Youths of the Federal Capital Territory ahead of the February 2022 area council elections have called on all political parties to put structures in place to assist youths and women to contest.
A chairmanship candidate for Allied Peoples Movement (APM) in Kwali Area Council Daniel Amos, while speaking, Friday, at the Run to Win Town Hall Meeting with young candidates and the leadership of political parties organized by Yiaga Africa in Abuja and official launch of the analysis report of youth and female candidacy in the 2021 FCT local council elections .
He said that it was hard for youths to contest elections in Nigeria due to finance and other logistics involved.
Amos also said that insecurity is another challenge he was facing because Kwali being a remote area was prone to kidnapping and mobility to the villages was not easy.
According to him, “We need all the support we can get, we need support from our political parties for campaign because you can’t campaign without security, we need parties to help in securing youths as they go about campaigning. We also need financial assistance, logistics supports among others,”he said.
Also, the African Democratic Congress(ADC) Counselorship Candidate, Kubwa ward under Bwari Area Council, Ms Juliet Isi-Ikhayele said that man power was key factor in winning elections and therefore urged parties to provide to engage in man power structure in various wards in order to set up polling agents.
She said it would help in having ready man power during elections at ward levels adding that parties should also help with logistics mobilisation and finance because politics was not a man’s duty but a collective effort.
While reacting , the Vice Chairman ,FCT, Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Mahmud Muhammed commended the effort of Yiaga Africa for initiating the programme because it was an avenue for more enlightenment for youths and women.
Muhammed said that although finance play a role in elections but a good candidate would always be supported to succeed.
He said that so as far ,PDP youths were determined to participate in FCT elections this time around noting that the greatest measure put in place by PDP was to encourage them to run.
“When you look at AMAC chairmanship candidates ,the PDP representative is the youngest among those contesting for election in the entire FCT and that alone is encouraging youths because they are hopeful that they could be there tomorrow.’’
Also, the Programme Manager, Governance and Development programme Yiaga Africa, Mr Ibrahim Farouk, said that the Run To Win is a campaign dedicated to supporting young women and men with competence, capacity and character to contest and win elections in Nigeria borne from the demands from the Not-Too-Young-to-Run campaign.
“There are a few things we hope to see after today, one is that it increases awareness around the 2022 FCT Area council elections because we know that there is a lot of voter apathy when it comes to area council elections in FCT.
“Second is how we increase visibility for young people who are running for elective offices positions in the area councils election especially’.
“Our analysis has shown us that 14 political parties and 227 young candidates who are either contesting for councellorship or chairmanship elections in the 2022 area council elections,” he said.