By Umar Muhammad Puma
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on the signing into law of the progressive Not Too Young To Run Bill.
A statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, said it is another promise kept by the President during his 2018 Democracy Day address and in the 2015 APC election manifesto in which it promised to provide the opportunities for youths to realize, harness, and develop their full potentials and to facilitate the emergence of a new generation of citizens committed to the sustenance of good governance and service to the people and the country.
“We also hail the efforts of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, under whose leadership the Bill was passed in the National Assembly and forwarded for presidential assent.
“The party congratulates the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), Youngstars Development Initiative (YDI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) who partnered to launch the “Not Too Young To Run” (NTYTR) campaign.
“We believe the massive support the Bill received particularly from APC members in the National Assembly speaks volume of the progressive ideals the party continues to identify with and champion, irrespective of partisan considerations and interests.
“This is indeed a major milestone in advocacy efforts to ensure increased participation and inclusion of marginalised groups, in this case the youth in Nigerian politics. The youth comprise roughly half of the Nigerian population, it is only right that they take their rightful place within party leadership structures and elective positions at all levels.
“We are confident that the new law will inspire a new thinking among many Nigerian youths pertaining their roles in elections and politics. Youths should not be used as disruptive elements, thugs and social media mobs, it is possible for young people to lead politically and occupy elective positions”, the party said in the statement.
APC however described as unfortunate the reaction of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) whom it said engaged in pettiness and unnecessary divisive politics over the Bill’s sponsor in the National Assembly.
“Our party is happy to share this victory with all Nigerians who desire to see a better future for our youths. However, we probably needs to be remind the PDP that it is still a minority in the in the National Assembly,” he said.