THE BILL “NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN” WON’T BE EFFECTIVE WITHOUT THE BILL “TOO OLD TO RUN”; I CALL TO STOP THE LEADERS OF YESTERDAY FROM BECOMING THE LEADERS OF TODAY, PART 1 BY MASTERPIECE DAVID OLAWADE
I stand on the opinion that the just passed bill or law, “NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN” shouldn’t call for celebration but for sober reflections for why it took us so long to get the reality and how it could be effective in a system like this where the old have no restrictions to participate actively in politics.
A quick consideration of the political system of other countries would help to expound this caption;
Away from United Nations, the minimum age requirement to contest for governorship across 50 state of the United States of America is 30years, Senate 30 years, U.S. Congress 25 years, House of Delegates 21 etc.
In Australia, any person 18 years of age or older may stand for election to public office at federal, state or local government level. The youngest ever member of the House of Representatives was 20-year-old Wyatt Roy elected in the 2010 federal election.
In Denmark, any adult 18 years of age or older can become a candidate and be elected in any public election.
In France, any citizen 18 years of age or older can be elected to the lower house of Parliament, and 24 years or older for the Senate. Minimum age for the President of France is 18.
In Iran a person must be at least 21 years old to run for president.
In the Netherlands, any adult 18 years of age or older can become a candidate and be elected in any public election.
In Norway, any adult 18 years of age or older can become a candidate and be elected in any public election.
In South Africa, Section 47, Clause 1 of the 1996 Constitution of South Africa states that “Every citizen who is qualified to vote for the National Assembly is eligible to be a member of the Assembly”, defaulting to Section 46 which “provides for a minimum voting age of 18 years” in National Assembly elections; Sections 106 and 105 provide the same for provincial legislatures.
Ghana has a voting age of 18 years with a population of over 24M, and a voting population of 13M. However, the age requirement for running for a seat in Parliament is 21 years.
In the United Kingdom, a person must be aged 18 or over (16 in Scotland) to stand in elections to all parliaments, assemblies, and councils at the European, UK, devolved, or local level. This age requirement also applies in elections to any individual elective public office.
In Venezuela, a person must be at least 30 to be President or Vice President, 21 to be a deputy for the National Assembly and 25 to be the Governor of a state.
As a social transformation strategist, I was privileged to take side on the thoughts of my fellow brother, Bar. Tosin Akande;
“Let’s ask ourselves; How many of the over 120 million Nigerian youths there are often graduate before the age of 25- the new age for eligibility for the State and Federal Honourables?
I’m not talking the insignificantly few children of the elite who graduate at 19, 20 or 21! I mean the average Naija youth.
If they graduate, how about the maturity required for such exalted offices?
How long does the average youth take to get a good job here? To settle down and start living a decent family life? Is it just about age?
Let’s see 35- the new least bar for the Presidency. Many a Nigerian youths are not even married at 35! Where is the index of responsibility? If you haven’t managed a home, where is proof that you can direct the affairs of State?! Proof, not capacity.
Millions of them might still be living with their parents due either to the economy or wait-for-it, metaphysical powers or household enemies.”
I applaud the few young dynamic personalities that stood out despite the economic and societal limitations to make impacts that commands relevance but how many youths can comfortably afford over 25 million naira for presidential election ticket and sponsor campaign expenses without thoughts of stealing back after emerging?
To be continued.