PRESS STATEMENT BY THE RAISING NEW VOICES INITIATIVE ON THE #BREAKTHEHOLD CAMPAIGN ON THE 15THOF NOVEMBER, 2018 AT Ecove Space, Adetokunbo Ademola, Wuse II, Abuja
Fellow Nigerians, members of the press, esteemed partners and great Nigerian youths who have gathered here today to be part of this historic declaration, I welcome you all and thank you for joining us here today.
Today, we answer the call of destiny to change the narrative, to bypass this status quo and to continue the journey to building a better Nigeria. If there is anything we have learnt from our story as a nation, it is the need for us to organize instead of agonize, the need to walk the talk as the leaders of today and to restore our nation to its pride of place and the need for us to rise to the challenge of our generation to secure political power, not just as and end in itself but as a means to realizing the Nigeria of our dreams.
Following the historic constitutional amendment reducing the ages to run for office which young people worked for in May 2018, our Nation’s political space was opened for more young people. This has ensured an unprecedented increase in the number of competent young people running for office.
In August of this year and with the support of our partners, YIAGA Africa and IRI, we announced the launch of our campaign, #BreakTheHold which seeks to ensure that the proverbial hold that our recycled leaders have on our generation is broken. This we said we would do by supporting young Nigerians into parliament towards a legislative agenda that is geared towards specific reforms in the sectors that affect us as a generation – Education, Economy, Technology and Innovation and Governance.
Unfortunately, some of them have been side-lined by the unfortunate incidences of high cost of nomination forms and irregularities in the conduct of party primaries, an action which we condemn in the strongest of terms. In spite of this, some young people have emerged victorious as the flagbearers of their parties in the upcoming 2019 elections and shall be representing their parties on the ballot boxes as aspirants to the House of Representatives.
We speak today as the new voices and faces of good governance, selfless leadership, accountability and transparency. We speak as a voice for the 67 million marginalized youths, the 29.7 million persons with disabilities, our 49.34% female citizens who are being limited in their aspirations by inequality, the over 13.5 million children out of school, the 61.6% of Nigerian youths who are unemployed, and every other Nigerian who has time and time again put his or her hope in Nigeria with little or nothing to show for it.
We speak as a generation who must answer the call of destiny to consciously build a better nation. It is for the future of the 21,000 babies born daily in our country, the population of 400 million that we will have by 2037, 200 million of which will be under the age of 20 that we speak, assuming the duty of care we owe our nation, to give our all to building, nurturing, promoting and strengthening her.
Today we reaffirm our decision to work towards a different future which is bright with opportunities for our people; we want to usher in a new leadership and today have gathered to tell Nigeria, Africa and the World that young Nigerians are rising to lead. We have put our money, tenacity and energy where our mouth is. We are here today to announce indeed to Nigeria that through these, we are laying the bricks of the new face of leadership.
We welcome the intervention of the press here as they continue to inform our citizens that there are numerous options available in our democracy and that Nigerians do not have to settle. You have graciously honoured our invitation to witness the unveiling of the inaugural set of the New Voices Candidates in the 2019 Elections to the House of Representatives. These ones are leaders who will prioritize achieving our legislative priorities as an organization.
To be clear, our legislative agenda which this new caucus will be pursuing vigorously and can be downloaded from our website aims to pursue critical reforms in the country that affect our generation – the continually degrading educational system that not just ensures that 13.5 million of our kids are left out of school but that even those who are in our public schools receive the poorest quality of education in our history; the exclusive nature of the economy that only guarantees upward mobility for the top 10% and stagnation in standards of living for the millions of young Nigerians who have been condemned to SMEs; the backwardness of our laws and policies in all sectors that does not take into account the technological future that the world is moving towards; the noise-making that has gone on and on about fighting corruption without strengthening the institutions that wage war against corrupt practices, tieing them to the strength of one man or a few persons on the backdrop of their ironical independence. Our legislative agenda focuses explicitly on these sectors as a start because we understand that these sectors don’t only affect our generation immensely but also are levers that must be switched to get our country on the path to fulfilling our age long potential.
We have identified young Nigerians who have taken the bold step to run for office and have secured their party tickets despite the odds. In this regard, we recognise the good work of our partners particularly YIAGA Africa, International Republican Institute, Civic Hive and Accountability Lab, whose work continues to equip these pacesetters with the skills needed for a political system which puts the people first. These young Nigerians on getting elected, will pursue our legislative agenda in parliament and usher in these critical reforms for the benefit of our generation and our country as a whole.
