Monday, February 15, 2021
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Senate proposes HND as minimum qualification for presidential aspirants

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Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassanhttps://dailynigerian.com/author/rayyan/
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/RayyanAlhassan, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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A bill seeking to alter the minimum qualification for presidential aspirants, on Thursday scaled its second reading in the Senate.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North), seeks to prescribe a degree certificate as a minimum qualification for any one aspiring to the Office of the President.

The Bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the amendment of Sections 65 (2) (a), 131 (d), Section 106 (c) and Section 177 (d) therein, to provide for minimum qualification for election into the National and States Assembly, Office of the President and Governors, and other related matters, 2020”.

The Bill seeks to alter Section 131 (d) which deals with minimum requirements for anyone running for the Office of the President.

Section 131 (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) states that the person seeking the office of the President must have “been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

The Bill said: “Section 131 (d) is now rephrased to read: ‘He has been educated up to at least HND level or’ its equivalent.”

The Bill also seeks to alter Section 65 (2) (a) of the Constitution which deals with the qualifications for intending members of the National Assembly.

The existing law which the Bill seeks to amend reads: “A person shall be qualified for election under subsection (1) of this section if he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.

However the Bill said that Section 65 (2) (a) should now be rephrased to read “if he has been educated to at least National Diploma level or its equivalent.”

For House of Assembly, the Bill seeks the alteration of section 106 (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

According to the existing Section 106 (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), anyone aspiring to be a member of the House of Assembly must have “been educated up to at least the School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

However, the Bill proposed that Section 106 (c) be rephrased to read: “If he has been educated up to National Diploma level or its equivalent.”

The same provision applies to State Governors. The Bill seeks the alteration of Section 177 (d) of the Constitution.

Presently, Section 177 (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that any person seeking the Office of Governor must have “been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

However, the Bill seeks that Section 177 (d) be rephrased to read: “If he has been educated up to at least Higher National Diploma Level or its equivalent.”

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