Presidency: Rep seeks ban of septuagenarians
First published by Leke Baiyewu, Abuja Punch Newspapers
A member of the House of Representatives, Bede Eke, has proposed creation of a law that disqualifies Nigerians older than 70 from contesting in presidential election.
According to Eke, who is representing Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency of Imo State, with the passage of the ‘Not Too Young To
Run’ bill by the National Assembly, and the assent into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, there is the need to also have a maximum age of qualification.
The #NotTooYoungToRun campaign, which started on the Internet and social media, had led to the reduction of minimum age to contest elections into elective public offices, including the state House of Assembly, governorship, House of Representatives and the Senate.
Eke said he planned to sponsor a bill to put a ceiling on the qualifying age to run for president, when the National Assembly begins another review of the constitution.
The lawmaker, who assured Nigerians that he would lead the debate for ‘Too Old to Run,’ stated that the legislation would be an advancement of the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ and help to inject new blood into the country’s leadership.
The Peoples Democratic Party member said he would first move the motion for the amendment.
He said, “When you look at events now; look at other countries; when you look at France, let us see if we can get a young vibrant man to lead this country. It is a personal decision and that is my opinion; get a man so advanced. You cannot tell me that what somebody in his 50s – whether early 50s or late 50s – can do, a man in his 80s can do the same thing. It is not possible! This is nature.
“That is an area I should be looking at. If you get to an age, you should not be bothering to rule. If it (proposal) sails through, that is it! You should not run for president when you are 70 or 80. It is not targeted at anybody, but we want fresh blood; we want to inject fresh blood.”
Eke, while also advocating for more devolution of powers from the Federal Government to the states, said, “Maybe that will help us succeed, in making sure that we reduce the power at the centre.”
Eke also re-echoed the clamour for the presidency by the Igbo in the South-East geopolitical zone in 2023.