Home Africa NOT-TOO-YOUNG TO CONTEST CONGRATULATIONS TO NIGERIAN YOUTHS

NOT-TOO-YOUNG TO CONTEST CONGRATULATIONS TO NIGERIAN YOUTHS

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Let me commence by congratulating very heartily, our youths, who have been further encouraged by the law to aspire to political leadership position through the signing into law of a bill, by President Muhammadu Buhari that lowers the ages for participation in electoral contests; thus accommodating the younger aspirants hitherto subjugated by the extant Constitution of the Federal Republic on account of young age. It has been a worthy and patriotic struggle by Nigerian youths whose consciousness has been aroused by occurrences all over the world and the contributions of Nigerian nationalists who struggled and won independence for Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday May 31, 2018, gladly signed the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill into Law at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The law reduces the constitutional age qualification for president from 40 to 30; governor from 35 to 30; senator from 35 to 30; House of Representatives membership from 30 to 25 and State House of Assembly membership from 30 to 25. The issue is indeed part of a Global Campaign Promoting Right of Young People to Run for Public Office and was launched at the first United Nations Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, at United Nations Office in Geneva in November, 2016. The campaign, launched by a partnership consisting of the Office of the UN Secretary-Generals Envoy on Youth, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the European Youth Forum (EYF) and the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), aimed to elevate the promotion of young peoples right to run for public office and address the wide-spread issue of age discrimination. How did it begin? The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, was quoted as asserting at a meeting in Geneva that: Younger generations are not adequately represented in formal political institutions such as Parliaments, political parties and public administrations. This leads many to feel leadership and policymaking are reserved for an élite. A society that does not fully respect everyones equal right to participate is fundamentally unsound. The right to express opinions including criticism and to participate in public affairs are essential to ensuring state institutions are accountable, grounded in service to the people. Fortunately for youths, it is also the contention of the International Parliamentary Union, through its Secretary General Martin Chungong…

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