Reps Drop Bill Making University Degree Minimum Qualification For President, Govs

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A pivotal bill aimed at amending the 1999 Constitution to elevate the educational requirements for candidates aspiring to key political offices in Nigeria has been stepped down at the House of Representatives.

Sponsored by Adewunmi Onanuga, representing the Ikenne/Sagamu/Remo North Federal Constituency of Ogun State, the bill proposed setting a university degree or its equivalent as the minimum educational qualification for governorship, presidential, and other significant elective positions.

During the plenary session on Tuesday, Onanuga led the debate, advocating for the constitutional amendment to ensure that holders of elective offices possess at least a university degree, in contrast to the current provision, which permits candidates with a First School Leaving Certificate to contest for the nation’s highest offices.

The bill received backing from several lawmakers, including House Leader Julius Ihonvbere, Babajimi Benson, and Kingsley Chinda, who supported the notion of raising the educational standards for political office aspirants.

However, opposition from certain quarters, including Aliyu Madaki from Kano State and Ahmadu Jaha of the APC, Borno, highlighted a divide among the representatives on the proposed alteration.

Citing the pushback, Onanuga expressed disappointment and opted to step down the bill, signalling her intent to engage in further lobbying with her colleagues to gather more support before reintroducing the bill at a later date.

She said, “It appears some of our colleagues need further lobbying. I will move to step down the bill for now.”

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