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Youth Group Pay Advocacy Visit To IPAC … Advocates empowering young people to actively participate in governance

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AFTER AN ADVOCACY VISIT TO THE INTERPARTY ADVISORY COUNCIL OF NIGERIA (IPAC) KADUNA STATE BY MEMBERS OF THE YOUTHGOVTRACKA KADUNA STATE TEAM, SIGNED ON MONDAY 24TH JUNE, 2024.

Background:

The YouthGovTracka is an project by Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI), aimed at empowering young people to actively participate in governance and hold elected officials accountable. This project harnesses the power of technology and youth engagement to promote transparency, accountability, and good governance.
Our goal is to ensure that government representatives, especially the Executive Governors of the 36 States of the federation fulfill their campaign promises to the youth population by implementing youth-friendly policies and programmes; to bridge the gap between youth’s aspirations and our state governor’s actions.

We envision a Nigeria where transparency, accountability, and effective governance are cornerstones of our democracy, and our mission is to empower citizens, especially young Nigerians, to actively participate in governance by providing them with reliable information, facilitating meaningful engagement, and fostering a sense of ownership and belonging in Nigeria’s democratic process. We believe that an engaged and informed youth population is vital for driving positive societal change and promoting effective leadership service to our Nation.

The Project:

In the last 6 months (January to June), Youth Focal Persons (YFP) across the 36 States of Nigeria have engaged both state and non-state actors with various advocacy messages aimed at strengthening youth inclusion and accountability in governance; leveraging the Citizens Accountability Toolkit, and the Menu of Commitments as tools to support their activities. On June 11th 2024, the Kaduna State YFP led the team to the office of the Interparty Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) Kaduna State, asking for a level playing ground for youth participation in active politics. The demand was to “Incentivize political parties to create inclusive environments for young people to participate in politics and ensure that they also offer meaningful political roles to youths, including thorough training, cross-party exchanges, and capacity building initiatives”. The following were key highlights from the meeting

Glaring lack of interest in youths’ participation in political circle across the three levels of governance.
The barrier to youth representation in politics lingers, despite the “Not Too Young to Run Act”, this is due to the existing structural barriers like the high cost of forms for aspiring candidates.
Lack of political mentorship leading to poor political skills and capacity amongst youth population. The African Democratic Congress (ADC) is the only political party among the 19 registered political parties in Nigeria having the positions for a Youth Leader where both Female Youth Leader and Male Youth Leader are appointed to cater for the needs of Nigerian Youths.
The Party African Democratic Congress (ADC) allows youth candidates (aged 18-35 years) as well as female candidates wishing to contest for any political position in their party to obtain forms free across any level; in the state, and federal elections.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, this communique serves as a clarion call to all stakeholders in Nigeria’s political landscape to recognize and actively support the urgent need for a fairer political environment that inclusively promotes youth participation. The youth are not just the leaders of tomorrow, but active and essential contributors to the political, economic, and social development of today. Their energy, innovation, and unique perspectives are crucial for a vibrant and progressive democracy.

We also call for enhanced political education and capacity-building initiatives that equip young Nigerians with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively engage in the political process. Transparent and accountable electoral processes must be established to restore confidence in the political system and encourage greater youth turnout and involvement. Together, we can build a political environment in Nigeria that not only acknowledges but actively promotes and integrates the contributions of its youth. By doing so, we pave the way for a more dynamic, inclusive, and representative democracy that truly reflects the aspirations and potential of all its citizens. Let us commit to this vision and work collaboratively towards its realization for the betterment of our nation.

Signed:

Hon Ahmed Tijjani Mustapha
IPAC Chairman,
Kaduna State.

Joy Gadani
Kaduna State Youth Focal Person,
YouthGovTracka.

Isma’il Gwarzo
Executive Director, Kaduna Youth Ambassadors (KADSYA)

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