By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
President Muhammadu Buhari will on June 21st address Nigerian youths on the tenets of democracy during the maiden All Progressive Congress (APC) Progressives Youth Conference which will be held at the International Conference Center, Abuja.
Briefing journàlists yesterday at the APC national Secretariat, the National Youth representative in the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Ismael Ahmed, said the Conference being the first of its kind since the inception of the APC, at this very crucial state of Nigeria’s democratic journey, seeks to restate the progressive values of the party and give hope, inspiration to a new generation to the mainstream of the party towards a surer political future.
According to him, the conference will attract progressives youth delegates from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), adding “to participate, youths are encouraged to log on to the official website of the conference www.pyc21.ng and register. The website goes live today and registration is opened till Saturday June 19, 2021.
“You will agree with me that Youth, vision, energy and skill is essential to moving the country forward. Nigeria as a country was built on the back of these ideals and remains a young nation. Over 70 percent of Nigeria’s population in under 35, however, the median governor’s age is 55.
“While age alone is not a predictor of success in governance, the realities of the pace of commerce, culture and technological change requires adept hands-on leadership best found within the youth.
“Noteworthy also is that citizen influence and participation in politics is the pillar of any democracy. The last elections had shown that the future of politics and governance lies with citizen and youth engagement. Parties which emerged on elitist ideals are today currently facing difficulties in attracting new party members, and in particular youths due to continued marginalisation.
“The proportion of registered voters in 2019 elections are as follows; Youth (18-35) was 51.11% Middle-age (36-50) 29.97% Elderly (51-70) 15.22 % Old (70+) 3.69%. From this statistics it is evident that the youths make up more than half of the voting population.”
Meanwhile, speaking about the federal government decision to ban Twitter, he said “The government didn’t ban social media as a lot of people will insinuate, it is very important that we know that because Facebook is still in operation, Instagram is still in operation, Watzup is still in operation and a lot of other social media platforms still in operation. In fact, some people will tell you Twitter is for the elite young people and not necessary for the general public.
“I think there are far more subscribers of Facebook in Nigeria than they are of Twitter but having said that it’s still a very important medium for people. So for whatever it is that government felt to suspend Twitter, not ban, there was a suspension and ofcourse there is a conversation going on between the government and the representative of Twitter and I am sure it will be resolved.”
When asked how he personally felt about the development as a young man, the APC youths leader said: “We as young people our job is to represent our constituency and to plead with those we can plead with to come to amicable resolution.
“But as a government, if you are asking me as Ismaeel Ahmed whether I am okay with the suspension of a non-legal entity in Nigeria who feels it is okay for it to delete a tweet of the President without a recourse to a conversation with the government representatives if it can reach it, I think at some point government needed to reinstate that it is a sovereign Nation and that no company with whatever name that does not have any legal personality in Nigeria will do to it as it pleases. But I’m I happy that there is no Twitter today that I cannot tweet? Ofcourse not, but I hope there will be an amicable resolution and I hope Twitter will be responsible going forward.”