Nigerian youth can finally become leaders of tomorrow

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July 28, 2017
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2 min read
#NotTooYoungToRun protester

With the era of social media came online activism where citizens could speak out on injustice and social issues and call out their governments. In Nigeria, social media has played a huge role in calling for transparency in government and holding public servants accountable. From the #OccupyNigeria twitter trend to #BringBackOurGirls and now #NotTooYoungToRun, it is no wonder lawmakers moved to regulate social media activities.

The #NotTooYoungToRun campaign is a global trend that calls for youth inclusion and participation in elective offices. As the dominant demography, the Nigerian youths call for the reduction of the age required to contest for political office, using social media.

For decades, Nigeria has recycled its leaders and with strict age restrictions, the youths had no hope of ruling. Until the "age reduction for candidacy" bill.

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With alleged removal of the bill in the final report to be considered for adoption by lawmakers last week, the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign became fiercer. Alongside the online protest, Nigerian youths staged an offline rally on Tuesday at the National assembly, calling for the adoption of the bill. On Wednesday, 25th of July, the Senate finally gave in and passed the bill.

As a result, the age qualification for presidential aspirants was reduced to 35, governorship and senate aspirants 30, while 25-year-olds can run for seats in the House of Representatives and State House of Assembly. However, for the bill to be signed into law, it requires majority votes from the House of Representative and the House of Assembly. #NotTooYoungToRun bill design

The victory of the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign gathered a lot of reactions on social media, especially on Twitter. It was indeed a victory that will make it to Nigeria's history books.

From the celebratory posts.

Oh, and the conspiracy theories

https://twitter.com/GabEsu/status/890495470157651968

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To the people who believe political office would still be family business for the elites

And threats for the aspiring looters

https://twitter.com/UNCLE_AJALA/status/890267809690812427

This person is just fed up with Nigeria

There were jokes too, because what's a serious issue without a funny angle?

https://twitter.com/bolu_oj/status/890553501608275969

The impact of the #NotTooYoungToRun trend shows that Nigerian youths have found a voice on social media. And hopefully, come 2019, competent and qualified millennials will take over the reins of leadership from the present generation of leaders.

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