Sagay Criticizes Youths, Says Power Cant Be Handed On A Platter Of Gold
The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has stated that the country would be embarking on a dangerous journey if it elects a youth as the president of Nigeria. He made this statement during an interview with the DAILY INDEPENDENT, on Monday.
Sagay argued that there was no evidence proving that youths perform better than elders in leadership. He argued that anyone thinking youths would perform better in positions of authority in Nigeria was shallow-minded.
He urged the youths to come out and fight for power but argued that power was not served a la carte. He added further that the older generations are also not willing to hand over power to the youths on a platter of gold unless they worked for it.
The constitutional lawyer further criticized the proponents of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run movement. He urged them to wait till they attain the constitutionally required age for contesting public offices in the country
He claimed that it was absurd seeing a 20-year-old contest as senator of the Federal Republic. “Number one: it is shallow-thinking for anyone to think that if a youth becomes president, he will do better than the older one.”
“It is very shallow thinking because, 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.”
Sagay gave examples of young leaders in the world such as Emmanuel Macron of France, Sebastian Kurz of Austria and George Weah of Liberia, who stepped out of their comfort zones, campaigned for votes and won before assuming the mantle of leadership.
He also cited President Muhammadu Buhari, who succeeded to be the country’s President after three failed attempts but points out the country may regret having a youth as president as evidence continues to point to the fact that it is riskier to have youths at the leadership helm of the country.
“All these people they mentioned, like 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. That is the only way forward.”
He, therefore, advised Nigerians to maintain the status quo, implying that President Buhari be allowed to continue for another term in office.
Speaking of the recent youth movement, ‘Not-Too-Young-To-Run’, 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? They shouldn’t be in a rush as if they won’t live up the constitutionally required age.”