Sen. Suleiman Nazif, on Wednesday commended Senate’s approval of reduction in age qualification for offices of the President, Governor, membership of the Senate, House of Representatives and state houses of assembly.
Nazif, the senator representing Bauchi North Senatorial District, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
He said the vote in favour of a bill seeking to alter sections 65, 106,131 and 177 of the 1999 Constitution was a move to include Nigerian youth in the process of governance.
According to him, if voted for by two third of the state houses of assembly and signed into law by the president, it would give Nigerian youths the opportunity to use their talent for the development of the nation.
“Yesterday, a movement known as “The Not Too Young to Run Movement protested against age limit in age qualification for appointive and elective offices and the Senate in its wisdom has done justice to the matter.
“I was one of the senators that addressed them and I assured them that the 8th Senate was pro-youth and would do anything to ensure that the Nigerian youth was given his or her pride of place.
“We all know that it is a sensitive issue in Nigeria but the beauty is that the Senate in its wisdom applied wisdom and reduced the age to what Nigerian youths will be satisfied with.
“The 18 years they were clamouring for was an uphill task.
“However, with what happened today, if it scales through, the youth, who are in the majority, will have the opportunity to vie for all positions they so desire.
“We reduced each of the positions by five years from what it used to be and I think that is fair enough to give our youth the opportunity to contribute their quota to the development of the nation,’’ he said
It could be recalled that Not Too Young to Run Movement, a Non-Governmental Organisation, led by one Mr Samson Itodo stormed the National Assembly on July 25 demanding that the age restriction on elective and appointive positions in the country be removed from the constitution.
Itodo had maintained that time had come for young Nigerians to be given the opportunity to run for office, adding that once a person is eligible to vote, he or she should be eligible to run for office.
The Senate on Wednesday, considered the Bill seeking reduction in age qualification for offices of the President and Governor, membership of the Senate, House of Representatives and state houses of assembly and 32 other bills.
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