We are pleased to announce the appointment of Sope Durodola and Ifeanyi Nwoye as the Acting National Secretary and National Auditor, respectively, subject to the ratification of the National Executive Committee (NEC). They were appointed at the National Working Committee meeting on 28th May, 2023. Sope Durodola replaced the former National Secretary, Mujaheed Ahmad, who resigned. Whilst, Ifeanyi Nwoye replaced Dr. Umar Mohammed, the former National Auditor, who is currently the acting National Chair of our great Party.
They are to hold office until the next election at the National Convention, where new national executive officers will be elected for a 4 year tenure in line with our Constitution.
Sope Durodola was the pioneer/inaugural National Secretary of our Party and was elected at the National Convention on 16th October, 2016. He was born and bred in Ibadan; obtained his Bachelor’s degree from “Great Ife” and has an MBA from the prestigious ESADE Business School in Spain. Sope has worked with some of Nigeria’s foremost companies within the FMCG and telecoms sectors and is an ardent Sports follower. He was the Party’s Acting National Treasurer until his current appointment.
Mr. Ifeanyi Nwoye is a founding member of Youth Party. He is a legal practitioner with keen interest in taxation, secured credit transactions, maritime, aviation, corporate, and commercial practice. He has experience in various aspects of law, including litigation. He has an L.L.B from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and is studying for his L.L.M at the University of Lagos. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria, and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). He was the Acting Financial Secretary until his current appointment.
Whilst our Party supports the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, we vehemently oppose the implementation of the policy without any form of social safety net to cushion the impact and protect the poor.
Yes, the nation cannot justify spending less than a trillion on education and health respectively last year but over a four (4) trillion on fuel subsidy. However, most countries subsidize public transport to assist the poor and vulnerable. This would allow the the take home pay of low wage workers to truly take them home.
Most importantly, we believe that subsidy on fuel should be gradually removed within a space of 6 months to 1 year to mitigate the impact on the poor. During the removal period, the Government should subsidize public transport to reduce the effect on low income earners and the vulnerable. This should be carried out by allowing public transporters to continue to buy fuel at subsidized rate either through a weekly voucher system or exemption from certain statutory fees with an agreement to maintain transport fare at the same rates. Government should partner with the public transport interest groups like Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to ensure that the removal of fuel subsidy does not affect the poor.
Also, there is an urgent need for an increase in the minimum wage to assist the poor to manage the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy and the attendant increase in transportation cost. Employers may also need to increase their commitment to their social responsibility by revisiting their remuneration structure to protect their junior staff from the severe and dire impact of the removal of fuel subsidy. More needs to be done in societal interest.
Furthermore, Government should accelerate the shift to compressed natural gas (CNG) by prioritizing its abandoned Autogas Policy. CNG currently costs N100-110 per unit. This is below N488-540 a litre cost of petrol. Using CNG as an alternative fuel will assist in reducing pressure on subsidy paid out by FGN on Public transport. It is also a cleaner and cheaper fuel. Some companies are already successfully using CNG to power their fleet. Specifically, the following should be carried immediately:
i. Enact legal framework that incentivises gas development ii. Subsidize the conversion cost of the 10,000 petrol or diesel engines to CNG iii. Facilitate the availability of CNG at filling stations
It is in light of dire fiscal realities of Nigeria that the Youth Party released its Revenue Strategy titled A Bold Revenue Plan for Nigeria on 22nd March, 2020. The plan contains a number of pragmatic, economically sound and well-thought out ideas for solving, or at the very least ameliorating Nigeria’s revenue challenge.
