Abuja, Nigeria (BBC Africa). Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari will approve a new law to reduce age limits in political office, which could make it easier for younger candidates to run in next year’s election.
The move comes after intense pressure from youth groups, which pushed the government to adopt the legislation, saying they were politically marginalised.
“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”, President Buhari, 75, said in a speech to mark the country’s annual Democracy Day public holiday.
Last month President Buhari said that he would run for a second term next year.
The bill reduces the minimum age for presidential candidates from 40 to 35, and senators and state governors from 35 to 30.
The minimum age for national and state assembly members will now become 25.
He also reassured Nigerians during his speech of the administration’s commitment to improving security and fighting Boko Haram.
“Public safety and security remains the primary duty of this government. Before this administration came into being three years ago, Boko Haram held large areas of land spanning several local government in the northeast,” he said.
“Today, the capacity of the insurgents has been degraded.”
He also said “culprits and their sponsors shall be made to face the full wrath of the law” in reference to the clashes between farming communities and herders.