Some aggrieved youths in the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) are raising hell over what they refer to “as imposition and a subversion of due process”, by their political party.
The APC holds its elective national convention on Saturday, June 23, amid claims of a Unity List containing the names of handpicked candidates, before the first ballot is cast in anger.
The youths have vowed to resist the so called Unity List with all they’ve got.
Young stakeholders revealed that plans have been concluded by governors and other bigwigs to impose those loyal to them, at the expense of those who have worked for years and have proven capacity to protect the interests of the youth.
Youth leader candidate is not a youth
One of the leading lights of the youth wing accused the party leaders of imposing a youth leader who is over the stipulated age limit of 40 years.
“This aspirant, who is being sponsored by a former governor and serving senator from Gombe state, did not partake in the screening process, he was issued a clearance certificate at the convention committee yesterday.
“This is a clear case of injustice and the youths are not going to take it lightly”, this fuming youth who didn’t want his name used for this story, said.
The youth wing of the APC is also raising concern over the lack of gender equality in youth leadership positions in the party.
Women marginalised in the APC
A member of the party’s leading youth group from the South East also expressed dissatisfaction at the marginalisation of young women in the party’s youth leadership structure.
“We have a nationwide structure of young women in the party. In my state chapter alone, we are over 700, but now that we have a lady running for deputy national youth leader, one of our South-West governors has chosen to give the position to his SA on youth.
“This is very bad and this kind of thing is what caused the problem in his state APC. The worst thing is that this person he wants to give it to did not even buy the form. He did not face the screening committee. So what then is the fate of young women in the party if we are just going to be sidelined this way?”, she asked.
Another young aspirant in the party, who has now withdrawn from the race for one of the youth leadership positions, decried the microzoning arrangement, describing it as a waste of time.
“What is the purpose of saying we should buy forms when they knew they were still going to pick their SA? Is it not a waste of time? Why is the party saying there is no unity list and that the process will be free and fair when they know it is not true?”
Reports also indicate that APC youths have held series of meetings and have concluded plans to commence legal proceedings against the party in the event that imposition occurs at today’s convention.
APC denies imposition claims
Rumours of a ‘Unity List’ have intensified amid allegations that the governing party isn’t willing to shed a reputation that borders on imposing candidates on the rest of the voting delegates.
However, Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Matters, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, told journalists ahead of the convention that there is no ‘Unity List’ anywhere.
“There’s no Unity List, there’s room for affirmation, consensus. What you can say is that there’s an APC list. Anywhere you see something called a Unity List, it is fake. There are 20 unopposed positions and 42 to be contested. That’s about the summary”, Dabiri-Erewa said.
Former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, heads into the APC national convention, as the last man standing for the position of Chairman of Nigeria’s governing party.
Oshiomhole’s last challenger for the position of APC Chairman, Clement Ebri, stepped down from the race Thursday night, citing party interests and advice from friends and family.