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Benue rep introduces bill to raise academic qualifications for president

Benjamin Mzondu, a member of the house of representatives from Benue state, has introduced a bill seeking to raise the academic qualification for election into the office of the president.

The constitution alteration bill on ‘educational qualification for certain political offices’ passed first reading at the house’ plenary session on Thursday.

Mzondu told TheCable on Friday that the piece of proposed legislation seeks to provide a post-secondary school qualification for the office of the president and that of governor.

The lawmaker, who represents Makurdi/Guma federal constituency, said the amendment is being made to fill in the gap in the constitution regarding academic qualifications.

Section 131 (chapter VI) of the constitution states that a person may be qualified for election into the office of the president if among others things, “they have been educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent”.

“The constitution does not give an explicit qualification for the office of president,” Mzondu told TheCable.

“We want to define it properly. If it is secondary, it is; if it is university, it is. It is seeking to fill the gap.

“I am proposing (in the bill) that the president should have at least a diploma after secondary education. There should be a post-secondary school education that should be added.”

Mzondu added that in the absence of academic qualifications, the requirement for a presidential candidate “could be a post secondary school experience of at least 20 years of working in the public sector”.

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