Samson ItodoSamson Itodo


Nigeria

 

Occupational Information


Occupation: Lawyer

Occupational Position: Head, YIAGA Africa

Professional History


Samson Itodo is the Executive Director of YIAGA AFRICA, a community of change makers focused on building sustainable democracies in Africa anchored on the principles of inclusion, justice, accountability and constitutionalism. He plays a leading role in implementing the organization’s mission and objectives which entail strategic planning, policy research and analysis, grant seeking and stakeholder engagement. He has 12 years of experience and expertise in elections management, legal research and analysis, parliamentary strengthening, constitution building and social movements. 

Samson is the convener of the Not Too Young To Run movement that led the successful advocacy for the reduction of age limits for running for public office in the Nigerian constitution. The campaign was adopted by the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS as a global campaign. He has facilitated the development of policy documents on electoral reform, international development cooperation, constitution review, public governance and political inclusion. He also provides strategic policy advise to parliamentary committees, electoral commissions, political parties, civil society organizations and academic institutions. Samson leads one of Nigeria’s largest citizens movement on electoral integrity, Watching The Vote. Watching The Vote is a citizen-led election observation initiative promoting electoral integrity using technology and data. He has led international election observation missions to Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, United States of America and South Africa.

Over the last 12 years, Samson dedicated his life to building strong democratic institutions; promoting people-centred legislations and policies and building a community of active citizens to drive social change through community organizing. The impact of his work earned him recognition from international and local organizations. In 2018, he was appointed by the Gates Foundation as a Goal keeper and honoured by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Washington DC as Rising Democracy leader in Africa. He is winner of the prestigious The Future Africa Award Young Person of the Year 2018 award and the Leadership Newspaper 2018 Outstanding Young Person of the Year award. He was also inducted into 100 Most Influential Young Africans by the African Youth Awards in 2017. In 2017 and 2018 he was recognized amongst YNAIJA’s 10 most powerful names in advocacy in Nigeria. He is a fellow of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape town; International Visitors Leadership Program of the US Department of State, Swedish Visitors Leadership Program and European Union Visitors Program (EUVP). As a researcher, he has consulted for local and international organizations like United States Institute for Peace (USIP), Westminster Foundation for Democracy, International IDEA, International Republican Institute and United Nations Development Program to mention a few.

Samson is an avid reader and writer. He has published several articles and papers in local and international journals to his credit. He’s also co-authored publications with notable industry experts. Samson is a radio and TV host and he co-founded Amplified Online Radio; a pan African youth talk and music radio station.

 

Qualifications


Bachelor of Laws (LLB) - University of Jos
Master at Law (LLM) - University of Jos

Programs


2019 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

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