The convener of New Light of Today’s Leaders Initiative (NETLIN YOUTHS IN POLITICS), a youth non-governmental organization in Nigeria, Micheal Obinna Nwabufo (popularly known as Mike Premium), has said that the ‘Not Too Young to Rule’ law might be ineffective and unsuccessful as long as young people still cannot afford the huge and outrageous cost of electoral process in the country.
The Age Reduction Bill, popularly known as Not Too Young To Run Bill, was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria.
It is a constitutional amendment movement conceived and pushed by several civil society groups, including NETLIN.
Speaking at a book launch in Abuja recently, Nwabufo, a seasoned brand/talent analyst and manager and automobile parts dealer, said the Not Too Young to Rule law will not fulfil its main purpose of creating room for young people with fresh ideas to be actively involved in politics as long as money politics prevails in Nigeria.
“Look at the data from the political parties. You will be amazed the huge amount you have to pay for nomination forms even for the smallest elective posts, the cost of mobilization for primaries alone, what party godfathers expect of you in some cases that we have heard; it all shows that young people stand no chance in the game regardless of any law that makes them inclusive by age,” Nwabufo said.
“Money controls a lot and we all know how bad it is out there. How many young people can feed themselves comfortably daily?” he asked.
According to him, until there is a level playground for everyone regardless of their social status, young people with good intentions have no chance in Nigerian politics.
He, however, said NETLIN is working hard to sensitive youths at grassroots levels and orientate them on the need for massive youth participation in grassroots politics which may be the only solution.
“When youths get involved in politics at the grassroots level, they can influence decisions and policies,” he said.
New Light of Today’s Leader Initiative (NETLIN YOUTHS IN POLITICS ), a non-governmental organization and a network of over 5 million youths across the country, is driving for massive youth inclusion in politics through awareness programmes, empowerment schemes and mentorship programmes.