The Not Too Young To Run Act And Youth Political Participation: An Appraisal On The 2019 Presidential Election

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The Not Too Young To Run Act And Youth Political Participation: An Appraisal On The 2019 Presidential Election


Abstract


The study examines “The Not Too Young to Run Act” and youth participation with focus on the 2019 presidential election. The saying “the youths are the future leaders” is a perception that might only stay put in the realm of imagination. The basis for this is not far-fetched, in that since Independence in 1960, Nigeria, as a nation continually encountered leadership challenge, and in consequence, the nation has been gravely affected.

The study made use of primary data. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis were used to analyze the data. The population of the study comprised 100 youths of PDP and APC. Out of the 100 questionnaires administered, 97 copies were returned, indicating a response rate of 97.2 %.

The findings showed that Not Too Young to Run Act is a product of Nigeria’s democracy. The Not too young to run Act does have meaningful effect on youth participation in the voting process during the 2019 presidential election. The Not too young to run Act has stimulated some youths to contest the 2019 Presidential election. The factor that militated against “The Not too young to run Act” and youth political participation in 2019 Presidential election includes godfatherism, funding, lack of support and gerontocratic tendencies.

The study concludes that “Not Too Young to Run Act” is a product of Nigeria’s democracy and it does have meaningful effect on youth participation in the voting process during the 2019 presidential election. “The Not too young to run Act” has stimulated some youths to contest the 2019 Presidential election. The study recommended: The politicians should endeavor using the democratic system to encourage youth participation. Youths are encouraged to always mobilize themselves and participate in the voting process in subsequent elections. Youths should take the bull by the horn by contesting presidential elections in Nigeria by mobilizing and supporting themselves. Excessive spending and gerontocratic tendencies should be discourages in elections in order to encourage youth participation in elections in Nigeria.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

In the Report on Youth participation in national parliaments 2016, the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) reports that people between the ages of 20 and 44 make up 57% of the world’s voting age population but only 26% of the world’s Members of Parliament (MPs) (Bames & Noble, 2018). Young people under 30years of age represent 1.9% of the world’s Members of Parliament and more than 80% of the world’s upper houses of Parliament have no members of parliament aged below 30 years. While young people often play central and catalyzing roles in movements for democracy around the world, they are less engaged than older generations in voting and party activism (Dimitrova et al., 2011). However, young people are often disregarded or ignored as political candidates. Politics is typically regarded as a space for politically experienced men, and while women are often disadvantaged in accumulating experience to run for office, young people are systematically marginalized because of their young age, limited opportunities, and projected lack of experience (Gorsuch, 2014).

In order to respond to the needs of young people, and to guarantee that their basic human rights are recognized and enforced, young people’s active and meaningful participation in their societies and in democratic practices and processes is of crucial importance (Preye & Agnes, 2011). The presence of young people in decision-making positions benefits all citizens and not just only the youth. Meaningful youth participation and leadership require that young people and young people-led organizations have opportunities, capacities, and benefit from an enabling environment and relevant evidence-based programmes and policies at all levels (Puja, 2018). Realizing young people’s right to participate and be included in democratic processes and practices is also vital to ensure the achievement of internationally agreed development goals and to refresh the development agenda.

Instead of youth engaging with and in political parties in Nigeria, young men and women are traditionally active politically in universities (when allowed) but very often disillusioned with political leadership and political institutions and excluded from policy development (Adebayo, 2018). As a result, political activism of youth is not organized according to formal groupings. However, a Nigerian Youth Agenda on Political Participation was developed ahead of the 2019 election together with a Nigerian Youth Inter party Forum (Adelabu & Akinsolu, 2019). The forum was primarily be used by youth members across party lines to come together and deliberate on issues of common interest and challenges among other things one being expanding the frontiers for youth political participation (Baba & Ogungiya, 2015).

The saying “the youths are the future leaders” is a perception that might only stay put in the realm of imagination. The basis for this is not far-fetched, in that since Independence in 1960, Nigeria, as a nation continually encountered leadership challenge, and in consequence, the nation has been gravely affected. The long-standing leadership modes, self regard, absence of political enthusiasm, specifically from the youths are indisputably as a result of the negligence by occupants in positions of authority. To compound matters, the government, subjugated by the aged within the three tiers of government has similarly contributed to the slow pace of growth and advancement. So far, these have captivated the attention of many, mostly the youths who bear greater impact of the not too impressive’ state of the economy

The not too young to run bill passed recently in Nigeria, plays out to be a positive reaction to the potential trend in the International system, birthed from the 2017 primary elections held in France which the lad, in the person of Mr Emmanuel Macron emerged as the President with a newly formed party named “En Marche”. At length, the Bill is undeniably a good move by the government to allow for the rising of young minds through the ashes and lead the nation to greatness. However, in spite of the admirations bestowed on the government for the good work prepared, the bill can be frankly likened to a smoke screen, impairing the citizens from scrutinizing other crucial issues (Opejobi, 2018).

