By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders in Ekiti State under the
banner of Ekiti South Solidarity Forum (ESSF), has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire to assent to the ‘Not Too Young to Rule Bill’ will help the party in theÂ July 14Â governorship election in the state.
The stakeholders, who had earlier urged President Buhari to pick the successor of the APC governorship candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) from Ekiti South, said signing such sensitive bill into law at this auspicious time will be strategic for the party on the strength that over 40 per cent of the electorate are youths.
The president had while delivering his nationwide broadcast to mark
Democracy DayÂ on TuesdayÂ promised that he would soon sign the bill into law, which had elicited applause across the country.
This came as the Ikere Local Government APC Stakeholdersâ€™ Forum has urged the president to give special preference to the council in the choice of minister from Ekiti, being the largest town in the district that can sway votes in favour of the party in both governorship and presidential elections.
The APC Forum, Ikere chapter, in a statement by its chairman, Hon. Niyi Olabode, stated that the choice of Ikere Ekiti for the ministerial slot would be a masterstroke, being the town of the
governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof Kolapo Olusola.
Addressing journalists in Ode Ekiti, Gbonyin Local Government area
headquartersÂ on Wednesday, ESSFâ€™s Coordinator, Dr. Ayo Omodara, said
President Buhari will be making history by being the president to remove the ceiling placed on the ambitions of youths by signing the bill into law.
He said: â€œWe want to congratulate our youth friendly President Buhari for being favourably disposed to this bill. He said it in his broadcast that the bill will soon be signed into law and this will broaden the chances of Nigerian youths to have unfettered access to contest for any elective position without the ceiling burden.
â€œWe are not really astounded with this action because President Buhari has never shied away from discharging his responsibilities for our youths. He has been using the N-Power programme to put smiles on their faces by ensuring that several thousands of them get N30,000 monthly stipends.
â€œAs of today, about 3,500 Ekiti youths are savouring the dividends of N-Power scheme with the pledge that the number will increase to 12,000 before 2019.
â€œAll these corroborated the fact that our youths have no alternative to President Buhari in 2019, if truly they are unwaveringly desirous of implanting a government that can guarantee the safety of their future.â€
In another statement by Ikere APC caucus, the group posited that the
party risks the chances of losing Ekiti election if the party decides not to reckon with the council in both deputy governorship and ministerial slots.
Olabode, who signed the statement, said: â€œThe six local governments from Ekiti South are united in the struggle for the ministerial slot, but we canâ€™t but put political consideration to whatever we do as a political party.
â€œIkere has over 80,000 registered voters out of which they will deliver 95 per cent because of high level of electoral participation in the town since 1999.
â€œWith this verifiable fact, it will be of tremendous benefit to President Buhari to accede to the request that while the South is allowed to produce Dr Fayemiâ€™s successor in FEC, the choice of Ikere
Ekiti indigene will make it more mutually beneficial in terms of voting and winning elections in Ekiti.