Saraki canvasses prayers for Buhari at Ramadan

Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

• Reps seek law to compel inclusion of youth in FEC
Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday canvassed support and prayers for President Muhammadu Buhari during the ongoing ‘Ramadan’ (fasting) of moslems.

Saraki, who predicted a burgeoning future for the nation’s democracy said in Ilorin his country home that Buhari like many other world leaders deserved spiritual support for the success of their missions and visions for their nations.

The former Kwara State governor while breaking the day’s fasting with his associates and supporters mostly aged women at his Ileloke Ilorin residence urged them to be patient with Buhari and work harder for the social, political and economic growth of Nigeria.

“We must use the occasion of this fasting period to intercede for our President Muhammadu Buhari as he pilots the affairs of this country. All leaders of the world need prayers and our own President cannot be an exception to this important weapon,” he said.

Saraki promised more dividends of the nation’s democracy from the three arms of government but with a plea for more time just as he urged the privileged Nigerians in accordance with the injunction of Prophet Mohammed share their resources with the poor.

Saraki declined interviews with reporters at the event describing it a solemn assembly and “a purely religious gathering.”Food items and cash were freely distributed to the supporters as palliatives for the Ramadan.

Among those at the event were the Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Ali Ahmad; his predecessor, Rasak Atunwa, Chairman of the state’s chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC); Ishola Balogun-Fulani, and Chairman, Local Government Commission, Alhaji Suleiman Maja.

Meanwhile, a proposed legislation which seeks to make it compulsory for the inclusion of youths not less than 35 years into the Federal Executive Council (FEC) passed through second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday.

A bill seeking to reduce the age qualification for interested candidates to contest for the positions of president, governor and senator to 30 years last week also scaled second reading on the floor of the chamber.

The proposed law sponsored by Raphael Nnanna Igbokwe (PDP-Imo) is entitled, “A Bill for an Act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to enhance political inclusion and participation of young people in governance in Nigeria.”

Essentially, the bill seeks to amend Section 147 of the constitution by adding a new sub-section (3) to read: (3) Any appointment under sub-section (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section (3) of this Constitution.”

It further added that, “provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint, (I) At least one minister from each state, who shall be an indigene of the state; (ii) At least one minister who shall not be more than 35 years.”

The bill is also seeking to amend section 151 to add a new sub-section (2) to read; “(2) The number of such advisers and their remuneration and allowances shall be as prescribed by law or resolution of the National Assembly, provided that at least one of the Special Advisers shall not be more than 35 years.”

The legislation also stipulates that at least one of the commissioners in states shall not be more than 35 years, and section 196 is amended to include that at least one of the Special Advisers shall not be more than 35 years.

Igbokwe, who is Chairman of Young Parliamentary Forum, said that his group had set up a committee to carry out a day to day monitoring on how the policy of the Federal Government to recruit 500,000 Nigerians and 10,000 police personnel would be implemented.

He explained that the forum plans to hold a national youth summit to give a platform for young people to make contributions to the Constitution Amendment. He added that youths constitute 65 per cent of voters in the country.

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