I must congratulate all Nigerian youths and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for signing into Law, this bill that has come to be popularized as Not Too Young To Run. The move by the President is commendable albeit political. It is now of note that young people who feel accomplished and want to render their services in the government will not be restricted by the age factor. What this means is that at 25, any Nigerian who wishes to serve his constituents as member of the House of Assembly and or the House of Representatives could aspire to do that. At that age, you are also qualified to be appointed minister, commissioner or a special adviser. The Law also removed the age ceiling against the office of the President, Governors and Senate Members.
The implication of the Law is that the political space has been opened to the younger ones and thus made more larger and encompassing. People of ages 25 and 30 have been incorporated into the full political space. Now they can vote or be voted for. What it also means is that the percentage of Nigerians who control a greater percentage of voting power could now be voted for. Age will no longer extend their days as bag carriers.
But with this obstacle removed, there are still a thousand and one other factors that will delay our seeing the 25 year olds in the House of Assembly or seeing a 30 year old Governor. Politics is a game of alignment, coalition, compromise, wit, and the most important factor in Nigeria -money. We must understand that leadership is not given. It is taken. Taken, not by physical combat but by the application of the highest levels of strategic thinking and engagements, “civilised,” aggressive(powerful strategists appear passive) and subtle coercion to bring to yourself your desire. It will be filled with compromises, less of physical prowess, and contests over our old overlords or masters.
The society abhors gifts. Yes! I said that. Gifts comes with the highest levels of immediate or delayed obligations that must be fulfilled. So, don’t think it such could be given on a platter of gold. Young people must wrest power from their old forebears. President Buhari threw the first punch by warning the young people not to run against him in 2019.
And as for those who think and are planning to count this as the President’s achievement, we already know it’s the Greek’s gift of Trojan horse but this time the sword will be two-edged.