I want to thank my friend Samson CredibleElections Itodo , Laz Ude Eze and all other Nigeria youths that fought to ensure that this bill was passed by the Federal Govt. I am very proud of you especially for your efforts all these years to ensure that not only should youths be allowed and empowered to seek elective positions in Nigeria but also demanded a credible election process to ensure a fair system for all
Unknown to many, you Samson has also been engaged in the promotion of other bills like Election Reform, accountability and violence free electoral processes etc. When we met at the Eko Hotel in Lagos in 2009 at a conference on youth dialogue you helped organised to raise awareness on youth participation in leadership, you gave me an opportunity to be a member of that conference communique drafting committee which enabled me to talk to our young people about my experience when I contested for the House of Assembly in PDP in Anambra State in 2016 at a young age of 28. It was the first time someone my age ever contested for House of Assembly in Anambra State. This later opened more doors for youths to contest in 2011 in Anambra. I am proud that today I am on the field once again in the same PDP contesting for Federal House of Representatives for Anaocha/Dunukofia/Njikoka. You really did great and I am very proud of you
I want to also thank Nigerian youths whom this victory really belong to. Congrats. Nations are built by youths, let’s come out in our millions and move this great nation forward
But however, while we are still basking in the euphoria of this juvenile victory, I must ask us to be cautious as it is not yet Uhuru.
I have contested elections and won in students movements, in NANS and youth organizations, I have also contested in the PDP and other international elections which are different ball games from what we youths are familiar with, therefore listen when I say that this road you want to take at this moment in history is ROUGH and NARROW. Your faith and everything you believe in will be tested. I am talking from experience. Never, never and never forget where you come from and the fresh/positive ideas you are bringing to the table. You are the fresh bride in town and many corrupt political parties without ideologies will court you and seek to destroy your integrity as they did to those that came before you
It is not yet Uhuru that a bill has been passed to accommodate your interest but the 1999 constitution has not been amended to reflect most of the issues raised in that bill
It is not yet Uhuru because you have been promoted to contest elections while you have not been empowered to finance your elections. Political empowerment is different from financial empowerment/ independence to prosecute and finance campaigns. Both must go hand in hand. You have been given one and denied the other. If you don’t plan well, you will eventually be at the mercy of non-youths who will make your elections a Herculean task
It is not yet Uhuru because you have been empowered to contest but you are not allowed to get nomination forms for free. Do you know how much it cost to purchase both the nomination form and the expression of interest form. Serious nations give these forms for free to youths but they are forcing you to pay for them. Do you know that women in Nigeria got a better deal, at least they don’t pay for the forms
In summary, we have come a long way but we still have a long way to go. It is good that you know situation of things so it can enable you to plan well in advance. I have faith in Nigerian youths and I have faith that we can be that change that we seek in our communities.
Thanks one again my good friend Samson Itodo
Pharm Ike Chinedu Klinsmann Ohamadike