every qualified and competent Nigerian to vie and be appointed to public
office or to serve in whatever capacity. We cannot because of age stop a
healthy and qualified person from serving the country.
minimum age, which the National Assembly is making moves to amend, but
there is no maximum age. So anybody can be appointed to any position, as
long as the person is healthy, of sound of mind, knows what he is doing
and can make good decisions for the country.
better taken by someone who is 83. From information, the man in question
is a retired jurist from Imo State. That, in my opinion, makes his
appointment more appropriate. A judge is supposed to be of an articulate
mind, sound in judgement and knows what he is doing. A judge can decide
very well. I think it is okay for the President to appoint such a
person. As long as he is of sound mind, has good health and takes good
decisions, he can be appointed. Some people may ask that since we have
about 180 million Nigerians of whom at least 40 per cent of them are of
constitutional age of holding public office, are there no better people?
decides that an octogenarian is the one to do the job, I think he is in
order. Some people may still argue that there are young people who are
qualified with great energy and vibrancy to do the job, but the point is
that we should not disenfranchise or discriminate against any Nigerian.
It has been noted that young people of these days are even more corrupt
than the old people because the young have been made to believe that
things come easy.
we can really vouch for them. The reality is that if you have been in
business, you will know that young people are more corrupt. You cannot
hand over a business to a young man; what you see the young people do is
to get rich quick. Some of the people who are facing prosecution or
being investigated by the anti-graft agencies or who are being alleged
to have been corrupt are not very old people. Many of them are middle
aged and young people.
If he feels that an 83-year-old man is what will serve his purpose and
believes in the health of the man, no matter where he is coming from, I
think, it is appropriate to appoint him. •Mr. Adebayo Babalola (A member, Peoples Democratic Party, Kwara State chapter)
Muhammadu Buhari appointing an 83-year-old man as an ambassador. First,
we have to consider the antecedents of the person so appointed. An
ambassador of a country is its image in the host country. Therefore, the
person must be a person with a wealth of knowledge and exemplary
lifestyle. Yes, the position may require agility which a youth may enjoy
more, but agility alone cannot do the job. If the older person enjoys
good health, as well as a good sense of leadership and direction, he
could achieve more.
States of America is over 70 while the Queen of England is an old woman;
these people are still performing the functions of their offices which
are more demanding than that of an ambassador. Inasmuch as the person is
not senile and immobile, there is nothing wrong in the appointment. •Chief Dare Adekolu (Chairman, Mega Progressives Peoples Party in Ekiti State)
It is completely wrong in terms of the nomination itself and the
screening of the candidate by the Senate and the final consideration
that was sent to the Presidency. In terms of diplomacy and international
relations, you cannot divorce personality influence from it. You can
also not remove the management of the embassy or high commission from
it. You also cannot avoid critical decisions that have to be taken when
it comes to matters which affect the Nigerian nationals in a country
where an elderly person of over 80 years is an ambassador.
quick-witted to attend to critical issues of national interest and deal
with such in the interest of the nation. When you have somebody who is
over 80 years, the question is: what is the purpose of sending such a
person to another country when in fact the country has a pool of huge
human resources in the area of diplomacy and international relations?
Every year, we have Nigerians who are training and those who are trained
and if you look at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in
Lagos, it is an intellectual pool for promoting Nigeria’s foreign
interest. So, why can’t they seek the advice of that institution?
Issues change every day. The international system is determined by
issues and events and these are changing every day. The way you handled
an event 10 years ago is not the way you will handle an event now
because there are dynamics of diplomacy and international relations.
technology, a world where certain decisions are determined by
considering the military capability of nations to respond immediately to
any threat to their interest. So, will you compare an elderly man who
used dane guns some year ago with somebody or an entity like North Korea
which has already gone beyond the capability of nuclear missiles within
a range and can fire beyond Japan? Forget experience.
31 years old. What about France? So, the world is changing and we must
change with the world. There is everything wrong with Buhari’s
appointment of an 83-year-old man as an ambassador and it is sad. •Benson Osadolor (Professor of History and International Studies, University of Benin)
reach such age. If I were the appointee I would have recommended a
younger person for the offer. It is either the appointee is of a rare
breed, a gene so strong at that age, the only competent Nigerian in his
field from his constituency or he is selfish, wants to be economically
rehabilitated and die in active service. To me, that is not a good way
to reward loyalty. It is a way of saying that there is no qualified
younger person to do the same job. This can only be an illusion.
in age. But there is no justification for appointing or recommending
someone of that age for appointment. There is no way that appointee will
have the physical energy to do his job. Youths are often referred to as
leaders of tomorrow, but when will we have leadership succession or
transition when an 83-year-old man is given an appointment, whereas
there are millions of young unemployed but competent Nigerians to do the
same job? PMB is taking Nigerians for granted. •Dr Charles Obot (Department of Communication Arts, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State)
retired judge is not appropriate. At 83, I strongly believe that this
octogenarian has served this nation and he should now rest and enjoy his
retirement. Are we saying that there are no younger persons competent
enough to do the job he would be given? It is an insult to youths of
this country. But I know that there are millions of younger persons who
can perform any task given to them. Not all youths are lazy and
incompetent. There are many knowledgeable youths but they are not given
the opportunities to show what they can do. The younger generation
should be given the opportunities to serve. We won’t know what they can
do if we do not give them the opportunities to show their talents.
patriotic and who are ready to serve the nation, but it seems the
elderly ones are not willing to give them a chance. There is a learning
process in every job and if the younger ones are not given the chance to
serve, the elders will not also rest well when they are supposed to.
The younger ones should be encouraged to learn so that there will be no
gap by the time the older generations will no longer be able to
cannot compare the strength of an octogenarian with a 35 or 40-year-old
person. I think the appointment of the 83-year-old man as an envoy is
not appropriate and the President should not continue in this line.
There won’t be vibrancy in the administration if the positions are
occupied by the aged ones who should be at home enjoying their
retirement and offering advice when consulted. •Mr. Olusegun Fanibe (Chairman, Accord Party, Osun State)
- Compiled by: Success Nwogu, Femi Makinde, Etim Ekpimah and Alexander Okere