The #NotTooYoungToRun movement has called on Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Age Reduction Bill for aspirants into elective political offices saying that, should Buhari delay or declines assent to the bill, the National Assembly should veto the President.
It would be recalled that on February 15, 2018, the Age Reduction Bill popularly referred to as the Not Too Young to Run bill – which is seeking to reduce the age for running for elective offices in Nigeria – received affirmative votes from 25 out the country’s 36 state houses of assembly.
The affirmative votes meant the Age Reduction Bill has met the constitutional threshold prescribed by Section 9 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which stipulates that any amendment to the constitution must be approved by at least, 24 state houses of assembly.
“The passage of the bill by the states is historic and unprecedented. This will no doubt enhance the quality of Nigeria’s democracy. We have shown the world that we are a country that believes in its youthful population and is taking concrete steps to address political inequality and social exclusion,” said a press statement by the Not Too Young to Run movement.
“This is a practical step towards harnessing the demographic dividend. The movement therefore appreciates the 25 of the 36 state assemblies that have so far passed the Not Too Young To Run bill. They have registered their names in the annals of history by passing Not Too Young To Run and the Nigerian youth appreciates them.”
The amendment as passed by the National Assembly and the 25 state Assemblies now reduces the qualifying age for the office of the President (from 40 to 35); House of Representatives (from 30 to 25) and State House of Assembly (from 30 to 25). The age for the offices of Governor and Senate was retained at the current 35 years.
“In furtherance of our goal, the movement has declared March 14, 2018 a National Day of Action for Presidential Assent. We call on all citizens especially young people to prepare as we march to the Presidential Villa to constructively engage with the President on assent to Not Too Young To Run,” the statement concluded.
The Not Too Young To Run movement is a coalition of Nigerian youth-focused civic groups advocating for the reduction of age for running for elective offices to mainstream youth participation in electoral politics; the movement is driven by the need to restructure the country’s political system to address “deeply entrenched system of political exclusion and institute inclusive politics, transformative leadership and electoral competitiveness in the electoral process.”
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