Almost all social media and news organizations was agog with the news of the appointment of 75 year old Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari as the new chief of staff to the President, last Tuesday. This was following the unexpected event of the colossal loss of Alhaji Abba Kyari, the erstwhile Chief of Staff to the cold hands of death in the current COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
Since the death of the hitherto powerful chief of staff who clinged to the pinnacle of political power till he breathed his last, several questions have continued to scale through the minds of Nigerians and high ranking politicians as to who would be selected to fill the vaccum of governmental duties and responsibilities left behind by the late personality (Abba Kyari) who amassed such volume of power, influence and authority to the extent of been regarded as the interim leader in the absence of the President and Commander in Chief of the nation’s armed forces.
Going through the profile of the selected personality, one cannot but submit to the fact that he is skilled and versed in all matters relating to governance, political adminstration and the polity. This on its own was to be an extra feather in his cap considering his level of academic and managerial expertise.
Needless to say that Gambari crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s which undoubtedly saw him rising through the ranks to become a Professor of no mean repute. Apparently, all these earned him the rare privileges of serving the nation in different capacities both within and outside the country’s borders.
However, it is best not to examine the issue at hand from the focal point of a single lens. Hence, it is if paramount importance to examine it using the full-fledged compass of equity, moral justice, fairness cum accountability.
Nigeria’s political structure of late has been regarded as dogmatic, one-sided and lopsided. It is as though, some categories of people and ethnic tribes have been destined by the gods and goddesses of politics to always be at the center.
The postulated Federal Character Principle which seeks to ensure that political appointments especially those at the federal level was shared by all states and local governments supporting the entire nation has been and is been trampled upon under different circumstances and conditions.
Historically, Nigeria returned to the democratic system of governance in the year 1999. This on its own wasn’t achieved on a platter of gold as the nation went through crucibles of civil and ethnic wars, coup d’etat inter alia.
The successful take over of the nation’s political authority by former President Olusegun Obasanjo from General Abubakar Abdulsalam that year marked a successful return to democracy. Consequently, a new constitution was drafted which defined Nigeria as a secular cum democratic state. Who then could have thought that after two decades we could have slided quickly into autocracy, oligarchy and gerontocracy?
The current reality of events makes many submit to the fact that Nigeria’s system is one of putting new wines in old bottles and keeping old wines in new bottles. This on its own berates the principle of Democracy and Rule of Law propunded by both Abraham Lincoln and Prof. A.V. Dicey and the which we claim to be practising.
While in theoretical terms, the country is said to be practising democracy as enshrined in our constitution, in practical terms however, we cannot lay full claim to the that fact as we have inoculated several systems of governance. An attempt to give the system a terminology would rather be a herculean task.
It is highly ludicrous and a display of absurdity in the veil of sarcasm and deceit for our political leaders to condition the minds of young Nigerians into believing that there is a paucity of hands to manage and stir the nation’s ship. Hence, the aged are needed to assist in political adminstration. How then do we want to believe the fact that the young can actually grow as we have been conditioned to accept several times? Or that we are the leaders of tomorrow like we have always sung from cradle?
While experience without mincing words is said to be the best teacher. Conversely, experience is not something to be built roughshod in the middle of the night. Thus, it is high time our leaders begin to make use of young chaps political adminstration.
If truly, Nigerian youths are the future of the nation, then I guess it’s time they be fully immersed in the nation’s political culture. Afterall, a Nigerian proverb has this to say that if a child would act smart in the future, his childhood doings would reflect that. I hope our leaders heed the warning.
Nigeria and Africa in general have be known for believe in the irrational political principle of recycling. This has made many of our leaders extremely drunk with political power. Time won’t permit to talk of Robert Mugabe who even at the age of 90 years clinched to the seat of Zimbabwe’s Presidency as though it were a lifetime occupation, or of Paul Biya who is currently the sitting President in Cameroon after over 35 years in power.
If truly, the late Benedict Odiase sang that the labour of our heroes past shall not be in vain, then it is high time we take speedy action lest we be caught by the wind.