The Lower Legislative House in Nigeria, House of Representatives, has recently dropped the crucial bill proposing amendments to the 1999 Constitution.
The bill was centered around the educational prerequisites for certain political offices and has been tabled for further deliberation, following the consent of the House.
The bill, championed by the Honourable representing the Ikenne/Sagamu/Remo North Federal Constituency of Ogun State, Adewunmi Onanuga, seeks to establish a new benchmark for educational qualifications required for candidacy in gubernatorial, presidential, and other pivotal elective positions across the nation.
During Tuesday’s plenary session, Onanuga argued that the existing provision permitting individuals with only a First School Leaving Certificate to contest for the highest echelons of leadership in the country needs to be revised to mandate a university degree or its equivalent.
While notable figures such as House Leader Julius Ihonvbere, Babajimi Benson, and Kingsley Chinda voiced their support for the bill, it encountered resistance from several lawmakers, including Aliyu Madaki of Kano State and Ahmadu Jaha of the All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Borno State, among others.
The decision to defer further discussion on the bill underscores the divergence of opinions within the House regarding the proposed alterations to the constitution. It highlights the complexities and intricacies surrounding the issue of educational qualifications in Nigerian politics, with various stakeholders holding contrasting views on the matter.
As the debate unfolds, it remains to be seen how the House will navigate through these differing perspectives to arrive at a consensus on this crucial aspect of electoral reform.