President Buhari, It’s About Your New CoS

By Segun Showunmi

Dear President Muhammadu Buhari, I am incredibly disappointed in your choice of Chief of Staff. I am getting more convinced, by the day, that you and your generation don’t mean well for the younger ones.

Buhari and Gambari

Buhari and Gambari

President Buhari, when do you and your fellow septuagenarians want to start implementing succession and generational shifts? How is it that after five years, none of the younger ones around you could be given the post of Chief of Staff to mentor them in the business and nuances of statecraft?

Please note that your generation has no right to hold Nigeria to ransom for whatever you may think you all have done individually or collectively. If keeping Nigeria together as a result of the civil war is your garland, it is time to tell yourselves some home truth.

With due respect, you did not win any battle. Perhaps, you won a war. And one that had almost the entire world on your side with the arms procurements and other such logistics. And I have often wondered: if the Russians had backed Ojukwu and his people, what would the outcome have been? Not to mention Britain and others that tilted the play on the battlefield. But that is a topic for another day.

President Buhari, have you taken a look at Nigeria today to see how greatly divided the people are? The country is tilting near collapse based on ethnic and tribal suspicions. So what did you win if the agitation for separation is more pronounced now, with every part threatening national unity? Please do not forget; it was the men of your generation that got us into the mess in the first instance.

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How can you look at the world over and see a lowering of the barriers for young people and you will insist that only a government of the old, by the very old and for the antiquated is what a vibrant nation with such a young population (median age of under-20) deserves? For whatever it is worth, this speaks to the mindset of your generation. What is the big deal about the job of a Chief of Staff that you cannot find at least a 60-year-old appointable? Why have you people continued to recycle your old, mainly failed ideas, at the expense of Nigeria’s advancement?

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Mr President, what is done is done, and I wish your pick the best at his new duty post. But please, going forward, be more determined to push for fresh breath through the many brilliant younger Nigerians we have all over the world. If for nothing, I can tell you that it will be in your long-term best interest. This is because legacies need to have champions who will speak to the work and intention of leaders long after they are no longer around, and nature wastes humans according to the biological clock.

There is also a far more important reason you should be persuaded on this line of thinking. We need to groom people for the leadership responsibilities of the future while some of the elders are still active and can be consulted. Have you not observed that the younger ones have not accounted for themselves as well as we would have expected? Are you surprised? I am not. There has not been any evidence of a planned approach to leadership succession, as such, everybody is just misbehaving.

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The world around us is evolving so fast, and the nations are conspiring within themselves to prepare for the future which Africa cannot predict with accuracy how it will affect us. Therefore, you and your friends need to worry about the nation you are leaving behind and start putting your houses in order. Mr President, be assured of my highest consideration and goodwill.

Sir, can you prevail on your media handlers, especially Femi Adesina. He makes things worse with his approach of speaking down to the people of Nigeria.

The wise listen to good counsel.

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