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Nigerian Youth Maximize on Buhari’s Empowerment Policy

Ayomide Benjamin Feyijimi shows his manifesto while speaking to constituents on during his campaign for House of Assembly
Ayomide Benjamin Feyijimi shows his manifesto while speaking to constituents on during his campaign for House of Assembly

Nigerian youth are maximizing on the opportunities presented to them by the “Not Too Young to Run” bill that was signed into law by the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, whose intentions were to ensure that there is more youth representation in public offices across the nation.

For more, VOA’s Mike Hove spoke to Ayomide Benjamin Feyijimi, a 25-year-old Labor Party candidate who is contesting for a House of Assembly seat in Oyo State.

The interview was edited for brevity and clarity.

VOA: Tell us more about your campaign for public office

Feyijimi: Running an election campaign in Nigeria is extremely expensive and as a 25-year-old I am not financially there yet, so this pushed me to look for a platform that would give me room to run and aid my campaign.

VOA: If you are elected to public office at the age 25, what are going to provide for your constituency?

Feyijimi: There are three major bills I will want to prioritize in the house. The first will focus on food security.

The second will focus on education. There is no tertiary institution in my constituency, and due to that I want to propose that existing schools open a satellite campus in my constituency.

My third and final priority will be on security. I want to institute local security forces that will defend locals, especially those that are in the rural areas where we have farmers whose lives are insecure with all the x-men.

VOA: As February 25 approaches, what words do you have for your peers to ensure maximum participation by youth?

Feyijimi: The youth are discouraged from running for public office by several things. People will tell you that you are not capable or do not have enough money, but today I stand my ground and want to make a difference.

Whether I am financially there or not, I am concentrating my time on voter awareness to educate the youth on the importance of participation and for those not running for public office to ensure that they do not sell their vote.

Please do not sell your vote because that is your power. As youth we need to stand up to take back our country and work together to bring about the positive change we desire.

I strongly believe that together, we can.