The average age in Nigeria is 18 years old, but the country’s affairs are mostly run by baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964.
Nigeria’s “leaders of tomorrow” have been waiting for eternity to take over as promised and take charge of their own future but the queue isn’t moving fast enough.
And even though you can be too young to run for office in Nigeria, you can never be too old.
So, in honour of Baby Boomers Recognition Day, we look at the Nigerian leaders holding up the queue and keeping the leaders of tomorrow out of the room.
Muhammadu Buhari, 79
Nigeria’s current president is the oldest to ever sit in the top seat. He was a military dictator between 1983 and 1985 when he was booted out. He must have forgotten something in that office because he returned 18 years later to contest presidential elections four times before he finally won in 2015. He’s set to finally retire to his livestock farm in Daura when his second term ends in 2023.
Theodore Orji, 78
Theodore Orji served as Abia State governor for eight years and could have retired immediately as he was already 70+ when his tenure ended in 2015. But he jumped straight to the Senate and contested again in 2019. Thankfully, he says he’ll retire when his current term ends in 2023 to make way for younger people.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu, 76
Senator Abdullahi Adamu hasn’t had a moment of rest since he actively joined politics in 1977. He’s worked with many political parties and was a minister under General Sani Abacha.
He later won an election as the governor of Nasarawa State in 1999 and served two terms until 2007. He became a senator in 2011 and remained in the Senate until he was elected the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2022.
Atiku Abubakar, 75
Atiku is one of the favourites to win the 2023 presidential elections, but he’s been playing that game since 1992. If the former vice president wins, Nigeria would go from one septuagenarian to another. And if he loses, history shows there’s nothing to stop him from running again in 2027.
Bola Tinubu, 70
Bola Tinubu is another favourite to win the 2023 presidential election who could continue Nigeria’s septuagenarian line of presidents. He was a senator in the 1990s and served two terms as Lagos State governor before settling into an alleged godfather role for the next three governors. He now has his sights on the Aso Rock Villa as his retirement home.
Ahmad Lawan, 63
He’s not exactly 70+ but he’s a baby boomer and one of the longest-serving lawmakers in Nigeria. He’s risen from being a House of Representatives member to becoming the Senate President and
landlord head of the National Assembly which makes him the third most powerful person in Nigeria currently. And he’s already started targeting the number one position.
Nicholas Mutu, 62
He’s also not 70+ but Nicholas Mutu is another baby boomer who’s clung to power in Nigeria. At the age of 39, he was elected the representative of Bomadi/Patani federal constituency of Delta State in 1999. He’s simply never left since then and is a proper National Assembly landlord himself.
Femi Gbajabiamila, 60
He’s the youngest person on this list but as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila is currently the fourth most powerful person in Nigeria. And he’s climbed all the way over there by nailing down a seat in the chamber since 2003.