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BellaNaijarians, What are Your Thoughts on Pres. Jonathan possibly abolishing the Age Limit for Presidency?



Jonathan - May 2014 - 02 (2)
I hope you all are having a great afternoon. It has been an interesting day here at the BN office, but are we back to entertain and inform you.

So over the weekend, news broke that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan made a case for the amendment of the nation’s constitution to abolish the age limit for individuals who aspire to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

And of course, he got a lot of backlash from dignitaries, political activists and a few citizens.

Currently, the constitution demands that for anyone to be the President of Nigeria, he/she has to be at least 40 years old.

According to Punch, the commander-in-chief says the age limit is a discrimination against Nigerian youths who have all it requires to rule the country. He said this at an international youth summit organised by the Nigerian Youth Professionals Forum at the ICC, Abuja.

“The youths have no limit in terms of number and capacity to lead this country to greatness. The only limit is that for youths to contest as President, they need to be 40.

If Gen. Yakubu Gowon was able to rule this country at 32, there is no reason why the youths should not be given the chance.

I think what the youth should do now is to come together, and I will support you, and take a bill to the National Assembly to amend some discriminatory provisions of the constitution in terms of age.”

BellaNaijarians, do you think a man or a woman in his/her 30s should rule Nigeria? Is it a risk as most individuals in the young age range do not have what would be assumed as enough experience to rule?

Let’s Talk About It!


  1. tunmi

    August 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I most certainly agree with the president. Also let’s abolish the age cap for jobs.

  2. Truth

    August 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    This would be the best thing he wil do in his career

  3. bruno

    August 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Instead we should have an age limit, once you clock 55 you can’t run for the post of president.

    • libby

      August 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Lol this made me chuckle

    • 55 ke? Abeg 50 is enough & anyone that tries to even think about 3rd term should be tied up & burnt + no more potbellies or uneducated wives.

  4. ak

    August 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I believe everything in life must be a process. And in order for transparency, there must be a documented process and guidelines that are thoroughly thought through.

    In a state as unruly and equally disorderly as Nigeria is, I personally do not recommend lowering the age limit for Presidency/Vice Presidency.

    We can lower the limits for any other federal/state/local position but not positions as critical as that of the GCFR..

    The first question GoodLuck (Oga Sidon Look) has failed to look at is WHY there is even an age limit.

    1. Because one needs experience to become President.. Take a look at any fortune 500 company, except for the instance of the up/coming companies, theres a select few where CEO’s are less than 40.

    2. Because one needs to be able to relate not just with the people, but with Business leaders. Business is the driving factor of any democratic society… In a country as “conservative” as Nigeria, one is prone to disregard the views of people less than one’s age… Take a look at Obasanjo and Adenuga and co.

    3. To reduce nepotisim… We do not want the son of a president to be pushed into office. That is not a democracy.

    4. Because it is wise. The president of a country of over 180 million people, who intends to be taken seriously, should not be the youngest- by several years- in any sort of international gathering, And Vice Versa.

    A middle aged man, 40’s-50’s. is the best candidate. politically, socially and economically.

    Goodluck should focus on bringing back our girls and stopping BokoHaram, bringing stable electricity, providing affordable housing, making our roads tolerable, providing security, paying our staff- police, government hospitals, government schools… Instead of as usual, focusing on useless things

    • Introvert

      August 11, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      I agree with you.

    • el patron

      August 11, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      @Ak Maximum Respect! I concur

    • jennietobbie

      August 12, 2014 at 12:47 am

      In love with your brain. Smart ass. 🙂


  5. Alake

    August 11, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Strategy to get Nigerian youths to vote for him come 2015…………………….That is all

  6. ak

    August 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Looking into my previous statement, I also want to say you can change the pronouns to reflect females if you will.

    I will also add that Yakubu Gowon was a military dictator. So you cannot parallel dictatorship and democracy.

    He was also the leader under which Biafra- one of our deadliest wars- was thwarted.

