Youth participation in politics and constitutional barriers

(By Abdulbaqi jari)

Since a youth is between the ages of 18-35 in Nigeria, the office of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria is strictly out of bond to all youths. This is because,  the constitution says one must attain the age of 40 years before he is eligible to run for President. This laws are youths unfriendly and biased. Unfortunately for the youths in Nigeria, there is no political office exclusively reserved for them. Even the offices of the youth leaders in political parties, associations and Union that are reserved for the youths – are not being held or occupied by them.

According to the national youth policy of Nigeria 2001:3, a youth is any person from the age of 18 to 35. In Nigeria, the youths constitute  about 70 percent of Nigeria’s 170 million population. Unfortunately, over 60 and 70 percent of the youths are not graduate and unemployed respectively. Youths participation in politics is mostly negative in Nigeria. They are the ballot snatchers, political thugs, assailant etc. Some blamed the youths for not been focus and determined. They blamed their inactiveness and sluggish attitude towards politics. They claimed that our pairs in other nations are there doing just well – far from us. John Duvalie of Haiti was President was he was 19, Gawon of old Nigeria 30, etc. Compare to our time now, we are just a wrong history.

In my opinion, the problem of lack of youths participation in politics and governance is largely due to the dictatorial constitution political laws currently in place. The constitution discriminate between age brackets and lines. To start with, all the various political offices in Nigeria are “age and youth unfriendly”. One has to reach those years before he can even contest the office talkless of occupying it.  For example, section 66 of the constitution states years required before one can even contest the national assembly elections. According to section 66 (1) Subject to the provisions of section 66 of this Constitution, a person shall be qualified for election as a member of: (a) the Senate, if he is a citizen of Nigeria and has attained the age of 35 years; and (b) the House of Representatives, if he is a citizen of Nigeria and has attained the age of 30 years. This is a discrimination. The constitution says anybody from 18 is mentally conscious and legally and liably  responsible, but that he cannot stand for election in any office at 18 as can be seen in various political offices age requirements. Why this?  So are the other political offices in Nigeria. Before one can even contest governorship election, he has to reach 35 years. That means virtually a youth cannot be a Governor or Senator in Nigeria.

Since a youth is between the ages of 18-35 in Nigeria, the office of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria is strictly out of bond to all youths. This is because,  the constitution says one must attain the age of 40 years before he is eligible to run for President. This laws are youths unfriendly and biased. Unfortunately for the youths in Nigeria, there is no political office exclusively reserved for them. Even the offices of the youth leaders in political parties, associations and Union that are reserved for the youths – are not being held or occupied by them. The case of one 59 years old national youth leader keeps on amazing me. How did 59 years old fellow become a youth?

    Nigerian youths must unite and have a robust plan to emancipate themselves. He who have the youths have the future – Adolf Hiltler). The youths are the future leaders of tomorrow – if they fight for that tomorrow. Nigerian youths should join the campaign in seeing and ensuring that we the Nigerian youths take our rightful place in Nigeria.

#NigerianYouthsShouldLeadNigeria

Comrade Abdulbaqi Aliyu Jari
Katsina state
+2348035424321
@jariabdubaqi

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