The ‘Not Too Young To Run’ movement has expressed dissatisfaction over the non reduction in the age qualification for persons intending to vie for the office of senator and governor in the newly signed Age Reduction Bill.
President Muhammadu Buharisigned the ‘Not Too Young To Run’bill into law on Thursday, May 31, 2018.
The bill had sought to reduce the age qualification for the office of the President from 40 to 30 years; age for the office of a state governor from 35 to 30; Senate from 35 to 30; House of Representatives, from 30 to 25; and state House of Assembly, from 30 to 25.
However, when signed, the age limit for governors and senators remained same.
Addressing a world press conference in Abuja on Friday, June 1, 2018, the group called for a review of the age qualification for both governors and senators.
“The movement maintains that the retention of the 35 years for both governor and senate positions is unfortunate and disappointing. The national assembly should revisit its vote on the age qualification for both offices,”Emmanuel Njoku said on behalf of the 54 groups which make up the Movement.
“As we prepare for the 2019 general election, the imperative for youth inclusion especially as candidates for all elective positions is not a matter for debate but an imperative.
“To the political class, if you want the youth vote, reserve tickets for youth aspirants; uphold internal party democracy to safeguard the emergence of more youth candidates and most importantly commit to non-violent elections.
“The movement notes that signing this bill into law is not sufficient to guarantee youth representation in political office. It will require reducing the cost of politics, democratic primaries within political parties, affirmative action/quotas and most importantly credible and peaceful elections.
“The movement therefore makes the following demands – the national assembly should review its vote on the age qualification for the senate and governors. This review should be in tandem with the proposal by the movement.
“Political parties should reserve 50 percent of party tickets for capable, competent, and morally upright youth aspirants across all elections in 2019. Expedite action on assenting to electoral reform bills bordering on limiting campaign expenditure and cost of securing party nomination. Uphold the principles of transparency, democracy and accountability in party primaries.
“The movement will not be transiting into a political party. We enjoin youth across the country to take up the challenge to serve our great country Nigeria,” Njoku said.
The Movement appreciated President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the National and State Houses of Assemblies and all Nigerians for supporting the bill.