Age, Semi-Literacy And The 2015 Election By Okoi Obono-Obla
Mohamed Beji Caid Essebesi was born on the 26th November, 1926. He is 88 years. He was elected the President of Tunisia on the On 22 December 2014.
According to official election results released by the Country‘s Electoral Commission showed that Essebsi beat his rival candidate, Moncef Marzouki by 55.68% of the vote in Tunisia’s first presidential election following the 2011 revolution.
Essebesi is a veteran Tunisian politician. His involvement in Tunisian politics started in 1941. He is Lawyer called to Tunis Bar in 1952 after his studies in the University of Paris, France.
In Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party and President Jonathan not having anything to show have decided to make the age of Buhari an electoral issue rather than convincing Nigerians with real statistics and figures on why they should vote for Party in the forthcoming election. General Buhari is 72 years old.
He was born on the 17th December, 1942. Essebesi 16 whole years older that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, who is the main challenger to the re-election bid of President Good Luck Jonathan in the presidential election scheduled for 14th February 2015.
The PDP is desperate to cling to any straw to win the next election. So all manner of frivolities’ and irrelevancies are raked up to discredit General Buhari who is largely seen as a man of uncommon integrity honesty, consistency, conviction and unwavering determination.
The latest of such inanities is the uncouth is the statement credited to the National Secretary of the PDP, Professor Wale Oladipo that General Buhari is a semi-literate.
It is hugely disappointing that such a frivolity is coming from the mouth of a learned Professor who is supposed to be a paragon and reservoir of learning, integrity and knowledge.
How on earth can Professor Oladipo call General Buhari a man who was trained on some of the best Military academics in the United Kingdom, United States of America and India, a semi –literate!
The United States War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania that General Buhari attended in 1979/80 (when he was a colonel) was founded by Secretary of War, Elihu Root following the principles learned in the Spanish-American War and formally established on the 1st November, 1901.
The United States War College provide graduate level instruction to senior military officers and civilians both from the United States Military (Navy, Army and Air force) to prepare them with senior leadership assignment and responsibilities.
Only civilians from agencies like the Department of Defence, State Departments and National Security Agencies in the United States Bureaucracy are admitted to the United States War College.
Upon completion, the United States War College grants its graduates a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies.
The entry qualification for Army applicants is the United States Army Command and General Staff College, the required Professional Military Education for officers in the rank of Major.
After his graduation from the United States War College, General Buhari was awarded a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies.
General Buhari joined the Nigerian Army in 1962; and trained at the Nigerian Military Training School from 1962-1963, Kaduna.
Thereafter he travelled to the United Kingdom to attend the Mons Officers Cadet School in Alder shot, United Kingdom. It was originally constructed from 1926-1927 for the Royal Signals.
In 1947 it was reorganized as an OCTU for short service and national service officer cadets of the Royal Artillery and Royal Armored Corps.
In 1972, the Mons Officers Cadet School was closed down and its functions and responsibilities transferred to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
According to Wikipedia the famous graduates of the Mons Officers Cadet School include:
- Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
- Sani Abacha, Military Ruler of Nigeria
- Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain
- Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Hakem of Fujairah
- Nicholas Soames
- His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
- Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa, Ghanaian Head of State
- Joseph Nanven Garba, Nigerian Army general, diplomat, and politician
- George Agbazika Innih. Nigerian Army general and politician
- Miles Hunt-Davis, British Army brigadier
- Emmanuel E Ikwue, Nigerian Air Force Chief of the Air Staff
- Mohammed Sani Sami, Nigerian Army brigadier and Governor of Bauchi State, Nigeria
- John Amadu Bangura, Sierra Leone Army brigadier and acting Governor-General of Sierra Leone
- Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian Army Major General and former Nigerian Head of State.
It therefore goes without saying that the statement by Professor Oladipo is grossly insulting to the militaries of the United Kingdom, India, United States of America and indeed Nigeria and is a pointer to the fact that the PDP can go to any length to hold on to power.
It leaves much to desire that the Professor would leave issues and rather indulging in personal attacks on General Buhari.
It also leaves a sour taste in the mouth for the PDP to continue to make issue of General Buhari’s age when empirical studies have conclusively shown that age is not a determinant of leadership.
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