*’Why PDP in whatever form, self or Obasanjo’s coalition is deceit’
“It has always been the way of the PDP politicians to play on the intelligence of Nigerian masses believing that they have short memory or do not think at all. But this is too near a recent event for everybody to see that PDP politicians whether they remain in their party or join any of the Obasanjo’s coalition parties of ADC and SDP, have nothing to offer Nigeria except deceits,” Nigerians reminded.
Vice Chairman North-East zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amb. Emmanuel Njiwah, has kicked against the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill which has received presidential assent, describing it as “unnecessary and discriminatory.”
This was coming 58 days after the former ruling party had claimed the ownership of the Bill saying it was mischievous for the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Federal Government to ascribe the Bill to itself.
The PDP may have resorted to blackmailing the Bill it earlier ascribed to itself after it dawned on it that its claims of ownership of the Bill that now allows the youths to legally get involved in political affairs and administration of the country hold no water in the countenance of the overwhelming Nigerian populace.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Independent, the PDP leader, Njiwah, stated that the youths had the advantage by virtue of their number and could emancipate themselves if they wished without the backing of any law.
“Every Nigerian that has reached the age of voting should be allowed to contest. I feel the Bill is unnecessary, it discriminates against the youth. The President of France is 39 and there is no Law for young men to run for Presidency in France. The youths are free and the majority, they should vote themselves irrespective of any Law,” he posits.
Njiwah, who contested for the presidency during the botched Third Republic at age 42, pointed that the challenge the youths would have to overcome if eventually, they got to power was in the area of decision-making.
He regretted the attitude of the youths nowadays towards politics and therefore advised them to pursue positive values.
“The younger ones go for money. If you do not make it, they will laugh at you but for us, we went for people and I think it stopped with my generation because the younger ones today go for money. I ran for the governorship and never had any godfather. I never went for any body’s money and I have made an impact.
“ For those coming behind me, I pray they take the path of sincerity, honesty, patience and they should be able to pursue exactly what they can do and the society would be able to identify them in their various exploits and locate them effectively,” he said.
PDP condemned Bill 58 days after it claimed its ownership
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday May 31 this year, had asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to take credit for the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ Act signed by the President earlier in the same day. The opposition party said the bill was its initiative.
The president signed the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ bill into law inside the Council Chambers of State House Presidential Villa, in the presence of invited youth from across the county.
In a brief remark after signing the bill, the president told his audience, comprising representatives of young persons from the 36 states and Abuja, that “you can aspire for president but please postpone your campaign till after 2019 election”.
The PDP, in a statement on Thursday May 31, 2018, said the bill was “sponsored and pursued by the PDP members in the National Assembly and state houses of assembly so the presidency and the APC can’t take credit for it”.
“President Buhari had no input whatsoever in the bill; never showed any support or enthusiasm towards the initiative but had no option than to perform a mandatory statutory duty of assenting to the bill, given that it had already passed through the constitutionally required approval of two-third of states in the federation,” the opposition party said.
This, the party said is a democratic victory for the Nigerian youth over forces, “particularly, the All Progressives Congress (APC), that had hitherto disdained and disregarded them as lazy and inconsequential but had to succumbed to the dictates of the law and pressure by the youth and the PDP.”
“The ‘Not too young campaign’ which is now global started in support of bills and motions moved by Tony Nwulu in the House of Representatives and AbdulAziz Nyako in the Senate,” it added.
Although Mr Nwulu is a member of the PDP, Mr Nyako is officially an APC senator from Adamawa. He and his father, Murtala Nyako, ex-Adamawa governor, joined the APC from the PDP in the build up to 2015 general elections. They are, however, having a running battle with the APC governor in Adamawa amidst rumours they would return to the PDP.
The PDP commended the sponsor of the bill, Mr Nwulu “a member of the house who represents PDP, Lagos and the resilience of the Nigerians youth in getting the initiative through, in line with the vision of the PDP to allow younger Nigerians to actively participate in elective positions in governance at all levels.”
The party noted that in preparation for this bill, it had since launched ‘Generation Next Movement’, which put younger Nigerians at vantage positions to participate in elective positions ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“In line with the ‘Generation Next Movement’, the rebranded PDP among other pro-youth incentives, has since approved certain critical clauses and waivers so that the young people will actively vie for positions in the 2019 general elections.
“In line with our dream of providing enabling environment for youthparticipation in elections and governance, the PDP, after winning in 2019, will further lower the age qualification to entrench our vision that ‘whoever can vote can be voted for’, which is a global standard.”
Responding to the latest condemnation of the Bill by the PDP, a respondent, who told The DEFENDER that former ruling party is now a pack of disappointments, said, “It has always been the way of the PDP politicians to play on the intelligence of Nigerian masses believing that they have short memory or do not think at all. But this is too near a recent event for everybody to see that PDP politicians whether they remain in their party or join any of the Obasanjo’s coalition parties of ADC and SDP, have nothing to offer Nigeria except deceits.”