‘Nigeria will regret having Youth as President in 2019’ – Prof Itse Sagay

Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) and a constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay, in an interview with Daily Independent on Monday, talked about the calls for a youth President from all parts of the country.

'Nigeria will regret having Youth as President in 2019' – Prof Itse Sagay lailasnews

According Prof. Itse Sagay, if the deal pulls through in 2019 election, the country will live in regrets afterwards.

“Number one: it is shallow-thinking for anyone to think that if a youth becomes president, he will do better than the older one.

As I see it, it is the youths of Nigeria today who believe in overnight wealth, who want billions overnight, who don’t want to work for their living and gradually build up their assets and business.

That psychology of overnight wealth is almost exclusively a youth attribute. Number two: who is stopping the youths? All these people who are advocating that the youths should take over are in essence saying the older ones should just call the youths and say ‘come and take power.’

If you want power, you work for it. You are not going to sit down in your sitting room and somebody will bring power to you. Let them join the fray. France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Sebastian Kurz of Austria, and other young leaders worked hard for it.

They came out in the open and campaigned for votes and people voted for them. George Weah was tenacious in his quest until he got it. Even President Buhari succeeded in his fourth attempt.

They will be fooling themselves if they think they can sit on their backpedal and somebody will hand over power to them. That is a pure delusion. Speaking generally, there is no evidence whatsoever that the youths are better.

In fact, the preponderance of evidence is that it is riskier to have a youth, at least in this country, at the helm of affairs. We will regret it. So, let’s just leave things as they are. Let people come to power naturally by the political process that we know,” he said.

Speaking on the ‘Not-Too-Young-To-Run’ movement, he said: “Are they frightened that they will not live up to the constitutionally required age? It is very odd to hear 20-year-olds say that they want to become senators. That, to me, is preposterous. Why are they in a rush?”


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