Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Youth protest at National Assembly over ‘Not too young to run’ bill (Photos)

A group of youth on Tuesday protested at the National Assembly to demand the passage of the ‘not too young to run’ bill.

The protesters are members of the ‘I support #NottooYoungtoRun’ movement who seek a constitutional backing for young Nigerians to be able to vie for elective positions.

The protesters gathered at the Unity Fountain, Abuja for the rally, then matched to the main entrance of the National Assembly gate with the intention to speak with the lawmakers, but where blocked by security operatives.

The protesters in their hundreds blocked the roads and refused vehicles to exit or gain entrance to the National Assembly.

Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman human rights commission, while addressing the protesters said the youth were the future of the country.

“We are in a country with median age of 19 but people who want to save Nigeria’s unity have an average age of over 60,” Odinkalu said.

“Who are they saving the country for? People are being invited across the country as leaders of thought, who are they thinking for? At our age, average age of the Nigerian youth given our life expectancy, we are already in the middle age and life expectancy for women is 51 and falling, for men it’s 49 and falling.

“So if you are in your 20s, you are in your middle age people like me are already in injury time and people like us should be seeking to replace ourselves with the kind of people who are leading the not too young run movement.

“Because we are going to die and life expectancy is short, we must replace ourselves with better people, when I look at young Nigerians I’m reassured that this country has a future. That is one promising thing about us. So today let us go and take the national assembly asunder if we must.

“We need to create inconvenience, if we don’t create inconvenience, nobody knows you are demonstrating. Let us cause some inconvenience, let Nigerians know young people matter. For the sake of this country, we need young people in office, we need young people in power, we need young people taking control.”

Both chambers of the National Assembly had earlier issued statements reassuring that the bill remained “part of the Constitution Review process” with Reps Speaker, Hon Yakubu Dogara adding that the reason for the confusion must be due to the change in the title of the bill.

In the statement issued by the Senate, the bill will be considered among others at Tuesday’s plenary.

More photos below..

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