Nigeria’s ex-military head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar has stated that the nation doesn’t need “leaders with walking stick”, hence, younger generation should be allowed space and opportunity to govern the country.
He spoke over the weekend at his hilltop country home, Minna, when a presidential hopeful, Prince Adewale Adebayo paid a consultation to him ahead of the 2023 general election.
The ex-leader reasoned that governance has gone digital now compared to their time, noting that the younger ones who understands the times, would better the society than the elderly whose mindsets were not compatible with the current realities.
According to him, it was a good development that youngsters were already interested in presidency, given the high number of those declaring their ambitions, adding that they would surely takeover from the elderly ones.
Commending the presidential hopeful for telling him of his ambition, Abdulsalami said Nigeria with a population of over 200 million needed serious leadership to make it greater.
“Like you rightly said the world is going digital and I believe the younger generation are more exposed internationally in ICT more than the older generation.
“I am happy that you are thinking of moving the country forward and I believe with your ideologies and your youthful and vibrant ambition, I think Nigeria is on the right part and wish Nigeria will be great.
“Thank you for finding me fit to come and visit me to tell me of your ambition. You can count on our support always trying to do the right thing.
He thanked the former minister for sports Barrister Solomon Dalung for bringing his friend to visit him,” he said.
Earlier, Prince Adebayo recalled how the ex-general midwived democracy in 1999 and expressed gratitude to him for relinquishing power to democratically elected leaders, adding that history will forever be fair to him.
Prince Adebayo said: “You are one of our greatest leaders, you are to us what Abraham Lincoln is to the Americans. Because Lincoln founded America, it wasn’t George Washington, he reformed the character of the country after the civil war and you after many years of military wilderness showed to us that you are an officer and gentleman and you kept your words which was not easy to do and you did it.
“But it wasn’t that day that you became who you are, you have always been a good citizen. You paid grievous sacrifices in the past when there were opportunities that you could be anything in the country to go abroad, or you stay here and become a medical Doctor, lawyer, you chose a profession where you had to give your life to the country.
“At that time you never knew you could be head of State. You thought you could be eliminated in the war front but you have given your life to the country.”
“If every youth lives their lives as you had lived that time, some will be head of State, some will not be but everyone would be a patriot and the country is built by patriots not by people in government and the calamity that we suffer in the country is not the misbehavior of people in Government, it is the effect of the disbelieve that it has created on the minds of the people and the generational inheritance of that doubt that things can be good.”