Age limits have always been an obstacle to young people seeking political office in Africa.
There have been several campaigns across the continent to reduce the age limit to seek political office, and the one in Nigeria has finally yielded positive results.
Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, May 31, signed a “Not Too Young To Run” bill to reduce the age limits for people seeking political offices, including the presidency.
Nigeria’s President has signed into law the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill that drastically reduced the age eligible for a citizen to run for office.
30 years for President, Governor and Senate
25years for House of Representatives and State House of Assembly.pic.twitter.com/KyCYocSypl
— Facts About Africa (@OnlyAfricaFacts) May 31, 2018
Nigeria’s recent presidents, when elected, were older than 50.
The new policy will, however, reduce the age limit for senators and governors from 35 to 30, and from 40 to 35 for the presidential office.
The bill was passed by Nigerian lawmakers in July 2017, leaving the final step of presidential assent.
Political analysts say the bill has been approved at the right time, as polls show that Nigerians will prefer a younger president to run the affairs of the country.
More than half of Nigeria’s almost 200 million people are under 30.
The new law has raised hopes of younger candidates at next year’s general election.
But this will not come with certain challenges for these younger ones, as people have raised issues about the high cost of political campaigns.
Nevertheless, having young people at the helm of political affairs will ensure that policies formulated and implemented will reflect the views and aspirations of their colleague youths.
Buhari has since received praise for approving the “Not Too Young To Run” bill, but this commendation would have been more if the 75-year-old had not declared his decision to run for re-election in 2019.
As it stands now, many people, particularly, the younger population are heavily against his decision to contest.