REMARKS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA  AT THE SIGNING OF THE NOT-TOO-YOUNG-TO-RUN BILL

The President’s full speech:

REMARKS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA  AT THE SIGNING OF THE NOT-TOO-YOUNG-TO-RUN BILL, 31ST MAY, 2018, STATE HOUSE, ABUJA

  1. First, I would like to welcome you all to the State House. Today is a significant day for all of us in Nigeria, and most especially our young people – and the role they play in our democracy, politics and national life.
  2. We are gathered here for the signing of the “Not Too Young To Run Bill”, a landmark piece of legislation that was conceived, championed and accomplished by young Nigerians.
  3. 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.
  4. These efforts have resulted in the heroic task of enshrining in law, a reduction of the minimum ages for elective office in Nigeria.
  5. Eligible age for aspirants for members of the State Houses of Assembly will be reduced from 30 to 25 years;
  6. Eligible age for aspirants for members of the Federal House of Representatives will be reduced from 30 to 25 years; and
  7. Eligible age for aspirants for Office of the President, will be lowered from 40 to 35 years.
  8. Surprisingly, the age limits for Senators and Governors was not reduced, as originally proposed by the sponsors of this Bill. This is an issue that may need to be addressed going forward.
  9. Nevertheless, your focus and contributions have now successfully increased the quality and maturity of Nigerian democracy and expanded the playing field for youth participation in politics.
  10. You, the young people of Nigeria, are now set to leave your mark on the political space, just as you have done over the decades in entrepreneurship, sports, art, media entertainment, technology, and several other fields.
  11. You are undoubtedly Nigeria’s most important resource – not oil, not agriculture, not solid minerals – but you and all of us. Your energy, intelligence and talent are what will drive and develop Nigeria, long after we are all gone.
  12. This is an opportunity for me to affirm that this Administration will continue to do everything in its power to make Nigeria work for you.
  13. You may all know that the Bill I just assented now becomes an Act of the National Assembly.
  14. Thus, it may be tempting for you to think of this as the end of the journey. However, it is only the beginning; there is still a lot of work ahead, towards ensuring that young people take full advantage of the opportunities provided not only by this constitutional amendment but also through Nigeria’s boundless prospects.
  15. You should inculcate the spirit of self-help. Those who complete their training should not just sit down and wait for government or private sector to employ them. You should be innovative and turn your hands to any legitimate work that will enable you to sustain yourself.
  16. You may have noticed already that every one of you represents one of our 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory. This is because today is about preparing for the bright future of our country.
  17. I am confident each one of you will transform Nigeria in your own way – whether through media, agricultural enterprise, economists, engineers, or as lawmakers in your States or at Federal levels, 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!

  1. Finally, let me say how proud I am, and how proud the entire country is, of what you have accomplished. Congratulations and best of luck with continuing to work to make Nigeria a greater country for us and future generations of Nigerians.
  2. God bless all the young people of Nigeria and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Buhari signs Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill into law.
The president signed the bill this afternoon inside the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Buhari had, in his Democracy Day broadcast on Tuesday, pledged to sign the bill.

The bill was passed by the National Assembly last year to alter Sections 65, 106, 131, 177 of the Constitution to reduce the age qualification for president from 40 to 30; governor from 35 to 30; senator from 35 to 30; House of Representatives membership from 30 to 25 and State House of Assembly membership from 30 to 25.

Detail later..

 

Source: DailyTrust

I will sign ‘Not Too Young to Run Bill’ – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he will, in a few days’ time, sign into law the ‘Not too young to run’ bill.

The President made this promise in a nationwide broadcast in commemoration of the Democracy Day on Tuesday.

He said, “In a few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the ‘Not too young to run’ bill.”

The bill, which is part of the process to amend the 1999 Constitution, seeks to reduce the minimum age requirement for elective positions in the country.

It was first passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives in July 2017. Many state houses of assembly in the country have also passed the bill.

President Buhari also advised all and sundry to be law-abiding as the country enters into another election season.

He said, “The upcoming months will usher us into another season of general elections. Let me use this opportunity to urge us all to conduct ourselves, our wards and our constituencies with the utmost sense of fairness, justice and peaceful co-existence such that we will have not only hitch-free elections but also a credible and violence-free process.”

The President, who reiterated that the fight against graft remained his administration’s primary objective, vowed not to relent in killing corruption before it did an irreparable damage to the nation.

