Nigerian youths have taken to the social media to show their excitement about signing into law Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“At 2.30pm today May 31, 2018, I signed into law the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill, a landmark piece of legislation that was conceived, championed and accomplished by young Nigerians. The Bill has now become an Act of Parliament. It is a historic day for Nigeria,” @MBuhari tweeted.
At the time of filing this report, the #NotTooYoungToRunBill dominated Nigerian twitter trend.
@theoneayekooto says, “CONFAB ended months b4 GEJ left office. To send it 2NASS 4possible passage,he didn’t talkless of signing it into Law.He left office & became emergency Activist of what he failed to act on.PMB has signed d Not Too Young to Run Bill into Law”
Another excited twitter user Janet Daniels allude to the fact that Mr. President “is always with the youth. Hail!”
@ChiomaChuka called on Nigerian youths to use their number to effect change in political offices in the next general elections.
“It is done! The #NotTooYoungToRun Bill has just been signed into law by @MBuhari! Congratulations to young people across the country, and across the continent! There’s nothing we can’t achieve when we put in the work and use our numbers! History’s been made!”
Some hours ago, the president signed the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill into law.
Buhari signed the bill into law at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after making promise of signing it into law on 2018 Democracy Day celebration.
Not-Too-Young-To-Run Law: What does it mean for Nigerian youths?
The bill which has now become law reduces the age qualification for president from 40 to 30; 30 instead of 35 years was proposed for state governor but the lawmaker didn’t reduce it; senator from 35 to 30 but lawmakers didn’t approve it; House of Representatives membership from 30 to 25 and State House of Assembly membership from 30 to 25.
The law gives young Nigerian youths the right to contest for different political offices.
Before now, Nigerian youths have alleged that their political rights are being eroded due age.
Role of National Assembly in Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bil
The National Assembly had passed the bill in 2017, altering sections 65, 106, 131, 177 of the Constitution to reduce the constitutional age requisition for president.
Here is it:
- President: 30 years NOT 40 again
- Governor: 35 years instead of 30 proposed.
- Senator remains 35 years instead of 30-year proposed.
- House of Representatives: 25-year not 30 as we saw in the previous elections.
- State House of Assembly: 25 years and NOT 30 again.
“Surprisingly, the age limits for Senators and Governors was not reduced, as originally proposed by the sponsors of this Bill. This is an issue that may need to be addressed going forward,” Buhari noted
The question now is: Do the youths have the financial strength to stand shoulder to shoulder with their older Nigerian politician who have been in power for years?
We’ll see how that plays out in the 2019 General Elections. And it seems President Buhari is foreseeing Nigerian youths supporting of their own in the next year presidential election.
Don’t run against me, Buhari tells youths as he signs Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill
After signing Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill into law, President Muhammadu Buhari advised Nigerian youths to postpone their presidential ambitions till after 2019.
He described the bill as a landmark law, saying that the bill showed that the youth can achieve anything they conceive if they work hard at it.
The signing took place at the Council Chamber of the Aso Rock Villa, in the presence of the NTYTR group of under-35 young Nigerians drawn from across the country, led by Mr. Samson Itodo.
He said the signing of Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill into law was not the end of the journey but the beginning of more work to be done to get younger Nigerian youths into political offices.
Not Too Young To Run Law will favour rich political class-Bwala
A legal practitioner Daniel Bwala said the Not Too Young To Run Law would favour the rich political class, who have been in the political space for long.
He said the passing into law of the bill has ulterior motive which would be hijacked by the heavyweights in political parties to sponsor their young daughters and sons for political offices, “because they have the money to do so.”
Bwala specifically stated that since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, president and governors had always been above the existing age for contesting for political offices.
Bwala was speaking on Sun Rise Daily on Channels TV Friday at the Abuja studio of the award winning television station.
He said a closer look at the youth leaders in all political parties in Nigeria showed that Nigerian isn’t politically prepared for Not Too Young To Run law.
“Look at all the youth leaders of political parties in Nigeria in state and national levels. If you’re preaching be a doer of what you preach.
“who are their youth leaders, how old are they?”
Too Old To Run
Bwala said what Nigeria need at this time is Too Old To Run and not Not Too Young To Run.
“When you look at political parties they say 35% should be allocated to the youth. It should be 35% allocated to the old.
“There is generational change all over the world. Go to America, go to Britain, go to France and other countries.”
He said it’s easy for politicians to easily buy into peoples’ sentiment, “if I look at you today and I know what drives you crazy then I’ll look for something as an engagement to keep you busy.”
On the issue of performance viz-a-viz age, Bwala noted that, “performance is not judged by age but by your ability to perform.”
“Not Too Young To Run Bill” success belongs us, says PDP
Meanwhile, main Nigeria’s opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the success of the Not Too Young To Run belongs to it.
The party in a statement asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to take credit for the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ Act which formally became law after the assent of the president May 31, 2018.
The bill was signed into law at the Council Chambers of State House Presidential Villa, in the presence of invited youth dominated by the advocates of the bill.
The president in a brief remark said “you can aspire for president but please postpone your campaign till after 2019 election.”
But PDP called on APC not to celebrate what doesn’t belong to it, claiming member of its political party “sponsored and pursued by the PDP members in the National Assembly and state houses of assembly so the presidency and the APC can’t take credit for it”.
“President Buhari had no input whatsoever in the bill; never showed any support or enthusiasm towards the initiative but had no option than to perform a mandatory statutory duty of assenting to the bill, given that it had already passed through the constitutionally required approval of two-third of states in the federation,” PDP said.
This, the party said is a democratic victory for the Nigerian youth over forces, “particularly, the All Progressives Congress (APC), that had hitherto disdained and disregarded them as lazy and inconsequential but had to succumbed to the dictates of the law and pressure by the youth and the PDP.”
“The ‘Not too young campaign’ which is now global started in support of bills and motions moved by Tony Nwulu in the House of Representatives and AbdulAziz Nyako in the Senate,” it added.
The sponsors of the bill include Tony Nwulu, and AbdulAziz Nyako. Nwulu is a member of PDP while Nyako (son of Murtala Nyako, ex-Adamawa governor) is an APC member.
The rest of the communique read:
“A member of the house who represents PDP, Lagos and the resilience of the Nigerians youth in getting the initiative through, in line with the vision of the PDP to allow younger Nigerians to actively participate in elective positions in governance at all levels.”
“In line with the ‘Generation Next Movement’, the rebranded PDP among other pro-youth incentives, has since approved certain critical clauses and waivers so that the young people will actively vie for positions in the 2019 general elections.
“In line with our dream of providing enabling environment for youthparticipation in elections and governance, the PDP, after winning in 2019, will further lower the age qualification to entrench our vision that ‘whoever can vote can be voted for’, which is a global standard.”