The underlying philosophy of the plan is to drive an increase in our tax base, whilst reducing tax rates to attract investments and encourage tax compliance. Our plan details ideas that would raise $US30bn within 3-years by improving our tax and incentive policies and through the efficient utilization of Nigeria’s existing assets. Specifically, we propose to:
Drive a 100% rise in corporate tax receipts by reducing the consolidated tax rate from 34.5% to 22.5% and expanding the base of registered corporate taxpayers from 6% to 14% within 2 years;
Attract new investments in crude oil production that will drive Nigeria’s production from 1.9mbd to 3mbd (million barrels/day) within 3 years by implementing the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), reducing oil taxes and issuing attractive, competitive and clear rules around Nigeria’s notoriously opaque oil industry;
Generate $US16bn from the sale of 20% of FGN’s 49% equity in NLNG;
Generate $US3.5bn from the sale of 25% of FGN’s equity in NPDC;
Ring-fence the $US19.5bn generated from the two equity sales above and dedicate those funds to capital projects to rescue our broken critical public infrastructure and services. We would ensure effective use of those funds by domiciling them for management by a globally respected Sovereign Wealth Fund like the Norwegian or Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund.
Generate a $US1bn annual dividend from efficient private sector management of NPDC;
Save over N100bn annually by reducing the size of our government
You can download our Bold Revenue Plan on our website. Download here
The Youth Party is a registered political party seeking to drive generational change in Nigerian politics and infuse new ideas and approaches to politics in Nigeria. We seek the support of all who recognize the importance of these ideals and desire to shape a more positive and progressive future for Nigeria.
The Youth Party has urged the Federal Government to immediately restrict travel from China in other to avoid another pandemic.
We note that although China is refusing to share accurate information on infections and deaths from the resurgence of Covid, it is estimated that at least 5,000 people are dying daily from the dreaded virus. We urge the Federal Government to first restrict travel from China and take necessary steps to trace, isolate and test passengers from China in the last two weeks.
It is pertinent to state that about 13 countries have restricted travel from China to protect their citizens, and I wonder why the Federal Government is waiting for knowing the huge traffic between Nigeria and China. We must ensure we immediately impose travel restrictions from China and take the necessary steps to track passengers that have arrived in Nigeria from China in the last two weeks.
It is our informed position that Nigeria’s health system and economy cannot manage another pandemic and must do everything necessary to avoid a resurgence.
The Youth Party won a resounding victory in its bid to ensure that INEC respects the rule of law particularly obedience to judicial decisions.
The Supreme Court, Abuja, led by Honourable Justice Uwani Musa Abba Aji, delivered its unanimous judgement against the Appeal filed by the Independent Electoral Commission. The Court upheld the decision of the Federal High Court Abuja delivered by Honourable Justice I.E. Ekwo that declared the purported de-registration of the Party illegal, null and void ’. And, that of the Court of Appeal which also “found the action of the Appellant very reprehensive”.
The judgement at the lower Courts was based on the INEC persistent disregard for the law and judicial decisions in failing to register the Party within the time stipulated in the law and preventing it from participating in elections illegally.
Recall that the Electoral umpire had failed to register the Party after it got a judgement against it in FHC/ABJ/CS/221/2017 between Chukwudi Adiukwu & Ors V. INEC delivered on 18th October, 2017 until 14th August, 2018, less than 5 days to the commencement of Party primaries in 2018. INEC further resorted to illegal self-help by illegally de-registering Youth Party while both of them were before the Federal High Court over the issue.
Furthermore, INEC is currently refusing to list the Party on its website as a registered Party or allow it to participate in any election even in the face of the aforesaid judgement, which had not been set aside or stayed.
Honourable Justice I.E. Ekwo in his judgment held that:
“the Defendant is not above the law. No person or parties to an action is allowed to resort to self-help when an action is pending in Court”. The claim that the Defendant has power pursuant to S. 225A (b) & (c) of the 1999 Constitution(as amended) to de-register a political party does not justify the action of the Defendant while this action is pending. The Defendant must understand that the constitution is not an author of confusion. I condemn the action of the Defendant as a wrong exercise of might. Therefore, the de-registration of the Plaintiff during the pendency of this action by the Defendant is illegal, null and void, and liable to be set aside. Consequently, I hereby make an order setting aside the de-registration of the Plaintiff.”
Sadly, INEC’s abuse of power and disregard for the rule of law has illegally frustrated several of our members from legitimately pursuing their aspirations. It has also cost the party an immeasurable amount of resources over the last few years. Thankfully, this illegality ends today.