    The past speaks for itself.

    Young men are more prone to brashness… and may lack wise counsel.


    August 11, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    from one vantage point it is delectable but from another, it is deleterious.

  8. Biols

    August 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    it is the same set of oldies of since 19 gbidi gbidi that are still ruling and it is chop money till they quench. if the oldies can eat this much how much more youngies with loads of appetite. Instead dey shld put a retirement age

  9. Mostest

    August 11, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Is it Nigerian youth that have no interest in education or self improvement, just looking for the easy way out. The morals that the older generation tried to instill in us has been rubbished. Even the way people attack and insult each other on octal media is enough reason why a young person should never be president

  10. Luqman

    August 11, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    We would never set our priorities right. I think Nigerian constitution is taking us to the religion angle where most of the prophets being sent by God were well known of their prophetic missions at the age of 40. Age is just a number, it doesn’t signify maturity while experience does. If Gowon (32yrs) could run the affairs of Nigeria at that golden age, what gives them an assurance that Youths of nowadays are not capable to do the same most especially in the modern day technology that most kids are born with computer brain.

  11. sum1special

    August 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I support the age limit .

  12. Larry

    August 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    This MAN!! Goodluck my foot,you Nigerians better not vote for this guy to stay at Aso Rock again, unless you Nigeria become the second Libya. This guy has had enough time and did not do anything beneficial for the country so it is time he leaves.

    • usman

      August 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      NO VEX, We will vote for him.

  13. MsBlossom

    August 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Well youths are more power thirsty and hungrier for money than the “Octogenarians ” ruling us now, I support the age retirement instead. @ ak , GEJ is not the problem of Nigeria, neither did he bring these challenges and short comings upon us, they have been brewing in the background b4 he’s emergence as president. Remember he once had no shoes . lol

    • ak

      August 11, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      @MsBlossom.. I understand that.. What I do not understand is WHY in the last 4 YEARS, We are yet to see any tangible result internally for his assumption to office.

      We have a problem in Nigeria when we elect leaders, who recognize the problem, but are unable to take corrective measures to bring tangible results.

      If this man were in business, he would have been fired after 6 months.

  14. Bummite

    August 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I concur Mr President. Arguably the most forward-thinking decision he’s ever made. Very 21st century.

  15. ak

    August 11, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Look at Obama and compare him to this foolish man.

    Didn’t obama assume office with numerous challenges?

    Unemployment at its low, 2 recessions, terrorism, decline/stagnant growth, Senate/Representatives deadlock?

    Tell me the last few years he has spend hasn’t been tangible. GEJ is a useless leader. Time to own up and face the facts.

    A man who cannot protect his family in times of hardship is a failure.

    GEJ cannot protect his family -Nigeria- he is a failure and needs to gerrout

    • Sandi

      August 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      You’re assuming that Obama has actually turned the American economy around. Instead he hasn’t. And it’s been 6 years. Under him cities have gone bankrupt, even more wars have erupted around the world with his influence. Seriously just because you hear Obama doesn’t mean he’s done well. The poverty gap has also gotten wider. Don’t be quick to put your President down and uplift another. Obama just has charisma and a great PR

    • ak

      August 11, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      @sandi Educate yourself.

      Obama is not one to tout his own horn… For the record, those FACTS are neither liberal nor conservative. They are OBJECTIVE facts.

      Also educate yourself on how Bush dragged America to war. Obama has not been involved in a single war. Please get your facts straight.

  16. ak

    August 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    This is not forward thinking.
    It is very foolish and callous.

    But then again, i cannot expect much anything else from Mr President. Please vote this man out before the Military takes over again

  17. Introvert

    August 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    @ak Thank you. You spoke my mind right here.

  18. Tosin

    August 11, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    politically, it’s smart.
    it’s also justifiable, there may be cases in which the right person for the job is not age 40-60, or not even male…so why exclude them?

  19. NaijaPikin

    August 11, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    1st it will be reduce age, then it will be increase number of terms, next we’ll see presidency being passed down to family members who will remain there to death.

