ISGPP AUGUST 2018 SEMINAR SERIES – Progress, Setbacks and Opportunities for Youth Political Inclusion: A Scrutiny of the Not Too Young to Run Act by Glory Etim

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The relevance of youths to the development agenda and future of a society cannot be over emphasized. This is due to the fact that beyond the vigour, agility and dynamism which they represent; the presence of youths in a society projects hope for continuity and for the future. The above statement therefore justifies the assertion that to ensure development and sustainable growth, young people should be involved in every decision making process for the society.

However, the reverse has largely been the case within the Nigerian context as youths (constituting more than half of the country’s population) are seldom part of the core decision makers and influencers for the development and governance of the society. Until recently, this culture of youth exclusion has been structurally ensured through certain provisions of the Nigerian constitution such as increased age limit for contesting certain public offices in the country.

It is against this background that a group of civil society organisations in Nigeria with support from some members of the Nigerian legislature advocated and sponsored a bill aimed at reducing the age limit for running for elected offices in the country. To the admiration of the global community, the Nigerian legislature passed the bill which was thereafter signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on 31st May, 2018.

As impressive as this feat might seem, some analysts are of the opinion that it is not Uhuru as beyond the legal bottlenecks; there are also financial, social, cultural and other constraints that could still impede productive and active youth participation in the leadership process of Nigeria. In addition, they question the readiness of Nigerian youths in terms of proven competence, to take over the leadership of the country.

As the country gears up for the 2019 general elections, the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy has set out to examine the above subject at her next monthly seminar series. The conversations, which will be chaired and moderated by Barr Eze Onyekpere, (Lead Director, Center for Social Justice, Abuja) examines the extent to which the Not Too Young To Run Act addresses the issues of youth exclusion in politics in Nigeria; the opportunities it presents for the country and other realities that might restrain its potency to trigger more productive political participation by Nigerian youths.

The lead paper will be presented by Barr Edem Ossai (Former Youth Leader, KOWA party and Executive Director, Mentoring Assistance for Youths and Entrepreneurs Initiative) while Mr Tolu Ogunlesi (Special Adviser on Digital/New Media, office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria) and Mr Bayo Adeyinka (Life Coach and Regional Bank Head, South West, Fidelity Bank PLC) will act as discussants at the event. Expected participants at the event include experts drawn from the civil society organisations, youth-led organisations, academia, government, etc.

Other details of the event are as follows:

Date: Thursday, 2nd August, 2018
Time: 1pm
Venue: ISGPP premises, No 24, Awolowo Road, Bodija, Ibadan. Oyo State, Nigeria

The Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy is therefore glad to invite the general public to this programme with the hope that significant policy imperatives aimed at the improvement of youth inclusiveness in Nigerian politics vis-à-vis the leadership situation in the country; will be espoused at the event.