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It’s no longer news that the #NotYoungToRun bill and Independent Candidacy bill has been approved by the Senate of the Eighth National Assembly. What does this mean to the average youth on the street? Does this mean that miraculous fairies’ dust has been sprinkled for easy access? Everyone in the euphoria of the incident has not gotten passed the Bill’s approval. While this is a big step in the right direction, let’s share our thoughts on the action. In a world where corruption seems to be the order of the day, we can only sit and watch as the event unfolds. Both bills passed simultaneously are mutually beneficial to one another. Let’s take an instance where a young graduate on the streets decides to run for an electoral office. Beforehand, he would have had to register with a political party, pass through the bureaucracy that is involved, get approval from a Godfather before he can even go for the primaries. Through all these, he is either bribing his opponents or fighting toe and nails to get through the process. Now, it is practically straightforward. Allowing independent candidacy would increase the number of choices the electorate has to vote from. This young graduate can proceed to register himself with the electoral commission and voila, he is in the race to power seat. The tyranny of political parties’ leaders where the parties feel more superior to the state would reduce. Here, Age no longer limits him. Nigerian youths can now contest for The Presidency at the age of 35, Governor or Senator at the age of 30, which is a change from the initial 40, 35 years respectively. Hurray! Anyone with the ambition of being elected can do so before turning grey. A lot of visionary with ideas can see their notions become policies while still in active service. Who knows what tomorrow would bring? A gentleman who nurses political ambition should be able to groom himself for the post. No one is entitled to get the post through magic tricks. A yoruba adage that says “Omo to ba fe je asemu ati kekere lo ti senu semu semu”, reflects that right from infancy a great man is known. Ambition is the steam that drives men forward on the road to success. He would have exhibited from childhood the traits of a leader, developed his leadership skills, and found the right mentors, so that he can grow in that direction. Even without the necessary funds, surrounding himself with people who believe in his dreams and do not have a personalized propaganda, he is nurtured to fall into the big shoe of politics. A lady who hopes to fit into the shoes would have her work cut out for her. Grooming herself for a political career would also be engrained in her personal attitude towards the leadership position. Her deep seated fears have to be conquered to convince whatever platforms to believe in her ideologies. Preferably, she has to understand the Constitution, the position she is interested in and the application of the laws. All in all, one celebrates the thoughtfulness of the Senators who supported the much-anticipated bill.

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This article was first published on 28th July 2017 and updated on August 1st, 2017 at 8:12 am


Adepeju Adenuga is a writer (considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense). She holds a Masters Degree in Literature in English from the University of Lagos.

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