MEMBERS of the National Assembly will soon begin debating a bill that will bar anyone over the age of 70 from running for Nigeria’s presidency after a motion requesting this was proposed by a member of the House of Representatives.
Hon Bede Eke, who is representing Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency of Imo State, revealed earlier today that he will table a motion to cap the age at which one can run for president. He added that following the passing of the Not Too Young To Run bill, there is now the need to also have a maximum age of qualification to stand for president.
Last year, the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign, which started on the Internet and social media, led to the reduction of the minimum age to contest elections into public offices including the state houses of assembly, governorship, House of Representatives and the Senate. Hon Eke said he planned to sponsor a bill to put a ceiling on the qualifying age to run for president when the National Assembly begins another review of the constitution.
Hon Eke, who assured Nigerians that he would lead the debate for Too Old to Run, stated that the legislation would be an advancement of the Not Too Young to Run and help to inject new blood into the country’s leadership. A member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon Eke said he would first move a motion for the amendment.
“When you look at events now, look at other countries like France and let us see if we can get a young vibrant man to lead this country. You cannot tell me that what somebody in his 50s can do, a man in his 80s can do the same thing. It is not possible. This is nature.
“If you get to an age, you should not be bothering to rule. You should not run for president when you are 70 or 80. It is not targeted at anybody but we want to inject fresh blood,” Hon Eke added.
Among other things, Hon Eke called for more devolution of powers from the federal government to the states. he also re-echoed the clamour for the presidency to go to the southeast geo-political zone in 2023.