I have spoken highly of these committed 25 people, 19 males and 6 females (1 of whom is a PWD). They have been selected across the Six geo political zones and from 14 different political parties . I shall now proceed to state their names:
|Dudari Sunday Wilson||Male||Adamawa||Numan/Larmure/Demsa Federal Constituency||North East||ABP|
|Karu Simon Elisha||Male||Gombe||Kaltungo, Shongom Federal Constituency||North East||APC|
|Labar Joseph Bapivang||Male||Plateau||Pankshin, Kanam, Kanke Federal Constituency||North Central||FRESH|
|Mohammed Dirisu Isah||Male||Nasarawa||Toto Federal Constituency||North Central||NRM|
|Saratu Kudi||Female||Gombe||Yamaltu Deba Federal Constituency||North East||ABP|
|John Luka Njiling||Male||Adamawa||Madagali/Michika||NortH East||ANN|
|Salisu Muhammed||Male||Katsina||Katsina Central Federal constituency||North West||ACCORD|
|Numontei Meshack Sintei||Male||Bayelsa||Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency||South South||YPP|
|Kareemat Aderinsola Abiola||Female||Ogun||Abeokuta North/Odeda/Obafemi Owode Federal Constituency||South West||ADP|
|Timi Olagunju||Male||Oyo||Ibadan North Federal Constituency||South West||YPP|
|Ado Yau Barma||Male||Jigawa||Mallam Madori/Kaugama Federal Constituency||North West||SDP|
|Roseline Urama||Female||Enugu||Udenu/Igbo Eze Federal Constituency||South East||NRM|
|Nwaenyo Ugochukwu Jesse||Male||Abia||Obingwa/Osisioma/Ugunabo Federal Constituency||South East||UPP|
|Temitope Kolawole||Male||Ondo||Okiti Pupa/Irele Federal Constituency||South West||ADC|
|Ogbodo Kenneth Uchenna||Male||Enugu||Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency||South East||Kowa|
|Ekpenyong Ekpenyong Ambo||Male||Cross Rivers||Bar Municipality/ Odukpani Federal Constituency||South South||ADC|
|Bashir Umar Suleiman||Male||Kano||Fagge Federal Constituency||North West||GPN|
|Lois Auta||Female and pwd||Abuja||AMAC/Bwari Federal Constituency||North Central||Accord|
|Mustapha Hadi Aminu||Male||Gombe||Akko Federal Constituency||North East||NDLP|
|Umar Faruq Yakubu||Male||Katsina||Katsina Federal Constituency||North West||ANRP|
|Pius Osahon Aghedo||Male||FCT, Abuja||Amac/Bwari||North Central||ANN|
|Christabel Ifeoma Muoghalu||Female||Anambra||Orumba North/South Federal Constituency||South East||NRM|
|Oloto Juliet Lebechi||Female||Enugu||Nsukka/Igbo-Eze Federal Constituency||South East||ADC|
Najibullah Umar Tafida
|Mushin II Federal Constituency
Argungu/Augie Federal Constituency
Our plan is to crowd fund the campaign of these capable leaders by requesting 200,000 Nigerians who believe that we can begin to reform our country from the parliament, from our laws and policies, who believe that our generation needs to start from securing positions and making impact in the National Assembly, who believe that irrespective of the persons elected to the Presidency, we can get Nigeria on the path towards fulfilling its destiny to donate #5,000 each to the Campaign Accounts of these candidates which can be found on our website www.raisingnewvoices.org. Their profiles speak of the excellent work they have done in their few years on earth and can be found on our website www.raisingnewvoices.org alongside their campaign account details which shall be effectively monitored for transparency and accountability.
We encourage Nigerians at home and in diaspora to facilitate the process of birthing these new voices who are committed to the Nigerian project.
Finally, our clarion call is to the young Nigerian in Lagos who is constantly faced with the choice to get up in the morning as early as 5 just so they don’t get stuck in traffic that is guaranteed to waste man-hours of productivity. Our clarion call is to the recent father or mother in Kano who is now thinking of what the future of their kids will be in a Nigeria that has no planned future for its children. Our clarion call is to the Nigerian who despite reasonable earnings is thinking of migrating to Canada or Europe or the now nationalistic United States of America in search of a better life. Our clarion call is to the Nigerian whose life investments are already here and is worried about the impending chaos that a spike in population of poor people, who do not have the purchasing power to trade and have no skills, no jobs, no hope and what that will mean for their investments. Our clarion call is to young Nigerians who will together face the implications of our political decisions today in the nearest future when most of our leaders today have passed on. Our country is ours to build, ours to create and no one else’s.
It is for this reason that those young people among us who are ready to take up the solemn obligation to ensure that our country is redeemed and that our country delivers the tomorrow we seek. We must support them, not just in words but in action by going to our website and donating to ensure they get elected.
May God bless you and May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Raising New Voices Initiative.