Group Cautions Parties Against Subverting Primaries

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The Not-To-Young-To-Run Movement, a political pressure group, has advised leadership of political parties against subverting their guidelines in the selection of candidates for elections.
Convener of the movement, Mr Samson Itodo, gave the advice at a public dialogue series with political parties on youth candidacy and party primaries in Abuja.
Itodo said that state governors should desist from undermining the integrity of candidate selection process through imposition of candidates and intimidation of young aspirants.
He said that in spite of commitments from leadership of various political parties at national and state levels, announcement on cost of nomination forms by various parties called for concern.
“The announcement on the cost of nomination forms presents a major impediment to youth participation in politics.
“More worrisome is the tactics deployed by some state governors to thwart the political aspirations of young aspirants.
“In some states, nomination forms are sold to aspirants after approval has been given by the governor of the state.
“In other words, party executives cannot sell nomination forms to young aspirants until the approval of the governor is sought and secured.
“This is very undemocratic and dictatorial in every respect,” he said.
Itodo advised that party guidelines for primaries be widely publicised to promote participation and accountability.
On his part, Mr Hamza Lawal, leader of the movement, said that the group had earlier engaged political parties to make certain demands but only a few acceded to the demands.
Lawal commended the leadership of the various political parties that had taken steps to accede to the demands of the movements.
“We commend notable parties that have ensured that the cost of nomination forms is not a hindrance to youths’ candidacy within their political parties.
“Notable among them is the United Progressive Party (UPP) and Young Progressive Party (YPP).
“We also appreciate the parties that prescribed and enforced spending limits for party nomination fees and charges as well as parties that have adopted open, transparent and direct party primaries,” he said.
Lawal said that as part of efforts to further operationalise the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act in the 2019 elections, the movement would continually host public dialogue series with political parties on youth candidacy and primaries.
He said that the goal of the public engagement series was to provide a platform for young aspirants registered under the Ready-To-Run platform to engage party leaders on emerging threats to youth candidacy.
Lawal said the dialogue would be an opportunity for party leaders to harvest youth inputs as well as address some concerns relating to the candidate selection process in political parties.