👤 By Danjuma Aliyu
A bill to reduce the age to run for political office in Nigeria received the Presidential assent today.
The legislation which was passed by the Bukola Saraki led National Assembly seeks to reduce the age qualification for the office of the president from 40 to 30 years.
The Bill which was sponsored by Tony Nwulu, an opposition member in the lower house, will also allow a 25 year-old run for state House of Assembly. Prior to the law being signed, the age for the office was 30.
While a 30 year-old can now hold the office of House of Representatives, the reduction of age for a Senator and state Governor was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Both office would remain pegged at 35 instead of 30 as the bill had sought.
President Buhari signed the bill infront of a few selected young people. He said it is a “landmark piece of legislation that was conceived, championed and accomplished by young Nigerians.
“The coordinators of the Not Too Young To Run movement have now estabnlished a formidable legacy – which is that, in our maturing democracy, if you really want to change something in Nigeria, and if you organise yourselves and work towards it – you can achieve it,” he added.
Senator Saraki, the President of the 8th Senate has also hailed the new law.
“I congratulate @YIAGA and all other groups that championed the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill and commend my colleagues in both @NGRSenate and @HouseNGR for making sure that this Bill passed its first milestone during the #ConstitutionReview Process.
“Today’s signing of the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill represents the beginning of the inclusion of this vital segment into our nation-building.”