A group, Nigerian Youth Collective Action, has said that it won’t vote for any presidential candidate above the age of 55 years in the 2023 general election.
The group, which comprises youths drawn from the 19 Northern States and Abuja, made this known shortly after a two-day meeting which was held at the Arewa House, Kaduna on Friday.
This is coming just as the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(retd), endorsed Southern presidency ahead of 2023.
The group expressed anger that despite Buhari signing the Not Too Young to Run Bill into law, the youths were technically knocked out of the 2023 presidency through the prohibitive sale of nomination forms by the major political parties.
Although the youth made mentioned of any candidate in particular, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is above 60 years of age, has emerged as the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party.
Atiku’s running mate in the 2019 presidential election and former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, whose age is above 55, picked the presidential ticket of the Labour Party, among others.
But a communique read out by the Spokesperson of the group, Aliyu Mohammed-Sani, said one of the major problems in the country was because many older people were in charge of the nation’s affairs which necessitated the need for a young generation of leaders come 2023.
Against this background, Mohmmed-Sani noted that they would mobilise against any presidential candidate above the age of 55 years in the 2023 presidency.
The 9-point-Communique read in part, “As Northern youths, we condemn in strong terms, the failure of some political parties to follow the demands of Nigerian youths, for a generational shift in leadership and their subsequent selection of old candidates, some close to 80 years old, for the next presidential election.
“Northern Nigerian Youths will ignore, avoid, and not vote for political parties that field candidates that are above 55 years of age as their presidential candidates.
“One of the major things causing problems in this country today is because many old people are in charge of our national affairs who are not in tune with the current global governance practices, hence, the need for a young generation of leaders, come 2023.
“Northern Nigerian youths shall mobilise for, support and vote parties that field only young candidates especially presidential candidates.”