Governor Aminu Tambuwal has asked Nigerians not to elect anyone above the age of 60 years as president next year.
Mr Tambuwal gave the advise on Tuesday at the endorsement of his candidacy in Jigawa State by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) from the 19 northern states.
Represented by his Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Bashir Usman, the governor said anyone who is sexagenarian will not be physically able to discharge his duties as president which requires touring the length and breath of the country in a day.
The 56-year-old politician declared his intention to run for the exalted office on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) late January.
Although he mentioned no name, his rivals who fall into the category include: Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar (75); Former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu (69); Former Senate President, Pius Anyim (61); Senate Chief Whip Orji Kalu (61) and Ovation publisher, Dele Momodu (61).
“Young Nigerians are the owner(s) of the country, any person above 60 years is surviving to meet God Almighty – he is not surviving to lead a nation,” the governor said.
“We need a president that is agile, who can travel across Nigeria in a day to get first hand information on issues bedeviling Nigerians, not a president who will sit in the comfort of his office awaiting censored information from people.”
While charging Nigerians not to elect someone living with age-related illness, the presidential hopeful spoke on the plight of Nigerian students amidst ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“We all know what the problems are, yet it has been lingering for more than 15 years now and up till now, there appears no end in sight. No government appears willing to solve the problems,” he said.
“Apart from the lack of political will to solve the problems, I believe the government should engage constructively with the teachers and don’t promise what they cannot afford. That I believe is what has kept the issue lingering till date.
“As far as I am concerned, you (students) are the ones to fight for the future of education in the country. You are the ones that will struggle for the education of this country.
“Therefore, as long as we keep mute, believe me, our universities will remain closed for a long time,” Mr Tambuwal added.
‘How to destroy a nation’
The leader of the students union, Muhammad Abbas, said the problem the country is facing currently is due to the Federal Government’s poor handling of the education sector.
“If you want to destroy any country, you don’t need weapons, just destroy its education sector, the citizens of the country will destroy everything,” Mr Abbas said.
“Nigerian students were at home for four months in 2018, over 10 months in 2020, they also spent four weeks and presently ASUU added another eight weeks.