had chosen a moment of victory for the country’s youth to be a “kill-joy”.
He accused the party of engaging in “pettiness and unnecessary divisive politics’’ over the bill’s sponsor in the National Assembly.
“Our party is happy to share this victory with all Nigerians who desire to see a better future for our youths.
“However, we probably need to remind the PDP that it is still a minority in the National Assembly,” he said.
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