23rd January, 2023
The youth wing of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council, PCC, has assured that Nigeria and its teeming youth will advance forward under the administration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate.
The National Youth Spokesperson, Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Council, Aliyu Audu stated this while addressing a youth forum tagged, “APC Youth Conversation on The 2023 Elections,” with the theme, “Youth Conversation on the ‘Renewed Hope’ for Nigeria” in Lagos on Sunday.
“The youth represent a time for action, not talks. So, I’ll not bore you with a long speech, rather I’ll delve straight into why we are here.
“To begin with, we have gathered here to discuss why it is important for us as youths to expand our influence on the running of our dear country. This conversation is more about how the sum total of our commitments and collaborations as young people can advance our lofty dreams for our dear country.
“We are here to possibly agree on one fundamental fact, and that is the fact that any of us sitting on the fence, as far as political participation is concerned, will not get us any closer to attaining our collective desire for a great nation.
“In addition, the presidential aspirant of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has pledged to deploy technology and the digital economy to create jobs. He has also promised to work on delivering a student loan that would greatly ease the burden of students and also deliver reforms to guarantee a stable academic calendar in our tertiary institutions.
“The APC candidate has also guaranteed to work on reforming our security system in order to make our uniformed men more professional and to operate strictly within the ambit of the law. Without a doubt, it is my firm conviction that Asiwaju remains the best option for Nigeria moving forward,” Audu said.
He stated further, “For those of us familiar with the nearly comatose economy inherited in 1999 when Asiwaju became governor of Lagos State and the spate of unlawful activities perpetrated by mostly young people.
“His achievements in office, including the thriving entertainment and movie industry, enabled by his government which engaged many hitherto idle youths; we can assess his capacity to do a good job as Nigeria’s president. Based on his antecedents, competence and record of service, we can almost be certain that Nigeria will advance forward under Asiwaju.
“Like I said in the beginning, the greatness we seek for Nigeria will not just happen because we can dream or debate it on social media or whenever we come together as a group; it will only happen because all of us as a collective choose to take part when it matters the most.
“Certainly, we can attain our collective desire for Nigeria if we all think together, band together and work together with other stakeholders to drive this country toward its desired destination.
“No doubt, the confident and proven display of capacity by young Nigerians in almost all sectors across the world can be said to be inspired by the spirit of patriotism and tenacity displayed by our past heroes in their prime. As youth on whose shoulders rest the burden of ensuring that we safeguard this country, both for ourselves and the generations to come, we must first recognize and appreciate the contributions of older folks as we seek to work with them in order to blend their experience with our own dynamism as innovative, energetic and resourceful young people on a quest for a greater Nigeria. Our approach should be that of cooperation, and not antagonism.
“As young people, when we combine our divergent strengths and individual talents, it is certain that great stuff can happen in this country. We only need to bury all forms of inherited pains or animosity, either on behalf of our religion, region, or ethnic lineage. We must now resolve amongst ourselves and come to terms with the fact that mistakes were made, and errors committed, from all sides and seek to end every grievance holding us down as a nation in our own generation.
“We are the generation to turn around the fate of our beloved Nigeria and we must start now by making informed decisions based on character, competence, capacity and pedigree of the candidates seeking our support and votes.
“More than ever before, we must now get more deeply involved, set aside every vestige of sentiments that have left us poorer and more divided as a country; and consider, without any form of bias, whose antecedents and track record speak to our current challenges as a nation.
“It is my hope and prayer that the conversation here today will help us to begin that journey of being a part of those who will successfully shape the future of this country. We owe ourselves and our future that responsibility, and we must not shy away from it,” he said.
Audu maintained that this present government has contributed to increasing the participation and inclusion of youth in politics and governance, especially with the enactment of the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ law.
“The law has made it a reality for young people to contest and win elections in order to contribute to national leadership at various levels; It is now left for us to take up the challenge and benefit from the opportunities this avails us.
“Some of the dividends of democracy delivered by the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the leadership of President Muhammadu; which has accorded youth issues significant attention; include initiatives like the Public Works Scheme to cater to the interest of youths with purely technical skills; it has taken cognizance of the developments in ICT and digital evolution across the world with the launch of the Youth Fintech and Digital Youth Nigeria,” he said.
He stated further, “Not leaving the youth out of its agricultural policy, the administration launched the National Young Farmers Scheme so that youths can take advantage of reforms in the agric sector. The government had also approved a N75 billion National Youth Intervention Fund to support young people with bright business ideas. There was also the Jubilee Fellows Programme, a youth empowerment Initiative supported by the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union.
“While I have focused only on the government’s interventions and achievements in the area of youth development, due to lack of time; I should mention that the APC government is very aware of its own shortcomings, especially as regards the challenges still faced by the young people of Nigeria. For instance, the lack of stable and affordable education is still a source of concern to the party, just as the issue of unemployment and police brutality and harassment of young Nigerians.”