There is a ladder to climb to get to any political position and here is it.

If you have been having this desire to join politics and you want to contest any political position in 2019, the  Act is on your side. 

But your pocket may not be on your side, except you have made plenty of money to spend in Nigeria's political scene with so much expense involved in getting any political office through the ballot box

Do not allow these expenses like baying nomination form and other lobbying that will follow deter you from this your desire. 

Just follow the advice of the Senate President of Nigeria, Dr. Bukola Saraki. 

While the Senate President is pushing for more youth involvement in politics, he wants youths to learn from his political journey.

Not very many knew how he rose to the position of the Senate President, but his advice centred on this journey that Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo played a key role in.  

On Thursday, August 30, he held talks with some of these young persons interested in political positions at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.

Discussions were around how the newly signed  Act could be of benefit to young Nigerians. 

Singed into law on the last day of May 2018, the Act reduces the age qualification for president from 40 to 35; 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.

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The National Assembly had passed the bill last year, altering sections 65, 106, 131, 177 of the Constitution to reduce the constitutional age requisition.

Addressing the young politicians, Dr. Saraki said: "From my interactions with many of you, I see future leaders who will present themselves, asking where they will take on the mark of leadership in this country and this gladdens my heart. 

"From my interaction with many of you and your contemporaries across the country, I can see that we are blessed with a determined generation that stands ready to join us to power the Nigeria renascence (revival). 

"The quality of people I see here today reaffirms my belief that, indeed, you are not too young to run," he told them. 

The #NotTooYoungToRun Act had come as a thing of joy for many Nigerians, but recently, the PDP released the price list for its nomination forms for different political positions and it is not pocket friendly for most young Nigerians.


Critics have said the cost of running for political positions makes it difficult for people who do decent jobs to come in

The notice indicated that Presidential aspirants were to pay a total of 12 million Naira, while governorship aspirants were to pay 6 million Naira.

Those aspiring to go to the Senate and the House of Representatives are to pay 3.5 million and 1.5 million Naira respectively.

The party also directed those aspiring to go into the state houses of Assembly to pay 600,000 Naira. 

'Saraki's Advice'

Sharing his experience, he urged the youths to also ensue that they do not look down on the issue of appointments, sharing a story of how he rose to Govern Kwara State after serving under former President Obasanjo as a special assistant. 

"In 1999 after President Obasanjo was elected President, I was then promised that I was going to become a minister before the election. By the time the election came by and the big wigs came in, they pushed us to the background. 

"I went back to my work, went back into banking, but President Obasanjo called me and said I should come and work as a special assistant.

"I was a young man that was running an organisation with over 2,000 people so I asked; 'special assistant what'? 

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"He said Special Assistant Special Duties and I said Sir, what does that exactly mean? 

"I got a smack on the back and he said, "you will just be following me anywhere I go.

"So as a young man, I said; 'no, no, no, I can't do that' and I will never forget the day that one political associate of my dad, Professor Ogunsola, called me and said; 'young man, go there. If they said you should carry poo carry poo. If they say you should carry the file carry the file'. 

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"It took me one year to accept the position and I finally joined president Obasanjo as Special Assistant, Special Duties. 

"For the first one week, I cannot tell you the things I was doing.

"But by the time I showed my capacity, my portfolio changed to Special Assistant, Budget.  

"I became the first and only special assistant that attend council meetings. 
 
"Within a short period of time, I was the one liaising with President Obasanjo and the National Assembly. 

"What I learned during that period gave me the foundation today," Dr. Saraki said.

The Senate President also assured the young politicians that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, was a party for the youth and affirmed that there would be a level playing field.

The PDP would ensure that youths fully participate in the process of the congresses, he added.   

If you enjoyed reading this and our other stories, please, share with friends and loved ones that are eyeing political positions to help them know how to begin.

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