Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says if young Nigerians fail to bid for elective offices at the 2023 general elections, they cannot win.
Osinbajo made the observation via President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Babajide Omoworare.
Omoworare represented Prof. Osinbajo at the opening of a two-day retreat for young legislators at the federal and state levels held yesterday, in Lagos.
He said the government had been preparing and equipping the capacity of youths as future leaders.
According to him, President Buhari’s assent to the “Not-Too-Young-To-Run’’ Bill, was to ensure greater participation of youths in parliament and government generally.
“In preparation for 2023 general elections, we must realise that greater participation of our youths should not be mere rhetoric.
“Power is never handed over on a platter. If you don’t bid, you can’t win. We must also register to vote. The whole essence is to ensure that youths get involved in the process of democracy and also in parliamentary process”, Omoworare said.
He urged youths, who were ready to throw their hats into the ring in 2023, to join political parties or form new ones, adding that the essence of the “Not-Too -Young To Run’’ Bill would be defeated if the youth failed to run.
He said that the eligible youth voter population was still very low, stressing that their turnout on election days had always been abysmally low.
According to him, young persons in other climes volunteer to mobilise eligible voters for the registration process for political parties; they canvass for votes and they participate in political parties’ congresses and conventions.
Osinbajo said that participation of youths in democratic processes would inject fresh ideas, build public interest, ensure efficiency as well as engender good governance.
According to him, since youths are coming with fresh ideas, it will stimulate the economy, advance democracy and strengthen the legislative process.
The retreat had in attendance young serving legislators from across the country.
The retreat was organised by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in partnership with NILDS and the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) of the National Assembly.
It has “Youth Alliance – Towards 2023 General Elections’’ as its theme.