    If anything, they should put a ceiling on the age limit allowed. Shey retirement age is 65, we should not have president or any other politician older than 65. Maybe then these our old babas and mamas will stop aspiring to die in power, and will go and sit down somewhere and rest.

  20. brainchild

    August 11, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    You guys should stop making something out of nothing. Goodluck did not make any abolishment recommendations. It was just a comment he made to youths while campaigning for his next term. Even if it were to become law, it will still not mean anything, afterall now that we have 40 year limit, how many 40 something year olds have taken the position? Your president is just trying to get the youth vote. Nothing more, nothing less

  21. ak

    August 11, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Brainchild, use your brain, child.

    If he is using this as just a campaign strategy, doesn’t that mean he is likely, if he assumes office, to effect what he campaigned about?

    Bring your leaders to account. A man cannot just be running his mouth like diarrhea.

  22. ak

    August 11, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    All those facts are googlable.
    Simply google what was this in 2009 and what is it now.

    You see yourself?
    Obama is a greater and better leader than GEJ can ever dream, in his best dreams, to be

  23. Iris

    August 12, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Nigeria has made me cynical. I read this and the first thing that occurred to me is that he’s trying to secure votes from the younger population next year. Is there an upper limit as well as the lower one? I’m more interested in that. 40 is fine with me GEJ; don’t worry about that one. There should be a limit that ensures that people like Buhari, IBB, and the old, sick and dying don’t run for president.

  24. BK

    August 12, 2014 at 11:30 am

    i wonder why Nigerian’s are so hard to please. This man you bash without caution has given the Nigerian youth an opportunity to progress more than any regime since independence.
    Most of the policies and reforms he has worked have been commended even by the ‘ whities ‘ you all look up to.
    I think its time we look at things critically before concluding and closing our minds off from the basic truth.
    Abolishing the age limit would definitely move Nigeria towards true democracy….
    My two cents.

  25. Somi

    August 12, 2014 at 11:40 am

    It’s commendable. For a change. That’s why we have cases of old and grey politicians like buhari and co that ruled before i was born still coming back to lobby for the same presidential position they have previously occupied, not giving room for fresh leaders, progress and productivity. There should even ban their likes from coming back to re-contest thereby wanting to die in power at old age,

  26. okonkwo azuka

    August 12, 2014 at 11:51 am


  27. Fizzlebee

    August 12, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I don’t think it should be abolished totally. There still has to be an age restriction somehow. Like for 30 or 35 years old and above for vying for the presidency and 25 years and above for any other political position.

  28. omooba

    August 12, 2014 at 11:55 am

    i dont see a problem with the age being lowered.there should also be a limit set after which you can not contest for presidency if you are above that limit. the youths are always shouting and asking for a chance to rule and govern.i believe we can do things differently. we have sharp active minds ,we know the change we want and i believe we can effect those changes.

  29. Adorable

    August 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    It is a good idea wanting the age limit of 40 years to be removed and creating room for younger persons to rule but it would be a better idea if an age limit is set for the aged whereby at the age of 55, they retire so that Buhari and his likes don’t aspire to rule this country again.

  30. rahim matt

    August 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    it is a good idea though considering the fact that the youths have brighter ideas. age 40 is a very good age limit though. i suggest that any aspirant above 60 should not be allowed to contest.

  31. ajsilk

    August 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    It shows that the presidency is running a resposibel and responsive government, a government that listens to the yearning of the citizenry. The youths are indeed core in the nigerias joirney of development, and integrating into goverance to contribute their own little knowledge,would be pivotal in the development of not just the youth but also the country at large.

  32. ajsilk

    August 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    A good leader is one who can serve,one who can build a bridge across all ages and ethic groups. A youth is at their prime in buth strength,wisdom and the search for knowledge. They’ve just passed through childhood and adolescence and so can better relate to those age groups and are heading to old age, hence can fortell what would be best for elders as well. Who then best fits the role as to lead?

