Thursday, 9 June 2016

NEWS :---House of Reps consider reduced age of candidacy in Nigeria

House of Reps consider
reduced age of candidacy in
Nigeria


– The House of Representatives is
considering to reduce the age of
candidacy to contest for the positions
of president, governor and senate
– “The bill is a demonstration of the
growing desire and demand of youths
to participate in the democratic
process”
The bill proposing to lower the eligible age for
presidential candidates and those interested to run
for public offices in Nigeria passed second reading
in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
If passed into a law it will lower age of candidacy
requirements for the office of the president from
40 to 30 years, and will also allow the 30-year-
olds to run for the office of a governor and for
election to the Senate.
Besides, it will reduce the age qualifications to
contest for the House of Representatives and State
Houses of Assembly to 25 years. The sponsor of the
bill is Tony Chinedu Nwulu who represents Oshodi-
Isolo 11 Federal Constituency of Lagos state, on
platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The lawmaker believes that the intiative will
attract more youths in politics and governance, he
stressed that electing young candidates into public
offices is an important aspect of democratic
practices.
Explaining his position he gave an example of other
countries where age of candidacy requirements were
reduced. He said: “Countries like the United
Kingdom parliament decided in 2006 to
lower their age of candidacy from 21 to
18, which had existed since the
Parliamentary Elections Act 1695. An age
candidacy of 25 would encourage greater
youth participation in politics.”
Mr Nwulu is convinced that the bill is a
demonstration of the growing desire and demand of
youths to participate in the country governance. He
added: “This desire itself could be viewed
as a sufficient warrant for young people
to participate, demonstrate a willingness
to engage and fulfill the burdens of
office.”




The bill also promotes the independence of
candidacy into the country’s electoral process. He
said: “It is pertinent now to amend the
constitution to make room for independent
candidates to widen the democratic
processes in our elections, and above all
to encourage our young ones to fully
participate in all elective offices.”

The bill is an alteration of section 65, 106, 131 and
177 of the 1999 constitution which had prescribed
qualification into the office of President to 40
years and above, office of governors and senate, 35
years and above as well as House of Representatives
and state Houses of Assembly to 25 years and
above.