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Nigerians wants midde-aged presidential candidates

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Young Nigerians march to protest against age barriers on political posts in Abuja, on July 25, 2017. Hundreds of young Nigerians marched towards the country’s parliament on Tuesday, calling for lawmakers to remove age barriers on political posts, including the presidency. Nigeria’s 1999 constitution stipulates that the president has to be at least 40, while senators and state governors have to be aged 35 or above. / AFP PHOTO / –

Although Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has begged the country’s youths not to contest against him in 2019 shortly before signing the Not Too Young Bill into law, a poll shows that 64 per cent of Nigerians are likely to vote for middle-age presidential candidates in the 2019 general elections.

The “Not Too Young To Run” Bill which was signed into law on May 31st will enable more young people to contest elections in Nigeria.

The law lowers the age limit for those seeking political office in the country where more than half of the population is younger than 30.

NOIPolls, “a country-specific polling service in the West African region, in technical partnership with Gallup (USA) to develop opinion research in Nigeria” in partnership with Business Day Media in June 2017 gauged the perceptions of Nigerians on age preference in the 2019 Presidential election.

Findings revealed that “almost half of those interviewed (48 per cent) expressed their preference for middle-aged presidential candidates as 64 per cent of Nigerians disclosed that they would prefer to vote for a presidential candidate between the ages of 40 and 50 years in the 2019 Presidential election.”

Further breakdown shows that, “respondents aged between 18 to 35 years had the larger share of Nigerians (49 percent) who would prefer a middle-aged presidential candidate, while respondents aged between 18 – 35 years accounted for the largest proportion (37 percent) who wanted young people to run. Those aged 60 years and above (24 percent) preferred an elderly presidential candidate.” says NOIpolls on their website.

Despite the huge preference for middle-aged presidential candidates in 2019 election, most Nigerians disclosed that financial constraints (40 percent) would prevent young professionals from vying for elective public offices such as governorship and presidential positions.

Buhari, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), former Nigeria’s central bank deputy governor Kingsley Moghalu, the publisher of Sahara Reporters Omoyele Sowore who are standing for election are all older than 40


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