Just after signing the ‘Not too young to run’ bill, Nigeria’s President Buhari who had already indicated interest in seeking a fresh four-year mandate in 2019, made an appeal to Nigerian youths at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Though the age limits for senators and state governors were not reduced as originally proposed by the sponsors of the bill, however it reduces the eligible age for those seeking to be members of the state Houses of Assembly and House of Representatives from 30 to 25 years; and those aspiring to be President from 40 to 35 years.
However President Buhari told Nigerian youths who might be eyeing his seat, to postpone their campaigns till after the 2019 presidential election.
“I am confident each one of you will transform Nigeria in your own way – whether through the media, agricultural enterprise, as economists, engineers, or as lawmakers in your states or at the federal level, or as state governors – and even someday, as President. Why not?
“But please, can I ask you to postpone your campaigns till after the 2019 elections!” Buhari told the excited youths who thronged the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa to witness the signing of the bill.
President Buhari who described the new law as a landmark piece of legislation that was conceived, championed and accomplished by young Nigerians, added that the day was a significant one for all Nigerians, and most especially the nation’s youths – and the role they play in the nation’s democracy, politics and national life.
“The coordinators of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement have now established a formidable legacy – which is that, in our maturing democracy, if you really want to change something in Nigeria, and if you can organise yourselves and work hard towards it – you can achieve it. The outcome of such efforts is this remarkable feat.
“These efforts have resulted in the heroic task of enshrining in law, a reduction of the minimum age for elective offices in Nigeria,” the President added.
The Nigerian President also expressed surprise that that the age limits for senators and state governors were not reduced, as originally proposed by the sponsors of this bill. Punch reported that he said it was an issue that needed to be addressed in future.