By Tony Ogunlowo In his acclaimed publication ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’ published…
By Kurtis Adigba
I get messages and questions from some people from time to time, asking: ”why do you support an old man for the presidency of the country when we have younger people running for the same office?
I read your posts all the time and I know you like President Obama, but how come you are not supporting the younger candidates?”
First of all, the problem with leadership in our country, is not about age but character and values. We have had both young and old leaders in this country with almost the same outcomes. How old was Tafewa Balewa, when he became Prime Minister of Nigeria? At what age did Gowon, Obasanjo, Buhari, and Babangida, became Heads of State, or presidents? How old was President Jonathan when he became president in 2010? He was 53 years old. Was Jonathan an old man at 53?
Gowon, Obasanjo, Buhari, and Babangida, were in their early or late 30’s, or 40’s when they took over the leadership of the country. And don’t tell me some were not elected, it doesn’t matter! How you get to power is not so much as relevant as what you do, or did with it. Many former military leaders had transformed their countries.
The constant reference to Barack Obama, is not accurate. Obama, before he entered politics, was an active organizer. In that capacity, or role, he came face to face with the pains, poverty, anxieties, and deprivations with some people had had to daily live with. He got to know what the government and authorities should be doing but not doing, he thought about solutions to these problems, and made mental notes about what he will do if he ever had the opportunity to lead the country. This was what drove Obama into seeking political office- the desire to make a difference and change the realities of the people through politics.
Obama, was elected as a State Senator in Illinois, and later, as the Junior Senator from the state to the US Senate. As a Senator, he sponsored and co- sponsored so many consequential bills. He was outstanding even for a junior congressman. That was why many of his senior colleagues urged him to run for the presidency of America. The charge against Obama by his opponents was that he had no experience in the executive branch. It wasn’t that he had no experience in government or governance. Macron, the French President, is another example. He was the Minister of Finance of France before he became president. He had some experience!
Now, back home, apart from George Moghalu, professor and former Deputy-Governor of CBN, who else is out campaigning that you think can govern the country now? Remember, I will chose from what is available and not from some mythical options!
Kurtis Adigba is the Principal Partner at Kurtis Adigba and Company.