Notooyoungtorun: NASS yet to transmit bills to President for assent

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Not Too Young To Run Movement raises concern over the Non-Transmission of the Not Too Young To Run bill to the President For Assent.

The Not Too Young To Run Movement is concerned about the delayed transmission of the age reduction bill for political office (a.k.a Not Too Young To Run bill) to the President for assent.

The movement is agitated as this delay portends danger for aspiring young people ready to leverage it in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

With just over 300 days to the polls, the delay in assent to the bill not only impacts the planning of the aspirants but also has an impact on the overall intendment of the amendment itself, which is to promote inclusion and grant access to young persons in the elections. We worry that the purpose of the bill will be defeated with this delay in assent.

The movement is aware of the position of the law, which makes presidential assent a condition precedent for the passage of bills into law.

In particular, section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which provides inter alia ‘the power of the National Assembly to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and, except as otherwise provided, assented to by the President’.

 

This provision of the law is backed by several case laws affirming the imperative of presidential assent for constitutional alteration. The judgement of the court in Olisa Agbakoba v. Federal Government and others is instructive as the Federal High Court held that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must assent to any bill altering the provisions of the Constitution before such a bill takes effect. This position was affirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of Ogboru v. Uduaghan.

 

We are citing the laws to bolster our position and implore the National Assembly to without further delay, forward the amendment bill to the President for assent. The urgency of this action cannot be overemphasized. Nigerian youth are ready and must be part of the 2019 elections not just as voters but as candidates. It is pertinent to remind the 8th National Assembly that history is on their side having passed the bill in the first instance. We therefore advise them not to allow any inter-agency tensions, procrastination or scheduling challenges distract them from carrying out their responsibilities to citizens especially young people, who constitute 70 percent of their constituents.  We must also stress that African best practices encapsulated in the African Union and Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) normative instruments dictate that all amendments to the constitution must be concluded at least 12 months before the elections. The delay in the passage of all these constitutional amendments raises challenges to the integrity of the electoral process. We will continue to reiterate that elections are a process, and when amendment processes are arbitrary, our democracy is threatened.

 

We call on the National Assembly to without any further delay forward the Not Too Young to Run Bill and other constitutional amendment bills to the President for his assent. We take the opportunity to remind the president of the importance of expeditiously signing the bill into law upon receipt from the National Assembly.

 

The Not Too Young to Run Movement states that it will resist all attempts to prevent the passage of the Not Too Young To bill into law by any arm of government.  We maintain as a movement that this will be a disservice that the Nigerian youth will not tolerate.

 

Signed.

 

Samson Itodo

Convener, Not Too Young To Run movement

For:

  1. Activista
  2. Abuja Global Shapers
  3. African Youth Initiative on Population, Health & Development (AfrYPoD)
  4. Connected Development [CODE]
  5. The Election Network
  6. League of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (LEPAN)
  7. Mind Capital
  8. The Nigerian Youth Parliament
  9. Orodata,
  10. Project Pink Blue
  11. Social Good Nigeria
  12. TechHer NG
  13. The YALI Network
  14. Youngstars Foundation
  15. Youth Hub Africa
  16. YIAGA AFRICA
  17. Amplified Radio
  18. Media Insight
  19. Say No Campaign
  20. Vision Alive Foundation, Abia
  21. Youth Initiative for Better Change, Adamawa
  22. Young Activists Initiative Nigeria, Akwa Ibom
  23. Integrity Youth Development Initiative, Anambra
  24. Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Bayelsa
  25. The Bridge Youth Development Foundation, Benue
  26. Exit Lanes, Borno
  27. After School Centre for Career Development, Cross River
  28. DIG Foundation, Ebonyi
  29. Connected Advocacy, Edo
  30. Inspiration Care Centre, Ekiti
  31. New Century Initiative, Enugu
  32. Dandalin Matasa Initiative for Rapid Development, Gombe
  33. Development Dynamics, Imo
  34. Centre for Environmental Research and Development, Jigawa
  35. One Project Afrika. Kaduna
  36. Centre for Advocacy in Gender and Social Inclusion, Kano
  37. Youth Entrepreneurship Support Hub, Katsina
  38. Youth Consensus Forum, Kebbi
  39. Youth Emancipation for the Society (ProjectYES), Kogi
  40. Brain Builders International, Kwara
  41. Grassroots Mobilization Initiative, Nasarawa
  42. Nigerian Young Professionals Forum, Niger
  43. Youth Future Savers Initiatives, Ogun
  44. Youth Aglow Initiative, Ondo
  45. Kimpact Development Initiative, Osun
  46. Young Care Initiative, Oyo
  47. Centre for Youth Participation Advocacy, Plateau
  48. Golden Star Development Initiative, Sokoto
  49. Rural Integrated Development Initiative, Taraba#
  50. North East Youth Initiative Forum, Yobe
  51. Golden Stars Development Initiative, Zamfara
  52. Modaville Centre for Development, Lagos
  53. National Organization for Citizens Orientation (NOCO), Rivers State.
  54. Nigerian Youth Action (NYA), Rivers State, Nigeria

 

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