2023: ‘Next leaders should be voted based on character’

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, selection of leaders for various elective positions should be based on character and not necessarily age.

This is the view of a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, at a virtual leadership forum at the weekend.

The former governorship aspirant said Nigerian would be making a grave mistake by electing a leader just based on age without considering if he or she possesses the value or right attitude to lead the people.

Querying if Nigeria needed youth as leaders to have a better country, Onuesoke recalled, “Sadly, our current leaders started leading as youths. Check their respective ages and subtract the last 20 years of democracy and let’s see what we have.

“Let’s take Rotimi Amaechi for instance. He is 55 now. He became a minister at 49. He was governor for eight years at 41. Prior that, he was Speaker for eight years, that means he was Speaker at 33.

“Freaking 33. How youthful can youth be? Do the mathematics for all of them and you will see that “youth” has brought us nothing.

“Wike is 53. He has been in power for the last 15 to 20 years. That’s 33-35. How youth can youth be?

“Dimeji Bankole was a freaking 37 as Speaker in the National Assembly. There are so many of them who started leadership in their youths, but no result to show for it.

“We don’t need the youths. What we need is a change of mindset and attitude from young and old. Else, it’s the same story.

“Youths have always been in power. They became old in power. Gowon became a Head of State at 32.”

He stressing that the key political actors of both pre and post-independence era were all youths, pointing out that it would not be wrong to conclude that the youth of that time mismanaged the destiny of Nigerians which providence placed in their hands.

The vocal PDP chieftain recalled that the prominent leaders at that time were either in their 30s or early 40s and asked what legacy was handed down by them.

He stated that Nigeria political experience has shown that most states, which have had young men as governors, have usually witnessed needless political crises which sometimes resulted in some politically-motivated killings because they are ignorant, intolerant and tyrannical.



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