Flashback: Peter Obi on ideal age for a Mr. President

By Akachukwu Jeff

Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Peter Obi, says Nigeria does not need a 72 year old grandfather as President.

By Mr Obi’s categorical pronouncement, Atiku Abubakar, 72 and President Mohammadu Buhari, 75, are unfit to be President, leaving the APGA’s John Gbor, 69, as the only suitable candidate of a major political party.


       Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar

Mr Obi, a philosopher and Papal Knight known for saying what he believes in, emphasized this in an interview published in Vanguard Newspaper of January 4, 2015.

According to the former Governor of Anambra State, ‘no progressive country of the world has ever elected anybody above 70 years of age since the inception of democracy in their countries.’

Buttressing his submission, Obi said the oldest US leader was Ronald Reagan who became President at 68. Obi noted that because of the stress associated with the office, Americans were concerned about Reagan’s age, pointing out that few years later, Reagan was no longer able to recognise his wife.


      President Muhammadu Buhari

Giving more details why any candidate above 70 should be rejected by Nigerians for the office of President, Obi said Barack Obama became President at 47; George Bush at 54and Bill Clinton at 46.’

He continued: ‘In the UK, Gordon Brown was 56; Tony Blair 43 and John Major, 47. Our neigbouring Ghana had President John Mahama who started at 53.’

Driving home the point, he said: ‘Why [else] do we retire our top military personnel and civil servants at 70?’

He concluded by saying that in a world where life – changing democracy protest was being led by a 17 year old boy, it would be regrettable to ‘inflict a 72 year old grandfather on Nigeria as President.’

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