There at least 5 youngest Heads of State who ruled Nigeria in their youthful age. This is different from the current political system. Youths are not wanted in top political positions anymore in the country. Some of the excuses the old people give is that youths are corrupt and disrespectful.
With all these in mind, we bring to you Nigeria's 5 youngest Heads of State since Independence.
1. JTU Aguiyi-Ironsi (January – July 1966)
Johnson Thomas Umunakwe was 41 years 10 months old when he became Nigeria’a first Head of State after the first ever military coup of January 1966.
General Aguiyi-Ironsi was killed in the counter-coup of July 1966.
2. Yakubu Gowon (July 1966 – July 1975)
Yakubu Gowon is still the youngest Head of State both living and dead in Nigeria’s history. Gowon was 31 years 9 months old when he became Nigeria’s military ruler after the second military coup of July 1966.
Gowon ruled for nine years.
3. Murtala Mohammed (July 1975 – February 1976)
Murtala Mohammed came on board courtesy of the third military coup. He was just 37 approaching 38 years.
He was killed in the aborted coup of 1976 on Friday, February 13 by Sukar Bukar Dimka.
4. Olusegun Obasanjo (February 1976 – October 1979)
Prior to becoming Head of State, Obasanjo was the second in Command. The aborted coup of 1976 threw him into the corridor of leadership.
Obasanjo was in his late 30s close to 40 years, when fate threw the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on his laps.
5. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (August 1985 – August 1993)
IBB, as he is fondly called, was a very young vibrant officer when he took over the reign of office in a palace coup in August, 1985. He was in his early 40s then.
|Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida|
Going forward. Why do elderly people find it difficult to trust the current crops of youths?
If Gowon, a young army general could steer the country during the civil war and rule for nine years, why is that the present generation of youths can’t deliver at the bigger stage?
The gospel truth is that corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of all strata of the Nigerian life. This was not the case some fourty years ago. Therefore, it’s not the matter of a corrupt youth being in power. Both the young and old minds now swim in oceans of graft.
Currently, some youths who hold political office are succeeding, while others are failing. It's all about getting a vibrant and sincere mind to steer the ship of the nation to the shore irrespective of age.