Samson Itodo, convener of the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ bill, emerged young person of the year at the 2018 Future Awards Africa on Sunday.
Itodo is the head of the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), a youth non-profit promoting democratic governance and youth participation in Africa.
Using lobbying and citizen advocacy, Itodo and his colleagues were able to get the bill passed by the national assembly and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The bill sought to challenge the post-independence laws that preclude under-30s from participating in federal, state and local government elections.
Itodo trumped other nominees such as singer David ‘Davido’ Adeleke, Mahmoud Maina, a researcher and scientist, to emerge winner of the top prize.
Nemiatari Ajienka, the youngest lecturer at UK’s Edge Hill University, and Tomi Adeyemi, a best-selling writer, were the other nominees in the category.
Itodo said his award would spur him for greater responsibility.
“The journey has not been easy because when we are pursuing the Not too Young to Run bill, we were met with rejection but we stood our ground until it was signed into law,” he said.
“I am advising all the youths to come out to vote come 2019 because the future of this country belongs to us.”