2023: Atiku, others at risk as Reps to raise candidates’ minimum education qualification

The House of Representatives has passed, for second reading, a bill to bar people without university degrees from contesting the presidential position.

To contest for federal and state legislature and governorship seats, a candidate will need a minimum of a university degree.

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.

Several politicians in Nigeria use secondary school or primary school certificates to run for office.

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.

It is not only Mr Atiku that presented less than a university degree or equivalent. Omoyele Sowore, the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) also presented a Senior Secondary School Certificate, WAEC, as his highest qualification.

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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