The event of signing the “Not too young to run Bill” into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, which is now the “Not too Young to Run Act” (NTYTRA) was passed by the 8th National Assembly. The NTYTRA has been seen as the most followed public bill in the country right from when democracy was restored in 1999 (Baker, 2012). The NTYTRA amends the constitution by reducing the age qualification for certain elective offices created by the Constitution (Allen & Light, 2018). Today, the bill has generated lots of arguments in support and against it. Those against NTYTRA believes that it is arrant nonsense, a deceit, useless, unnecessary and a pyrrhic victory, those in support posits that it is a victory for democracy, a historic event and opportunity for the youths to decide the future of the country (Baker, 2012). The current researcher is of the opinion that analyzing “the not too young to run act” and youth political participation with focus on the 2019 presidential election is necessary.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

It has been generally established that the main challenges for youth were limited opportunities for effective participation in decision-making processes (Baker, 2012). With limited opportunities and exposure to meaningfully participate in inclusive decision-making processes, young men and women feel excluded and marginalized in their societies and communities. The need for participatory structures and greater trust between youth and institutions and for greater capacity development has been emphasized in different forums. Opportunities for youth to engage in governance and participate in political and decision-making processes depend largely on the political, socioeconomic, and cultural contexts where social norms in many parts of the world result in multiple forms of discrimination against young women. Both formal and informal engagement can be understood as political participation, and both are beneficial for a vivid and resilient democracy and should be supported. There is strong evidence that the participation of young people in formal, institutional political processes is relatively low when compared to older citizens across the globe. This challenges the representativeness of the political system and leads to the disenfranchisement of young people.

The youths represent the most enterprising and adventurous party in the world. In retrospect, youths take a substantial portion of the world’s population. On the contrary, the presence of young high brows in the affairs of the state has been out of context, in that they have been utterly neglected. The evidence for this is compelling, considering the extent at which youths have turned out to be instruments used to effect political heinous crimes. In this regard, Nigeria’s situation can be equated to the aforementioned, until its recent espousal of “the not too young to run bill”. Despite the signing of this bill into law, the number of youth that contested or elected in the 2019 elections is visibly low, since virtually all positions from President to ward chancellor are held by old people. Despite the seriousness of this issue to the nation development, no research have been conducted on “the not too young to run act” and youth political participation with respect to the 2019 presidential election, hence, this study will therefore reveal the effect of this law in the 2019 general elections in Nigeria.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the effects of “the not too young to run act” and youth political participation in the 2019 presidential election.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To examine the effect of the “not too young to run act” on youth participation in the voting process during the 2019 presidential election.
  2. To determine if the “not too young to run act” stimulated youths to contest the 2019 presidential election.
  3. To identify the factor that militated against the “not too young to run act” and youth political participation in 2019 presidential election.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the effect of the “not too young to run act” on youth participation in the voting process during the 2019 presidential election?
  2. How does the “not too young to run act” stimulated youths to contest the 2019 presidential election.?
  3. What are the factors that militated against the “not too young to run act” and youth political participation in 2019 presidential election?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The following are the significance of this study:

The outcome of this study will enlighten government, policy makers, stakeholders and general public on “the not too young to run act” and political participation: an appraisal on the 2019 presidential election.

The findings from this study will constitute a basis for future research and also contributing to the body of knowledge since it will be used as empirical literature. Outcome of this study will also be a guide for policy formulation both at state and national level towards improving youth political participation in Nigeria.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study will cover on “the not too young to run bill” and political participation. It will also cover issues on 2019 presidential election.


1.7 Methodology

Methodology is part of the research that shows the ways and approaches of collecting the data (Oliver, 2004). This research is primarily qualitative as it is based on the “not too young to run act” and youth political participation in the 2019 presidential elections. The reason for choosing the qualitative analysis strategy is the exploratory and the qualitative nature of study. According to Robson (1993), flexibility is always the main strength of the case study strategy in terms of interpretation and getting access to the specified places. The research is a based on secondary data. We used document analysis/content analysis as main method of data collection. Document analysis/content analysis also called “textual analysis” (Travers, 2001) in the study will include all kinds of academic articles, textual and multi-media products, ranging from television programmes to web sites on the internet.


1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

“the not too young to act”:

is an act which sought to reduce the age limit for running for elected office in Nigeria and globally.

Bill:

A formal statement of a planned new law that is discussed or a draft of a proposed law presented to parliament for discussion.

Youth:

Is a young person who has not yet reached adulthood and refers to the time period before you become an adult.

Political Participation:

Simply means that a person is participating in the political process by making his or her opinions and beliefs known or is often used to describe an action taken by a citizen to influence the outcome of a political issue.

Presidential Election:

Is the election of any head of state whose official title is President.

Election:

A formal and organized choice by vote of a person for a political office or other position.


1.9 Organization of the study

The study will be organized into five chapters.

  • The first chapter is the introduction and it forms a solid background for the research and the objectives are raised.
  • Chapter two contains the appraisal of various studies that are relevant to the variables of concern.
  • Chapter three describes the youths political participation and the 2019 elections in Nigeria. It explains the role of youth in a democratic system and the challenges faced by youth in Politics. It also explains the level of youth participation in the entire 2019 general elections.
  • Chapter four describes explains the role of “not too young to run on youth participation in 2019 Presidential election. It explains the level of youth participation in voting, the influence of the bill on the number of contestants and factor limiting the effectiveness of the bill in youth participation in the 2019 presidential elections.
  • Chapter five is made up of summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.

The Not Too Young To Run Act And Youth Political Participation: An Appraisal On The 2019 Presidential Election


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The Not Too Young To Run Act And Youth Political Participation: An Appraisal On The 2019 Presidential Election


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