#ThursdayTalks tackles youth involvement in politics

In the wake of the Not Too Young To Run Bill and the 2019 elections, there is a need for  Nigerians – both old and young – to critically examine the variables that will break out when supposed young politicians begin to show interest in running the affairs of the country.

Thursday Talks Lagos is a monthly conversation with thought leaders, change agents and active citizens which aims at driving conversations around the demand for good governance driven by active citizenship.

This event is organised by EiE Nigeria, BudgIT and YNaija. Entry is free.

The focus of the fourth edition of Thursday Talks was the need to understand how young Nigerians can comfortably begin to drive conversations and/or change narratives in the political sphere.

Hon. Gbolahan O. Yishawu of the Lagos House of Assembly (Eti-Osa Constituency II) emphasised the need to understand that apart from the voting system, there is also the party system; and for anyone to be part of decision-making, the said interest must start from the grassroots and the party.

Speaking on an age-long debate – ‘Women in Politics’ – Yishawu said the conversation driving the Not Too Young To Run Bill should not forget to always include women, so “we do not fall into the same trap of gender inequality“. He added that what women actually fight for is “balance” and that should be respected.

On godfatherism, Yishawu disclaimed that idea that such arrangement leads to public fund mismanagement, saying godfathers are like mentors that guide politicians unless the motive to continue the looting process.

Speaking during the session, a participant said young people should rather focus on organising themselves, as they do too much of agonising. “If you think politics is what you want to do, join a party if activism is what you want to do, do it well“.

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (Eti-Osa I) on his own part said there are so many accidental politicians in the system. “We need a crop of people that will navigate the conversation. I’m very proud of the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill but it’s still mediocre. Mediocre in relation to the 1979 constitution that had 21 years as the minimum age for House of Assembly and House of Rep and 30 for Senate.”

The 34-year-old state legislator added that we need to change the demography of the voting population in Nigeria.

Thursday Talks holds every last Thursday of the month. Join the conversation.

Omoleye Omoruyi :Omoleye Omoruyi... an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram