Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the “Not-too-Young-to-Run” bill into law.
Abdulkareem gave the commendation on Wednesday while declaring open a leadership summit organised by the Nigerian Association of Physical Science Students (NAPHSS) held at the University of Ilorin.
The theme of the summit is: “Repositioning the Nigerian Youth for Global Leadership”.
He hailed the decision of the president to give Nigerian youth voice in the country’s democratic setting, noting that the bill would allow for a level playing field to both young and old to run for political offices.
The bill, which was passed by the National Assembly last year to alter sections 65,106,131,171 of the Constitution, was assented to on May 31.
The bill reduces the age qualification for President from 40 to 35, Governor from 35 to 30, House of Representatives membership from 30 to 25 and State House of Assembly from 30 to 25.
Abdulkareem said that the bill would give youths the opportunity to contest for the post of president at the age of 35.
He noted that involvement of youths in leadership was not essentially the panacea to the country’s numerous challenges.
He warned them not to be carried away by the exciting torrent of their involvement in politics.
“Never had there been more clamour for youth leadership in our political offices than we have been getting in recent times,” he said.
The vice chancellor noted that it has birthed the struggle to pass the ‘Not-too-young-to-run’ bill into law.
“What is most important for national development is for the youth to have the right skills to deliver purposeful leadership to the followers,’’ he said.
He described the leadership summit as an opportunity to reflect on the leadership crises that had hindered the nation’s growth and possibly think over the ways to wriggle out of them and get the country back on track toward greatness.
He said that the theme for the leadership summit was one that hinges the consciousness of the nation “and reminds us that there is still a long way for the country to go in attaining growth through purposeful leadership’’.
Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences, Prof. Uche Eke, commended the leadership of the association for organising the historic event and for bringing exemplary dignitaries of the society to the university.
“It is my belief and hope that the lectures here today shall forever impact in the lives of our youths so that they will represent and protect the image of the university in this nation and world at large,’’ he said.
Eke enjoined the participants at the summit to be responsible, decent and reliable at all times, reminding them that they were the leaders of tomorrow.