Before I go properly into the details of this article, let me first say a hearty Happy Birthday to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari (#PMBAt75) on the occasion of his 75th birthday while still serving as the Commander-In-Chief of the world’s most populous black nation. Nigeria, at this time, is at a crucial point in our history when there is an urgency to get it right for the sake of Africa and the world around us. It is a huge and onerous responsibility for President Buhari to be the one shouldering this urgency to make Nigeria work.
It is on this note that I have decided to write this piece as a reminder for our President, his team, Nigerians and his supporters and lovers of the true burden of being President of Nigeria at this time of our historic journey. At 75 (#PMBAt75), a President Buhari can boast of children, grandchildren and that automatically makes him a grandfather. The work of changing Nigeria is not a decade affair but every four years of mandate or even eight years provides every leader with the opportunity to play his/her part. 2015 and the run-up to that election and the victory that followed was the entrance to the window of President Buhari’s time to play his role in Nigeria’s democracy.
As a father, he needs to cater for the needs of that generation that should be in their 40s and 50s who most likely should be preparing for some big roles and responsibilities (all things being equal), have their children in school, should be in midlevel or managerial positions in their places of work or have built empires and equally preparing that undergraduate to come and take charge when they are retired. As a father too, President Buhari (#PMBAt75) has the responsibility to address the challenges that face his daughter and son who equally are millennials of this time. Like their peers Yusuf, Halima and Zahra have aspirations, goals, life’s vision and a purpose they hope to fulfil as Nigerians, Africans and in Nigeria or anywhere in the world. They hope to raise families, create jobs, or be gainfully employed, they should be at the peak of their youth just like the over 80 million young Nigerians who are between the ages of 18 and 30.
If President Buhari feels that his obligations to his children are important as a father then every young Nigerian within their age bracket deserves same. They deserve to see their dreams fulfilled just the way President Buhari desires same for their children. This means that #PMBAt75 is a burden to see those young Nigerians rise and achieve greatness just like their parents equally desired while raising them up.
Going further, President Buhari equally is a grandfather to many children. They mostly will be between the ages of 1 and 15 years old. Either way, this is another burden that President Buhari needs to carry for his grandchildren and every child who falls into same age bracket in Nigeria. In as much as he is playing the role of a grandfather while doing the job of Nigeria’s President, he needs to also ensure that every Nigerian child sees a grandfather in him. His leadership and his age have placed such a burden on him and it will be unfair if his children can have all he desires for them while other Nigerian children do not have the same but in different ways. #PMBAt75 needs to understand that the cry of his grandchildren reflects the cry of the many grandchildren of every Nigerian granddad.
Then for the next generation for which he carries a burden that needs fulfilment; it is his generation of over 60s and 70s who now are grandfathers, retired or still in service, with grandchildren and children that still need them around. They equally need their posterity of rest and final retirement to be secure. President Buhari is entitled to a pension and entitlements whenever he becomes a former President and these ones deserve that as well. They don’t want to retire and still be depending on their children or grandchildren for everything when they served their country meritoriously. They desire to be able to get something for their grandchildren and beyond, they would want to have a taste of what this generation offers; the technology and the digital drive that is shaking the world. It won’t be too much if a grandfather sees it wise to get a smart device or phone for themselves.
This is the burden for a #PMBAt75, this is the task, this is the extent of work in rebuilding Nigeria, this is your moment Mr President and 3 generations are waiting for you. The burden and responsibilities do one thing that is very important which is making you the father of three generations. You are a father, grandfather, uncle, granduncle and the President of three generations including your generation of pensioners and retirees.
Nigeria is grateful for your service as an officer and today, in this decade, for #PMBAt75, you have become the father hope and father of three generations who desire to have a life as you had it in Nigeria.