Buhari To Lower Age Limit for Political Office After Push From Nigerian Youth
On Nigeria's annual Democracy Day, the president mapped out his plans to reduce the presidential age limit and fight Boko Haram.
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, one of the world's oldest leaders, will approve a new law, reducing the age limits for political office, reports BBC Africa.
The new policy will reduce the age limit for senators and governors from 35 to 30, and from 40 to 35 for presidential office. The hope is that it will encourage younger candidates to participate in next year's elections. For state assembly, the minimum age Is now 25.
The reform comes after complaints from the country's youth that the age limits excluded younger candidates from holding political office. Nigeria has often been criticized for being what many consider a gerontocracy.
"In a few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the 'Not Too Young To Run' bill," said the president in a speech on Tuesday to mark Democracy Day in Nigeria.
The president also addressed ongoing efforts to tackle Boko Haram and improve security, claiming that their has been success in fighting off the extremist group. "Public safety and security remains the primary duty of this government. Before this administration came into being three years ago, Boko Haram held large areas of land spanning several local government in the northeast," he said."Today, the capacity of the insurgents has been degraded."
Despite passing this law, 75 year-old Buhari will run for re-election in 2019, to the disapproval of much of the country's younger population. He was lambasted earlier this year, when he stated that Nigerian youth were lazy and entitled during an interview, sparking the viral movement #LazyNigerianYouth.