Reps Reject Bill Seeking Age Limit For Aspirants Of Political Offices

Members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 24, 2020.

 

The House of Representatives has rejected a bill seeking an age limit for aspirants of certain political offices in the country.

During plenary in Abuja on Wednesday, the lawmaker representing Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala federal constituency in the House, Bede Eke pleaded with his colleagues to allow the bill scale through second reading.

He reminded them that the bill is an extension of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run bill and the #EndSARS protests.

The lawmaker was however repeatedly interrupted by his colleagues who were openly opposed to the bill.

More to follow…

Parties Should Nominate More Women In Politics, Says Itodo

 

 

Co-convener of the Not Too Young To Run campaign, Samson Itodo, has asked political parties in Nigeria to understand the importance of women representation in public offices.

Itodo who was guest on Channels TV News at 10, said that parties should take the initiative of nominating women who aspire to run for office, instead of burying their ambitions.

He added that political parties who turned down women in the 2019 General elections should bury their heads in shame.

I dont think we have to wait for women to push for more representation, I think our political parties should bury their heads in shame with the number of women that get party nominations.

A lot of women aspired to run for office, but how did the parties actually treat them? For some of them, they didnt avail them forms for purchase, some of them were asked to bury their ambitions because they are women.

Political parties must understand that for progress as a society, they need to involve women, he said.

He urged members of the National Assembly to ensure that they pass legislation that will encourage more participation of women and people living with disabilities.

The 9th Assembly has the responsibility to ensure that the equal opportunities bill as well as other legislation that encourage and increase women participation is passed and that is a legacy they must leave behind and people living with disabilities in the political process.

On the issue of youths representation in public offices, Itodo said that the figures achieved so far is minute compared to the over 1000 elective offices.

READ ALSO: EU Election Observation Mission Presents 30 Recommendations To INEC

He added that with a massive representation of young people in leadership, there will be a new paradigm in legislative governance.

We are so happy that in some states, young people are emerging into leadership positions.

It places a huge burden, these young people have got some value that they bring to the table and we wont see a new paradigm in legislative governance because its a minute figure, considering the fact that there are over 1558 elective offices that were contested for in the 2019 general election.

Itodo added that the new batch of leaders will have a generational burden of performance if their performances are not impactful.

We are very concerned; there is a lot of pressure since their emergence because these young people in leadership position have that generational burden of performing because their performance will impact on the number of young people that are given more opportunities to run for public office.

We are very optimistic that these new leaders that have emerged will perform and change the business of public governance, noted.

Why Nigeria Needs To Invest More In Healthcare, Education Reforms – DFID

 

The Department for International Development (DFID) says Nigeria needs to invest more in healthcare, education and economic reforms.

The country head of the oganisation, Debbie Palmer, said this on Monday during a conference organised by the Not Too Young To Run group in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

She explained that there are projections that soon Nigeria could become the third largest nation on earth which could mean a rise in the number of the working age and potentially, a boost in the nation’s GDP.

However, according to her, this can only be possible if the nation invests in its health, education and economic sectors.

Palmer said, “According to projections, Nigeria is set to become potentially, the third largest nation on earth by 2050 after China and India.

“So, what that means is, there will be a huge rise in the number of Nigeria’s working age over the next 50 years and in theory, this could transition Nigeria from being a lower middle-income country to being a higher middle-income country with a GDP per capita of over $8,000 per person.

“That is a bright future to work for and that would be a fantastic future for Nigeria.

“To get there, Nigeria needs to be investing in its healthcare, education and economic reforms.

“Because in a nutshell we’ve got huge numbers of Nigerians being born and we need those people to be nourished, educated, healthy, skilled and to become productive members of the society, having jobs and driving this economy forward”.

Also addressing the youths, the sponsor of the Not Too Young To Run bill in the House Of Representatives, Mr Tony Nwulu, asked them to walk their talk anytime they recite the country’s national anthem.

Read Also: President Buhari Signs ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill

“The Not Too Young To Run initiative has truly brought us into the spirit of the national anthem. Today, we can actually say that we have answered that clarion call for young people to get involved in mainstream politics.

“So if you could have made it through your party primaries, go through the rigors and every other thing that goes with it and you emerged as a party candidate, then you know that you’ve truly been called to serve this country with strength and faith and I ant all of us to continue to reflect on the national anthem,” he said.

The conference brought together candidates from 91 registered political parties to educate them on the need to build the right values that would help them deliver good governance and quality representation in Nigeria.

President Buhari had signed the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill into law in May, reducing the age limit for presidential candidates from 40 to 35.

On the other hand, the minimum age for National and State Assembly members was reduced to 25.

The aim of the law is to increase the participation of young people in politics, as more than half of the nation’s population is below age 30.

Saraki Replies Not Too Young To Run, Says Declaration ‘Made In Good Faith’

Saraki Replies Not Too Young To Run, Says Declaration ‘Made In Good Faith’
(File) Senate President Bukola Saraki speaks during a plenary at the Senate Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

Senate President Bukola Saraki has responded to a statement by the Not Too Young To Run movement in reaction to the declaration of his intention to run for the presidency in 2019.