The decision of the Supreme Court also put paid to the orchestrated and incorrect media interpretation of the recent Supreme Court Case involving NUP and INEC that it had effectively deregistered Youth Party and other parties. It is pertinent to state that Youth Party was not a party to the case and the facts of the case was different from its case. Essentially, it cannot serve as a judicial precedent against Youth Party as upheld by the Court of Appeal today.
Once again, we thank the Nigerian judiciary for giving us hope that the rule of law is still sacrosanct and the judiciary is the hope of our democracy.
We enjoin INEC to respect the constitutional rights of our members and the Nigerian electorates to freely elect their leaders by allowing the candidates of the Party for the Eti Osa 1 House of Assembly Seat in Lagos State, Tari Taylaur as well as its gubernatorial candidate in Abia State, Mrs Victoria Oluchi Farley-Bradford, to participate freely in the 2023 elections.
In the last few weeks, the leadership of Youth Party has been inundated with concerns about the Party’s direction and future, given the current happenings. As critical stakeholders of the Party and genuine believers in the possibility of a new Nigeria, the issues raised must be addressed comprehensively.
To start with, Youth Party remains a functioning political party duly recognized by law. To date, every organ of the Party has continued to function, carrying out its roles and responsibilities as the Party’s constitution dictates. However, there have been grave challenges that have grossly impacted the Party’s capacity to function optimally.
As you know, despite a Court of Appeal judgment declaring the deregistration of the Party illegal and unlawful, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), led by Professor Mahmood Yakubu, is deliberately and unconstitutionally excluding the Youth Party from participating in the 2023 General Elections. Sadly, INEC has become notorious for flagrantly disobeying court judgments, especially concerning the Youth Party.
In 2017, INEC refused to register the Youth Party after meeting every constitutionally laid down criterion. It took a court order of the Federal High Court Abuja, to compel INEC to respect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and register the Youth Party. Shockingly, it took INEC 8 months to obey the said order of the Federal High Court, only choosing to register Youth Party one week before the official date earmarked for party primaries. But INEC did not stop there!
Shortly after the 2019 General Election, the leadership of the Party had concerns that INEC was going to deregister the Party, despite deliberately sabotaging Youth Party’s efforts in preparing for the 2019 General Elections. Consequently, Youth Party filed a suit against INEC at the Federal High Court Abuja. During the pendency of the Suit, INEC unilaterally decided to deregister Youth Party for non-performance in the 2019 general elections.
Thankfully, the Federal High Court delivered its Judgement in favour of Youth Party and declared the INEC’s action as illegal. INEC appealed the decision of the Federal High Court to the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Appeal (in a unanimous decision) also declared INEC’s action of deregitering Youth Party as illegal and unlawful. Unfortunately, INEC has thus far refused to comply with the judgements of both the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal, and has now appealed to the Supreme Court.
The matter came up at the Supreme Court on 27th of September 2022, and the Supreme Court will decide on the 2nd of December 2022.
It will suffice to state that before the eyes of the law, our great party is eligible to contest any election across the country in the absence of any order of court to the contrary.
Where are we now?
While we await the Supreme Court’s decision slated for the 2nd of December 2022, Youth Party will continue to support its two candidates; Mrs. Victoria Oluchi Farley-Bradford, Gubernatorial candidate for Abia state, and Mrs. Tari Taylaur, House of Assembly candidate Eti-Osa 1, Lagos state in the 2023 General Elections. Other party activities will continue, particularly our role as a deliberate opposition party. We are confident that just as the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal have ruled in favour of Youth Party, the Supreme Court will deliver the long-awaited justice on this matter.
The challenges notwithstanding, we must continue to demand the expansion of Nigeria’s political space and not allow greedy political elites to shrink it. If we allow a situation where only a particular political class dominates our political system, we will inadvertently surrender ourselves to political homogeneity that favors order over diversity. We will be beating a retreat to an authoritarian disposition, where, as the behavioral economist, Karen Stenner, puts it, the ruling class becomes intolerant of complexity or libertarian ideals, which is the engine that drives democratic systems. Nothing is more authoritarian and undemocratic than a systematic suppression of a people’s desires, realities, and aspirations. Nevertheless, we will continue to fight this grave injustice for future generations unborn. Youth Party’s slogan and commitment is to “Shape The Future”. We will not relent!
