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Published On: Tue, Sep 8th, 2020

APC youth leaders from 36 States begin grassroots mobilisation ahead 2023

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

Youth leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) drawn from the thirty six States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, yesterday held a marathon meeting at the party national Secretariat, where they brainstormed on how to embark on aggressive grassroots mobilisation of members and support for the party.
Briefing journalists after an executive session which lasted close to five hours, Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed, who is the member/youth representative in the National Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CENCPC), said the youth leaders resolved on the need for youths appointed or elected through the APC platform to visit their wards and local governments atleast twice in a year for mobilisation purposes.
Ahmed also advocated that the resolution should be Constitutionalised or included as guideline for youth appointees in the party, to ensure that the youths at the grassroots are not only carried along but given a sense of belonging in the affairs of the party.
They also called for the establishment of a youth directorate in the party organogram, in order to fully engage youth for better participation of young people in party activities.
Ahmed said the regular visit to the party members at the grassroot level by leaders in elected or appointed offices will go a long way at building stronger bond between the leaders and the led; build a bottom-up party structure and enhance better inclusion of members in party process.
According to him, “It is high time for our leaders to go back to their wards and meet our party members at least every six months. You can imagine how a party member will be anxiously wait for Mr. President or Senate President or Governor or Minister attending ward meetings.
“This will help to energise our people and build the faith of party members at the ward level on the party and our leaders. It will also help educate and inform party members at the grassroot of policies and programmes of the government. I have discussed it with Mr. President and he is freely disposed to the idea. He welcome it and I think we have to ensure this through constitutional backing.”
“We proposed some vital recommendations for changes in the APC Constitution and guidelines for congresses and primaries which we believe would see to better participation of young people in the party activities and process. We also lookef are presenting a draft for the APC Youth Policy Agenda and including certain items into the APC manifesto that cater to the welfare of the Nigerian youth.”
“We have various directorates in the party. Our party has about 15 million members out which about 11million are youths. This is a critical group and it requires attention. The youth own the party, but unfortunately while in our constitution we have other directorates, we are calling for constitutional amendment for a robust and functional directorate for youth”, he said while justifying the need for youth directorate in the party.
Speaking further, he said such meetings which should have been frequent in a political party like APC, hardly ever held in the past. “Well, as a caretaker committee with a very short life span, we are here to make amends and help restructure and rebuild the party. And the first and perhaps, most important point of start is to have a meeting with all of you as the working room of the party”, he said.
“Yet, in this period that we have sailed, we have experienced some mistakes, some failures and even internal maladministration. This has led to bickering, in-fighting and distrust among our members. It led to our party at some point having a divided and shaken leadership.
Earlier, Ahmed told the youth leaders that the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Committee has since its inauguration in June undertaken several proposals to reform and restructure the party for the better.
He said one critical thing that the committee has set its minds, hearts, and feet towards is ensuring that the party is united and presents, at all times, a common front, saying “I can assure you that we are continuously working towards the resolution of disputes and disagreements among our party leaders. In no time, we would begin to see results”.

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