First of all, I want to appreciate the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari for finding it worthy of stamping his signature on the, “Not Too Young To Run bill“, thereby, making it a law in the Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.
After the recent NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN BILL Was signed into Law by President Muhammadu Buhari, many young Nigerians had shown interest and had equally applauded the President for taking such a bold step.
It was also reported that President Donald Trump had equally appreciated the effort.
Also, I want to congratulate the Nigerian youths, especially the purpose driven ones, for witnessing such a historic moment in our Democratic journey. It is a wake-up call on the youths to actively take part in the decision of who gets what, when and how. To resiliently participate in governance. To unapologetically take responsibilities in the Nigeria project.
The Not Too Young To Run movement is an international movement not peculiar to Nigeria. It is a movement which believes that, if anyone is old enough to vote, such person is equally old enough to run for political office. Its campaign is carried out with the hastag; # Not Too Young To Run Bill.
Having stated this, It is an established fact that, The Not Too Young To Run bill in Nigeria, has succeeded in eliminating the age barrier in the Constitution, which had kept creative and innovative young Nigerians from taking part in the policy or decision making process that shape their life and future. But beyond age or being young, the youths must equally possess the capacity, credibility, tenacity, maturity and ability to govern and to lead. Leadership is not age sensitive; a young person can be a great leader or a tyrant. An elderly person can equally be an effective leader or a thorn in the flesh, on his people. What makes the difference is mindset and character. A leader, whether young or elderly, with the mindset and character of a servant, would be effective, do exploit, and change the world for better.
The Not Too Young To Run bill in Nigeria, is not a confrontation between the elderly and the young, like many are suggesting. But a clarion call on the demography, which make up 65% of the county’s population, whom had deeply studied the problems bedeviling the country and can proffer solutions to such problems through active participation in governance through politics. It is a bill which aims at pulling all hands on deck in the Nigeria project rather than pulling these hands away.
The youth with their physical and mental strength, numerical advantage can fast track developmental strides and positive growth in Nigeria, when fully accommodated in politics; this is what The Not Too Young Young To Run bill aims to achieve.
NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN BILL
The bill had left numerous reactions on its trail since it was signed into law by President Muhammedu Buhari. One of which is the concern of money politics in our political sphere; a situation where money running into millions is often required from an aspirant of a political office for nomination forms, campaigns and other miscellaneous expenses. But, in as much as this concern is genuine and real, there is no politics however, in the world, which is devoid of money. The real questions are: how is the money utilized? What and what are they used for? Who and who gain from this money?
Money is important in any electoral process, yet, it is not the most important factor for any aspiring leader; Vision is.
Barrack Obama, Emmanuel Macron and other young leaders, whom we easily refer to as examples of successful young leaders, were not the richest men in their country when they ran for office, despite money being involved. As a matter of fact, these men did not necessarily use their personal money for their campaigns and expenses, they articulated and sold their visions to their people and their people in return sponsored it.
I am not making the simplistic suggestion that the nature of our political terrain is not complex or miry, but that the bill has opened a new door for the Nigerian youth, and they should walk through it. That, as an aspiring young Nigerian leader, one don’t necessarily have to be the richest man or woman to run for elective positions. The qualities one must possess are vision, credibility, capacity, and the ability to sell one’s vision. With these, the finance to sponsor one’s aspiration would follow.
On a final note, young Nigerians must support each other in all ramifications of politics because power is not given, it is rather taken.
This article was originally written by Obidike Michael Chidi.
Obidike Michael Chidi is currently a Linguistic student of Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka.
He is a prolific writer, Public Affairs Analyst, Media man and author of several yet to be published literary works. He can be reached via Mikeobi620@gmail.com.