Youth participation in politics: NGO appeals for reduction in cost of nomination forms

Mr. Monday Osasah,(Standing) Ag. Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, addressing participants at a meeting in Warri.

By Nathaniel Obruthe

The African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development  (Centre LSD) has appealed to the political parties to reduce the cost of nomination forms to enable youths participate actively in the 2019 general elections.
 The Executive Director of Centre LSD, Mr. Otive Igbuzor made the appeal on Thursday at a Town Hall meeting on "Youth Participation in Politics in the Niger Delta of Edo, Delta and Bayelsa States."

The programme organised by the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in collaboration with Ford Foundation was held in Warri.

Igbuzor who was represented by the Acting Executive Director, Mr Monday Osasah also appealed to political parties to adjust their policies to accommodate and stipulate 30 per cent elective and appointive positions for the youth.

" Political parties should ease the cost of nomination forms for their parties knowing the economic situation of the youth.

" There is no better time than now to contribute positively to the course of the youth.

"It is time to hand-hold the youths who have shown determination to succeed in politics by showing them the way to go and how political decisions are made," he said.

Igbuzor said the youth were great assets to the sustainability of the nation adding that the NGO had built the capacities of over 240 youth interested in political offices in Edo, Delta and Bayelsa.

"Political leadership is a huge challenge in Nigeria. The challenge for the future is even more greater as there is increasing marginalisation of the youth in politics," he said.

The keynote speaker, Dr Charles Apoki called for the review of the nation's political system to make it less attractive.

Apoki said that some desperate people in the society view politic as an investment option to further enrich themselves at the detriment of the masses.

"Youth have the population, they should unite and form a common front.

" We should start to mentor the youth for greater position in so doing we are investing in the future of our country.

"Youth should develop constructive ideologies and also do a lot of advicacies and participate in politics," he said.

One of the discussant, Mr. Innocent Ukeh-Eboh, said the political parties in the country lacked good principles, and he expressed fear that the suffering of the masses would linger unless the status quo was redefined.

"Good vision is the driving force for any good generation, we should have a change of attitude and approach to have a better Nigeria," he said.

Some of the youths in attendance during the discussion session said the youths have the capacity to lead the country better if given the opportunity.