Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A governorship aspirant under the platform of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), in Ogun State, Lekan Bamiro, has decried what he called the exorbitant cost of governorship nomination form, noting most Nigerians, especially youths, willing to serve, might not be able to afford the form.
Bamiro, who observed that Nigeria needed new ideas from its vibrant youth population, which he estimated as above 60 percent, emphasised that N5 million set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as fee for governorship form, was too high for many Nigerians interested in the office.
He, therefore, noted that the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, would remain a mirage, if eligible youths lacked the financial wherewithal to actualise their political aspirations.
Bamiro stated these, at the weekend, in Abeokuta, while speaking with newsmen, shortly after he declared his intention to run for the number one position in the state in 2019.
The ANN gubernatorial aspirant also said Nigeria should emulate the developed nations by giving opportunities to the youth to be at helm of affairs, calling on the INEC to reduce the nomination fee, in order not to serve as hindrance to the youths.
“It’s time for the youths to be involved in the polity of Nigeria in general and Ogun State in particular. The reason most countries of the world are vibrant and developing rapidly is because they have the youths in the helms of power.
“Why we have problems in Nigeria is simply because the older generation, not that they don’t have a clue, want things to be business as usual.
“If you have the young and vibrant people in power, they will know what to do. What we are saying is that it is about time the young people get involved in the polity.
“Stomach infrastructure is a major challenge in this part of the world. Money is another. I think the way INEC has structured elections in Nigeria it is too expensive for young persons to be involved.
“A lot of people that are meant to be participating are complaining about the fees. I think it’s about N5 million to buy the governorship form from INEC.
READ ALSO: NICO establishes cultural clubs in schools
“That is a hindrance. It is stopping younger people from joining. So while we are talking about ‘Not Too Young To Rule’, it should also be noted that we are too young to afford that kind of money.
“If truly they want Nigeria to be good and they want young people to be involved, they should bring the fees down. It is too high for our pockets.
“The problem is from the top. The Nigerian government needs to look at this issue critically, instead of talking about the ‘Not Too Young to Rule’. They should look at the policies behind the rule,” Bamiro submitted.