2019: Youth hopeful presidential aspirants

2019: Youth hopeful presidential aspirants
2019: Youth hopeful presidential aspirants

Even before the Not Too Young to Run law Nigerian youth have seen the wave of emerged youth as leaders across the European countries like France, Ireland, Estonia and Austria and Canada.
These European countries elect youths as leaders under the age of 40.
Consequently, less emphasis is put on age and experience.
To the electorate in these countries, there is the feeling that new approaches are needed for today’s problems.
More than youth alone, these new crop of leaders offer their respective countries a renewed sense of vitality and xcitement.
In spite of what seems to be a growing trend for young leaders across the globe, older politicians are still very much involved in governing and setting the agenda in Nigeria, but an array of youths, who have so far declared interest for the presidency, may alter this political order.
Today’s generation of young people is the largest the world has ever known.
Half of the global population is under 30, and yet 73 per cent of countries restrict young people from running for office, even though they can vote.
The teeming population of young people, notwithstanding, they make up less than two per cent of the world’s members of parliament.
About 30 per cent of the world’s lower houses of parliament have no members of parliaments (MPs) aged under age of 30, while more than 80 per cent of the world’s upper houses of parliament have no MPs aged under 30.
The Not Too Young to Run law is historic.
It without doubt directly affects the majority of the populace, who make up about 60% of the total population of the nation.
Prior to the law, the Constitution required that anyone vying for a seat at the National Assembly must attain the age of 35 years for Senate and 30 years for House of Representatives; Section 106 (b) stipulated that a candidate must attain the age of 30 years before contesting for a seat at the House of Assembly; Section 131 (b) pegged the age of 40 years for candidates vying for the office of the President; while Section 177(b) pegged Age of governorship candidates as for 35 years.
With this new law, age of a Presidential aspirant has been reduced from 40 years to 30 years; governors have been reduced from 35 years to 30 years; Senate from 35 years to 30 years; House of Representatives from 30 years to 25 years; and House of Assembly which was hitherto at 30 years has been reduced to 25 years.
Are Nigerian youth equal to the task as the country approaches the 2019 general elections? Nigeria deserves youthful leaders at all levels of authority.
The tasks ahead of Nigerian youth is to be proactive towards making themselves more significant and also ready in pursuing their common goal by organising themselves around positive core values, become ideological in the sense of nationalism and patriotism in their quest for a generational shift in political leadership of the country.
Whatever the case politics is a game of numbers, at the end of the day, the youth are in the majority.
What is the excuse? So long as the older generation does not want to step down, for so long will they continue to reinvent, reappoint and resurface.
So far, some youths have declared interest in the 2019 Presidency.
They are Ahmed Buhari (39), Chris Emejuru (35), Adamu Garba II (35), Fela Durotoye (46), Yul Edochie (36) and Eniola Ojajuni (39), among others.
While the emergence of youthful figures in positions of power in other lands gives hope to these young Nigerian presidential hopefuls, it still remains to be seen how far they can cause a break from the past.
A leading youth presidential candidate Adamu Garba II said our founding father like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Abubakar Tafawa Belewa were around 40 when they began active roles as pioneers of Nigeria’s political history.
Yakubu Gowon was in his 30s when took centre stage in Nigerian politics.
So, the present generation of Nigeria youth can do it considering their exposure and educational background.
Youths should not be treated as a mere launch pad to office, as their interests are better understood and served by elected leaders of their age group knowing in leadership, age is not a barrier, wisdom is key.
Dukawa can be reached at [email protected]

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