FEATURE ARTICLE

Thursday, May 14, 2020
balooy2k@gmail.com
Arizona, USA
BUHARI'S NEW CHIEF OF STAFF, PROFESSOR GAMBARI: NIGERIAN YOUTHS, WHERE ART THOU?

rom all indications, President Muhammadu Buhari seems to be indifferent to the plight of the Nigerian youths. Buhari's seeming untrustworthiness for the youth and his dispositions to the Nigerian youths is evident in his various appointments to the nation's affairs in the past four years. The unexpected appointment of Professor Ibrahim Gambari as the new Chief of Staff to Muhammadu Buhari, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not by happenstance. It should have been expected from a discerning mind, and they should have seen it coming after the death of Mallam Abba Kyari, the former Chief of Staff. Abba Kyari died from the menace of COVID-19 last month.

In a nutshell, though, Professor Gambari's appointment must have taken many Nigerian political pundits by surprise, and to have seen the nullification of their political permutation and expectation. This piece is the reiteration of the indictment of the political aristocrats who have discontinuance for the impeccable human capital of the Nigerian youth. It is also a piece of one-man protest, to condemn, and redirect the naughtiness and a driftless of the youths in Nigeria to recoup their lost identity. Where are thou, the Nigerian youth? Where are the vibrancy and brilliance of the Nigerian youths in the decision-making of their future?

Post elections of 2015 and 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari had the opportunity to leverage the support of the youths and their beliefs, and to engage them in shaping their future. But the President seems to have intentionally failed to use the energy and the resourcefulness of these youths to determine their future. President Buhari has been, with political continuum appointing old brigades with failed political circumlocution to the affairs of a bruised nation.

Academically and diplomatically, Professor Gambari is eminently qualified to be in any higher position anywhere in the world, but the indefatigable Professor Gambari as the new Chief of Staff to the President is (un)welcomed with the muse and mixed feelings by many concerned Nigerians, and the stakeholders. The downward trend of events in Nigeria and the failure of leadership have squared off the new Chief of Staff to the President Buhari as not what Nigeria actually needs now in its governance. Nigeria needs young and vibrant youths with 21st-century knowledge and ideas to meet the 21st-century challenges of governance in a competitive global world. The age of analog is untenable and not sustainable in Nigeria. In spite of Nigerian leadership's challenges, responsible youths from among their contemporary naughty young Nigerians are making a quantum leap to compete with their foreign counterparts, and they are also doing great in a beleaguered country.

In retrospect, the compact antecedents of Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari are well known to some Nigerians. That seems to have predicated and enticed the President's choice of Service Chief in new dispensation! Here is a rough synopsis of Professor Agboola Gambari's career in private and public lives: Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari was Buhariís Foreign Minister and confidant as military Head of State in the 1980s. He played a key role in quelling the diplomatic uproar generated by the failed attempt to kidnap Mallam Umaru Dikko from the UK by the Buhari military junta. Professor Ibrahim Gambari is a seasoned scholar and impeccable diplomat. Gambari served as minister of External Affairs between 1984 and 1985.

In addition to his achievements, Prof. Gambari was appointed by former United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-moon and the chairperson of the African Union Commission as Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur in 2010. Prof. Gambari has also served as Special Adviser on the International Compact with Iraq and Other Issues for the UN Secretary-General. He served as an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Department of Political Affairs (DPA). The new Chief of Staff, an Ilorin prince, was born on November 24, 1944. He has had his dint of service in the public domain, both at the national and international arena.

President Buhari seems to be derailing from retaining the trust and expectations reposed in him by the Buharists, the Plebeians, and Buhari's adversaries. The country is in dare need of a benevolent and transformational leader. A leader who will defy all political odds and falsehoods to do the benevolent things for the people who are very hard to rule. Nigeria is in a state of inertia promoted by inefficient and ineffective leadership, and the gross complacency of the youths.

Nigerian youths have been sidelined from contributing to nation-building. The youths who have been given the opportunity in the past (just like their fathers); and in public life have been consumed by the malfeasance of corruption, laziness, grotesque grandstanding, opportunism, and flimflam on social media. Ordinary researched works are meaningless to them to read for moral arm and cognitive development. If you want to hide important information, put it in concise, clear, and delivery forms, it shoved aside for want of materialism, instant gratification, and same parties.

Most of the Nigerian youths have been consumed by jealousy, sense of entitlement, and lack of imagination. The future of Nigeria should belong to this generation of youths, not to the men yesterday who have brought Nigeria to her present predicament. But how does one affirm this generation of Nigerian youths' readiness for meaningful tomorrow? Are they ready to take their future back from these bunch of failed leaders? Can the youth come together to determine their future? These are million-dollar questions we may never get a reasonable answer to in a dysfunctional and contradictory society like Nigeria.

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