The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has stated that the exclusion of young Nigerians from the decision-making processes on issues that affect them amounts to crime against humanity.
Speaking while receiving the Movement for the #NotTooYoungToRun in his office, he harped on the importance of opening up the political space to young people for the growth and development of Nigeria.
The Speaker stated that there is no criminality above excluding a greater percentage of people from taking decisions or participating in taking decisions on matters that affect them.
Only on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that “In a few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the ‘Not too young to run’ bill.”
Dogara said he will 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”.
He said, “One thing that we must emphasise and continue to emphasise 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. Any environment that excludes 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 would have amounted to a crime against humanity.”
The Speaker maintained that it is important for the youth to get the right training from a young age to enable them take up leadership positions in the future and deliver successfully.
According to him, “We just didn’t do it (pass the bill) for the young people but as it is said, great leaders bother themselves about the next generation.”
He expressed delight that the bill which has become an inspiration to other sister countries will come into law before the 2019 election.