Ngozi Alaegbu was the star of that Arise Tv interview for two reasons, the first was the razor sharp and fearless questions she threw at the General.
And the second, the incisive manner and poise that got the General talking, infact the General spoke albeit frankly on several issues ranging from the banality of partisan politics in Nigeria to the failure of his generation, from the prevalence of corruption in his time to the Olympic status of corruption in the present, and from the absence of Justice in this clime to the imperativeness of resource control and true fiscal federalism, call it restructuring, if you like.
But one subject the General parried like he always does was Youth O’Clock and the call for a new republic come 2023. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida IBB was clear in ruling out citizens Atiku Abubakar and Ahmed Tinubu as worthy candidates in the 2023 power contestation. But IBB maradonically threw up a twist, he called for a new generation of leaders and yet muddled the waters by talking about a leader in his 60s. Still the Maradona, the Evil Genius you may say.
One tread ran through that interesting interview, and that is the call for a new Republic, for a new generation of leaders and thinkers, and for a Pan Nigerian President come 2023. But IBB owes the polity the debt of forthrightness and the duty of care as he clocks 80years in a few days. He should right the past through some forthrightness.
At 4 score years we expect less dribbles. At 80 IBB’s most important deft touch should be a clear validation of the season, the moment and the movement. IBB knows that the time is Youth O’Clock, he knows that Nigerian youths have the capacity and the competency to salvage this Enterprise from the precipice. And he knows that the fire of patriotism remains largely in the Youths.
We know and have seen young men and women in their mid 30s, 40s and early 50s who have genuinely bestrode the Nigerian space with a breath of fresh air. We have seen the energy and electricity of the 46years old Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello whose stride across the nation fits the description of IBB, we have seen Governor Yahaya Bello’s understanding of economics, finance and commerce, and have observed his love and friendship across the Nigerian geography, and would ask the General for some forthrightness. Call his name, IBB call his name, he is ready, willing and able to right the wrongs you all left behind, and he is ready to give a definite closure to the lost years of Nigeria.
Together with him we are building endearing and enduring blocks of oneness, purpose and patriotism across Nigeria, and together we shall berth a new and vibrant Nigeria come 2023. Say his name, be forthright and redeem the past, IBB.
And the time without an ounce of equivocation is Youth O’Clock.
Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr.
Got Your Back Nigeria.