by Alexander O. Onukwue
The opinion pieces and comments are still rolling on the passage of the Not Too Young To Run Bill by both Houses of the National Assembly.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives had, on July 26 and 27, passed the amendment to the 1999 Constitution to reduce the age limits required for individuals to run for the office of the president to 35 years. It has been cheered virtually by all commentators as a laudable improvement that should embolden young person towards being involved in politics in the country.
They say the Not Too Young To Run bill as passed will further demonstrate that the Youth are the heart of the plans being made for the Nigeria of tomorrow. What does the ASUU Strike say about that?
Because from the point of view of the interruptions of the academic work of students, and the lack of uncertainty that one can start and finish a given program within a specified period, how can anyone make time-bound plans in this country about his or her future?
No empty-headed person will be taken seriously in politics, even if they fit into the required age. A proper academic background should, ideally, be accompanied by reasonable out-of-school experience working professionally. That should be the way youths become equipped with the necessary conceptual and managerial abilities that are inevitable on the political scene.
Instead, what we have with the occurrence of frequent strikes is that students are almost running on a deficit in terms of what they should know and the opportunities they will have to put it to practice. The students who come from foreign schools were there are no strikes are almost better prepared for the available slots, leaving those who grinds over here to gnash their teeth.
Giving the youth more opportunities to be involved politically is good, but how can it be ensured that they are well formed for those offices in the first place?