From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Yakubu C Maikyau, has called for the amendment of the Nigerian Constitution to pave way for independent candidates and an age review for all elective positions in the country.
Maikyau, who made his position known in Birnin Kebbi during the second day of meeting of the House of Representatives Committee on the Constitution Review of the North West Zone, insisted that such an amendment could pave way for talented youths, women and persons living with disability to run for political office.
Buttressing his argument, he noted: ‘We all know how expensive it is to run for an elective office under the constitution, except on the platform of a political party; candidates for elective offices must be sponsored by political parties. See section 221 of the constitution.
‘Clearly, there is no room for independent candidacy under the present constitution. It follows that a youth, woman or person living with disabilities who cannot scale the hurdles to secure a ticket on a political party can never express his or her political aspiration.
‘A person should be at liberty, if dissatisfied about the conduct of any political party, to leave to contest election as an independent candidate,’ Maikyau argued.
He also argued for the amendment of section 223(1) of the constitution to ensure that not less than half of those tone elected or appointed into the executive committee or other governing bodies of political parties must comprise youths, women and persons living with disabilities.
‘By this, policies of political parties will always be structured to cater for these critical and important members of our society in whose hands the future of the nation Nigeria largely depends. The all-inclusive constitution concept of Federal Character must be expanded to accommodate this level of participation of youths, women and persons living with disabilities. I must, however, add that in all cases regard must be had to merits and standards,’ he said.