A bill to reduce age qualification for political offices to 30yrs, sponsored by Tony Chinedu Nwulu, 37, representing Oshodi-Isolo 11 Federal Constituency of Lagos State at the House of Representatives, passes second reading in Nigerian senate in recent days.
The bill, which also makes provision for independent candidacy into the country’s electoral process, further reduces the age qualifications to contest for the House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly to 25 years.
The Bill is an alteration of section 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the 1999 constitution which had prescribed qualification into the office of President to 40 years and above, office of governors and senate, 35 years and above as well as House of Representatives and state Houses of Assembly to 25 years and above.
It is high time we youths stopped losing out politically no matter what we feel the leaders have done or left undone.
Let us mobilise ourselves, identify credible and capable ones who have political inclinations among us, or have shown interest in the past that they can be trusted, and support them.
We have done it for older politicians who have not delivered well enough for Nigeria. We can do it for ourselves. Attempt it. Abi, what is there to lose? If you make mistakes, lessons would be learnt and everyone would be better for it. And if you are a young person interested in politics, start preparing yourself now if you have not started doing so already. When you feel you are ready, boldly declare it.
Understand that people will scrutinise you, they will check up on your educational background, judge your intellectual capacity, probe your antecedents, challenge the workability of your ideas, ask tough questions about what you can bring to the table, and even abuse you.
But be serious-minded and decent in your approach. If they conclude you are just a noise maker, you are going nowhere. If they feel you make some sense, there are people who will follow and support you with all they have got no matter what it takes just to challenge the norm, break the rules and make history together with you.
Remember Obama. Also, remember to engage the traditional media and maximise social media.
Concerning funding your campaign, you will be surprised the number of youths who will be willing to contribute their N100 or even more via their phones to your campaign. Just ensure you start the process.
Youths in Nigeria, it is time to start getting more daring. Even if you do not get there, it would be clear you gave it your best shot and attempted a great thing in the genuine service of your fatherland. If you will not take the needed steps, then, stop your complaints.
We can no longer afford to underestimate the power we have got. Start your plans and preparation for the 2019 general elections in earnest. The old politicians have started theirs already. We have the numbers. Let us use it. We can get much more from our contributions; do not let us settle for less.
We are no longer leaders of the future; that has been proven to be a lie. Today is the time to take charge. So, across this beautiful land, let the strategic preparations by daring Nigerian youths commence now!
What if we the Nigerian youths under the age of 45 start thinking of forming a youth political party? With members under the age of 45 years before 2019, which we all use to contest political offices in the country and where the Party political form will not be outrageous like we have it in our present political parties; with well-defined and clear manifestoes like: supporting good governance and true Federalism, proper resource control, removal of immunity clause for the political office holders while in office, political office holders allowances/salaries not more than 10 times minimum wage, among others.
Now is the future. Now is the time. The time for the much-awaited revolution. As I have always being an advocate of good governance as the Panacea to the leadership embarrassment and quandaries in the nation (Google search “Bamidele Williams on good governance” for an online copy of this);
I believe the key to unlocking this lies in the various hands of the conscious and politically inclined youths of this nation.
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” — Vince Lombardi.
Yes. Now is the time to pay the worthwhile price. Many worthwhile exclamations and advocacies has been made in the time past by various noble statesmen across the globe in advocating for this gospel;
“Our answer is the world’s hope; it is to rely on youth. The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. It cannot be moved by those who cling to a present which is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement of danger. It demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” – Robert F. Kennedy, South Africa, 6-6-1966.
“Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.” —Rachel Jackson.
“The secret message communicated to most young people today by the society around them is that they are not needed, that the society will run itself quite nicely until they — at some distant point in the future — will take over the reigns. Yet the fact is that the society is not running itself nicely… because the rest of us need all the energy, brains, imagination and talent that young people can bring to bear down on our difficulties. For society to attempt to solve it’s desperate problems without the full participation of even very young people is imbecile.” — Alvin Toffler.
“The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.” –Kurt Cubain.
Now is the time to shine that light in you. Yes. You are more than able.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson, as written for Nelson Mandela.
STAND UP AND TAKE YOUR PLACE…
LET THE WALK BEGIN NOW
A public affairs Analyst and the Convener of OAU pigeonpost.