The Cross River chapter of the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ campaign has advised the political class in the state, especially the State House of Assembly to speedily assent to the bill seeking to reduce the age to contest for electoral offices or risk being ostracized by the young electorate.
The bill popularly called the “Not Too Young to Run bill” has been sent down to the state houses of assemblies with Cross River among several others yet to debate on the bill.
And, the state coordinator of the campaign, Mr. Effangha Etim told journalists in a press briefing in Calabar that the group is aware that the youths constitute more than half the voting population and threatened to mobilize every eligible young person against the political class if they fail to pass the bill.
“Data from the Independent National Electoral Commission indicates that about 52% of registered voters are young people between the ages of 18-35 years.
“The movement will continue to mobilize more young people across the country to participate in the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise, collect their PVC and turn out to vote in all directions.
“To the political class, if you want the youth to vote pass the Not Too Young to Run Bill; uphold internal party democracy to safeguard the emergence of more youth candidates in 2019 and most importantly commit to nonviolent elections.”
He added that: “The movement is driven by the compelling need to restructure the country’s political system to address the deeply entrenched system of political exclusion and institute inclusive politics, transformative leadership and electoral competitiveness in the electoral process.”
Effangha also averred that: “The 2019 elections present an opportunity for young people to assert their power not only as voters or campaign merchants but as qualified electoral candidates.
“The movement is therefore committed to inspiring and supporting more youth candidates with content and character to run for office through its ready to run initiative and other interventions aimed at promoting youth candidacy in the next elections.”
It will be recalled that the Not Too Young to Run Bill got overwhelming support at the Constitutional Amendment Public Hearing held by the Cross River State House of Assembly this year, but the House has been foot dragging in the presentation of the bill for voting in the assembly.
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