Daily Courier – President Muhammadu Buhari has been charged to nominate a youth as running mate to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC).
They noted that considering the age of Tinubu, who is in his 70s, and failure of a youth to emerge as the party’s flag bearer for the 2023 general elections, it behoves on the president to ensure a youth is made his running mate.
The groups made this remark in a statement issued Friday in Abuja.
The groups that make the coalition include National Youth Council Of Nigeria (NYCN ), National Association Of University Students (NAUS), National Association Of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) and National Association Of Colleges Of Education Students (NANCES).
Others include: All Progressives Farmers Association (APFA), with 8.6 million registered members, Coalition Of Niger Delta Ex Militant Generals, Yoruba General Assembly, with 16 milliom membership and Ebira Reachout Foundation.
Also in the list are: El- Dabi Support Groups across the 774 LGAs in the country with strong grassroots presence, and Ibrahim Presidential Campaign Organization, with State Cordinators in the 36 states including FCT.
Specifically, they urge the president to consider Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda, who they claim has been a mentor to Nigerian students, with lots of scholarships drive, and friend to Nigerian farmers, for the office of the vice President in the coming political dispensation.
”We write on behalf of a Coalition of Youth Leaders representing 21 youth groups in Nigeria, to congratulate you on the success of the Special National Convention and Presidential Primary Election of the APC.
”We also salute the leadership and fatherly role you played by ensuring that democracy triumphed.
”We however, wish to state that the youths have interest in the Vice Presidential Candidacy.
” Your Excellency has always expressed his desire for the younger generation to take the mantle of leadership.
”We believe that this should be the time for clear action in that regard, in the spirit of the “Youth O’clock” Campaign and your promises to the younger generation.
”We appeal to you to use your position to ensure that the APC chooses a young Running Mate/Vice Presidential Candidate to the Presidential Flag Bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the NYCN President and Convener of the coalition, Igwe Ude-Umanta said.
Ude-Umanta, who stated this on Friday in letters to Buhari, Tinubu and APC National Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu said however, that the young person must have capacity, experience and acceptability within the youth constituency and across Nigeria.
”May we therefore, humbly request and present Dr. Ibrahim Bello Dauda (El-Dabi) for your consideration and choice.
”Dr. Dauda is a consummate leader, a mentor of youths, a mobiliser of human and material resources, and also most importantly, he is a young man who is vastly educated, deeply experienced, willing and ready to lead.
”Your Excellency, we cannot feign ignorance of the politics surrounding our appeal, because of other interests, considerations and calculations.
”But we are confident that this is not just a sure road to victory, but also of eventual stability and progress in governance,” Ude-Umanta said.
He assured the president of the continued support, and loyalty of the youths.
The NYCN, in a similar letter to Tinubu, congratulated the APC presidential candidate for his victory at the just concluded primary election.
”It was a clear demonstration of political craftsmanship, national popularity and general acceptability of your person and candidature.
”You can be rest assured of our support and solidarity throughout the campaigns until victory is achieved,” the NYCN president said.
He noted however, that though Nigeria was in dire need of a leader of ”standing in demonstrable capacity and sagacity”, the youths were also making a legitimate demand.
”In keeping with the promises made by older leaders and mentors like you, this demand is that in the spirit of the “Youth O’clock” Campaign, that you consider a young running mate who has capacity, experience and is acceptable within the youth constituency and across Nigeria just as you are.
”May we therefore, humbly request that you consider and choose Dr. Ibrahim Bello Dauda (El-Dabi) as your running mate,” the youths said in the letter to Tinubu.
In the same vein, the coalition, which also congratulated Adamu over the success of the presidential primary, made the same demand of a youth as vice presidential running mate to Tinubu.
”Promises have been made and desires have been expressed on the need to hand the various mantles of leadership to the younger generation as the older ones leave the stage after national services,” Ude-Umanta stated.
The coalition, while also assuring the APC of its continued support, loyalty, love and greatest esteem, said it was anticipating favourable responses to the letters.