(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-The Nigerian constitution has determined minimum age for any one aspiring for all political offices, including those of president and governor. Interestingly, while the constitution clearly states the minimum age for these offices, it is silent on the maximum, the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari became Nigeria’s president when he was over 70 years old, and seeking re-election four years after.
In spite of complaints against the unrelenting interest of great grandfathers in political offices in Nigeria, certain situations may justify their intervention, especially if they are acceptable to the people and have what it takes to make a difference, like the case of General Jeremiah Useni who emerged on Sunday as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau state.
For any Nigerian who has been following developments in Plateau state and the alleged cluelessness of Simon Lalong, the incumbent governor on how to respond, and stop the ceaseless massacre of his people by their sworn enemies, the emergence of Senator Useni should be seen as a welcome development. In the past few years, some concerned Nigerians have been wondering how the incumbent governor feels watching those he vowed to protect killed on regular basis; their properties destroyed and their lands taken over by strangers.
We commend the Peoples Democratic Party for this strategic move to rescue Plateau state from unacceptable killings and what some commentators have referred to as ethnic cleansing. The distinguished senator may be 75 years old but his years of experience as a celebrated army general and administrator of the Federal Capital Territory during the administration of late General Sanni Abacha would prove invaluable at this time, to stop the killings and restore the glory of Plateau state known for peace and tourism.
It is not enough for the young to aspire to lead, they must also have what it takes to make a difference. Where an older person is seen to be in a better position to wipe away the tears of the people like in this case of General Jeremiah Useni, then he should be supported restore peace to the colourful state of Plateau.