👤 By Adenike Lucas
A popular daughter of the late Moshood Kashimao Olawale, MKO, has quit the All Progressives Congress, APC, saying that after successfully challenging legal constraints facing most young Nigerians in politics, she was told not to seek office.
Rinsola Abiola is one of the promoters of the Not Too Young Bill – a legislation passed by the eight National Assembly.
The Bill, actively promoted by the 31-year-old and other young people allows a 30 year-old to hold the office of House of Representatives.
Ms Abiola, whose father was recently given a posthumous national honour by President Muhammadu Buhari, had hoped to seek office after overcoming the “legal constraints” young people like herself were facing in politics.
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However, DENISAURUS News understands that Ms Abiola, a Special Assistant on New Media to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, was told “in no unclear terms that I must not run, that I should not even consider it, and that there are consequences for disobedience.”
Ms Abiola, a youth representative on the APC Board of Trustees broke the news on her personal twitter handle on Friday.
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The legislative aide explained that she was relinquishing her party membership after five years because: “Last year, while we – youth advocates and those of us in political parties who fall within the youth demography – were advocating for passage of the Not Too Young To Run Bill, I approached a handful of our leaders and expressed my intention to run for office if the Bill scales through. Thankfully, this year, Not Too Young To Run became law and young people (from 25) can now seek to occupy elective positions.
“I began consultations in October 2017 but have now concluded that while legal constraints may have been done away with, there are greater challenges that we all must contend with. Apart from the usual issues like funding and violence, undemocratic dictates which are now (erroneously) viewed as the norm also pose a serious challenge. I have been told in no unclear terms that I “must not run”, that I “should not even consider it”, and that there are “consequences for disobedience.”
“I believe strongly that such things should not be tolerated in a democracy which many people fought for, with some of our heroes – my father inclusive – losing their lives in the process. I also believe that if those who fought for this democracy had listened to such veiled threats or even thought about the consequences that they might face, civil rule would not have been restored when it was.”
Consequently she decided to “write to formally communicate my decision to relinquish membership of the All Progressives Congress.”
“This has been a five-year journey during which I have met some very exceptional people and learned from you all,” she wrote in a letter to the APC chairman in her ward, Gbagura ward 6 in Abeokuta north local government area.
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Ms Abiola’s departure is another huge blow to the APC – which has lost senior members including the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
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