Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, says it is important that the age qualification for senator and president are the same.
Responding to the demand of the Not Too Young To Run movement, Ekweremadu said a senator could be a president by chance.
He cited section 146 of the constitution to explain why the age qualification for the senate was left untouched.
Ekweremadu said in a statement on Friday: “Section 146 (1) provides that the vice-president shall hold the office of the president if the office of the president becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal of the president from office for any other reason in accordance with section 143 of the constitution.
“However, section 146 (2) further provides that where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in sub-section 1 during a period when the office of the vice-president is also vacant, the president of the senate shall hold the office of the president for a period of not more than three months, during which there shall be an election of a new president, who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office.
“So, since the president of the senate, a senator, could become an acting president by happenstance, it is only right that the qualification for both offices are the same.”
Furthermore, Ekweremadu said the age qualification for the office of governor was not reduced from 35 to 30 to enable the would-be governors acquire the requisite experience to govern a state.
The bill had sought to reduce the age qualification for the office of the president from 40 to 35 years; age from the office of a state governor from 35 to 30; senate from 35 to 30; house of representative from 30 to 25; and state house of assembly from 30 to 25.