NYC calls for collective action

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

THE umbrella organisation of Nigerian youths, the Nigerian Youth Union (NYU), has said the rejection of the gender inclusion bills by the National Assembly was not only a temporary setback but also a call for collective action by youths and women.

NYU regretted that the ninth National Assembly had to vote against such progressive legislation at a time the world was celebrating the sterling contributions of the women to social progress and global harmony.

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According to its National President, Chinonso Obasi, the fact that Nigeria which rejoiced at Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence as the director general of the World Trade Organisation should vote against the bill is most retrogressive and tended to detract from the huge mileage already covered by Nigeria in the international community.

Offering to work together with Nigerian women to change the narrative in the country’s current democratic system, the NYU leader remarked that since evil men conspired to sustain the policy of exclusion, Nigerian women and youth would combine to change the narratives to enthrone a better governance system.

Obasi, who is also a former national president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) disclosed that in the course of its planned interface with political parties towards the 2023 general election, NYU would challenge parties on the number of spaces they created for youths and women.

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He said: “This is going to be the irreducible minimum demand to support any political party and to demonstrate our resolve to determine the direction of the 2023 general election.

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“We should insist on twining for most elective and appointive offices, which would join women and youths.

“In local governments, we want to see a situation whereby the position of chairman and deputy chairman would be shared between men and women/youths. The demand for 35 per cent of elected and appointive public officials would be pursued with every sense of responsibility and determination.”

Obasi maintained that NYU was not going back on its resolve after its first non-elective national convention that presidential candidates that are below 60 years should be supported during the election.

The NYU president disclosed that NYU would embark on a tour of the 774 local government areas of the country to drum support for its programmes, and support massive enlightenment and mobilisation for voter registration and the need to vote en masse during elections.

Referring to the rounded experience paraded by Governor Aminu Tambuwal as a teacher, lawyer, and former legislator, NYU said such a range of leaders represent the calibre of politicians that the youths and women would rally around to make the desired change.

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