President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday asked youths who might be eyeing his seat to postpone their campaigns till after the 2019 presidential election.

Buhari, who has already indicated interest in seeking a fresh four-year mandate in 2019, made the appeal shortly after signing the much-publicised Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill into law at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The new law reduces the eligible age for those seeking to be members of the state Houses of Assembly and House of Representatives from 30 to 25 years; and those aspiring to be President from 40 to 35 years.

The age limits for senators and state governors were not reduced as originally proposed by the sponsors of the bill.

“I am confident each one of you will transform Nigeria in your own way – whether through the media, agricultural enterprise, as economists, engineers, or as lawmakers in your states or at the federal level, or as state governors – and even someday, as President. Why not?

“But please, can I ask you to postpone your campaigns till after the 2019 elections!” Buhari told the excited youths who thronged the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa to witness the signing of the bill.

He, however, expressed how proud he was with what the youths had accomplished with the new law.

The President described the day as a significant one for all Nigerians, and most especially the nation’s youths – and the role they play in the nation’s democracy, politics and national life.

He described the new law as a landmark piece of legislation that was conceived, championed and accomplished by young Nigerians.

“The coordinators of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement have now established a formidable legacy – which is that, in our maturing democracy, if you really want to change something in Nigeria, and if you can organise yourselves and work hard towards it – you can achieve it. The outcome of such efforts is this remarkable feat.

“These efforts have resulted in the heroic task of enshrining in law, a reduction of the minimum age for elective offices in Nigeria,” the President added.

While highlighting the changes introduced by the law, Buhari expressed surprise that the age limits for senators and state governors were not reduced, as originally proposed by the sponsors of this bill.

This, he said, was an issue that needed to be addressed in future.

This notwithstanding, the President said the focus and contributions of the youth had successfully increased the quality and maturity of Nigerian democracy and expanded the playing field for youth participation in politics.
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