- A group of young Nigerians under the Raising New Voices initiative have launched what they call #BreakTheHold campaign
- The campaign is geared towards supporting young Nigerians seeking political office in the 2019 general elections
- Promoters of the initiative are also partnering with the #ReadyToRun movement to select and vet the right candidates
A group of young Nigerians under the Raising New Voices initiative have launched what they call #BreakTheHold campaign geared towards supporting young Nigerians seeking political office in the 2019 general elections.
The convener of the movement, Jude Feranmi, made this known during a press conference held at Ventures Platform, Abuja on Monday, August 5.
Promoters of the initiative are also partnering with YIAGA Africa's #ReadyToRun movement to select and vet the right candidates that would represent Nigerian youths at the elections.
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Feranmi said: “Raising New Voices Initiative will be working to support the emergence and the election of young competent Nigerians who understand, as Martin Luther King Jnr likes to put it, the fierce urgency of now, into the House of Representatives in 2019.
“We will be working with exactly 25 candidates cutting across the 6 geo-political zones in the country and across different political parties. They will be pursuing an agenda that cuts across 2 categories of reforms - sectoral reforms and governance reforms.
“Under sectoral reforms, this new caucus will focus on three sectors - technology and innovation, economy and education. Under governance reforms, this new caucus will be focusing on reforms on anti-corruption, civil service reforms, with emphasis on the Nigeria Police Force and lean government. Our comprehensive legislative agenda can be found and downloaded from our website www.raisingnewvoices.org
“Our hope is that in supporting these candidates to get elected into parliament, Nigerians both at home and in diaspora will join our campaign in crowdfunding the resources, both financial, physical and material to ensure their election.”
Feranmi said the campaign is seeking between 200,000 and 250,000 Nigerians who will commit to giving their resources to the campaign at a minimum of N5000 and a maximum of N100,000
He added that the International Republican Institute (IRI) will partner with the movement to ensure spending are monitored and their campaigns comply with the existing electoral laws.
“Every donor who gives to the campaign will be sent a souvenir pack containing a lapel pin and a support card that they can hold to show accountability from the candidates when they have been elected.
“It must be reiterated that these candidates will come from across different political parties as we will be working with YIAGA to identify young reform-minded Nigerians, which must be said are in every party. We will especially work with candidates whose party agenda are clear aligned with ours, not just in word but in deed,” he added.
YIAGA are the brains behind the #NotTooYoungToRun movement, while the IRI have worked in the political and democratic process of Nigeria for the past 17 years or more.
“In also presenting our message to the Nigerian people, we are partnering with Voice of The People, a volunteer led organization committed to hearing the people’s voices and amplifying it.
“Deep Dive Intelligence, Civic Hive and Ventures Platforms, organisations who continue to lay the foundation for a Nigeria built on technology and innovation have offered support to this initiative both in terms of infrastructure and in terms of policy formulation. We are hosted here for example by the gracious team at Ventures Park,” Feranmi concluded.
Also speaking, the senior program officer, YIAGA Africa, Ibrahim Faruk, noted that the #ReadyToRun movement is designed to inspire young people, following the passage of the Not Too Young To Run Bill into law recently by President Muhammadu Buhari.
On his part, the resident program director, IRI, Sentell Barnes, said his team is working to increase participation and space for women, youth and people living with disabilities in Nigeria's politics.
He added that his organisation looks forward to encouraging candidates, especially youth and women to participate in political activities in the country.
For Adaeze Sokan, director of policy and learning, Ventures Platform, the future of Africa and Nigeria lies with entrepreneurs, even as she urged young Nigerians going into government to prioritize certain sectors like the ICT, to create an enabling environment for them to thrive.
She said if Nigeria must live up to being a giant of Africa, she must create policies to push technology and innovation.
The campaign which is mainly towards the 2019 elections, will focus more on parliamentary seats and will end on February 15, 2019.
Meanwhile, the Not Too Young To Run movement recently lamented the lack of internal party democracy and high cost of party nomination affecting the chances of young people and persons living with disabilities ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The group made its stance known on the issue on Monday, July 30, at a press briefing in Abuja, stressing that the situation “continually undermines the emergence of youth (men and women) candidates in the 2019 general elections.”
The movement stated that they will be engaging political parties to make demand that political parties reserve party tickets for young people with character, capacity and competence.
They demanded for 298 tickets out of the available 900 tickets for the Houses of Assembly election nationwide and 109 tickets out of the available 360 tickets for the House of Representatives elections nationwide.
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