Ahead of the 2023 general elections, a group, known as Youth Democratic Party of Nigeria (YDPN) has joined forces with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
The group, a product of the 2020 #EndSARS protest against police brutality and bad governance, said the merger with SDP was necessary because young Nigerians were in need of a platform to fully be involved in politics in other to reform the country.
Speaking during a visit to SDP National secretariat, in Abuja, recently, the YDPN Chairman, Zekeri Hashim said the movement was formed with the hope of being registered as a political party but was not registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
“After the protest we came together and decided to register our voice and we applied to the INEC for registration and when we did not get registration, we then decided to look for a platform to get involved in participatory politics.
When we look at all the political parties we realised that the SDP is the the one that has what we needed”, he stated
Noting that the group has a database of over three million members, Hashim, who claimed that the APC-led administration has failed Nigerians, said the country needs young leaders that can transform its potentials into success.
On his part, SDP National Chairman, Shehu Gabam described young people as the strength and solution to Nigeria’s problems.
“We are happy that the youths are willing to participate in politics and we are assuming them a level playing field. You will use the social media to mobilise your fellow youths to vote for the right candidate,” he said.
Also, SDP National Secretary, Olu Agunloye who accepted the request of the merger, lamented that the weak leadership in the national assembly was responsible for many shortfalls in the country.
Gabam urged Nigerians to vote competent persons from any part of the country.
He said: “As you know parties are not easy to build; as you trying to build others are trying to collapse it So you have to battle both sides.
“If we must sincerely produce leadership in this country then we must be responsible enough to do that. We must understand the ladders that must be climbed properly, so that you won’t miss your steps and start retrieving everybody.
“Your intention as EndSARS movement was quite good but was later hijacked and it created massive economic havoc for the country. So whatever you are going to do as youths, you have to recruit like minds to succeed. Otherwise infiltration is very easy and that will certainly set your goals backward.”
Gabam, who urged the youth to collapse their nationwide structure and worldwide networks into those of SDP said the party would give automatic waiver to anyone who wants to contest among them.
“Let us work together and have a strong believe that we have a nation to build. Our diversity is not for weakness; it’s for growth. So, we need change Nigeria for good.
“What is remaining is for us to use our sense move the country forward. Have competent person, wherever he comes from so that he can move this country forward.
“We must also strengthen our capacity to talk to the National Assembly to do the right thing.
“I believe that any country that has strong, responsible National Assembly, some of these shortfalls will not be available.
“You can see in other countries how the National Assembly engage the Executive arm of the government, it doesn’t happen here”, he said.
Meanwhile, SDP Youth Leader, Chukwuma Udechukwu said “the leadership of the party deliberately gave the youths the opportunity.
“In the last congress we have 30-40,% youths as State party Chairman. Am so happy that the YDPN, has chosen the SDP as a platform.”