The National Reconciliation and Strategy Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has recommended exemption of nomination fees for youth aspirants seeking elective positions.
The committee made the recommendation in a letter by its chairman and former Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, to the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus.
As stated in the copy of the committee’s letter made available to newsmen in Abuja Sunday, the committee recommended that any PDP aspirant under the age of 35 contesting elective position should be exempted from the payment of nomination fees.
It also recommended immediate amendment of PDP constitution to that effect.
It advised the constitution should state that “only persons not less than 18 years old and not more than 35 years could contest for the position of youth leader at all levels of the party structure – wards, local government, state and national”.
The committee explained that the recommendation was as a result of the meeting held with the party’s national youth leader and other youth leaders across the 36 states on March 19.
It stated that the meeting was in furtherance of its mandate to resolve disputes, reconcile aggrieved members and foster cohesion and unity within the party.
The committee noted that the youths at the meeting presented some requests on which the two-point recommendations contained in the letter were later agreed upon.
“The implication of the recommendation on waiver of the nomination fees for youths aspiring to various offices means that where the party guidelines for instance demand that a gubernatorial aspirant pay N20 million for nomination form and one million naira for expression of interest form, any aspirant below the age of 35 years, will get the nomination form at no cost while they only pay the one million naira expression of interest fee.
“The measure is believed to be aimed at easing the burden of participation in the political process on the youths and encourage them to purposefully and positively utilise the new constitutional provisions on the age requirements for political office holders, otherwise called the Not Too Young to Run Bill.”