Some youths under the auspices of the United Nations Development Programme?s Democratic Governance for Development (UNDP/DGD) project have requested the federal government, political parties and other development partners to set aside a fund that would support youth participation in the Nations electoral process.
Re-echoing this call at a two-day South-south popularization of the Nigerian Youth Agenda on Political Participation which began in Asaba yesterday, a two-time aspirant for House of Representatives from Bwari Area Council, Hon. Blessing Umo (ADC) said; ?The call emerged from the need to support the Nigerian Youth in effectively participating in the Nations electoral processes.?
According to her, ?Nigerian youths are challenged by unfriendly policies,gender, age, low regard and poor funding , but funding is the major thing and it is necessary that a fund is set aside to support the youth to enable them effectively exercise their franchise.?
In his welcome address, the National Chairman of Progressive Party Aliance(PPA) and Secretary General Inter- Party Advisory Council(IPAC) Nigeria, Comrade Peter Ameh encouraged the youths to be more active in politics but avoid being used as instruments of violence.
His words, ?posterity will judge us unkindly if we, the young people allow ourselves to be consumed by politics of hatred characterized by violence, destruction of property, Politics without meaning or Politics that will not bring development to our People, ? he said, adding that ?the Youth should be seen as active change agents in the society while also urging them to abide by principles that will engender democracy in the country.?
Comrade Ameh tasked Nigerian youths ?to concentrate their energies on building a stronger and united Nigeria where each and every citizen is guaranteed his or her right to participate in the democratic process free from coercion and intimidation? He added that ?the Youth should be more concerned with acquiring skills that will help in deepening democracy which is necessary to reducing election related conflicts and violence in the country.?
The PPA Chairman urged leaders to respect the will of the people noting that, ?governments that govern by consent and not coercion, are more prosperous, they are more stable and more successful than governments that do not.?
The Nigeria Youth Agenda on Political Participation identifies youth legal framework, youth affirmative action in political parties and elective positions. It also seeks to finance youth participation in politics. The agenda focuses on political party structure and administrative processes and the democratic standards for election management as issues which when tackled will improve youth participation in the nation?s electoral process.