Politics

2023: Reps to raise academic qualification for guber, presidential candidates

A bill to bar people without university degrees from contesting in the presidential election has been passed for second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill, sponsored by Oriyomi Onanuga, seeks to amend sections 66, 106, 131 and 171 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

The proposed bill, if passed, means that lawmakers, governors and presidents must have a minimum qualification of a Bachelor degree, a Higher National Diploma, Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) and other degree equivalent certificates.

Former Vice President and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party at the last general election, Atiku Abubakar, presented a Diploma as his highest qualification. Mr Abubakar is believed to be interested in running for president in 2023.

On Tuesday, the House debated the general principle of the bill and passed it for second reading. The bill was subsequently transmitted to the Committee on Constitution Amendment.

If passed, politicians without qualifications up to degree level will be ruled out.

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