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Friday, February 15, 2019

NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN: In Whose Interest? By Olufemi Damilola

To an average Nigerian who is conversant with latest and trendy information and happenings in the country knows that the voice of the youths were raised towards the 2019 poll.

In late 2017 through early 2018, the rate at which Nigerians call for youth governance increased so much that  the world could not but get aware of every bit of it.

The #NotTooYoungToRun Bill was moved at the National Assembly, called for youth inclusion in the governance of Nigeria. Well, nice and great step taken there to remedy the "future" of Nigerian youths, not just to be seen as lazy youths just as the President of the country declared publicly last year, 2018.

Ever since the clamour and motion of the Bill has been moved, that boost the thinking and reasoning faulty of the youths to believe they too can occur political posts rather than the "old minds" attaining what they ought to have left for the young minds.

Now, the question is, in whose interest is the #NotTooYoungToRun?

This is what many of us has not thought about.

If the clamour for youth take over of governance is truly genuine, real and meant for the youths and not the youths' dads, it would have been much more better.

Taking the education sector as an example, education they say is the best legacy. Yes, but that might not seem to be working in Nigeria today, to some extent. The question is, How many youth can afford affordable tuition fee?, How many can attain education with quality?. I leave that to you to answer.

One of the major criteria to attain a political post is the level of education. Let me ask how that can be realised in an era of high tuition fee increment in our tertiary institutions.

We all know the amount of tuition fee students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso; and other institutions across the country pay as school fee. Now, how will a poor man have access to political seat with no education?. An individual who can't pay for school fee, will that be able to have what it takes to contest?

Did we ever see the incessant strike by tertiary institution lecturers as an hindrance to the Bill? Lecturers been on strike for months, leaving the students at home, government doing nothing or less to remedy situation.

The same set of people who presented the Bill uses it for their own benefit and interest. If education can't be access by the youths whose family are not buoyant, rich enough to pay for fees, if students can't leave government institution to afford private school, who then will have the means of attaining the political seats we are all clamouring for to be occupied by youths; isn't the sons and daughters of the selfish minds will do that once their fathers leave the seat?

The election processes is not excluded from this. In the 2019 polls, we all heard of the amount of money used to obtain nomination forms, among others. Some of the top office holders even say they aren't the ones who pau for theirs but friends and associates. Whatever, whichever it is been paid, does that stop the fact that the amount of money for Party nominations is too much?

How many youth in this country can afford millions of naira for just nomination form, let alone the money involve to be spent on campaign. Whereas, we are all hailing the Bill without looking at the "evils" it has on Nigerian youths.

Kudos has to be given to influencers of the bill as there could be something to be done to issues raised above


Written by: Olufemi Damilola (olufemidamilola36@gmail.com)

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