Buhari to sign not too young to run bill into law
Mixed reactions trail president’s speech
As the 2019 general elections draw nearer, indications have emerged that President Mohammadu Buhari would soon sign the ‘not too young to run’ bill into law.
President Buhari said this yesterday in his national broadcast to mark the 19th year of Nigeria’s democracy and the third anniversary of his administration.
The bill, if signed into law, will alter Sections 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and reduce the age qualification for the President’s office from 40 to 30 years.
It seeks to lower governors’ age from 35 to 30, senators from 35 to 30, House of Representatives from 30 to 25 and states Houses of Assembly from 30 to 25 years.
The Bill also seeks to mainstream independent candidacy into the country’s electoral process.
The President said: “In a few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ Bill into law.”
He urged Nigerians to conduct themselves with the utmost sense of fairness, justice and peaceful co-existence such that there would not only be hitch-free elections but also credible and violence-free process.
Meanwhile, President Buhari’s nationwide address yesterday has continued to elicit mixed reactions. While some Nigerians welcomed the speech as the way to go, others described it as ‘empty words not matched by action and results.’
Worried that they had waited for so long for a government that would take the country to the promised land, they lamented that Buhari’s speech meant that Nigerians would have to wait longer if his assurances were anything to go by.
Speaking, Chief Executive Officer of RTC Advisory Services Limited and lecturer at the Lagos Business School (LBS), Opeyemi Agbaje, said it was embarrassing that any government was still talking about investment prospects rather than showing outcomes after three years.
He said the present administration supported policies that hinder market growth, investments and undermine economic development.
Youths who spoke to The Guardian under the auspices of National Youths Party (NYP) said the present administration had failed the Nigerian youths.
Consultant at UNIDO and Former Director General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr. John Isemede, said although the government had tried, there was still room for improvements.
The Advocacy for Advancement of Peace and Harmony in Africa Initiative (ADAPHAI) said the Presidents’ speech showed that he was static.
Its national coordinator, Sulaimon Suberu in a statement, noted that Buhari’s assertion confirmed his thoughts and orientation on national growth and development, have been “abysmally slow” with adverse socio-economic effects.
Also responding, a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, on his twitter handle, described the message as one filled with lies, deceit and propaganda.
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