Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that young Nigerians should be allowed to run for elective public positions in the country.
He said this was especially because the youth had the capacity and competence in the fields of technology, education and other sectors of the economy.
According to Osinbajo, if the nation’s youths are old enough to vote, they should be old enough to run for elective offices.
The vice president stated this at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday while receiving a delegation of Not-Too-Young-To-Run campaigners.
The Not-Too-Young-To-Run campaign is predicted on a bill before the National Assembly seeking to alter sections of the 1999 Constitution to reduce the age limit for running for elective offices in the country.
The vice president maintained that the age people run for elective offices is not as important as their competence.
He, however, emphasised that it was important for the youth to acquire the required skills that would prepare them for political leadership.
He urged the youth to develop their capacities and skills in different areas in order to contribute to leadership, governance and national development.
He stated: “I must congratulate you for ensuring that you saw it (the push for the bill) to the point that it is now where all that is required is presidential assent. If you are old enough to vote, then you should be old enough to run for office.
“I think that whatever age a person chooses to run for office shouldn’t matter at all; that for me is a fundamental principle, it really doesn’t matter, even if you’re much younger or older in age, the more important issue, my worry always is so much the preparedness of young people, the preparedness of anyone, young or old.
“It is the same way that if you are going to be a pilot or medical doctor, you need to get some training by devoting your time and resources to a call. Even football requires skills.
“Practically in any field, you are required to show competence. And in our developing economy, there is need for us to set the bar much higher, not in terms of age, but in terms of competence. We need to set the bar because we are a developing economy, because we don’t have the time to waste on mediocrity.”
The vice president urged the youth to support the anti-corruption campaign and efforts towards enhancing national development.