By Angela Atabo
A Civil Society Organsiation (CSO), The Raising New Voices Initiative, says it will support 25 youth candidates to contest elections into the House of Representatives in 2019.
Mr Jude Feranmi, Convener of the group, said this during news conference on the group’s #BreakTheHold campaign initiative in Abuja.
Feranmi, who said that young Nigerians made history when President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law, the “Not-Too-Young-To-Run-Bill“ noted that finance remained one of the hindrances facing most of them.
He said the group launched the initiative to support the emergence of young and competent Nigerians into parliament, to chart the cause of youths in the country.
The convener said the youths to be assisted would cut across the six geo-political zones in the country and in different political parties, adding that the support became imperative because the development and transformation of the nation was in the hands of youths.
“ If we are headed toward a future that will be defined by technology, information based economy and the 4th industrial revolution then, youths need to have a seat at the table of governance.
“It is only logical that those who have a stake in a future are part of the decision makers of what happens in that future.
“Today, we affirm that indeed, we are not too young to run the affairs of, and participate in the building and the development of our nation into the exact country we want it to be, “ he said.
Feranmi urged the present generation of the youthFeranmi said that the generation of youths to rise, adding they had solemn obligation to ensure that Nigeria did not become irredeemable.
“In spite of the political drama in our country, we have a duty to ensure that policy issues that matter to our demography receive adequate attention and that laws passed favour the sectors that affect us directly.’’
Feranmi said that it was time to identify youths who were qualified to contest election, adding that upon their electoral victory, they were expected to push forward the reforms in the agenda of the group, in the interest and progress of the youth.
He said that if they were able to make it to the House of Representatives, the 25 youths were expected to focus on three sectors: Technology and Innovation, Economy and Education.
The convener said that the group would also work with candidates whose party agenda were clearly in alignment with the group, not in word but also in practice.
He said that the group would also work with the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement to ensure electoral victory for the 25 youths.
Feranmi expressed the hope that Nigerians both at home and in Diaspora would join the campaign to fund the election of the youths and for the realisation of their political ambition.
He added that the campaign was seeking between 200,000 and 250,000 Nigerians who would commit to giving their resources to the campaign at a minimum of N5, 000 and a maximum of N100,000
Mr Ibrahim Farouk, one of the Conveners of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement, said the movement would partner with the Initiative to support young candidates to get elected into offices.