APC leaders need to end tokenism towards youth members – Group
Aanya Igomu, Abuja
“The leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC needs to end tokenism towards youth members and allow youth to occupy their rightful positions in the party.”
On behalf of the APC youth leaders, the Director-General of the Coalition of Progressive Youth Groups in Nigeria and the Diaspora, Dr Aminu Abdullahi Isyaku, made the call in a press briefing in Abuja.
Also, in reaction to the sack notice given to the APC National Caretaker Committee on 29th November by an APC group, the Progressive Youth Movement, Dr Isyaku advised public members to disregard the information and reports of factions and crisis in the party’s national leadership structure.
He explained that the actions and declarations by the Progressive Youth Movement were part of a grand plot by their sponsors to destabilise the APC National Caretaker Committee under the leadership of Governor Mal Mala Buni and also disrespect President Muhammadu Buhari’s support for the party’s leadership.
“Our message is simple: The APC is a party of rules and due process and is too critical to the Nigerian Youth, that cannot be distracted by a mere press briefing and reckless announcement of new leadership arbitrarily by a sponsored group that is alien to our coalition and the party.
“We want to set the record straight and calm the anxiety of APC youths and declare that there are no faction or leadership crises in the All Progressives Congress. We are the ruling party, and we have one Caretaker Party leadership in place, led by Governor Mai Mala Buni was appointed unanimously by the National Executive Committee of the Party.
“Accordingly, we have painstakingly analysed the political events in the last few days in the youth constituency of the party and wish to state without ambiguity that the COPY-ND is not part of this grand plot to destabilise the party under the leadership of Governor Mal Mala Buni, and also to disrespect President Muhammadu Buhari’s support for the party’s leadership that he led to put in place.
“Therefore, the so-called new leadership announced by this sponsored desperate youth group – PYM does not represent the views of the teeming youths that form the foundation and remain the assets of our great party,” he said.
The youth groups represented at the briefing were the APC United Kingdom Chapter, Grassroots Mobilisation For Buhari-Osinbajo, APC Youth League, Buhari Support Groups, Youth Mission & Initiative For African Development, Grassroots Mobilizers For Better Nigeria Initiative, among others.
Dr Isyaku further tasked the party’s national leaders to genuinely involve the party’s youth in decision-making and adequate representation.
“As the National Convention is fast approaching, the Coalition of Progressive Youth Groups in Nigeria and Diaspora (COPY-ND) is committed to assuring our teeming APC youth members that we shall continue to seek for our rightful place in the party through constructive engagement with the party, to improve the promotion of youth interests and better include young people in party activities.
“Therefore, we want to recommend that the party needs to know that in addressing young people, an essential mechanism of promoting youth interests in the party is the use of candidate quotas. These serve to formally or informally determine the minimum required several youth members within any list of candidates for various elected positions or non elected positions either within the party itself or for those external positions for which the party may influence.
“We are urging the Party to do more for the youth constituency of the Party by doing away with practices of tokenism, and move towards genuine youth participation in shared decision making and inadequate representation of youth interests within and outside the Party,” Isyaku said.