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16 states Houses of Assembly okay age reduction for presidential position



As a prelude to the amendment of the I999 Constitution, no fewer than 16 states Houses of Assembly have so far signed the age reduction Bill into law. The bill seeks to reduce the age for presidential candidates from 40 to 30; governorship and senatorial candidates from 35 to 30 and House of Representatives and states Houses of Assembly are to be reduced from 30 to 25 years. 

A youth representative of youth and civil society groups pushing for the legislation, Samson Itodo, disclosed that the states whose Houses of Assembly have endorsed the age reduction bill include Ondo, Adamawa, Kwara, Benue, Nasarawa, Borno, Delta and Enugu.

Others are Ekiti, Katsina, Yobe, Gombe, Kogi, Bauchi, Ebonyi  and Jigawa, whose lawmakers passed the bill on Tuesday, February 6, this year. He commended the states for the initiative, saying it underlined their commitment to the tenets of representative democracy in the country. He, therefore, called on the 19 states Houses of Assembly who are yet to pass the bill to emulate their colleagues by passing the bill, adding an affirmative vote for it would be another historic step to secure the future of youths and the next generation of Nigerians. 

Itodo, who is the coordinator of YIAGA Africa said: “The 2019 elections present an opportunity for young people to assert their power not only as voters or campaign merchants, but also as qualified electoral candidates. 

“The movement is, therefore, committed to inspiring and supporting younger candidates with content and character to run for office through its Ready To Run initiative and other interventions aimed at promoting youth candidacy in the next elections.“Data from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) indicates that about 52 per cent of registered voters are young people between the ages 18 and 35 years. 

“The movement will continue to mobilise more young people across the country to participate in the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise, collect their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and vote at all elections.”

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