[The Activism Blog] The #NotTooYoungToRun has moved from a bill to a movement

The #NotTooYoungToRun social media trend has moved from being a bill passed by the National Assembly into a movement.

Led by Moremi Ojudu, placard-carrying youth, under the auspices of Youth Next marched in Lagos today, August 10, 2017, from Ikeja under bridge to the State’s House of Assembly but only met with the Majority Leader of the House, Honourable Sanai Agunbiade, who claimed that the House was on recess, and so, he is the only person available that could attend to them.

On the placards were written, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Youth, don’t allow yourselves to be used”, “Power is never a privilege, it is our right”, “The time has come, let’s unite and discard tribalism”, “Youth are able and strong, we deserve to rule”.

Moyosore Adebanjo, a co-founder of the group, explained that Youth Next “is a course advocating and championing the course of marginalised youth in the political sphere, we are advocating and engineering for young people to come out and vote and, put themselves forward to be voted for.

“The campaign aims to make sure youth participate actively, challenge the status quo. More importantly, we need young minds with new ideas, as it is obtainable in the global world now.”

Ojudu said, “We are trying to establish chapters and move to other states, going to Universities and have small units around. Come 2019, we would come out en masse and identify youth that are qualified, that have the vision and understand Nigeria’s problems.

“We accommodate all youth from all political parties, and we are asking all youth to come together as one, identify ourselves and refuse to say no to the status quo.

Speaking to the protesters, Agunbiade said, “I feel your pain, your passion.”

When a representative of the group asked the State House to make sure the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill is domesticated, he said, “your aspirations have gone viral, supported by a lot of people.”

“We would take a progressive decision on the matter. Come 2019, there will be more youth in power.”

He, however, said the youth should not be sentimental with their criticism when he was asked how far the legislators have gone with empowering youth in their various constituencies.

He said Honourables do a lot of projects in their constituencies that go unnoticed, but if they insist that nothing has been done, they reserve the right to “invite their representatives”.

He also said youth should always take the time to investigate the activities of the political office holders.

The protest was part of activities for the International Youth Day.

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