Aswaju's Real Age.

By Mohammed Bello Doka

" I'm the front runner and that's why I'm receiving many arrows" these are the words of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu when asked how the campaign was going by a BBC reporter in his recent interview with the reputable media.

It cannot be gainsaid that anything about Asiwaju will become a subject of discussions, accusations and counter accusations from both sides of the divide. And the opposition will try to make an issue out of it. Why because as the front runner Asiwaju deserve all the dirt thrown at him. 

Another issue that continue to attract attention and has become the subject of discussion is the issue of his age. There has been claims and counter claims with some claiming that Asiwaju is too old to run for the presidency even suggesting that he should allow his younger ones perhaps Atiku who is over seventy or Peter Obi who is almost seventy.

In the words of Femi Fani Kayode one can only wonder and query, "when does it become a crime to get old"? And when did emphasis in terms of leadership shift from competence to age limitation and or restrictions.

An investigation by Abuja Network News finds that old people rule this world and as a matter of fact they have done wonderfully well and they are still doing so. Let's take the following as an example,

Pope Francis is 85, King Salman Ibn Abdul,aziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia is 86, Mahmud Abbas of Palestine is 87, Joe Biden of the united states of America is 80, Vladimir Putin of Russia is 70, King Charles of great Britain is 74 and so on and so forth.

Yet it cannot be gainsaid that this leaders have done wonderfully well, at 76 former President Donald Trump just announced his intention to run for the office of the President of the United States in the upcoming elections, yet Americans doesn't care about his age rather his capability, capacity and track record. 

With all these examples one cannot help but wonder at what point in Nigeria does age replace competence in leadership and at what point does age became the yardstick to measure performance of leaders and their acceptability or popularity?

So many leaders were able to write their names on the golden pages of history despite their age, prominent examples include but not limited to Queen Elizabeth of blessed memory who passed out at 96. 

It's also worth noting that it was the youth that lead Nigeria into the present nightmare we find ourselves, to prove this one only have to look back with all sense of honesty and sincerity, who started the military coup in Nigeria? Aguinyi Ironsi how old was he then? How old was Gowon when he became a military leader? How old was Murtala Mohammed and a host of them?

If the military lead us to this present sorry state one can conveniently say it was the same youth that brought us to where we're. And if we're to be honest with ourselves with the exception of President Obasanjo how old were the members of his Federal Executive council in 1999 when they ruled this country?

The truth remains age is just a number and not a yardstick to measure competence and the sooner Nigerians focus on capacity, ability and track record the better it will be for everyone of us. 

As a matter of fact Asiwaju's age doesn't matter, let's focus on credibility, competence and capacity to deliver on campaign promises and lead Nigeria to the promise land.

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