Pulse.ng logo
Go

Not Too Young To Run New law does not reduce age limits for Senate, Governors

The age limits to contest for the Senate and state governor remain unchanged as bill is signed into law.

  • Published:
Buhari finally signs 2018 budget into law play President Muhammadu Buhari (NAN)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

President Muhammadu Buhari finally signed the 'Not Too Young To Run' bill at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, May 31, 2018, to the relief of young Nigerians around the country after months of advocacy to sign the bill.

However, even though the bill, which has become law, was originally designed to reduce all age limits for all elective positions in the country, the age of eligibility to contest for governor or the senate remains the same.

In his speech on Thursday, President Buhari expressed his surprise at this development, noting that it should be addressed.

He said, "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."

The omission has raised questions as it had been erroneously reported for months that all the age limits would be lowered for a more inclusive electoral system in the country.

When called for clarification on the issue, the Executive Director of Youth Initiative for the Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), Samson Itodo, told Pulse Nigeria that it happened during the bill harmonisation stage between the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Even though both legislative chambers passed the bill in its original form, he said they decided to not reduce the eligibility age for the affected elective positions.

Itodo said, "One of the chambers passed the bill in the form that it was proposed but it didn't meet the constitutional threshold of two-thirds. One house passed it as a complete bill but the other one passed them individually and those two (age limit for senate and governor) did not pass. The convention is once one house does not pass a legislation, it means it cannot pass."

Even though he was unsure which legislative chamber killed the sections of the bill, he suspected it was the Senate, especially since it affects them. The bill was initially passed by the Senate in July 2017 before a large majority of members in the House of Representatives also signed off on it.

It was the harmonised bill, which had been modified away from the public glare, that was eventually passed down to the state Houses and Assembly and assented by 33 out of 36 states.

Unsatisfied with the turn of events, Itodo called on the National Assembly to review their decision on the positions.

"I think this is a progressive step. This is not what we demanded and we want to ask the National Assembly to yet again review the vote on those positions," he said.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.