By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The youths representative in the National Caretaker Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Barrister Ismail Ahmed, has warned against taking youths and women members of the party for granted ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Ahmed said because President Muhammadu Buhari will not be on the ballot for the party, the usual ten million votes is a forgotten issue.
Speaking Thursday at the National Secretariat of the APC, during inauguration of various committees ahead of the first National Progressives Youth Conference, Barrister Ahmed said the best Buhari can give in 2023 is 50% of those ten million votes.
“”I keep saying it that 2023 is going to be a battle for the young people, as it has been clearly demonstrated and I say it every time that President Muhammadu Buhari always comes to the table with ten million votes in every election he has participated in. But for the first time in twenty years, in 2023 President Buhari will not be on the ballot, and because he will not be on the ballot; which means we have to go scarting for those ten million votes elsewhere.
“At best if the President is giving us some of his supporters, which he as a bonafide member of the party will do, the best we can look for is probably 50% of those 10million votes. Which means we have to go searching for another five million votes elsewhere.
“Those five million votes are with the young people and women. In 2023 young people are going to demand what is it that you are going to do for us? They need to know that they have a table, a seat and the decision making table or else forget it they will go to the person that will give them that hope.
“So we need as young progressives to institutionalise the ideal of being a progressive, because if they say you are an APC member, you should just be more than a card carrying member.”
On the forthcoming national youths conference of the APC, Ahmed described as the biggest ever in the history of politics in Nigeria, added that “It is going to be a two days conferencing, where a lot of substantive things and politics are going to be discussed, our road map, vision, demands and what we feel that the APC should be and what is already is.”