We strongly condemn the gruesome attack on innocent worshipers in Owo. This evil and barbaric act should have no place in our country.
We urge the commander in Chief, the Governor of Ondo state, and the head of all our security agencies to leave no stone unturned until the perpetrators are found and brought to justice.
Additionally, those in authority must do much more to stop the bloodletting in our country. Too many people are killed needlessly, just as so many properties are destroyed. The state must wake up to its primary responsibility; which is the protection of lives and properties
Our prayers and best wishes are with those who have sustained various injuries from this attack and are struggling for their lives at the Federal Medical Center, Owo. Our condolences also go out to the families of the deceased. May the Almighty comfort their loved ones and grant them the fortitude to bear this painful loss.
On Monday May 30, 2022, The Supreme Court, Abuja led by Honorable Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, J.S.C., C.F.R.,unanimously dismissed an application brought by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the stay of execution of the judgment of the Court of Appeal which declared the purported de-registration of the Party illegal, null and void’.
Reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision, the National Publicity Secretary of the Youth Party, Mr Ayodele Adio said “we believe the application was calculated to hoodwink members of the public to believe the bias Electoral Body has a legal basis for its desperate attempt to exclude Youth Party from the 2023 electoral process. It was a part of the deliberate and desperate attempt to de-market our Party by making the general public believe the Party is unable to contest at the general elections in 2023.”
Additionally, Mr Adio said “the concurrent decisions of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal was declaratory in nature and an application to stay the execution of a subsisting declaratory Court judgment is unfounded in law. This principle of law has been established in a plethora of cases and was stated by Per Obaseki J.S.C in the case of Governor of Gongola State V. Tukur (1989) 4 N.W.L.R (592 at 602), wherein the Supreme Court held that:
“Also, a declaration simpliciter is a solemn affirmation of a state or status by a court. That in itself is a complete relief which is not executory. An order has to be executed before its anticipated execution can be stayed.”
The Youth Party Screening Committee, led by Mr Sope Durodola has successfully screened Mrs Tari Taylaur, Eti Osa 1, Lagos State House of Assembly Aspirant.
The screening was held on Saturday, 28 May 2022 at 11:00 am. Having engaged the aspirant on her background, party membership and proposed legislative agenda, the committee deemed her fit to contest under the flagship of the Party.
Tari Taylaur recently ran for a Councilorship seat in the last Lagos Local Government Elections in 2021 and she is currently the Chair for Ward A, Eti Osa local government – further evidence of her commitment to the Youth Party.
Mr Sope Durodola congratulated and saluted her courage stating that they had no doubt that she would make the Party proud. He also stated that she understands what the Party represents and stands for, hence she is more than a solid role model for the Youth Party.
The committee wished her all the best and assured her of the Party’s support as she partakes in the process.
Mrs Taylaur expressed her gratitude to the committee members and emphasised that there is an opportunity to build on the momentum that was gained during the last time she contested.
She stated that she was not discouraged to run because she really wants to make an impact in governance and the only way to do so is to be in a position of authority which can only be achieved through the polls.
The Youth Party Screening Committee, led by Mr. Sope Durodola has concluded its task, having successfully screened Chief Victoria Oluchi Farley Bradford, the Abia State Gubernatorial Aspirant.
The screening was held on Friday, 27th May, 2022 by 5:00 pm. The committee deemed her fit to contest under the flagship of the Party after a rigorous procedure.
Prior to the screening, curriculum vitae and documents were submitted by the aspirant and the committee considered party loyalty, track record, political ideology, campaign manifesto and integrity.
Chief Mrs Bradford has served in different capacities in Abia State governance.
She stated emphatically that in terms of transparent political leadership, she is not afraid of making a change because she is of the opinion that “when you are afraid to make change, then you are not ready to make change”.
She stated that her political ideologies in areas of education, agriculture, health, gender equality and respect for PLWDs. She mentioned that security, infrastructure, healthcare and job creation would be her priority.