He said, “The second primary objective of this administration is to fight corruption headlong. Like I have always said, if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will destroy the country. Three years into this administration, Nigerians and the international community have begun to applaud our policies and determination to fight corruption. We are more than ever before determined to win this war, however hard the road is. I, therefore, appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to support us in this fight.

“Various policy measures already put in place to stem the tide of corrupt practices are yielding remarkable results. Some of these key reform policies include: Treasury Single Account, which has realised billions of naira being saved from the maintenance fee payable to banks. N200bn has also been saved from the elimination of ghost workers in public service.”

President Buhari noted that the whistle-blowing policy had helped the government to recover over N500bn.

He added, “The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, set up with a mandate to validate controls, assess risks, prune personnel costs and ensure compliance with Public Financial Management reforms, has helped to identify and remove over 52,000 ghost workers from the Federal Government’s MDAs Payroll.

“The Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme aimed at expanding tax education and awareness has offered the opportunity for tax defaulters to regularise their status in order to enjoy the amnesty of forgiveness on overdue interest, penalties and the assurance of non-prosecution or subject to tax investigations.”

He explained that the Sovereign Wealth Fund project portfolio had been expanded with an injection of $650m so as to strengthen its investment in local infrastructure, power, health, reconstruction of the Abuja-Kano Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, East-West Road (Section V) and the Mambilla hydro-electric power project as well as the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge.”

Speaking further on the anti-graft war, Buhari noted that the fight against corruption, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, had resulted in the recovery of billions of naira, as well as the forfeiture of various forms of assets.

He said, “We have retained the services of one of the world’s leading assets tracing firms to investigate and trace assets globally. This is in addition to the exploitation of provisions of existing treaties, conventions as well as bilateral agreements with multilateral bodies and nations. Nigeria has also signed Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements to ensure that there is no hiding place for fugitives.”

Buhari added that through prudent spending and blocking of leakages, the nation’s foreign reserves had improved to $47.5bn as of May, 2018, as against $29.6bn in 2015.

The inflationary rate, he added, had consistently declined every month since January, 2017.

The President, who applauded women for their contributions to national development and advancement of democracy, also urged Nigerians to avoid hatred and intolerance.

This, he said, would help the country to achieve its developmental objectives in an atmosphere of harmony and peaceful co-existence.

He listed his achievements in the last three years to include increase food security programme built around self-sufficiency and minimisation of import dependency.

Specifically, he said rice importation had been cut down by 90 per cent, which he noted had a direct impact on foreign reserves.

Others, he said, included Social Investment Programmes, Home Grown School Feeding Programme, and Conditional Cash Transfer where underprivileged Nigerians were given N5, 000 per month.

The President described the commemoration of 2018 Democracy Day, which is the third anniversary of his administration, as a celebration of freedom for Nigerians.

He said the celebration was also a recommitment by his government to keep its promise to lead Nigeria into a new era of justice and prosperity.

Buhari admitted that his administration had faced challenges in the journey of three years while Nigerians stood by his government in achieving its three cardinal points.

He said, “Today marks the 19th year of our nascent democracy and the 3rd Anniversary of this administration. I am thankful to Almighty God for bringing us thus far.

“This administration came at a time that Nigerians needed change, the change we promised and the change we continue to deliver.

“We have faced a lot of challenges on this journey and Nigerians have stood by us in achieving the three cardinal points of this administration namely; security, corruption and the economy.

“The commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day is a celebration of freedom, a salute to the resilience and determination of Nigerians and a recommitment by Government to keep its promise to lead Nigeria into a new era of justice and prosperity.”

Source: The Punch

Hardest Things in Programming

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

Women in Business

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

Diversity in the Workplace

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

Plan Your Business

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

Travel and Work During Spring

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

Not Too Young To Run movement during an advocacy visit with Senate President Bukola Saraki

Saraki to Nigerian youth: Not Too Young To Run bill is only the first phase

Nigerian youths have been advised by Senate resident Bukola Saraki to advocate for free and fair elections – The senator, who is a huge supporter of the Not Too Young To Run bill said this is just the first phase –

He however charged Nigerian youths to look beyond the passage of the bill and work towards attaining political heights in the country Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said that the passage and assent to the #NotTooYoungToRun bill, will be the first phase in the journey for more youth inclusion in politics.

