Although young people have been traditionally marginalized from the structures of state that determine political priorities
in Africa, in recent years, the continent has witnessed growing increase in political awareness among its young people. At
the heart of this continental movement is Nigeria where an energized critic of political leadership and its ability to drive the
real change is inspired by an economic recession that peaked decades of poor leadership and a culture of corruption.
The Not Too Young To Run campaign is one of the many latest approaches to salvaging the nation from an impending
disintegration by inspiring youth participation, raising awareness on the rights of young people to run for elected offices
and seeking to lower the legal age for candidacy. The idea is to harness the strength and development ideas of younger
Nigerians to effect positive economic and political change in the country.
Recent events have shown that youths are critical in bringing about social and political transformation in Nigeria. There’s a
need to transform the spontaneous street protests into a more steady form of political action, and the increasing Youth
energy cum leadership awareness must be harnessed for national development. The Nigerian demographics demonstrate
clearly that the unity of the country will fundamentally depend on how young people are treated and what role, in the
different facets of her political life; they choose/are allowed to be involved in. When youths are excluded from political,
economic and social spheres and processes, it can be a risk factor for violence and violent forms of conflict. Therefore,
identifying and addressing the social exclusion of young people is a precondition for sustaining peace.
Nigeria must subscribe to the new trend of youthful political leadership in developed climes. From Luxembourg, Canada,
Ireland to the election of 39-year old Emmanuel Macron in France, the world is changing and Nigeria must follow suit.
There must therefore be a deliberate attempt to eradicate the systemic alienation of Young Africans from the political
process in a conscious attempt to secure a political future for the country. It’s on this premise that GLEEHD Foundation in collaboration with the Commonwealth Africa Initiative and other partners will bring together stakeholders to discuss how Young Nigeria can be major actors in the Nigerian political scenes and the 2019 general elections.
The forum which will gather aspirants, young people, party leaders and other stakeholders interested in playing a role in
the Nigerian political space will also launch the GLEEHD Political Leadership and Governance Academy; an academy
designed to empower young aspirants on the technical know-how of running for public office the state and national level.
The event will consider the process of social inclusion for young leaders in Nigeria, including participation in political
decision-making with the aim to promote their role as active contributors to the society and afford young people with
opportunities to reach their potential and achieve their goals.
Overall, the event aims to cover issues, approaches and challenges to inclusion of young Nigerians in the political
processes for the promotion of sustainable stability and maintenance of peace, security and prosperity.
Quote Youth engagement in formulating Nigeria’s future politics is crucial as inclusive participation is a fundamental
political and democratic right.