Ready To Run: Young candidates speak on plans if elected

The Convergence (LIVE UPDATES): 400 young candidates gather in Abuja
The Convergence where 400 young candidates gather in Abuja organised by Not Too Young To Run

The ‘Not Too Young To Run’, on Sunday continued its television programme aimed at supporting young candidates seeking elective offices in the 2019 general elections, with two of them outlining their plans if elected.

The TV show, tagged ‘Ready To Run’ aired on Channels Television and was hosted by Samson Itodo.

The weekly programme aims at addressing the challenges faced by young candidates especially ”with the high-cost of engaging the media during the election campaign”.

The show also enables young candidates engage voters on their manifestos and agenda on live TV.

Kick Off

At the start of the show, the founder of TechherNG, Chioma Agwuegbo, presided over the ‘ready to run lab’ segment. She spoke on the use of social media for effective political campaigns.

During the second segment, Mr Itodo gave a rundown on how young candidates are faring based on the list of candidates published recently by INEC.

He said the INEC data showed, out of the 84 milllion registered voters, 51.11 per cent were of the age bracket of 18-35.

He said the data also showed an increase in the number of youth candidates running for the Senate to 13.5 per cent compared to 10 per cent in 2015.

In the House of Representatives, it went up from 18 per cent in 2015 to 27.4 per cent in 2019, he said.

The analysis also showed a decline in the participation of young female candidates running for the Senate with 17 per cent in 2015 to 16 per cent in 2019, while for the House of representatives, it dwindled from 15 per cent in 2015 to 13.4 per cent in 2019.

Q&A Session

In the question and answer segment, two young candidates running for their state houses of assembly featured.

Simon Karu is running for the Gombe State House of Assembly, representing Kaltungo/Shongom Federal Constituency while Happiness Odochi is aiming to represent Ngor-Okpala state constituency in the Imo assembly

Ms Odochi said she is contesting because “she wants to speak on behalf of her constituents and represent her people as nothing has changed over the years”.

She added that she would work to improve the infrastructure of the area if elected.

Ms Odochi said she would ‘speak up’ and advocate for a good healthcare system for her constituency and also partner with the international bodies to assist.

On funding, Ms Odochi said her friends and family have been supporting her campaign.

Meanwhile, Mr Simon said he has been a community development worker over the years before going into politics.

He hopes to bring his experience as a ‘civil community worker’ to improve the lives of his people, adding that he would “increase food production in his state”.

Mr Simon also said he would create an environment to attract investors and also involve the civil society

Mr Simon said he has been getting funds for his campaign “from the general public.”

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