2023: No more excuses, youth participation now a must – Gov. Bello
As the 2023 general elections approach, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has enjoined Nigerian youths to refrain from making excuses, urging them to make concrete moves to take up leadership positions.
Bello, who addressed youths at a three-day retreat of young Nigerian Parliamentarians in Lagos, said that he would want to see more young Nigerians vying for elections in 2023.
He said that the “Not Too Young To Run“ Act signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018 gave youths the legal backing to contest elections.
Speaking at the conference with theme “Youth Alliance Preparatory To The 2023 General Elections’, Bello praised the organisers for their boldness in coming up with the theme.
He said that the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was now in conference stage and decisions over the conduct of party primaries and electronic transmission of poll results must be concluded swiftly and honestly.
The governor challenged the parliamentarians to deploy their considerable resources and influence towards ensuring that our Nigerian dream becomes a reality.
He urged them to use their law making powers and political clout to fashion a Nigeria in which the foundational principle of unity did not hold everyone down by force.
“Such nation must be equitable and allow everyone to thrive on his own merit.
“Tribe, religion, class, age, gender or physical ability must not be used to discriminate against or marginalise anyone.
“We have to start substituting the place of residence for the state of origin and finding ways to immediately and brutally punish corruption in private and public spheres,” he said.
Also, according to the governor, inclusivity and equal access to government and its institutions are the inalienable right of all citizens.
Bello pointed out that affirmative action was for every section of the populace, irrespective of gender, age, physical ability, class, tribe or religion.