Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city
A group, Edo Progressive Alliance for United Nigeria (EPAUN), has taken a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Mr. Kazeem Afegbua, to task over his comment that the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is not fit to be given the PDP presidential ticket in 2023 on the grounds of his age.
Convener of the group, Femi Williams, in a statement issued in Benin-city, Edo State, yesterday, said though Afegbua was entitled to his opinion when he argued that President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure has taught Nigerians a lesson not to trust ‘old’ men again in Nigerian politics, he is not entitled to insult the intelligence of Nigerians and distort history.
Even at that, Williams said Afegbua is not a member of the PDP and cannot decide for the party who to present as its presidential candidate.
According to EPAUN, “Let us say from the start that Afegbua is not a PDP member, and therefore, he cannot decide for the party who its presidential candidate should be in 2023.
“Ordinarily, we could have ignored Afegbua’s treatise, but doing so would have misled many undiscerning Nigerians who are not aware of the issues involved.
“Afegbua committed a sin of logic called the fallacy of composition. This logical fallacy assumes that what is true of one part is true of the whole. Or what is true of one man is true of the rest. In other words, he assumed that the failure of one ‘old’ politician is a reflection of the alleged incompetence of all other ‘old’ politicians in the country.
“This is the most ridiculous logic one can ever read. How can Buhari’s failure be a yardstick to conclude that all other ‘old’ politicians are automatically incompetent? One man’s failure cannot be the basis for judging the competence or capacity of other politicians. Besides, when has ‘old’ age become the basis for gauging the competence of political aspirants? It’s obvious that Afegbua didn’t do his homework because he was in too much of a hurry to impress his sponsors.”
The group further argued that “history has a devastating way of humbling liars who attempt to distort the records. Despite his age, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore transformed his country to prosperity. Age didn’t also stop President Ronald Reagan from creating an economic boom. Again, age didn’t stop Mahathir Mohammed of Malaysia from transforming his country socially and economically. In fact, when Mahathir’s successor messed up the country, Malaysians had to call him out of retirement to come and serve again at the age of 90.”
It further argued that in Nigeria age didn’t stop Obasanjo from giving quality leadership, including boosting the economy and attracting foreign investments that created GDP growth that averaged 6.95 percent, adding that despite his age, Obasanjo had demonstrated remarkable leadership, and used his influence to secure $18 billion debt relief for Nigeria in 2006.
The group, therefore, urged Afegbua to focus on Atiku’s competence rather than his age, adding that the former vice president has a unifying vision which is necessary for moving Nigeria forward.