OBJ: Young people shouldn’t be limited… I became head of state at 39

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says there should be no age limit for the position of the president.

Obasanjo said this at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church during a programme organised by the Torchbearers society in Lagos.

He questioned why there is no maximum age being a president when there is a minimum age for the position.

He expressed support for the call for more youth participation in politics, backing up his point with a biblical reference.

“If we put minimum age, why are we not putting maximum age? There should be no age limit to be a president,” he said.

“General Gowon became the head of state at 36, I became the head of state at 39, even in the Bible, we have youths as heads of states.

“I believe there should be no limit, let the people decide if the candidate is mature enough or not or if he is too old or not, because if you put a minimum age then we should also have a maximum age.”

Obasanjo’s call for the removal of the restriction on the post of the president aligns with that of Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, who had said, in May, that there should be no age barrier for all political offices.

“We have just acknowledged the young man, Emmanuel Macron, who is now the President of France. We believe it can also happen here in our country; and we believe that with education and exposure, people can achieve a lot at a very young age,” he had said.

“Therefore, while many Nigerians are calling for a reduction in the age barrier, it is actually my strong and personal opinion that there should be no age barrier in terms of running for political offices or holding executive positions.”

While voting on some amendments to the constitution, the national assembly reduced the age limit of the post of president from 40 to 35.

They also brought down the age limit for the positions of governors from 35 to 30.