Lagos, Dec. 21, 2022
Yiaga Africa, an NGO, has organised a two-day workshop to offer technical support to young male and female candidates bettwen 25 to 35 years during the electioneering for the 2023 polls.
The NGO’s Executive Director, Mr Samson Itodo, announced this at the Political Organising LAB for young candidates in Lagos on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Election Law Clinic is part of the ‘Turn Up Democracy’ project of the NGO, funded by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
NAN reports that Yiaga Africa is a civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democracy, good governance, and civic participation.
Itodo explained that the youth candidates required technical support to adopt political organising skills and improve their knowledge on the electioneering and election day operations.
“These young people who have emerged as candidates on the ballot, we consider them as part of our own generational responsibility to provide technical support to them.
“We are also helping them to organise effectively and understand the procedure as they prepare for elections.
This lab is also geared towards equipping them with the kind of skill that they require to win elections.
“This programme is just to inspire them and let them know that there is a generation of young people who are determined to change the face of politics in the country.
” They represent the new leaders that Nigeria needs to transform, as well as solve leadership crisis that we face,” he said.
Itodo said they had familiarised with the campaign and electoral challenges ahead of them and how to solve them.
He said the candidates also shared their challenges among themselves which would not only inspire them but could also help them to win an election.
The official noted that this could produce more leaders that would fix the problems which the country was presently grappling with.
He said participants selected must be candidates on the INEC ballot, “secondly we also ensure that there is representation from all the parties; we also looked at the age to conform with the Not Too Young to Run Act”.
Itodo said it also considered first time candidates that were running for elective offices in the country.
He, however, called for more young people within the age of 20 to 35, to contest for elective offices in the future.
One of the candidates, Mrs Islamiyah Adebowale, who is contesting for the Alimosho II, state constituency on the platform of the NNPP, said the sensitisation had been an amazing experience, educative and informative.
“I must say that my presence here in this programme has further given me hope that there is a possibility of winning in the forthcoming elections.
“The programme is more like an eye opener to much facts surrounding the election so it has rekindled my hope that 2023 is a possibility for me,” she said.
Adebowale said the youth had so much to lose if they failed to partake in the forthcoming election.
She added that the youth should know that they were the future of the country and the older generations were making the best use of their time; they were gradually living the space.
“The space is now set for us as the younger ones, as we hope for this country but if we don’t stand up now, if we don’t do what is right, then we will be the best and the greatest losers of all this.”
Adebowale said if they refused to take the bold step, their unborn generation would ask them questions and should be prepared to answer those questions.
“How are we going to be bold enough to tell them that we have mortgaged their lives?”
Yiaga Africa and the Nigerian Bar Association Young Lawyers Forum (NBA-YLF) on Monday trained young lawyers to provide ‘pro-bono’ services to young candidates participating in the forthcoming elections.
Pro bono is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment. NAN