Towards A Purpose Driven Candidature In 2019

Towards A Purpose Driven Candidature In 2019

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the “Not Too Young To Run” bill into law in May this year inside the Council Chamber of State House Presidential Villa, in the presence of selected invited youth from across the county.

The new law is aimed at relaxing some of the stringent and discriminatory provisions of the constitution.

The bill was passed by the National Assembly last year to alter Sections 65, 106, 131, 177 of the constitution. It was to reduce the 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. With the passage of that law, Nigerians felt the 2019 presidential election will be somewhat different from the norm.

The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, had on Thursday declared his intention to run for the presidency in the 2019 general elections at a dialogue with youths and young aspirants in Abuja and promised an inclusive government for all Nigerians, if elected. He said that he would ensure that all Nigerians enjoyed “the inalienable right to feel a sense of belonging no matter their background or creed or what part of the country they come from. “No matter who you voted for or what your convictions are, government must work for you,” he said.

With the caliber of persons who have so far signified their interest to run for the office of president from both the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the cases of decamping that is ongoing across party divides, it appears this expectation can no longer hold water. Nigerians have to thus mobilise to present a deviation from the norm, providing a sure departure from the way it has always been, ensuring a policy based emergence of candidates away from the same set of candidates who may have nothing different to bring on board. Already there are permutations that the exit of very strong contenders like the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, will only ease the race for President Muhammadu Buhari to pick the APC ticket and eventually the presidential seat.

We, therefore, charge politicians especially the presidential aspirants to put Nigeria first in their aspirations, as against selfish political ambitions. Just last week, the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wile described the Federal Government as non-performing, urging the PDP presidential aspirants to support whoever emerges as the PDP candidate after the presidential primary. It is high time the political landscape witnesses a purpose-driven emergence of candidates that would take Nigeria to heights of development and progress.

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