The Not too Young to Run Bill also known as the age reduction bill was conceived by a civil society group known as YIAGA Africa on May 2016. The bill seeks alteration in section 65, 106,131, 17 of the Nigeria Constitution which is to reduce the age of running for election position for House of Assembly and House of Representive from 30 year old to 25 year old, Senate and Governorship from 35 year old to 30 year old and office of the President from 40 to 30 year old. The bill also seeks to promote independent candidature in Nigeria.
This bill was sponsored by Hon. Tony Nwulu in the House of Representative and Senator AbdulAziz Nyako.
On May 31st, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the bill,hence,making it an Act of the National Assembly. However, the age limit for Senators and Governors was not reduced; this is an issue that will be addressed in future.
Three keys lessons :
1. Nigerian Youth are not ‘Lazy’, we are focused, resilient and hardworking. It is imperative to know that 55 youth-led organizations gave the president an 8day ultimatum on 21st May 2018 to assent the bill. The Youth led peace protest and never gave up!
2. The power of unity; All the youth organizations worked as a team to make their voices louder and effective.
3. Ability to know what works best. The use of the social media campaig was strategic. Majority of Nigeria Youth use the social media so the #not too young to run hashtag gained massive support. It became a global social media campaign.
If we can do this, we can do it again in 2019 election. Let’s not get distracted by the President’s joke that the youth should wait after 2019 to contest for presidential election. Let’s get to work, we have the legal backing!
Grace Jimbo

8 thoughts on “The Not too Young to Run Bill gets Presidential Assent..Lessons learnt”

  1. Great lessons indeed! Perhaps SI4EV and all other civil society organizations seeking positive change can borrow a leaf from YIAGA Africa.

    Africa is experiencing transformation. The youths are now playing key roles in her revolution. This is to underscore the school of thought which says that “Youths are the leaders of today.”

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