Groups Demand Bello’s Resignation as Tinubu’s Youths Coordinator

Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia

No fewer than 300 youth groups in Nigeria under the aegis of Presidential Support Council (PSC) yesterday demanded the resignation of the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, as the National Youths Coordinator of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council.

The APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was reported to have recently approved the appointment of Bello to lead the Nigerian youths in his presidential campaign.

But thegroups were, therefore, skeptical about the governor’s role in the APC presidential campaign, alleging that the governor was the only person that had kicked against the zoning of the 2023 presidency to the southern part of the country in the APC from the North.

The National Leader of the youth groups, Dr. Kassim Muhammad, made the demand when he addressed a press conference yesterday in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, wondering why Bello is making claims for coordinating youths across the country.

Kassim equally challenged the governor to tell their party and Nigerian youths one single national youths conference or a meeting ever sponsored or organise between him and the Nigerian youths for unity and progress of the country.

According to him, “To the best of our knowledge, Bello only paid some youths to carry his presidential campaign banners across the country. Even the youths who shared his banners could no longer see or talk to him on phone because his mission is over. How can such a person represent our interest in the campaign council?”

The national coordinator of the PSC groups also queried the appointment of Bello as youths’ coordinator of the Tinubu campaign team, as the governor does not belong to the youth grade of the society, and therefore, urged him to resign honourably in one week or face a massive protest.

“During the sales of forms in the build up to the 2023 general election, APC as a party, in its magnanimity, approved that all youthful age aspirants should pay 40 percent of the nomination forms fee. But, Yahaya Bello, not being a youth, paid 100 percent of the N100 million.

“It means the party itself didn’t recognise him as a youth. If the party had recognised him as a youth, he wouldn’t have paid N100 million for the nomination form,” Kassim stated.

Instead, he opined that Bello deserved to be given the North Central Zonal Campaign Director of the APC and not the National Youths Coordinator.

The national leader of the groups, however, explained further that in 2021, he led a group of youths across Nigeria to a National Youth Summit in Abuja where a National Youth Commission was advocated to give Nigerian youths a special recognition.

He said: “A bill to that effect was later sent to the National Assembly and after second reading, the Federal Ministry of Youths through the Permanent Secretary went there to kill the bill on the simple reason that it will contradict the department of youth in the ministry, which was not true and we were not even invited for public hearing of that bill.

“Unfortunately, Governor Bello could not appear to influence the efforts of the Nigerian youths in that direction, and the bill did not see the light of the day. Why is Bello now warming up to lead the youths that he did not recognise?”

He added that Bello is too big for such a role; hence, such appointment should be reconsidered.

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