General - May 31, 2018

#NotTooYoungToRun: Mr President has heeded the call, By Olasupo Abideen Opeyemi

The most popular game in Nigerian governance is the blame game. Every succeeding administrator in Nigeria goes out of its way to make everybody who cares to listen believe that all governing problems were caused by their predecessors, as though the people who voted them out were not aware.

Nigerian youth activists during a mass rally in support of the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill at Abuja, the Nigerian capital
Nigerian youth activists during a mass rally in support of the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill at Abuja, the Nigerian capital

The case is no different today, with Nigeria waking up every morning to the stale news of the damage done by the previous administration we have voted out some three years ago, and little or no fresh news of what our present administration has done in building a stronger nation, where everybody takes up the responsibility of building a better country. In ensuring irreversible development and sustainable growth of this great nation, critical thinkers within and outside the state have agreed that all hands, blameworthy or not, need to be on deck.

For developed nations around the world, whatever success stories we hear are not a product of the effort of a certain class or category of people, it has been the collective responsibility of everybody, because the success of a state isn’t the success story of a selected few, rather, that of everyone.

In clear words, the aim of Nigerian youth when clamouring for an active participation in governance and leadership of our beloved country is to intensify efforts in ensuring the success of our nation. The youth have woken up from their slumber, and are ready to give the necessary support to ensuring Nigeria stands tall again.

Mr. President, in the time you have spent in office, a lot has transpired, and it would be unfair and irrational to say you have done nothing in office, as your fight against corruption and the efforts at combatting the menace of terrorism in the North-eastern part of our country haven’t gone unnoticed.

Mr. President, remember that you promised Nigerians change – from economic recession, looming corruption, ever-growing unemployment rate among youth, and so on. Efforts no doubt have been channelled at ensuring things change, but the sad tunes that made us change our piper to you are the same ones we still hear.

Personally, I’m optimistic Nigeria can stand again, if we start putting the right things in perspective, one of which entails creating a space for young minds in the politics and governance of our country. A number of countries are soaring thanks to the impact of their youth, so it’s befuddling why you would push our own youths away.

Mr. President, it may have taken Nigerian youth a while to understand their place in the development of this nation. But in those times, they were waiting both patiently and impatiently for the time they would have the opportunity to be a part of the decision-makers, so they may implement their brilliant thoughts and ideas.

But they have quickly realised that the tomorrow they were waiting for starts now. This is what has birthed the movements for youth inclusion in the governance of our nation.

Notable among these movements is the #NotTooYoungToRun movement which began as far back as 2009, with the advocacy for age reduction in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In May 2016, the campaign for age reduction in the 8th assembly began with a bill seeking for the reduction of ages for aspirants into various elective positions.

The long journey reached its final stage with the successful passage of the Bill at both the National Assembly and majority of the state assemblies as well as the subsequent onward transmission of the Bill to the President for assent, as required by the constitution. Suffice to say that the progress, growth and development of this nation now lie on your shoulders, more than ever Mr. President.

Mr. President, I, alongside many othereager Nigerian youth appreciate your historic assent to this bill which symbolises a significant change in Nigeria’s history and which will give our youth the desired opportunity to play their own part in actualising the Nigerian dream. The youths are the assurance we need to help our country move to even greater heights.

God bless Nigeria.

Olasupo Abideen Opeyemi is the Kwara State Coordinator of the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign, a ONE Champion ( and a fellow of the Young Africa Leadership Initiative (Regional Leadership Centre). He is the executive director of the award-winning Brain Builders International; a United Nations recognised and certified SDGs group. He is also the CEO Brain Builders IT Firm, OPAB Global Consult, OPAB Gas Station, Soup For Me and OPAB Farms. He hails from Osun State. He can be reached on or 2347068775529. He tweets at @opegoogle



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