She was thereafter cleared by the Screening committee and the screening certificate was presented.
She also expressed her satisfaction to the conduct of the exercise
In his seminal work “How Democracies Die”, Steven Levitsky pointed to an interesting but telling fact, which is that “democracies may die at the hands of not generals but of elected leaders who subvert the very process that brought them into power”. He further argued that the “tragic paradox of the electoral route to authoritarianism is that democracy’s assassins use the very institutions of democracy – gradually, subtly and even legally – to kill it”. In Nigeria’s case, it is the electoral umpire, led by Professor Mahmood Yakubu, whose actions (and inaction) are troubling the very foundation of our democratic system.
Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is an independent body backed by the constitution to conduct elections and regulate our political system, its operations, and its leadership are governed by laws. Therefore, the commission or its leadership cannot act in a manner that either contravenes the Electoral Act or contradicts the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Over the last few months, INEC has consistently signalled to the Nigerian people that only 18 political parties are legible (or will be allowed) to participate in the 2023 elections. What that presupposes is that there are only 18 political parties in Nigeria today that are duly registered.
Whereas, this couldn’t be much further from the truth. On October 12, 2020, a federal high court restrained INEC from excluding the Youth Party from participating in any election across the country. It declared INEC’s attempt to deregister the party as illegal, null and void. The dictum of Honourable Justice I.E. Ekwo of the federal high court in his judgment in Suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/10/2020 between Youth Party v INEC is worth pondering over:
“The Defendant is not above the law. No person or parties to an action is allowed to resort to self-help when an action is pending in court. The claim that the defendant has power pursuant to S,225A(b) & (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to de-register a political party does not justify the action of the Defendant while this action is pending. The defendant must understand that the constitution is not an author of confusion. I condemn the action of the defendant as a wrong exercise of might. Therefore, the de-registration of the plaintiff during the pendency of this action by the defendant is illegal, null and void, and liable to be set aside. Consequently, I hereby make an order setting aside the de-registration of the plaintiff.”
Furthermore, on May 11, 2021, the court of appeal in a unanimous judgment delivered by Hon. Justice T.Y. Hassan dismissed the appeal of INEC and upheld the decision of the lower court. The honourable court in its judgment reaffirmed that the purported deregistration of the Youth Party is illegal, null and void. The court of appeal in its judgement in appeal No. CA/ABJ/CV/980/2020 Between INEC v Youth Party was equally unhappy with INEC in its unanimous judgment delivered by Honourable Justice T.Y. Hassan, J.C.A., when it held that:
“This court will not hesitate to sustain the decision of the lower court which pulled down and dismantled the edifice that the appellant built on self-help when it deregistered the respondent not only during the pendency of the suit but when it had been served with and had reacted to the motion for interlocutory injunction seeking to restrain the appellant from the very act it helped itself to actualize extra judicially. To say the least, we find the appellant’s action very reprehensible, the lower court as any court of law would have done, acted correctly by setting aside the deregistration of the respondent. We have no reason to interfere with the order made by the lower court and same be sustained.”
Even worse is that INEC itself admitted this much in a notice of appeal to the supreme court where in its particulars of the misdirection, it noted that “the learned lower court of appeal fell into misdirection when they sustained the injunctive order granted by the trial court against the appellant and upheld the nullification and setting aside of the deregistration of the respondent”. If INEC admits that the court indeed set aside its purported deregistration, why is INEC blatantly refusing to obey the decision? Secondly, can a declarative court of appeal judgement be stayed? Or is Yakub Mahmood simply above the law?
That INEC continues to demonstrate complete disregard for the rule of law and judicial decisions is a deep fracture in our nascent democracy with grave consequences for the 2023 elections. This is because if a duly registered political party is deliberately excluded from participating in the general election, the court/tribunal is bound to nullify the election given the judicial precedent set in the case of ANDP v INEC 2020. Hence, Professor Mahmood Yakub may be attempting to kill the democratic institution he was appointed to safeguard to appease his oversized ego. We must all place a demand on the chairman of INEC to either respect the rule of law or respectfully vacate office as his position can no longer be tenable after violating the constitution and rule of law.