Ever since the passage of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill to law, the bill has become the lastest slang on the street. Notable opinions from different speakers. Opinions like how will a 35 years old man get the huge fund in buying a party's ticket? Opinions like how sellable will independent candidacy be to the teeming electorates? And why age is a thing of the mind. These are the notable contradictory opinions spewing out everywhere.
If not how forgetful we are, Why is there age restriction at the inception of the 1999 constitution? And these were the case at every constitutional drafting. These was the same restriction at the 1966, 1979, 1983 constitutions and that is how I lost my count. Is our founding fathers stupid? Although, They were never perfect. Nnamdi Azikiwe was not a saint, Tafawa Balewa is far from been a perfect person but they gave a restrictions to age in the 1966 constitution. Why? To the best of history, our founding fathers in uniformity gave meaning to our democracy. Therefore, to them they paved way for decorum and maturity in governance.
At every constitutional stop over, the learned, the writers of course believed age is maturity. The believed the youths are spoilers. They believed in the alien constitutions of the foreign lands.
After the 1966 constitution, the country has witnessed another four constitutions. They never pegged the age lower at 35 years!. But there's a mistake. Our kingdoms before the colonial era were never age restricted.
In northern oligarchs, the young were princes and eligible to rule. The Yorubas were mindless of the age. Only the Igbo had an age grade, where the younger ones were nurtured for leadership. The rhetorical question is this, why this there much ado on this bill?
As a commentator, have took my time to observe Nigeria's constitution since 1960. I noticed we never had a true Nigerian constitution. They were all tailored towards the United Kingdom style or the American way. In Ghana, they gave meaning to unitary system of government. They wrote their constitution in accordance to their desire. But in Nigeria, our constitution is not ours, our law is not ours, our political system is alien and nothing is ours. Then with this, the #NotTooYoungBill is right. Let have something of ours. A true local content. A bit of more energy than the older generations.
Left to me, the bill is not our needed want at this time. Our head is aching us and what we need is a real pain killer not a mere herb. The funniest part is that, we all know that our constitution requires a lot. The energy wasted on this bill should have been diverted to some grey issues like a better social security bill, disability bill, food subsidy and many more. A bill like this has happened before. There was PIB Bill, and nothing came out of it. I have witnessed over twelve budget appropriations and to what use were they? mere paperworks.
In Nigeria of today, that bill is nothing but a change of words in the constitution. It won't be effective. It won't be heard after the fuss might have gone down in the next three weeks. In our dreamland, every Nigerian youth dream of living large by 35 years old. Of course, nobody wants to die of poverty. In reality, 65% of the same youths live below three hundred dollars per day. Then who are the remaining 35%? Don't forget that Lai Mohammed's son is a lawmaker, Bode George'son is a lawmaker. Lam Adesina succeeded in putting his son some where before his demise. Baba Afefarati, Oloye Saraki, Tony Anenih and many more did well in all fixing their lads in good posts. Look back to your various communities, you 'll know better. And that is where the trouble lies.
To be honest, the remaining 35% of those living above three hundred dollars per day are the sons and daughters of the political elite. Here comes the ultimate question, who paid the youths to be blind to reality? Those people must be wise enough to sweet talk them out. Same way we are always been fooled in every four years.
To those who said we are not too young to run, definitely no one is too young to run. But in Nigeria everything is abnormal. Cost of election is too high. It only affordable to the rich. The Ekiti state governorship election is some months away, and over 50 candidates has declared their interest in the top notch office and here is another question, how many youths are among the contestants?
Nigeria will remain Nigeria if certain tools are not put in place. Governance must be separated from politics. The youth empowerment should be everyone's priority. The rate of our growth will continue to be stunted if old politicians continue to be rotated and youths waiting for crumbs to swallow. In order to survive, many youths has turned to errand boys. But is #NotTooYoungToRun the answer?
In politics, there's always a recall to the past. Some will forever say, the likes of Tunde Fashola, Rotimi Akeredolu, Akinwunmi Ambode and the likes all started from being an errand boys. Just has things will always contradict, most of our present politicians schooled abroad! Let ask ourselves, how is market? Schooling abroad now is not easy.
The #NotTooYoungToRun bill is good. It's a sign of consciousness. It's a sign that we youth are alive. But it's a long road to pass. It's a bill with much troubles. It's a bill in fruitily. The bitter truth is this, except you know who is who, you have millions of Naira and you have rich resume you will get there.
Then how do you expect a son of a butcher man to get there? When LAUTECH has been on strike for two year. And we do see how the sons and daughters do graduate from various foreign universities. Who said we are blind? We are just adapting. Same way we are about to adapt this bill becoming a law. A yet another paperwork.
Writes from Adekunle Ajasin University.