Buhari Signs ‘Not Too Young to Run’ Bill into Law, Charges Youths to Leave Their Mark

Posted by Admin | 6 years ago | 1,732 times

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja signed the “Not Too Young to Run Bill” into law with a charge to the youths to utilise the opportunity provided by the new law to leave their mark on the political space.

Taking advantage of the presence of youths at the ceremony, the president who was probably conscious of the large population of the youths and the influence they could weigh in 2019 polls particularly at the presidential poll should they throw their hats into the ring, jocularly urged them to defer their ambitions till after the 2019 polls.

Breaking from his speech, the president jokingly turned to his audience including youths and said: “But please, can I ask you to postpone your campaigns till after the 2019 elections,” the president stated and thus prompting the entire hall to burst into laughter.

The bill was signed in the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in the presence of young men and ladies from various states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

After signing the bill, the president said with the bill becoming law, its proponents had secured a platform to change the country if only they could organise themselves and work hard to achieve it.

He listed components of the Act to include the reduction of the age of eligibility for election into the House of Assembly and House of Representatives from 30 to 25 years and from hitherto 40 to 35 years as the eligible age to seek election into the office of the president.

However, the president expressed surprise that the Act retains 35 years of age for eligibility for election into offices of governors and senators, expressing hope that the provision would be revisited in future.

The president, who reasoned that neither agriculture nor oil nor solid minerals constitutes Nigeria’s resources, was quick to state that the Nigerian youth is actually the country’s greatest resource.

According to him, it is the intelligence, talents and energy of the youth that will develop the country after the transition of the current leaders.

Advising the youths to take advantage of provisions of the bill, Buhari challenged them not to wait for paid employment but to be innovative enough to engage themselves, saying he was confident that the youngsters would transform the country through their respective skills.

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. Nevertheless, 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. You are undoubtedly Nigeria’s most important resource – not oil, not agriculture, not solid minerals – but you and all of us. Your energy, intelligence and talent are what will drive and develop Nigeria, long after we are all gone…

“Thus, it may be tempting for you to think of this as the end of the journey. However, it is only the beginning; there is still a lot of work ahead, towards ensuring that young people take full advantage of the opportunities provided not only by this constitutional amendment but also through Nigeria’s boundless prospects.

“You should inculcate the spirit of self-help. Those who complete their training should not just sit down and wait for government or private sector to employ them. You should be innovative and turn your hands to any legitimate work that will enable you to sustain yourself.”



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