Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Ahead of the 2019 presidential election, the Youth Directorate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, revealed Monday it extracted a firm commitment from President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint youths to ministerial positions and headship of parastatals if re-elected.
President Buhari’s promise came just as a support group said that it would, alongside the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, and other APC governors mobilise votes for the president.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the Director of Youth Mobilisation Residential Campaign Council, Tony Nwoye, said his team will on Tuesday kick start a nationwide campaign for Buhari’s reelection.
He said that he had secured the commitment of President Buhari to raise the bar on the involvement of youths in his administration when reelected.
Nwoye, a House of Representatives member, said that the youths in the party had equally made a commitment to mobilise over 20 million votes that will give President Buhari a landslide victory.
He said: “Since my recent appointment to head the Youth Mobilisation Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, I had embarked on nationwide consultations with the national youth polity to reach, understand the disposition and aspirations of Nigerian youths and students towards Buhari-Osinbajo 2019.
“I became convinced that while Nigerian youths deeply appreciate the improved regime of youth development and empowerment under President Buhari, from 2015 till date, the polity is ready for Buhari-Osinbajo 2019 if and only if the prestigious good leadership team is ready to take its youth development programme to the ’Next Level’ of higher youth inclusion in leadership and the economy,” he said.
Nwoye who was the Anambra APC governorship candidate in last year’s election, said he and his team held consultations with the president where he expressed readiness to take his youth development programmes to the ’Next Level’ by ensuring their inclusion in leadership.
On the number of votes they are pushing to attract for Buhari, the APC lawmaker said: “Our directorate is fully primed to work with the leadership of Nigerian youth and students to deliver the avalanche of over 20 million votes to Buhari-Osinbajo 2019 in the patriotic interest of Nigerian national development.”
He said: “A youth quota in the headship of ministries, departments and agencies that is above the quota of men, women and politicians. The activation of a policy targeted at a fully legislated and well-funded youth-based programmes in entrepreneurship and industrialisation.
“The activation of another policy targeted at Nigeria being the African global hub of ICT leading to fully legislated and well funded youth based programmes in ICT software and hardware development.
“After extracting these commitments from Mr. President, the Directorate quickly reverted back to the leadership of Nigerian youths and had regional consultations and engagements. Thereupon, the youths and students of Nigeria and the Directorate agreed that Nigerian youths will deliver an avalanche of over 20 million votes to Buhari-Osinbajo 2019,” he said
Meanwhile, a campaign group known as “Forward With Buhari ” Monday unveiled plans to take the campaign for the reelection of President Buhari to the grassroots across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
Addressing journalists at the Radio House in Abuja, the leader of the group, Abdulkarim Daiyabu, said their campaign was being sponsored by Governor Yari and other APC governors.
He said the message the group intends to send across to Nigerians is whether they want the country to go backwards or endure and sustain the momentum that President Buhari has built in terms of development.
“We have come to make it as clear as possible as to why we are mobilising the support of Nigerians, for President Buhari and why Nigerians should elect him as our president again. The 2019 presidential election is about the needs of Nigerians and there is no doubt in our minds as we head into this election, President Buhari no doubt remains the best man for the job,” he said.