Australian High Commissioner Praises YIAGA Africa’s #ReadyToRun Movement

On 23 May, 2018, The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E. Paul Lehmann praised YIAGA Africa for the Ready To Run Movement and the success of the Not Too Young To Run Campaign.

Receiving the Ready To Run Campaign team at the High Commission in Abuja, H.E. High Commissioner Lehmann commended Ready To Run in its efforts to ensure better representation of young Nigerians in the 2019 elections. Borne out of the Not Too Young To Run campaign, Ready to Run is a movement dedicated to inspiring young men and women to run for office and equipping them with the skills to win elections. Ready To Run aims to make a statement that young people can demonstrate excellent public leadership and have the capacity to address Africa’s governance challenges.

The High Commissioner also took the time to credit YIAGA Africa for their continued advocacy for the Not Too Young to Run Bill to reduce the age of running for political office in Nigeria, which is currently awaiting Presidential assent. In his words, if someone is old enough to vote at the age of 18 they can also be voted for, and age should not be a prerequisite for running for public office. He also pledged the support of the Australian Embassy to the Ready To Run Campaign.

Ready to Run is a movement dedicated to inspiring young men and women to run for office and equipping them with the skills to win elections.

During the visit, the High Commissioner gave examples from Australian politics, where young legislators have made significant mark in Australia’s House of Commons. He noted Hon. Wyatt Roy, who was elected the youngest legislator in Australian history at the age of 19. He also described some of the work being done to ensure inclusion of youth in Australian politics.

The Ready To Run team discussed opportunities for collaboration with the Australian efforts in Nigeria. The High Commissioner emphasized that Australia and the world cannot ignore the growing importance of Nigeria, which is soon to be the second largest English-speaking democracy in the world. He said that a part of the bilateral partnership agreement they had with the Nigerian Government is to promote inclusive Democracy and good governance and encouraged the Ready to Run team to involve the embassy in all their activities. He also expressed the High Commission’s readiness to support Ready To Run campaign in any way possible to ensure the total inclusion of Nigeria youth running for elective office come 2019.

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