The clamour for emergence of a youth as presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 Presidential Election is gathering momentum just as Afenifere for Collective Transformation (ACT) has made their demand known.
The ACT in a statement made known by the Director General, Prince Tolu Ajayi during the South-West Benefit Conference held at Premier Hotel, Ibadan, Oyo State expressed that such candidate should have vibrant traits which the youth possessed.
Ajayi stated: “We belong to a generation that is endowed by God to build and develop the nation with their collective energy. We belong to a generation called the independent generation politically and economically.
“This generation has responsibility to provide food, build roads, and pass responsible information to the
next generation. We belong to a generation that determines the model generation after us will replicate.
“We Afenifere for Collective Transformation demand from President Mohammadu Buhari and the entire ruling party APC to as a matter of must present to us a youth president to restore back
the glory of the youth of Nigeria.”
In addition, the association made June 12 a day to urge the National Chairman of APC to be more patriotic by presenting a youth as president comes 2023.
“We have made June 12 a day 20,000 Nigerian youths will March to Abuja to present our message to the national chairman of APC to be more patriotic than ever by presenting a youth as president our country.
“We demand ambassadors aged from 35 – 55 years, ministers must be from 35-55 years. We demand youths back into their original positions as independent generation. We demand that our fathers take the back seat as we lead our nation,” the DG noted.
Furthermore, he affirmed the relevant of the association in re-energizing the youth potential by ensuring adequate youth inclusion in governance
“ACT is a movement with the understanding that our generation and generation after us have been
shortchanged, denied, abused, demoralized, cheated, assaulted, reprogrammed for evil, spiritually and
physically, economically and politically maltreated by conditioning us to only do the bids in favor of the older generation, who have taken our space economically and politically in the name of godfathers whose major sacrifice is loyalty.
“Youths in Nigeria are not the real people they are expected to be. Youths in Nigeria now have a branded image of irresponsibility by the same generation that messed up with our God giving initiative to fit into their robotic program we unconsciously walk into.
“Youths are not born corrupt or fraudulent, but intimidated through unnecessary show of wealth by the generation expected to be custodians of the information we need to grow and engage positively with the society.
“I weep for my generation each time I hear information on crime, cyber fraud, kidnapping, examination malpractice, drug addiction, support trafficking for slavery, mass transit via illegal route abroad, poor job performance and so many acts of an inferior generation who have lost confidence in themselves.
“If we sincerely wish to show concern for our race, the time to act is now. We should not entertain any further engagement of supposed economically dependent generation in decision making and policy implementation for our nation, but engage them in advisory roles that can enable them function effectively as genuine custodian of information for the next generation.
“The Yoruba says ‘Ti Okete ba dagba, omu omo e lo nmu’ is not just an adage but prayer for human cycle. Humans are expected to grow and depend on the energy of the generation behind them.
“If we see a society where the youth child is still dependent on the parents for basic necessity for growth and development, then we should look at the space of the independent to check who occupies them. Once we can sincerely discover our problem, we should not struggle to solve it,” Ajayi said.
Also, Prince Tolu pointed out sharply the causes and the decay surrounding the country. “Our fathers enjoyed quality role modelling from their fathers who believed so much in the Omoluwabi
“Our fathers were trained and brought up by those who believed that Oruko rere, san ju wura ati fadaka lo. Those of us born in the 70’s and 80’s are the last generation who grew up in that value system. The question we should all ask ourselves is what led to the disconnection.
“A generation made the custodian of culture and value system lose confidence in who they are by creating mass unemployment. Unemployment became our major problem as the older generation kept reducing their ages which was not done by the generation that trained them into responsible adults,” he stressed.
Speaking at the event, the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello represented by Head of Kogi Blueprint, Barrister Moses Okezie elaborated on the role of youth in political affairs in the country.
In his words: “Its very clear that 2023 belongs to the youth unless they decide not to take the chance and some of us are already taking the chance, its a question of youth joining the coalition of moving youth, Nigeria has reaches the point where everybody is calling for youthful president.
“Pastors, Imams and recently the UK High Commissioner in Nigeria also specifically told the APC and PDP that their ideal candidate for 2023 must be youth and as much as possible involved the women.
“It is no longer what role does the youth have to play, the question of what he role has to play come 2023. And one man has been proving over the last half a decade that the youth are capable and Mr President has made it possible for the youth by passing the ‘Not Too Young To Rule Bill’ into an Act today and is a law of the land. No Excuse for the youth to say I can’t run for any office in the land.
“So, youth are encourage, and if possible they are directed to arise and battle for the soul of this nation come 2023. Elders have done their best, I can tell you we won’t be where we are as a nation if not for the effort of elders, even they themselves have acknowledged that, it is time they pass the baton, so we are ready, His Excellence, Governor Yahaya Bello is ready if he shows any sign of unreadiness we will compel him.”
Present at the event included delegates from Lagos State, Ogun State, Ondo State, Osun State, Ekiti State, Kogi State and Oyo State, who hosted the event.