2023: Gbajabiamila wants educational qualification for president, others reviewed

January 18, 2022
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Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has stressed the need for the National Assembly (NASS) to raise the minimum educational qualification for presidential aspirants of Nigeria.

The Speaker, who was a guest lecturer on Monday at the 52nd Convocation Lecture of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), said there is also a need to increase the minimum educational qualification for other top offices including the National Assembly as against the current minimum requirement of secondary school certificate or its equivalent.

According to Gbajabiamila, the provision in Section 131(d) of the 1999 Constitution is a product of a different time and reflected the reality of that time. 

He maintained that raising the minimum educational qualification will be another step in reforming the nation’s electoral system and providing strong leadership for the country.

“As we have reduced the age for eligibility to contest those offices, so also, we should increase the minimum educational requirement. We cannot be talking about raising the standard of education and requiring the barest minimum for people vying for political offices.

“It is time to take another look at the provision. Let us lift our gaze from considerations of small things to focus on the pursuit and achievement of grand ambitions that lift us all and save the future.

“Let us raise a generation in whose hearts the light of understanding is lit and cannot be put out,” he said.

While recalling that prior to the 2019 elections the constitution was successfully amended to effect the ‘Not too young to Run’ request and ensure the eligibility of young people to aspire to high offices, he expressed that towards the 2023 elections, a direct primary election method will increase greater participation in the leadership recruitment process.

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