  33. ajsilk

    August 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Gone are the days when maturity and wisdom of leadership depended on age, some youths are wise than their elders

  34. usman

    August 12, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Nigerians like making something out of nothing. The president is trying to relate with the youth why has it become a case for slander ? People needs to have a rethink before they open their mouth and utter trash.

  35. gter18

    August 12, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    It is a very delicate topic. But, I think I agree with GEJ; if Gowon could rule at 32, then why not? Our youth have potential but if not given the opportunity, will not be able to showcase what they have or can offer. Plus, I think most importantly, is that we tend to equate wisdom/knowledge with age. That’s a mistake; it’s not always the case. My dad always told me, from a very tender age not to underrate anyone. The truth is that a 10yr old, who for instance is well traveled, can teach me, who probably has never been anywhere outside my state of origin, an adult 3 decades his senior, a thing or two cause he has acquired a wealth of experience and knowledge from his vast travels. So, as Aaliyah said, ‘ …age ain’t nothing but a number…’ .

  36. tunmi

    August 12, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    1. Because one needs experience to become President.. Take a look at any fortune 500 company, except for the instance of the up/coming companies, theres a select few where CEO’s are less than 40.

    Age does not necessarily determine experience. With all the experience our leaders have had, Nigeria is still the way it is. A young person can still have that experience. Necessary experience, I will agree with. And the President has advisors and ministers and aides and even the general populace to help guide his presidency.

    2. Because one needs to be able to relate not just with the people, but with Business leaders. Business is the driving factor of any democratic society… In a country as “conservative” as Nigeria, one is prone to disregard the views of people less than one’s age… Take a look at Obasanjo and Adenuga and co.

    That goes back to that mentality that older automatically equals wiser. Not necessarily so otherwise Nigeria should be better than it is. Age does not grant wisdom we’ve seen the opposite in Nigeria.

    3. To reduce nepotisim… We do not want the son of a president to be pushed into office. That is not a democracy.

    Manipulating votes and do-or-die politics have been par for the course in Naija

    4. Because it is wise. The president of a country of over 180 million people, who intends to be taken seriously, should not be the youngest- by several years- in any sort of international gathering, And Vice Versa.

    No. That is just fear. As long as we have a competent leader, age should not be deterrent. Take Zuriel Oduwole for instance, she is an award winning documentary film maker, conference speaker and writer at age 10. Imagine if her parents gave into that fear that because she is too young, she should dim her light. There are so many brilliant people in Nigeria that we shun simply because they are young. Young people around the world are being given a platform and they excel far beyond anyone’s imaginations. So let’s not let our own fears and insecurities stop them.

    • ak

      August 12, 2014 at 7:39 pm


      Please i don’t mean to be rude.. but try to take a look at the world around you before you make comments.

      The examples I gave are on a global level. Take a critical look at the world’s political leaders and kindly re-evaluate all your statements. Heck, just take a look at any parliament/ country’s political structure.

      Please don’t compare a President of a Nation to Zuriel Oduwole… I’m sorry but the girl cannot even be compared to Steven Spielberg, You don’t compare CEO’s to Managers… You shouldn’t compare Apples with Mangoes, and you sure as heck shouldn’t compare Presidents to Film Makers

      You make mention of political advisors: It takes a wise man with years of experience to select equally wiser advisors… Obviously GEJ’s advisor’s suck- just take a look at Nigeria.

      You speak of ideals, but my dear, this world is not an ideal world.- All your points are moot and unreasonable for that very reason.

    • tunmi

      August 14, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      On a global level Nigeria is a 3rd world country where foreign nations come to get their share. Enough with worrying about appearances. The average Nigerian, those who cannot afford to come on Bella Naija to voice their concerns (and if they did, they would be bashed for their poor English) do not care about appearances. Age does not mean a thing. It’s the experiences that have value.

  37. fatima

    August 12, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    this will create room for every adult to contest for president.

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