Saraki made the statement at a meeting with the Not Too Young Run movement comprising of many notable groups in the country. The Senate president encouraged Nigerian youths to advocate for free and fair elections, stating that the next step in the advocacy process is to ensure that more young people have their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs). Saraki urged Nigerian youths to get their PVC in preparation for the next general elections

His words: “Let me congratulate you on the campaign that helped in the passage of the bill in the national and state Houses of Assembly. What you have done has become a reference point across the continent. “You need to use same energy that you applied to the ‘Not Too Young to Run,’ to push for free and fair elections. When you have the voice, you have the numbers. “So the first thing for the advocacy that will support ‘Not Too Young to Run’ must be free and fair elections.

The only way you’re going to make a difference is for you to have your voter’s card. “‘Not Too Young to Run’ has just finished phase one. Phase two is ensuring that you have a lot of young people that have PVCs and letting everyone know that you have PVCs so that all the political parties will pay attention that you have the numbers. “My advice for all young people is that, this is not a short race, it is a marathon.

” Speaking earlier, one of the conveners of the movement, Samson Itodo, commended Saraki, the Senate and the National Assembly for the passage of the bill. “This is the first time that we had a National Assembly whose leadership played a visible role in the passage of the bill.

The fact that you played a part in providing the leadership for the passage of the bill is significant. “We want to convey our appreciation to you and the other 108 members of the Senate that we are pleased with this development. You and your counterparts in the House of Representatives have written your names in gold,” Itodo said. He stated that the campaign for the passage of the bill had been on for two years, adding that it was not a smooth sail.

He however urged the Senate president to use his influence to ensure that the processes of the bill are accelerated to it is gazetted on time to enable many Nigerian youths kick-off their political aspirations in earnest. He added that the passage of the bill and the accelerated hearing it received from both chambers of the National Assembly, shows that they are a ”responsive legislature.”

Meanwhile, Saraki has advised Nigerians not to take for granted the continued democratic dispensation the country has been enjoying for the past 19 years but guard against actions, statements and moves which can truncate the political process. While congratulating Nigerians on the 19th anniversary of unbroken elected government in the country on Tuesday May 29, Saraki advised citizens to always be vigilant and speak against anti-democratic policies and actions which are capable of subverting rule of law. He also canvassed strict adherence to the principles of rule of law, separation of powers, sovereignty of parliament, independence of the judiciary, and freedom of the press, adding that “our constitutional institutions must be preserved and protected.”

Source: Naij.com:

Ready To Run Movement: Australian Commissioner commends YIAGA, pledges support.

On 23 May, 2018, The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E. Paul Lehmann praised YIAGA Africa for the Ready To Run Movement and the success of the Not Too Young To Run Campaign.

Receiving the Ready To Run Campaign team at the High Commission in Abuja, H.E. High Commissioner Lehmann commended Ready To Run in its efforts to ensure better representation of young Nigerians in the 2019 elections. Born out of the Not Too Young To Run campaign, Ready to Run is a movement dedicated to inspiring young men and women to run for office and equipping them with the skills to win elections. Ready To Run aims to make a statement that young people can demonstrate excellent public leadership and have the capacity to address Africa’s governance challenges.

The High Commissioner also took the time to credit YIAGA Africa for their continued advocacy for the Not Too Young to Run Bill to reduce the age of running for political office in Nigeria, which is currently awaiting Presidential assent. In his words, if someone is old enough to vote at the age of 18 they can also be voted for, and age should not be a prerequisite for running for public office. He also pledged the support of the Australian Embassy to the Ready To Run Campaign.

Ready to Run is a movement dedicated to inspiring young men and women to run for office and equipping them with the skills to win elections.

During the visit, the High Commissioner gave examples from Australian politics, where young legislators have made significant mark in Australia’s House of Commons. He noted Hon. Wyatt Roy, who was elected the youngest legislator in Australian history at the age of 19. He also described some of the work being done to ensure inclusion of youth in Australian politics.

The Ready To Run team discussed opportunities for collaboration with the Australian efforts in Nigeria. The High Commissioner emphasized that Australia and the world cannot ignore the growing importance of Nigeria, which is soon to be the second largest English-speaking democracy in the world. He said that a part of the bilateral partnership agreement they had with the Nigerian Government is to promote inclusive Democracy and good governance and encouraged the Ready to Run team to involve the embassy in all their activities. He also expressed the High Commission’s readiness to support Ready To Run campaign in any way possible to ensure the total inclusion of Nigeria youth running for elective office come 2019.