Mohammed Ibrahim, founder of the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, says Africa is the only continent where we have a President at age 90 and unable to do anything starting a new term in office.
Mr. Ibrahim said this in a recent event which had Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Rwanda’s President Paul Kegame on the same panel with him.
The renowned businessman and philanthropist also condemned the sit-tight attitude of many African leaders.
He encouraged young Africans to emulate happenings around the world where their peers are being voted in as leaders without any regard to their age.
Mr. Ibrahim said: “Please allow me to be frank, don’t take offence. I wish to start from where President Obasanjo stopped about age. You have been president for so long that’s why you are careful with words.
“You see people at 90 years and about to start new terms, you guys are crazy or what (he said referring to youths in attendance).
“We see people in wheelchairs unable to raise hands standing for election. This is a joke; you are free to laugh…the whole world already laughing at us.
“The US, the most important country in the world, like it or not…Obama who is half African anyway was 46, 47 years.
“If Obama was in Kenya, what would he be doing ? He would be driving bus maybe.
“And he was not youngest president. (Bill) Clinton and (JF) Kennedy were even younger.
”Why these big countries lead… men in their 40s entrust their nuclear weapon, economies, all resources.
“And we only pick up men at 90s to lead us. To lead us where? To the grave?