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South-West Legislative Summit Empowers Youth For Election Participation

Daud Olatunji

Stakeholders from various sectors gathered for a dynamic two-day South-West Zonal Legislative Interactive Session on “Legislation and Participation of Young People in Elections; The Emerging Trends.” 

The event, held from Thursday, April 25th, to Friday in  Ibadan, Oyo State, was spported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Kimpact Development Initiative (KID), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

The summit saw notable attendees including the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Matters, Sharafadeen Alli, and the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters, Adebayo Balogun.

 Also present were Senator Shuaib Afolabi Salisu, representing Ogun Central, former Senate leader Yahaya Abdullahi, and several National Assembly members. 

With over 60 youth delegates contributing their position papers, the event received a robust exchange of ideas.

Key topics discussed ranged from electoral reform, including the possibility of allowing Nigerians abroad to vote, reducing the age limit for contesting elections, and reviewing the tenure of political office holders. 

Additionally, creating a conducive financial environment for young people’s electoral participation and monitoring campaign finance were addressed.

Senator Shuaib Salisu highlighted the pivotal role of youth voices in legislative matters, emphasising their potential to shape the future. 

Comrade Emmanuel Ojo, Ogun State Coordinator of the Commonwealth Youth Organisation, Nigeria, presented a position paper focusing on electoral offences prosecution under campaign finance. 

He stressed  the need for better monitoring and tracking of campaign finance, proposing the utilization of blockchain technology and public awareness campaigns to enhance transparency and accountability.

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