By Musa Adamu
Ahead of the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, over 66,000 youths under the umbrella of the Association of Registered Unemployed Youths and Graduates of Nigeria, Ondo State Chapter, have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to shun the temptation of supporting or allowing ‘Federal Power’ for the re-election bid of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
The group alleged that Akeredolu who is contesting on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had failed the people of the state especially unemployed youths in the last four years of his administration.
In an open letter to the President and a copy of which was made available to newsmen after the Association’s executive meeting, the State Coordinator of the group, Longe Olarenwaju and the State Secretary, Olusola Alade, said various laudable education, health and poverty alleviation programmes inherited by the Akeredolu’s administration had been abandoned.
“We don’t want Federal Might; we want our votes to count. Let the electorate elect the Governor of their choice in the State.
“Arising from the above issues raised, it is hereby resolved that we, the unemployed youths and graduates of Ondo State numbering 66,000 registered members across the 18 Local Governments say; No federal might; our votes must count; no violence or use of force or coercion of innocent electorates.
“No intimidation or harassment from any quarters on any armless citizen. No to the abuse of power ranging from the use of all security personnel to scare electorates from exercising their franchise on or before election day. INEC as an unbiased umpire should not compromise their integrity for cash rewards,”
“Sir, we, (Association of Unemployed Youths and Graduates of Nigeria Ondo State Chapter) want to use this medium to plead with your Excellency (President Buhari) to stay clear from Ondo State election and allow our votes to count.
“The youths and people of Ondo State in general have expressed a firm belief in your capacity to change the Nigeria’s situation for the better, granted all available human and material endowed the nation by God Almighty.
“We want him (The Incumbent Governor) to test his popularity by allowing our vote to count in this coming election. Enough of propaganda to hoodwink the already impoverished citizens of the State by his ‘’See and Buy’ Vote Syndrome, popularly called ‘Dibo ko se be’ in Yoruba language.
“Our prospective youths can no more have access to education because of hike in school fees of tertiary institutions, like Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo and Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko that were rated as one of the cheapest tertiary institutions some years back, can no longer be accessible to the children of the common man.
“The lecturers’ salaries are not being paid for more than five months. All the poverty alleviation programmes which the present Administration met on ground were jettisoned.
The unemployed youths further stated that “School shuttle Bus for Primary and Secondary School students was no longer functioning; Health sector is no more accessible because, the government hospitals are no more affordable.
“We are tired of his deceits simply because other contending parties have promised to make tertiary education affordable in the State when they assume office. Arakunrin Akeredolu also hurriedly announced 20% reduction in the school fees, contrary to his belief that this is not sustainable when he actually increased the fees in the first instance despite the hues and cries of the NANS, then.
“We believe the reduction is political and not real because we know that as soon as he gets back to the seat of power, Status quo ante will be maintained.
“Sir, We, (Association of Unemployed Youths and Graduates of Nigeria Ondo State Chapter) want to use this medium to plead with your Excellency (President Buhari) to stay clear from Ondo State election and allow our votes to count.”