Abuja – Mr Samson Itodo, the convener of “Not Too Young to Run’’ advocacy group, has urged the Federal Government and political parties to embrace inclusive democracy.
Itodo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Abuja on Thursday that democracy, as a system of government, should allow everyone to participate, even when they were still young.
“This is about inclusion; if we say democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people and not for a few, young people should be allowed and encouraged to participate.
“The point must be made that this is not about the youth population alone but about the fact that there are credible and competent young people that could run, if given the chance.
“Our constitution should be amended to enable these young people with integrity and capacity to run.”
Itodo urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to withhold assent to the “Not too Young to Run’’ bill.
“It would be political suicide, if the president refused to assent to the age reduction bill, because this is a bill that millions of the Nigerian youths support.
“We have constantly held that if you want the votes of the youths come 2019, then pass the “Not Too Young to Run’’ bill.
“This message goes to the APC administration and all other political parties.”
Itodo urged all political parties to uphold the principle of transparency and the tenets of internal party democracy.
“A lot of young people will join political parties; we expect political parties to practice internal party democracy, and give young people the opportunity to become candidates,’’ he said. (NAN)