2023 Elections : Will Nigerians Go after age or competence Crowning the next Leader?

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2023 Elections : Will Nigerians Go after age or competence Crowning the next Leader?

By Abba Hamisu Sani

Africa-Press-Nigeria It is crystal clear that the race to succeed President Buhari has begun tactically among politicians across major political parties. However, the loudest political clatters that currently rent the air are from old politicians, whose age falls outside the “not too young to run” demographic. Scrutinizing those currently indicating interest as presidential hopefuls from the two major political parties (APC and PDP), based on their age bracket; it is unambiguous that the coming election will be yet, another political battle among Nigeria’s orbiting and aging politicians.

To substantiate the opinion above, one does not need to embark on a long sail to draw reference. As it now stands, here are some of the old politicians, whose names have been mentioned as 2023 election is concerned: Prof. Yemi Osibajo (66), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (71), Alhaji Abubakar Atiku (77), Abubakar Bukola Saraki (61), Anyim Pius Anyim (62), Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso (67), Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha (61), Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu (60), Yahaya Adoza Bello (48) all the aforementioned politicians would have clocked those ages stated above by 2023, God’s willing. The only politician, amongst the list who is and will still be under 50 is Gov. Yahaya Adoza Bello of Kogi State, but whose horrendous governance shards and vanity, quash his supposed demographic advantage over the antique politicians.

The bitter truth is; the Nigerian youths prefer to be glued to their television screens and other digital devices to watch entertainment and plush shows rather than participating as proximate actors in the polity

That being said, there’re a few fortunate Nigerian youths that have been entrusted with political positions and have unfortunately validated the mantra by the old politicians that “Nigerian youths are lazy and inexperienced to govern”. Currently, the poor performances by these characters; have generated renewed polemics on whether the 2023 Presidential choice should be founded on the premise of age or competence.

Of course, there is a paradigm shift in politics and governance in other advanced climes and the truth is there are several examples of other nations like France, Chile, Finland, Kosovo, Georgia, El Salvador, Costa Rica just to mention but a few to draw inspirations from. In these climes, the youths and youth-at-heart politicians are gradually taking over political power, changing the trajectory of governance and using their creative clout to govern their countries. But unfortunately, the Nigerian youths appear to be politically passive but socially dynamic, energetic on many other issues such as entertainment, sports, technology, entrepreneurship, academics, etc. The Nigerian youths gleam more in those sectors and can rival favourably with their counterparts in the world but become spiritless in matters of governance and politics – yet they are the worst sufferers of governance ever!

It is crystal clear that the race to succeed President Buhari has begun tactically among politicians across major political parties. However, the loudest political clatters that currently rent the air are from old politicians, whose age falls outside the “not too young to run” demographic. Scrutinizing those currently indicating interest as presidential hopefuls from the two major political parties (APC and PDP), based on their age bracket; it is unambiguous that the coming election will be yet, another political battle among Nigeria’s orbiting and aging politicians.

To substantiate the opinion above, one does not need to embark on a long sail to draw reference. As it now stands, here are some of the old politicians, whose names have been mentioned as 2023 election is concerned: Prof. Yemi Osibajo (66), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (71), Alhaji Abubakar Atiku (77), Abubakar Bukola Saraki (61), Anyim Pius Anyim (62), Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso (67), Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha (61), Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu (60), Yahaya Adoza Bello (48) all the aforementioned politicians would have clocked those ages stated above by 2023, God’s willing.

The only politician, amongst the list who is and will still be under 50 is Gov. Yahaya Adoza Bello of Kogi State, but whose horrendous governance shards and vanity, quash his supposed demographic advantage over the antique politicians.

The bitter truth is; the Nigerian youths prefer to be glued to their television screens and other digital devices to watch entertainment and plush shows rather than participating as proximate actors in the polity

That being said, there’re a few fortunate Nigerian youths that have been entrusted with political positions and have unfortunately validated the mantra by the old politicians that “Nigerian youths are lazy and inexperienced to govern”. Currently, the poor performances by these characters; have generated renewed polemics on whether the 2023 Presidential choice should be founded on the premise of age or competence.

Lesson to learn from other countries

Of course, there is a paradigm shift in politics and governance in other advanced climes and the truth is there are several examples of other nations like France, Chile, Finland, Kosovo, Georgia, El Salvador, Costa Rica just to mention but a few to draw inspirations from. In these climes, the youths and youth-at-heart politicians are gradually taking over political power, changing the trajectory of governance and using their creative clout to govern their countries. But unfortunately, the Nigerian youths appear to be politically passive but socially dynamic, energetic on many other issues such as entertainment, sports, technology, entrepreneurship, academics, etc. The Nigerian youths gleam more in those sectors and can rival favourably with their counterparts in the world but become spiritless in matters of governance and politics – yet they are the worst sufferers of governance ever!

Without doubt, Nigeria is a complex nation and a multifaceted country like ours, needs a dexterous sailor to paddle her affairs but the question is; at this political epoch and considering the current developments in politics in the world, where power is shifting to the younger generation, do we follow suit in 2023 or look otherwise and continue to entrench the old “cargo” politicians in power?

Nigerian youth not ready

The riposte to the poser above is something that will magnetize diatribes from many people, especially as it concerns the 2023 Presidential elections in Nigeria. But come to think of it? Are Nigerian youths ready for a paradigm shift in the coming elections? Have we seen such determination to take their destinies into their hands and mobilize themselves for the purpose of political inclusiveness? Do they have the requisite experience, emotional maturity, and political tolerance to govern an already divided polity like ours? The bitter truth is; the Nigerian youths prefer to be glued to their television screens and other digital devices to watch entertainment and plush shows rather than participating as proximate actors in the polity.

As the process of politicking has already started and campaign is about to start in months-time, there is the need for the general public to be mindful of who to vote. Different people have different reasons for electing different candidates. Such reasons are numerous and might be justified by the electorate, but there is only one valid and acceptable reason for electing a candidate: performance

Opinion

In his víew while responding to African press Chairman amalgamation of political parties Hón Umar Merakumi is of the view that candidates ought to be voted for their track records of performance, whether they held a political office in the past or they are just private wealthy individuals who used their wealth and developed their various communities, rather than sentimental attachments.

Adding that We, as reasonable people, shouldn’t be expected to vote for any candidate just for his religious belief, political party, ethnic background or the region he came from. We ought to know better.

Historically, in Nigeria, people who were voted due to their tribes have failed their kin and kith; those voted in for being members of certain religion have eventually disappointed their brethren; and the ones who were handed over the mantle of leadership by regional bigots have also failed their region woefully.

In any civilised society, the only valid and accepted reason for voting any candidate for any position is certainly not which language the candidate speaks, not where he was born or where he resides, not what type of clothes he wears, not what he worships. Of course, it is by looking at what he did in the past and what he is capable of doing if he wins the election.

I will not rest on my oars on pleading and will always continue to urge the public to vote wisely and peacefully. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.

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