Until today, to qualify to contest for political office in Nigeria, you had to be at least 30 years and above.
With the signing into law of the “Not Too Young To Run” law that threshold has been reduced by five years. Henceforth, a twenty-five year old can aspire to hold political office in Africa’s most populous nation.
President Buhari signed the law in the presence of a number of young people who campaigned over the last year especially to have the said law passed.
The law replaced four parts of the 1999 Constitution with respect to age requirement for president, governorship, senate, House of Representatives/State House of assembly.
Here is a summary of what has changed with the new law.
Presidential contest – age eligibility reduced for forty years to thirty-five.
Governorship/Senate contest – age eligibility down to thirty years from thirty-five.
House of Reps/State House of Assembly – eligibility now pegged at twenty-five from former figure of thirty.
Nigeria like much of Africa has a youth bulge but the average age of presidents run into the late fifties.
At 2.30pm today May 31, 2018, I signed into law the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill, a landmark piece of legislation that was conceived, championed and accomplished by young Nigerians. The Bill has now become an Act of Parliament. It is a historic day for Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/yDbiQUX6l5
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) May 31, 2018