In The Daily Sun edition of Monday August 14th 2017 as well as on the pages of other daily newspapers of the same date, a captivating headline made us to understand how former two-term president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, urged youths to wrench political power from the elderly politicians that abound in Nigeria.
This Injunction from this respected elder Nigerian statesman is soul stirring for the teeming youths of Nigeria. Especially, coming on the heels of the fact that the nation’s 8th National Assembly has become favourably disposed to the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill.
This Injunction does not however mean that it is yet ‘Uhuru’ for the uncountable number of Nigerian youths who may want to wrench political power from the grip and grasp of elderly politicians that abound in Nigeria.
Notably, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as a young military officer in his forties was a minister, then became the No 2 man to the then Military Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed (prior his tragic assassination), and then subsequently the Military Head of State, who handed over power to Shehu Shagari. OBJ accomplished all these feats in his forties.
However, his accomplishment as a two-term civilian president, from age 62-70, far outweighs his feats as a military officer.
This reality tells us that old age, maturity and experience play a pivotal role, prior to attaining excellence in the fragile and complex profession of politics.
It is good when youthful and young individuals are at the helm of affairs in different political offices. For instance, Bill J. Clinton, America’s 42nd president became governor of his state at age 32. DimeJi Bankole was Speaker, House of Representative in Nigeria at 37.
All these are good. Successful individuals in their youthful years are usually ‘bubbling’ with ideas, initiatives and innovations on how to “coerce” development into their countries and societies.
However, since an age old adage states that “Experience is the best teacher” I think that the youth of this country, still have a long way to go before realising this “fatherly” injunction of Obasanjo to the youths.
► Patrick Adaofuoyi Ogbe wrote from Abuja, Nigeria.