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Friday, 16 February 2018

2019: 25 States approve new age limit for presidency

2019: 25 States approve new age limit for presidency

Young Nigerians march to protest against age barriers on political posts in Abuja, on July 25

A coalition of 54 youth organisations across the country under the auspices of the ‘Not Too Young to Run Movement’ Friday in Abuja inducted the 25 state assemblies that have passed the Not Too Young To Run bill into a hall of fame.

One of the conveners and the Executive Director of the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) Samson Itodo stated this while briefing newsmen on the state of the passage of the bill at the State Houses of Assembly.

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The eventual signing of the bill into law after the amendment passed by the National Assembly and state assemblies reduces the qualifying age of the President from 40 to 35, House of Representatives from 30 to 25, state house of assembly from 30 to 25, while the age for the governor and senate was retained at 35.

“This is not totally in line with the demands of the movement. However, we recognize this as a progressive step towards opening the political space for young men and women to participate in electoral politics. The movement will not renege on its demand for the alignment of the voting age with the eligibility age for running for office,” he said.

While saying the passage of the bill by the states is unprecedented as it will enhance the quality of Nigeria’s democracy, he said that Nigeria has shown the world that she is a country believing in its youths and is taking concrete steps to address political inequality and social exclusion.

“With this passage, the bill has met the constitutional threshold prescribed by Section 9 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). The Section stipulates that any amendment to the constitution must be approval by at least 24 state Houses of Assembly,” Itodo said.

The coalition which condemned the Taraba State House of Assembly for voting against the bill also inducted the state into ‘The Not Too Young To Run Hall of Shame’ and urge youths of Taraba to vote out the 11 lawmakers who voted against the bill.

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He listed the 25 state assemblies that were inducted into ‘The Not Too Young To Run Hall of Fame’ and will henceforth be referred to as ‘Youth Friendly State Assemblies’ as Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Delta and Ebonyi.

Others are Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna and Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau and Yobe state assemblies.

While urging the state assemblies to immediately transmit the amendments to the National Assembly, he urged Federal lawmakers to transmit the constitutional amendments to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent and urged the President to assent the constitutional amendment bill especially the Age Reduction bill as soon as the bills are transmitted to him for assent.

“Should the President delays or declines assent to the bill, we call on the National Assembly to veto the President,” he said.

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