Editorial: As continuum – integrating young people into Nigeria’s political leadership

That the Nigerian Senate had passed (into law) the bill seeking age reductions for the position of President (40 to 35), Governor (35 to 30), House of Representatives (30 to 25) and State House of Assembly (30 to 25) is commendable.

This is because, the new law will see a new breed of persons (young minds) getting the mantle of leadership to steer the wheel of affairs in Nigerian politics: perhaps, delivering (on time) the better Nigeria that many people long for, especially, in favour of the youths.

It is, therefore, a huge responsibility that the majority of youths must accept – if they would, really, function with the immense opportunity at their disposal.

In the same vein, it is, a steep into government (of young but competent persons) by the aging populace in the Nigerian political arena: a compendium of responsibility for the aged to, totally, evacuate the corridor of power, while the aging would have to lead the young ones into the same (political offices).

As it stands, the conveners of #NotTooYoungToRun deserve standing ovations – across the states of the nation. This is more so, because they have ignited the hope of young people contrary to the opinions of two House of Representative members, Hon. Abubakar Chika Adamu (representing Shiroro/Rafi/Munya constituency and Hon. Muhammed Gudaji Kazaure (representing Kazaure federal constituency) that, “Northern youths will refuse to further their studies to the university level but prefer to run for political office if the bill was passed”.

While the opinion of these two honourables is, somehow, commendable (when seen from the perspective of the need for education by anyone that desires to run for political offices) – they should, however, note that Northern youths are not the only ones in Nigeria, at the present: hence, their opinion is baseless and frivolous.

Moreover, to ensure adequate preparations and full integrations of young people into political offices ahead of the 2019 General Elections, members of the House of Representatives are called upon to pass the bill before them into law (as soon as possible) and should be ratified by the generality of the State House of Assemblies across Nigeria.

Therefore, (once again) we commend the #NotTooYoungToRun group for the institutionalised ‘hall of fame’ and ‘hall of shame’ for the senators and honourables who supported or opposed the bill, respectively.

It should be noted, also, that in order for the youths to fully gain political grounds, the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign should not end with the passage of bills, by which individual youths will be assimilated into existing political parties. Rather, youths-based political parties should be formed, nurtured and strengthened to contend against the old politicians and their parties, without discriminating against young people that wish to run for offices on the platform of existing parties.

The youths-based political parties should, also, have specified age limits for office aspirants by their individuals’ constitutions and enlist any candidates of other political parties that surpass the set age limits as political threats to democracy.

The new political parties by the youths are called for, if the youths would ascend into political offices on time without the need of political godfathers (which breed corruption into political systems, all over the world).

More so that having own political parties (by the youths) will, also, endear the majority of the youths and youths-loving individuals to support candidates from this youths-based political parties.

However, strict adherence (to constitutional provisions) must be observed by this group (youths) in order to avoid incompetencies, failed political promises, and untimely or permanent death of enthusiasm (among the youths and youths based organisations) towards the realisation of the passage of the #NotTooYoungToRunBill.

With this bill – passed into law, Nigeria is (assuredly) on her way to political freedom. Yet, the youths should bear in mind that the young ones must learn the rope of steering the wheel of the nation from the aging politicians (before the aged are faced out) to avoid daily show of indiscipline and lack of respect for the rule of law (across the nation) in our political system.

It should be noted, by the youths, that taking over the corridor of power does not require violence, misconducts towards the aging and aged politicians, lack of intellectual, physical or moral discipline – all these are tantamount to ‘failure of hope’ – the youths must be ready, with all good conducts, to wrestle power out of the control of the aged politicians.

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