MEMBERS of the House of Representatives have forced down a bill to amend the Nigerian constitution that will place an age limit on some elective posts including pegging the age of those willing to run for president at 70.
Yesterday, lawmakers ran down a debate on a bill which sought to place a cap of 70 on anyone willing to run for president and 65years for anyone seeking election into the National Assembly. Sponsored by Hon Bede Eke from Imo State, members of the House rejected the bill before the sponsor could even debate it.
It took the intervention of the speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila for the debate to be allowed. In the run-up to the debate, Hon Eke said the bill intends to create a buffer zone for the Not Too Young To Run law, explaining that old people are occupying the space for young people.
Hon Eke added: “We had some challenges recently with the Endsars protests and we are aware of their demands. Our youths will celebrate this house if we should pass this bill. You cannot talk about Not Too Young To Run when people are occupying the places.”
Opposing the bill, minority leader, Hon Ndidi Elumelu said the bill is discriminatory, adding that it is inconsistent with section 42 of the 1999 constitution. Also, Hon Uzoma Abonta said that instead of putting a limit, the age bracket should be expanded to accommodate more people by reducing the age to contest to 23 years.
He, therefore, advised the sponsor of the bill to either step it down or it will be voted on. Hon Jimoh Babajide and Hon Ahmed Jaha also advised the sponsor to withdraw the bill, forcing Hon Eke to do so.