His response was contained in a statement signed on Friday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, a day after the movement condemned his action.

READ ALSO: Not Too Young To Run Dissociates Self From Saraki’s Declaration

Senator Saraki said his action was not to put the group in any position but that he made the declaration in good faith.

“It is true that the Not Too Young To Run leadership had no prior knowledge of the content of the Senate President’s remarks,” the statement said.

“However, the announcement by the Senate President that he intends to throw his hat into the ring to contest for the Presidency was made in good faith to young PDP aspirants, partly as a symbolic act of encouragement.

“It was not the intent of the Senate President to put the group or its leadership in an invidious position,” it added.

Why I Want To Be President – Saraki

The Senate President explained that the occasion where he declared his intention to run for the presidency was first in a series of dialogues organised by the Not Too Young To Run along party lines.

He said the first was for young aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while the subsequent ones were designed for those of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other parties.

Senator Saraki, however, appreciated the contribution of Not Too Young To Run to the development of the nation’s democracy.

He promised to continue working closely with young people across the country, in order to make Nigeria a better place for all citizens.

The Senate President had announced that he was joining the race for the presidency in the 2019 elections while delivering a keynote address at an event organised by the Not Too Young To Run Movement on Thursday in Abuja.

The group swiftly issued a statement and dissociated itself from Saraki’s declaration. They noted that they had no prior knowledge of the declaration.

It said it was shocked that the lawmaker would usurp a platform for youth engagement with political parties to declare his candidacy.

2019: Nigerian Youths Are Free To Contest For Presidency, PDP Tells Buhari

Ekiti PDP Holds Governorship Primary Election

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari for asking the youths to postpone their campaigns till after 2019.

The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, insisted that the Nigerian youths have come of age; and are “free, under all circumstances, to contest for any position, including the office of President, even in the 2019 general election.”

President Buhari who signed the Not Too Young To Run bill on Thursday, had jokingly appealed to the youths not to eye his seat until after 2019.

Read Also: #NotTooYoungTooRun: Postpone Your Campaigns Till After 2019, Buhari Jokes With Youths

But the PDP insists it was a sign that the president was not truly in support of the bill and he had only assented to it because he had no other option under the amended 1999 Constitution.

Furthermore, it described the comments as “totally unpresidential, unlawful, discriminatory”, saying the position reflects the policy of his dysfunctional All Progressives Congress (APC), not to allow youths the opportunity to aspire to top levels.

The PDP also alleged that before now, the APC has always done everything possible to frustrate frontline participation of the youths as well as women, in active politics and governance.

It, therefore, urged Nigerians to be wary of booby traps which it says the APC may set on the way.

“We, therefore, urge Nigerians to be alert and wary of booby traps as well as land mines that the APC and the Presidency will set on the way to scuttle the quest for our youths to fully participate and aspire in our democratic process.”

Read Also: Not Too Young To Run Bill Was Our Initiative, PDP Tells Buhari

Earlier the PDP had laid claim to the bill saying the initiative was pursued and sponsored by members of the PDP at the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly.

It said President Buhari had no input in the bill neither did he show any support or enthusiasm towards the initiative.

The Party, however, said it is optimistic that in 2019 when it returns to power it will further encourage the amendment of electoral laws to enable any Nigerian that can vote, the right to stand for elections.

“The PDP, therefore, calls on all Nigerian youths to note that President Buhari and the APC have nothing to offer them and the nation at large.

“They should, therefore, spare no thoughts in jettisoning all support for President Buhari and the APC in their 2019 reelection bid,” they said.

President Buhari Signs ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill into law.

History was made on Thursday when President Buhari assented to the bill at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The Personal Assistant to the President on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, posted two videos on Twitter which shows President Buhari signing the bill into law.

Buhari’s Full Speech At The Signing Of ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill

SIGNED: #NotTooYoungToRun pic.twitter.com/x25ggYJyYg

President Buhari signing the bill into law

 

Addressing a gathering of youths who witnessed the signing, the President said, “Your focus and contributions have now successfully increased the quality and maturity of Nigerian democracy and expanded the playing field for youth participation in politics.

“You, the young people of Nigeria, are now set to leave your mark on the political space, just as you have done over the decades in entrepreneurship, sports, art, media entertainment, technology, and several other fields.”

President Buhari had promised to assent to the bill while addressing the nation on Tuesday in a live broadcast in Abuja.

“In (a) few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ bill,” he had said in his Democracy Day’s speech.

Both Senate and the House of Representatives had passed the bill in 2017.

It later received the constitutionally required approval of two-thirds of National Assembly, leaving the final step of presidential assent.

With the President’s assent, the age limit for presidential candidates has dropped to 35 from 40, while the minimum age for national and state assembly members will now be 25.

The primary aim of the law is to increase the participation of young people in politics, as more than half of the nation’s population is below age 30.

President Buhari Signs 'Not Too Young To Run' Bill