The Progressive Leaders Association of Nigeria (PLAN) has vowed to mobilise Nigerians against any presidential candidate above 65 years of age in the coming 2023 general elections.
Prominent among those above the pegged age are former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, among others.
Addressing a news conference Friday in Abuja, Convener of PLAN Nigeria, Comrade Bello Osaretin El- Mikado, said the call for 65 years age benchmark is not targeted at any person or deny participation of some class of people, but to rescue the political system from the clutches of analog leadership style to a more robust and digital leadership prowess, adding that “politicians at 65 and above should commence leaving the stage for retirement home.
“Progressive Leaders Association of Nigeria has the responsibility and mandate to midwives the emergence of credible leaders, through conventional recruitment process to mobilize leaders of thoughts, identify vibrant and innovative young men and women to pursue political positions across existing political parties in Nigeria, rather than sitting aloof for cheap political appointments as SA’s and PA’s, we canvassed this on the strength of morality for politicians above 65 years of age to forget about 2023 presidential race and take advisory role, as we vowed to use our numerical strength of voter’s demography to halt the incessant political behaviour of recycling leaders, that we shall not negotiate as the true position of Nigerian citizens.
“We can’t afford to be taken aback, when other nations are running the sprint, it is a known facts that we have credible, ebullient young and visionary leaders across Nigeria, that can take the country out of the wood and cause structural development in the country. The time to talk the talk and walk the walk is now.
“For these well thought out reasons, we invited you all to join in the quest to solving the enormous challenges, that is already starring us in the face. The political grandfathers can’t continue to occupy all juicy positions ad infinitum, meanwhile the youths are left to their fate to roam the streets with no hope insight to actualize their dreams and latent potentials, their future has been occupied esto perpetual by the old order. We must say NO to gentrocratic system in 2023.
“To this end, we request the total synergy of critical stakeholders to consolidate on the achievements recorded by the Independent National Electoral Commission “INEC” and consolidate on Mr President’s efforts to improve the electioneering process before the next general elections with an appeal to sign into law the amended electoral bill by the National Assembly, especially ,the direct primaries and electronic transmissions of results clause to open the political space for all inclusiveness and fair play to further deepen internal democratic process of all political parties.”
While calling on Nigerians to support the movement to rescue the country as part of vision 2023, Comrade El- Mikado, said his organisation had earlier convened some leaders of thoughts from various ethnic nationalities to brainstorm on best approaches to remedy the leadership question bedeviling Nigeria as a nation.
“The first challenges that were observable was on how best the citizens can take ownership of their future in an already polarised society deeply infested with political dinosaurs, spent forces, political dead woods ,who are reluctant and adamant to relinquished power to the next generation, the concerns of late, is to what extent can the future leaders be subjected to second fiddles in the courtyard of self styled godfathers and political demagoguery in their eighties parading and unwilling to exit the stage.”
The group vowed to use its numerical strength in all the 774 local government areas across the country “to push away the old political barracuda from the political arena, for nobody gives up power willingly, except they are pushed out. That we must surely do in 2023 through the ballot box.”