Rattled by the growing influence of Nigerian youths declaring support for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has constituted a special national taskforce to mobilise youths and ensure party’s victory at the 2023 presidential poll.
APC National Youth Leader, Dayo Isreal, who inaugurated the committee at the party’s national secretariat on Wednesday, dismissed Obi’s influence posing any threat to the ruling party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He announced former Kwara State Commissioner for Information and former President of the Pan African Youth Council, Ben Duntoye, and the APC Deputy National Youth Leader as the Taskforce chairman and deputy respectively.
He declared that a lion like Asiwaju Tinubu has no reason to feel “threatened by the noise of rats at his backyard coming from the LP presidential candidate, Obi.
Israel also noted that it is purely a “national taskforce for registration and revalidation of youth-led and youth/student focused support group for 2023 presidential election.
Asked if he is threatened by the large numbers of youths mobilizing to vote Peter Obi, he replied: “First is a Lion is not threatened at the noise of rats in his backyard. So, you must understand that we have continued as a party to play our part and the youth wing of the party as continue to rise to the occasion to mobilise the young people of our generation.
“While we are not threatened, we are not sitting on our hands, we are taking responsibility. And that is why we have this dynamic crop of young people who are passionate about change, because we believe that the future of the party belongs to us.
“That is why we have co-opted all of these dynamic gentlemen to come together. To see that we must also begin to mobilize young people in our own party. And because we have a structure of the youth wing, the party youth wing is not going to do the work alone. We are going to do it with the support of support and campaign groups.
“And so our own response to all of that mobilization is also, as a general, wake up all our own field marshals, and all our battalions and Garrison commanders in our party support group across the nation, and bring them together to ensure that we begin to mobilize Nigerian youth in our various states or zones and our constituency for the party’s victory.
“Yes, we are not threatened, but at the same time, we are not expecting a miracle to happen. We are doing the job and this is part of doing the job. We want to document all our support groups. We will then begin to create programs and activities for them.
“We are going to train them, we are going to give them skills. We are going to work with them to ensure that all the various support groups are delivering in their various zone. But that is not all by the grace of God we are going to be inaugurating another special committee next week that is going to focus on the introduction of E-membership for the APC Youth wing.
“We are going to start registering young people into the youth wing of our party and with that begin to mobilize young Nigerians to come and test and see that our party is good, and then begin to work with them to begin to impact on their various communities.
“We are going to be engaging all the SSA and SAs of youth age across the 36 states of Nigeria to ensure that they are impacting on the young people in their various states. We are going to be engaging our governors to ensure that they are also delivering the dividends of democracy in their various state,” he noted.
On the committee, Israel said: “I want the young men and women in faraway grassroots level to have the same voice, structure and give the same level of support as those who are in Abuja. To ensure our success and ensure a proper structure for all the youth and students support groups is put in place, we have assembled these respected voices and party loyalists as members of APC Youth focused support groups.
“This taskforce has been mandated to coordinate the registration and revalidation exercise of all youth/student focused and youth led support groups into a recognizable structure strongly aligned with the objectives and strategic imperatives of the National Working Committee, under the distinguished leadership of Senator Adamu Abdullahi.
“The revalidation of the affiliated youth/student support groups will be opened for a period of one month starting from Friday, July 1 through 31, would also enable effective coordination, disciplined harmonization of activities in alignment with the party’s goals, aid provision and accountability, as well as efficient management and enhanced operations,” he noted.