OrderPaperToday – The campaign for youths inclusion in political leadership recorded a big boost when the ‘Not-Too-Young-to-Run’ bill was passed in 2018 and became one of the achievements of the Buhari administration’s first term in office.
It garnered global attention and was symbolized by the hashtag #NotTooYoungToRun.
The law provides for a reduction in the age limit for running for elective office: for president – from 40 to 35; governor- from 35 to 30; senator- from 35 to 30; House of Representatives- from 30 to 25; and State House of Assembly- from 30 to 25.
It could be said that there are no beneficiaries of the law in the current 9th assembly as no legislator in the House of Representatives was 25 when elected, or 30 when elected into the senate. Regardless of this, there are young persons who were between the ages of 30 and 35 when they were first elected into the House of Representatives, and guaging their performance will help to shore up the campaign to have more young persons in parliament. Such also offers an opportunity for the supporters of the campaign to thumbs up and rev up the advocacy. But does the bills sponsorship scorecard of the twelve (12) legislators who fall into this category in the House of Representatives help this cause?
As with other categories of appraisals undertaken by this news medium in recent weeks, this piece focuses on the crop of young lawmakers that should be the Not-Too-Young-to-Run cheerleaders in the House. Leading the chart is Manu Soro Mansur (Darazo/Ganjuwa) of Bauchi state who was elected in 2019 at age 31. He has 12 Bills above the score secured by former speaker Yakubu Dogara. 5 of his bills are establishment bills; one has been laid before a committee; and 3 are awaiting second reading.
Mansur is followed by Tukura Kabir Ibrahim (Fakai/Sakaba/Wasagu Danko/Zuru) of Kebbi state who was elected at 34 and has 5 bills to his credit. Among Kebbi reps, Tukura’s 5 bills are the highest in the 13 bills aggregate. His stint with the Nigerian Intelligence and Financial Crimes Unit, probably explains the background from which 2 bills of his bills emanate.
Kogi state’s Bello Joseph Asuku ties with Tukura. He represents Adavi/Okehi federal constituency and was elected at age 30. Like the first two on the chart, he is one of Kogi’s high performers on the bills index for the House of Representatives. His bill HB. 882 Vocational Studies (Compulsory Inclusion in School Syllabus) Bill, 2020 is awaiting committee report. The other four are waiting to be read a second time and one of them is also an establishment bill while 2 are education related. This performance by Asuku is an improvement from his seventh place performance as at his first year in office.
Elected at 33 and currently having 4 bills to his name is Usman Abdullahi (Lavun/Mokwa/Edati) from Niger state. Abdullahi’s bills makes 16% of Niger’s 25 bills total and he placed second on the score. While one of his bills seeks the establishment of a shea butter institute – HB. 1121 Nigeria Shea Butter Institute (Establishment) Bill, 2020- one seeks the establishment of an agency and the other, a college of agriculture. So far, 1 of his bills is awaiting committee report and two are waiting to be read the second time.
Ojerinde Olumide Abiodun Irepo/Orelope/Olorunsogo of Oyo state ties with Abdullahi. Abiodun was elected at 35. On the bills score for Oyo state, he comes sixth after newbie reps Akin Alabi and Shina Peller. All 4 of his bills were sponsored in the first year of the term, 3 are establishment bills and 1 has been passed – HB. 733 Federal Medical Centre, Igboho, Oyo State (Establishment) Bill, 2020.
With 3 bills are Ibrahim Muhammad Hafiz Kawu (Tarauni) from Kano state and Muda Lawal Umar (Toro) of Bauchi state. Ibrahim came into the National Assembly as a rep at age 34 and currently has 3 bills to his credit. Out of the 24 house members from Kano state and the 30 bills to their credit, he comes sixth. 2 of his bills are establishment bills and none have been passed so far.
Umar on the other hand was elected at 32 and comes third place on the chart for reps from his state, and like the other reps in this category, has an establishment bill among his bills sponsored. None of his bills have been passed; they have all been read the first time.
Tajudeen Adeyemi Adefisoye (Idanre/ Ifedore) of Ondo state has 2 bills to his credit. The lawmaker who goes by the alias ‘Small Alhaji’ was elected at 34 years. Both his bills are establishment bills, HB. 687 Federal College of Forestry Management and Tourism, Idanre (Establishment) Bill, 2020 and HB. 1160 Nigerian Merchant Navy Coast Guards Security and Safety Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2020. Meanwhile, on the state’s bill score, Adefisoye ranks fourth.
Rivers state’s Dagogo Doctor Farah (Bonny/Degema) was elected at 35 years and ties with Ondo’s Adefisoye. Farah is not new to law making, considering that he was a member of his state’s house of assembly. He ranks seventh among Rivers reps, and his bills account for 4.3% of the total bills from the state. Both his bills are awaiting second reading and not surprisingly, are establishment bills.
Kabiru Amadu (Gusau/Tsafe) of Zamfara state and Gabriel Saleh (Kachi/Kagarko) of Kaduna both have 1 bill each. Amadu was elected at 35 and his single bill contribution clinched him the second spot among Zamfara reps at midterm.
Saleh was elected at 32 and his bill brings Kaduna’s total bills to 112. Interestingly, he out-performs six other legislators from Kaduna with his HB. 1251 National Ginger Development Bill, 2021 that is currently awaiting second reading.
Ladan Mukhtar Shehu (Makarfi/Kudan) Kaduna state, Sha’aban Ibrahim Sharada (Kano Municipal) Kano state and Olaide Adewale Akinremi (Ibadan North) Oyo state have no bills at midterm. Shehu was elected at 32, Sharada at 34 and Akinremi at 35.