The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has declared that the House is considering lowering the age of eligibility for Nigerians seeking election into political offices in order to allow youths participate actively in the political process.
The Speaker made this known during an interactive session he held with students drawn from public and private universities across the country, held at the National Assembly complex.
He, therefore, charged youths to participate more actively in politics by breaking voters’ apathy and electing leaders who will secure their future and interests.
“I am acutely aware that young people often find themselves on the fringes of the political process. We need to develop a structured manner of involving our students and youths in the political process.
“I think it may not be out of place to lower the age qualification for certain elective offices in the next constitutional amendment exercise,” he said.
Speaking about political apathy among young people, translating to low voters’ turnout, the Speaker said this attitude has to change because young people play an increased central role in democracy movement around the globe.
“Many young people are not involved in voting during elections which threatens the representative nature of our democratic institutions,” he added, asserting that “this country belongs to you but it’s under the stranglehold of men and women of a generation that have overreached itself.
“The truth is that nothing will be ceded or conceded to your generation without a fight. In this endeavour, your voices mean nothing if you don’t have the votes. Therefore, all students in Nigeria must not only register to vote and cast their votes during elections, they must also ensure that their votes, count” Dogara added.