By ANGELA ATABO
ABUJA- The All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth and Students Council, has urged youths in the country to vote for Bola Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election.The group said Tinubu would ensure inclusiveness, provide lasting solution to strikes by university lecturers and engineer reforms that would create jobs and opportunities for young people.
Mr Ezenwa Onyirimba, Director-General of the council made the appeal during an advocacy visit to the Chief Executive Officer, Connected Development (CODE), Mr Hamzat Lawal, on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, Tinubu’s antecedents speak for him and his actions have shown that if youths adopt him as president, he would carry them along in his cabinet and governance.
He said that Tinubu had displayed uncommon leadership capacity as governor and would steer the affairs of the country for the good of all.
“We all know in the history of Nigeria that ASUU strike did not start with the APC government, it was because of agreements upon agreements previous governments did not meet up with, that the current government inherited.
“When Tinubu was governor of Lagos and the state university workers went on strike, it did not take up to a month to resolve it and till his tenure ended there was no strike again.
“What we are talking about is that Tinubu has the technical know how, the understanding on how to better equip and run the education sector and nation as a whole.
“Tinubu has great plans for youths. We compared what he has done in the past and his future plans for youth to the plans of other candidates and we believe that youths will queue behind Asiwaju,” the D-G said.
He sought for Lawal’s support in galvanising the youths to support Tinubu’s ambition because of the major role he played in the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act and his influence on the youths.
The D-G thanked Lawal for his contribution to youths development and for being a good ambassador of Nigeria.
Also, Alhaji Taoheed Ozigi, Deputy Director-General of the council, said the youth constitute more than half of the nation’s population and the highest group in the INEC voter register.
“I do not think anybody will dispute the fact that Bola Tinubu is an achiever, charismatic and has impacted positively on the youths. We do not have option but to go for him.
“Tinubu is an advocate for youths and is interested in youths and has paid his dues as seen in his antecedents.
“I see the transition coming in 2023 as a promising time for us the youths,” he added.
Ozigi said their aim was to talk to youths who have made impact on communities, campuses and the nation, to support the APC presidential candidate.Responding, the CODE Chief Executive and Founder, Follow the Money, said that his interest was the development of Nigeria, not individual candidates.
Lawal said the nation has been bedevilled with so many challenges, ranging from insecurity to unemployment, as such it was important for young people to work together in addressing the challenges.
“Yes, you are advocating that as young people we should have a consensus candidate, I understand your position of interest because you are aligning with your political party.
“My position would not come from any interest, I am a civic leader, so what comes first for me is Nigeria.
“Your group is one of the first I am meeting with and I am also going to meet with other political parties, ultimately, it is the Nigerian people that will decide who becomes the next president in 2023.
“My own commitment is to deploy independent observers that are mostly made of young people to observe the election.
“In 2015, we deployed 5000, in 2019 we deployed 10,000 and in 2023 we are doubling it to 20,000 observers,” he said.
Lawal expressed the hope that the youths would constitute 50 per cent of the cabinet of the next president.
He added that his interest was to have a president who is inclusive in nature and will provide space for women, persons with disabilities and youths.
The CODE executive officer advised the youths to shun sentiments and engage candidates on issues affecting the country and follow up to ensure the fulfilment of campaign promises after elections. (NAN)