By Eme Okon
The governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Barr Eyo Ekpo has said that his party has deliberately engaged youths’ participation in the politics of the state in order to give bite to the Not-Too-Young-To-Run bill recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking while addressing youths in Calabar recently, Ekpo maintained that youths have a critical role to play in the political evolution of the country, and that his party was doing everything possible to encourage them.
“SDP is the only political party in Cross River State that has made provision for youths to vie for various offices and this is because we are not only aware of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law in the country, but we also realize that youths have a critical role in the running of the state, and of course the country.
“Right now, many youths are vying for various offices in the coming elections on the platform of the party and we are even encouraging more youths to come and identify with the party which, since its inception, has been youth-friendly,” he said.
Ekpo berated other political parties selling their nomination forms at astronomical fees, saying the idea was to ensure that young people do not participate in the political process.
He also condemned the idea of automatic ticket which he claimed, “has continued to produce mediocrity” despite the talents that abound in young people, assuring that SDP was particularly putting modalities in place to tap those talents.
“We identify with and recognize the abundant talent that is embedded in youths of our state and that is why we have deliberately put modalities in place to tap from those talents. Our plan is to make youths the corner stone of our programme and we are working with a lot of youths to ensure we win the coming election so that they will participate in the governance of our state,” Ekpo assured.
The governorship candidate argued that in recognition of the role of youths, the presidential candidate of the party, Mr. Donald Duke has assured that his government would be run by young bureaucrats who will anchor effective and efficient programmes for the country.
“Between 1999 and 2003, our state was run by young progressive minds who did a lot to bring the state to international prominence. We were young, including the governor then, Mr. Donald Duke and we worked hard to change the face of the state. SDP, both at the national and state levels will bring back youths into governance,” he posited.