Opinion: A Generation Swallowing the Other; Eclipsing Generational Assets
I have a privilege of relating with appreciable number of ethnic groups in Nigeria by virtue of living in Federal Capital Territory, FCT for close to 20 years and 15 years experience as a union leader in the same Capital of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
I have observed people of other climes , tribes and ethnic origins send their relatively young men to pick their opportunities *while the elders stay behind to give inspiration especially the Northerners*.
Looking at the National Assembly, the Northerners send people between *40 and 55* of age as Senators and members of House of Representatives while we in particular from the Southwest have people of the same age bracket as Personal Assistants,, PAs and legislative aides.
A co-Senator of 40 to 55 years will relate with our Babas as colleagues and we will be stopped and cowed down from even contributing in a town hall meeting organised by our own Senators of 60 to 70+ age bracket.
The reason the North representatives stand tall oozing with speed, vibrancy and energy advancing the cause of their people is because they have active set of people in place and the reason our people at this side of the country get tired after one hour marathon meeting is due to the aged ones representing us.
It will be recalled that Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto sent younger Tafawa Balewa to Lagos as Prime Minister and stood behind as Premier to strategize.
Coming to strategic placement, in all juicy appointments capable of making many young people powerful and rich individuals, the North push the young elements of 30+ and 40+ while the elders therefore stay behind as the big man behind the contracts.
Their products spread over NNPC, FIRS, TETFUND, PTF, PPR, OAGF, NCR, MARITIME among others while our people are busy with customised regalia looking for a small space for their children alone.
The North *facilitate juicy contracts for their young elements and shoot them into stupendous wealth within shortest possible time*.
This is the way it works. He is on allowance or salary as a student from at least Area council, after graduation, he gets a juicy placement or mouth watering contracts , thereafter he suspends his job( not necessarily resigning) to pick up political appointment after which he may contest election and may never go back to salary job.
I have met a good number of them in the cause of my service at FCT and the story continues.
A close colleague of mine who respects me so much was made Secretary of Suleja Area Council from classroom for 4 years and today a strong chieftain of APC in that emirate.
He has come back to his job and still very active in politics of the noble emirate.
In our clime, young people suffered through school and especially the brilliants are frustrated with no job and eventually become a useful tool in the hand of our own gerontocractic political leadership who use them for as low as *protocol officers arranging campus girls* for political gladiators
I have known *graduates of 15 or more years in Oyo state still scrambling for miserable crumbs looking at close to 50 years*.
This is a deliberate eclipse of a generation but *sadly my generation seems to be comfortable defending the reason for their miserable and unfortunate situation as PA media and SA mobilisation*
In Kaduna State for instance , under 40 are presently Director Generals and Heads of boards and parastatals.
We all saw the current EFCC boss with rich CV at the age of 40. We also saw one AHMED , age 40 recently posted as jostling for National Chairmanship of APC.
If that succeeds, our elders who felt agitated and deploy bully dogs when we asked questions will go and bend to make a request from a 40 years old chairman of a national party.
*They do that a lot in Abuja only to keep people of same age bracket here bullied, abused, bruised and caged.*
This is what the North with a clear succession plan did for people of our age bracket. I rest the case here for a moment to make us REFLECT.
Idris Ismail is a Political Scientist and Public Affairs Analyst based in Abuja and from Ibadan, Oyo State Capital.