Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Nigeria lowers ages for political offices

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Nigerians as young as 25 can now run for public political offices after the country lowered minimum ages for all political offices in Africa’s most populous nation.

The country’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday signed a new bill to effect the latest changes which will allow people as young as 35 to run for president while those attaining the age of 25 can run for the House of Representatives and states’ houses of assembly.

Previously the age for seeking to become president was 40 while those hoping to serve in the House of Representatives and states’ houses of assembly had to be 30. The age limits for senators and governors was however not reduced in the latest changes.

The latest move has been seen as victory for many young Nigerians who are seeking to play a major role in the country’s governance system.

A campaign with the slogan “Not Too Young to Run” has been running for some time now with campaigners welcoming the latest move.

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President Buhari, 75 who is seeking re-election next year said during the signing ceremony that “You, the young people of Nigeria, are now set to leave your mark on the political space”.

He jokingly asked the campaigners if he can “ask you to postpone your campaigns till after the 2019 elections!”

One of the campaigners, Cynthia Mbamalu said on twitter that “This is just the beginning, now we focus on getting credible and competent young people into government!”

The campaigners had initially demanded that the age for presidential candidacy be lowered to 30 and for Senate and state governor age requirements reduced to 30 from 35.

Buhari said the issue relating to the Senate and state governor age limit that “Surprisingly, was not reduced, as originally proposed by the sponsors of this bill,” adding that “This is an issue that may need to be addressed going forward.”

The African Union has congratulated Nigeria for this latest move.



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