Senior Citizens’ Interest Must be Part of Buhari’s Policies – Maitama Sule | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Senior Citizens’ Interest Must be Part of Buhari’s Policies – Maitama Sule

Posted: Oct 14, 2015 at 9:12 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Innocent Oweh, Abuja

Elder statesman and frontline Nigerian politician, Maitama Sule, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to discard advise from senior citizens,especially in taking critical decisions concerning his administration.

He said, if the President hopes to succeed in his change agenda,he should initiate the process of instituting policies that would take care of aged persons in the country.

He made the call on Tuesday,at the inaugural ceremony and international conference of the African Society for Ageing Research and Development (ASARD) which took place in Abuja.

According to him, the vast experience of older persons in every society was required in drafting policies and giving positive directions to existing leaders, to enhance a vibrant political and socio-economic nation.

He also noted that,if the nation’s development objectives were to be achieved, it was the responsibility of government in ensuring that all aged persons were adequately taken care of, rather than dumped at homes designed for the old.

“In our countries in Africa, we need a policy that will look after the aged so that they may be able to pass their experience to the younger ones.

“Every society needs old people; because new breed without old breed, breeds greed.

“Our country must take care of the aged because this is to their own interest and benefit;As long as the aged are not dead,they are useful to the people and they must not be dumped in old peoples home.

“Let us learn from our late leaders who lived together despite our diversities, let us take the advantage of how Awolowo,Sardauna united this country without any differences, therefore there is the need for a policy to be put in place to enable the aged to pass their vast experience to the youths in the affairs of government.

“This will enable them to pass their successes and learn from their mistakes I hope and pray we will be able to produce good leaders,”the elder states man noted.

Sule, who is a member of the board of trustees of ASARD, argued that the most effective way of getting positive results in the running of any establishment or a nation, was by combining the young people with  older persons who were still mentally alert.

“Every society need these old people and the best organization in the world is a combination of the old and the young. You need the maturity, the wisdom and the experience of the old as well as the dynamism, radicalism and youthful exuberance of the young.

Earlier, Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Julius Okojie, suggested the need for a comprehensive data that would champion the draft of creative policies capturing the needs of the aged and also aid an effective implementation process.

He disclosed that proactive steps were being taken to develop a Master of Science programme in Geriatrics in addition to the development of Gerontology programmes in 12 universities within the country,

Giving an analysis of Africa, he noted that the population of aged persons within the continent was increasing rapidly and was expected to increase from 59.8 million in 2012 to about 64.5 million in 2015.

According to him, ASARD was initiated to provide a platform to develop inter-university networks and also, to encourage strategic partnerships with relevant stakeholders towards addressing the challenges and opportunities in population ageing and improving the quality of life and well-being of older persons.