Professor Ibrahim Gambari : Don’t discard your old wines by Ademuyiwa Adebola Taofeek

by Taye Paul Olubayo

It is no longer news that President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a new Chief of Staff but I’d like to understand why the appointment is a source of migraine to thousands of Nigerians.

Prof. Ibrahim Agboola Gambari’s name has been generating a lot of controversial comments which are mostly motivated by sheer ignorance after a lot of reputable news platforms broke the news yesterday.

A lot of people have said PMB should have appointed someone younger that can learn on the job, it is a laughable submission. Most of the discussants don’t know the role and powers of a CoS.

A bad CoS chosen not because of relationship and loyalty means the President is finished. I have seen in a movie where the CoS to a POTUS ordered an air strike on the field because the POTUS wasn’t available or willing to.

Nigerian youths overreact when it comes to issues of youthfulness in politics. Some opinions are quite progressive and important while some are meant to insult the elderly (Nigerians). It is my opinion that people don’t become inactive, insensitive or dumb because of age.

There’s a Yoruba adage which says; omode gbon agba gbon l’a fi da ile-ife which loosely means that the wisdom of the young and the old are important in building a society. It is true that we need more young Nigerians in leadership but it is also imperative to know that men like Prof. Gambari with an astonishing career and CV are needed in nation building.

We’ve seen reforms championed by men above 65yrs like Prof. Attahiru Jega of INEC , Prof. Isiaq Oloyede of JAMB, Colonel Hameed Ali of Customs etc. Just so we understand the concept of age in leadership, we’ve at one point in time in our history experienced unprecedented disappointment and colossal failure when young people attain leadership positions as Speaker, Governors and head of parastatals in Nigeria.

If you are not listless or apathetic about the way forward and youth inclusiveness in Nigeria, you should have at one point in time engaged young Nigerians who will tell you they also want to join politics because they have to “have their own share of our National cake”. The above analysis or popular comments invariably means that leadership is about discipline, interest, selflessness, responsibility and many more which places age in an approximately negligible position as part of the features/prerequisite of leadership in Nigeria and elsewhere.

There are many portfolios which age can determine who is appointed because of the rigorous work involved, CoS is one whose major prerequisite is relationship, trust and loyalty before other factors.

This advocacy/thoughts can be likened to the concept of feminism and the fight for women inclusiveness in politics. The human anatomy has nothing to do with leadership, same goes for age which is why most people prefer their wines old.

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