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.
Convener, Not Too Young To Run movement
- Abuja Global Shapers
- African Youth Initiative on Population, Health & Development (AfrYPoD)
- Connected Development [CODE]
- The Election Network
- League of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (LEPAN)
- Mind Capital
- The Nigerian Youth Parliament
- Project Pink Blue
- Social Good Nigeria
- TechHer NG
- The YALI Network
- Youngstars Foundation
- Youth Hub Africa
- YIAGA AFRICA
- Amplified Radio
- Media Insight
- Say No Campaign
- Vision Alive Foundation, Abia
- Youth Initiative for Better Change, Adamawa
- Young Activists Initiative Nigeria, Akwa Ibom
- Integrity Youth Development Initiative, Anambra
- Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Bayelsa
- The Bridge Youth Development Foundation, Benue
- Exit Lanes, Borno
- After School Centre for Career Development, Cross River
- DIG Foundation, Ebonyi
- Connected Advocacy, Edo
- Inspiration Care Centre, Ekiti
- New Century Initiative, Enugu
- Dandalin Matasa Initiative for Rapid Development, Gombe
- Development Dynamics, Imo
- Centre for Environmental Research and Development, Jigawa
- One Project Afrika. Kaduna
- Centre for Advocacy in Gender and Social Inclusion, Kano
- Youth Entrepreneurship Support Hub, Katsina
- Youth Consensus Forum, Kebbi
- Youth Emancipation for the Society (ProjectYES), Kogi
- Brain Builders International, Kwara
- Grassroots Mobilization Initiative, Nasarawa
- Nigerian Young Professionals Forum, Niger
- Youth Future Savers Initiatives, Ogun
- Youth Aglow Initiative, Ondo
- Kimpact Development Initiative, Osun
- Young Care Initiative, Oyo
- Centre for Youth Participation Advocacy, Plateau
- Golden Star Development Initiative, Sokoto
- Rural Integrated Development Initiative, Taraba#
- North East Youth Initiative Forum, Yobe
- Golden Stars Development Initiative, Zamfara
- Modaville Centre for Development, Lagos
- National Organization for Citizens Orientation (NOCO), Rivers State.
- Nigerian Youth Action (NYA), Rivers State, Nigeria
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