Letter from Africa: Nigeria – a young united states of america for old men

President Muhammadu Buhari and opposition leader Atiku Abubakar - archive shot, December 2014 Symbol copyright AFP Image caption President Muhammudu Buhari (left), SEVENTY FIVE, will face his most powerful challenge from Atiku Abubakar, SEVENTY ONE

In our series of letters from African newshounds, editor-in-chief of Nigeria’s Day-To-Day Consider newspaper Mannir Dan Ali appears to be like at why a rustic where greater than part the population is below 35 appears set to get another septuagenarian president after subsequent yr’s election.

On polling day, the 2 leading applicants in Nigeria’s presidential election, President Muhammadu Buhari and competition leader Atiku Abubakar, can have a mixed age of 148.

This seems a far cry from the burst of optimism that followed the passing of the “Now Not Too Younger To Run” regulation in parliament in Would Possibly, which diminished the minimal age to run for the highest administrative center from 35 to 30.

Perusing the record of more than 76 candidates, it is real that there are a few who’re at the younger finish of the spectrum, like 46-12 months-vintage businessman Fela Durotoye, online news site Sahara Reporters publisher Omowale Sowore and newspaper columnist Tope Fasua, either one of whom are FORTY SEVEN.

But we all realize that come February, it will be a contest between Mr Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who’s turning SEVENTY SIX in December, and Mr Abubakar, the flag-bearer of the People’s Democratic Birthday Party (PDP), who can be SEVENTY TWO next month.

Symbol copyright Getty Photographs Image caption The election will make two decades because the end of army rule

in step with the electoral commission, complete-blown campaigns will get started in mid-November.

The campaigns, like previous ones, will be more about making a carnival-like surroundings than to discuss key issues, just like the top level of adlescent unemployment, or the money that can be had to fund promises round, as an example, the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure.

With the vintage guard nonetheless dominating, the comic story doing the rounds these days revolve around the fact that you can also no longer be “too young to run” but you’re “too bad to make an have an effect on” – rumours are rife that during birthday party primaries, delegates walked away with fists full of dollars.

‘Age brings wisdom’

In the race to turn into the APC’s candidate, President Buhari was once the one individual within the running.

A 46-year-old former senator Yusuf Datti Baba Ahmed did run to be the PDP’s presidential candidate, but he were given simply 5 votes from the 3,000 delegates.

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the 2 main candidates may have made a concession to more youthful citizens through picking younger operating mates.

But Mr Buhari has caught with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who’s 61, whilst Mr Atiku has gone for former Anambra state governor Peter Obi, FIFTY SEVEN.

The Truth is that robust patronage networks have advanced over the years in the two primary events, and powerbrokers are reluctant to take a chance with younger, untested candidates.

And but the formative years possibility their lives to shield the country, toil to pay taxes and are trying to find to enhance their skills in order that they may be able to be extra productive citizens.

Perhaps they are able to comfort themselves with the idea that age brings wisdom – or that every other countries have older presidents, like neighbouring Cameroon, where Paul Biya, EIGHTY FOUR, received a seventh time period last week and Algeria where Abdellaziz Bouteflika, EIGHTY ONE, is running for a fifth consecutive term next 12 months.

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Image copyright AFP