The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is requesting president Mohammadu Buhari and his party not to rejoice over an initiative that was conceptualized by one of its members in the parliament saying the party remains the architects of Not Too Young to Run Bill.
Recall that president Mohammadu Buhari had on Thursday signed the Not Too Young To Run Bill making it an act of the parliament.
The PDP said the facts remains that bill which the President signed into law was sponsored and pursued by members of the PDP in the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly.
in a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja, on Thursday.
The PDP said, “It is instructive to note that President Buhari had no input whatsoever in the bill; never showed any support or enthusiasm towards the initiative and had no option but to perform a mandatory constitutional duty of assenting to the bill, as a clear reflection of the mood of the nation, given that the bill had already found an easy passage to the crucibles of the required approval of two-thirds of states in the federation.
“This development is indeed a democratic victory for the Nigerian youths over forces, particularly, the APC, that had hitherto disdained and disregarded them as lazy and inconsequential but had to succumb to the dictates of the law and pressure by the youths and the PDP.
“The party commands the sponsor of the bill, Tony Nwulu (PDP, Lagos), other legislators who supported the process and the resilience of the Nigerian youths in getting the initiative through, in line with the vision of the PDP to allow younger Nigerians to actively participate in elective positions in governance at all levels.
“In preparation for the passage of the bill, the PDP had since launched our ‘Generation Next Movement,’ which has already put younger Nigerians at a vantage point to participate in elective positions ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“In line with the ‘Generation Next Movement’, the rebranded PDP among other pro-youth incentives has since approved certain critical clauses and waivers so that the young people will actively vie for positions in the 2019 general elections.”
Meanwhile, President Mohammadu Buhari had on Thursday after signing the Bill on Not Too Young To Run asked youths who might be eyeing his seat to postpone their campaigns till after the 2019 presidential election.
The Nigerian leader, who has already indicated interest in seeking a fresh four-year mandate in 2019, made the appeal shortly after signing the much-publicised Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill into law at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The new law reduces the eligible age for those seeking to be members of the state Houses of Assembly and House of Representatives from 30 to 25 years; and those aspiring to be President from 40 to 35 years.
The age limits for senators and state governors were not reduced as originally proposed by the sponsors of the bill.
“I am confident each one of you will transform Nigeria in your own way – whether through the media, agricultural enterprise, as economists, engineers, or as lawmakers in your states or at the federal level, or as state governors – and even someday, as President. Why not?
“But please, can I ask you to postpone your campaigns till after the 2019 elections!” Buhari told the excited youths who thronged the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa to witness the signing of the bill.
He, however, expressed how proud he was with what the youths had accomplished with the new law.
The President described the day as a significant one for all Nigerians, and most especially the nation’s youths – and the role they play in the nation’s democracy, politics and national life.
He described the new law as a landmark piece of legislation that was conceived, championed and accomplished by young Nigerians.
“The coordinators of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement have now established a formidable legacy – which is that, in our maturing democracy, if you really want to change something in Nigeria, and if you can organise yourselves and work hard towards it – you can achieve it. The outcome of such efforts is this remarkable feat.
“These efforts have resulted in the heroic task of enshrining in law, a reduction of the minimum age for elective offices in Nigeria,” the President added.
While highlighting the changes introduced by the law, Buhari expressed surprise that the age limits for senators and state governors were not reduced, as originally proposed by the sponsors of this bill.
This, he said, was an issue that needed to be addressed in future.
This notwithstanding, the President said the focus and contributions of the youth had successfully increased the quality and maturity of Nigerian democracy and expanded the playing field for youth participation in politics.
Buhari added, “You, the young people of Nigeria, are now set to leave your mark on the political space, just as you have done over the decades in entrepreneurship, sports, art, media entertainment, technology, and several other fields.
“You are undoubtedly Nigeria’s most important resource – not oil, not agriculture, not solid minerals – but you and all of us.
“Your energy, intelligence and talents are what will drive and develop Nigeria, long after we are all gone.
“This is an opportunity for me to affirm that this administration will continue to do everything in its power to make Nigeria work for you.”
Buhari, however, urged the youth not to see the signing of the law as the end of the journey.
Describing it as only the beginning, the President said there was still a lot of work ahead, towards ensuring that young people take full advantage of the opportunities provided not only by the constitutional amendment but also through Nigeria’s boundless prospects.