YOUTHS IN LAGOS DECLARE FOR TINUBU …Adopt Sanwo-Olu as their governorship choice …‘Young people will be the backbone of Tinubu presidency’ - Youth Commissioner As the nation counts down to the presidential election, youths in Lagos have come under a single umbrella to reiterate their support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Tinubu, they submitted, is the most experienced and reliable candidate to lead the country in the next dispensation. The youths, who came from all the traditional divisions in Lagos, converged on Marquee Hall in Agidingbi, Ikeja, on Thursday, to unanimously adopt the APC presidential candidate and his running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima. Besides, the youths endorsed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for another term, describing the Lagos helmsman as the most performing state administrator in the outgoing dispensation. The attendees included members of non-political youth organisations, members of voluntary youth organisation (uniform) operating in Lagos, and their non-uniform counterparts in various groups. Reading out the decisions agreed at the event, chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in Lagos, Comrade Biliamin Oba, said the attendees were convinced that Tinubu remained the only presidential candidate who possessed the capacity and vision to turn things around in the country. “We watched carefully all the campaigns ran by the major presidential contenders and we came to the understanding that only one of them understands the challenges facing our country. His manifesto is believed to offer solutions, because we have seen his track record. “Tinubu governed a modern city that could be a country of its own and initiated development plans that have been efficiently implemented by his successors. Lagos, today, has become a pacesetter in governance. On the day of election, we have resolved that all of us will be independent canvassers for Tinubu.” Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Hon. Olusegun Dawodu, on whose instance the event was convened, said the Saturday election would be another watershed moment in the country’s political history, stressing that Tinubu remained the only true unifier among the contenders, who would bring the country together. Dawodu, who recalled how Tinubu scouted for youths under age 35 for cabinet appointments in 1999, said the leadership tutelage model adopted by the APC presidential candidate had raised and thrown up new generation of leaders working to improve governance across the country. The Commissioner said Sanwo-Olu, appointed into Tinubu’s cabinet in his 30s, had risen on the leadership ladder to become the best performing Governor in the country. Dawodu said young people would be the backbone of the Tinubu presidency if elected, urging the youths to mobilise members of their constituency into voting for APC on Saturday. He said: “Among those running for president, Tinubu is the only candidate who stands out with verifiable track record. He is a visionary leader who will take our country to its destiny. Tinubu has always been a true believer in the youth. Governor Sanwo-Olu was appointed into Tinubu’s cabinet when he was in his 30s. “Today, we have a Governor who has been fulfilling and delivering on his promises. This is a sign of things to come when Tinubu is elected as president. We have seen the Lagos experience and records of performance that have been the benchmark for quality governance. Tinubu is a true unifier; he will bring the country together.” Youngest Lagos cabinet appointee, Hon. Mobolaji Ogunlende, who supervises the Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, said the “catch-them-young” legacy bequeathed in Lagos by Tinubu had created opportunities for young people across the State. “Let us be prepared to vote on Saturday. We need to continue to build on the legacy set by Asiwaju, so that his vision can lead the country forward,” Ogunlende said. Special Adviser to Gov. Sanwo-Olu on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, said it was vision which differentiated Tinubu from other candidates, reminding the youths of the progress recorded in Lagos education system. Wahab said Lagos would not have recorded the progress if there had not been continuity in the governance of the State by political parties backed by the APC presidential candidate. He said: “Election is a science of mathematics and numbers. This will work out better if we are able to mobilise people to vote for APC on Saturday. With a good head start of 4.5 million votes in Lagos alone, this will give Tinubu a comfortable edge over other contenders,” Wahab said. Lagos Youth Ambassador, Zainab Aderounmu, acknowledged the impacts and opportunities created for young people in Lagos, noting that she personally won support of the APC government in Lagos to pursue her goals. Miss Aderounmu said the Saturday election was crucial for youth in Lagos to choose between a leader who care about young people’s future and opportunists who came every election year to seek support. She urged young people to be peaceful in their conduct on Election Day. Speaker of Nigeria Youth Parliament, Dr. Azeezat Yishau, said she personally endorsed Tinubu and urged her colleagues in the parliament to support the APC candidate for the country’s progress.
Those anticipating that the selection of the next Senate president or Speaker of the House of Representatives would be by mere imposition may have had their hopes dashed.

President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, declared yesterday that he has no preferred candidates for the leadership of the incoming 10th National Assembly.

And those expecting that the leadership of the 10th assembly would be constituted by way of pacifying Christians or the South East geopolitical zone with other key positions after the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had scaled through may also be disappointed.

The governing party said these leadership positions would not be determined by sectional or tribal affiliations.

Tinubu told the new federal lawmakers elected on the APC platform that he has no preferred candidates for any of the principal offices of the 10th assembly.

He spoke through the vice president-elect, Kashim Shettima, during a meeting of the party’s national working committee (NWC) and the new federal lawmakers elected on the platform of the party at the presidential villa.

He however said the party leadership was still consulting to ensure the APC emerges victorious in next Saturday’s governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.

Also speaking at the event, national chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, ruled out the possibility of picking principal officers of the 10th National Assembly based on religion or tribe.

Adamu was reacting to speculations regarding the individuals who will assume the roles of Senate president and Speaker in the 10th National Assembly.

According to Adamu, the party is not comfortable with the tone of some persons seeking leadership positions in the National Assembly.

He said, “The news media, especially the social media, are full of speculations of some of you jostling for leadership positions in the national assembly.

“This is not unusual. People have the right to struggle for positions of leadership for which they believe they are eminently qualified.

“But we, in the national working committee of the party, are not comfortable with the tone adopted by those who seek those offices. Those offices are not tribal or sectional rights and must not be so portrayed.

“We would like to offer a word of caution to all of you in this regard. It may be good to start early but sometimes when you start too early you jump the gun and court unintended consequences that may cause nasty divisions in the party and thus affect its health.

Adamu further stated that leadership positions at the national level are a delicate matter and must not be approached with levity or lack of seriousness.

He continued: “It may be good to start early but it is wiser to be patient. Some of you may recall what happened to the party and the National Assembly in 2015 when some members of the national legislature chose not to wait for the decision of the president and the party in sharing those offices.

“It created bad blood within the party and between the executive and the legislature. I urge us not to regress”.

The national chairman added that the president-elect and the party leadership would make appropriate consultations in working out a formula for sharing those offices.

“I assure you that whatever sharing formula the party and the president-elect arrive at will be fair, just, equitable, and satisfy the majority of our members,” he added.

Admitting that the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections were not perfect, Adamu however said the polls passed the credibility test.

He said for the first time in living memory in respect of elections in Nigeria, there were no allegations of vote-buying and outcry over all the other ills associated with the conduct of our elections.

His words: “It is fair and honourable to admit that the February 25 elections were not perfect. We did not set out to conduct perfect elections. World history has no instances of perfect elections.

“Like all other democratic nations, we set out to conduct free, fair, and credible elections. This we did.

“I am proud to say we achieved this feat and delivered on the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari to the people. For the first time in living memory in respect of our elections, there were no allegations of vote-buying and outcry over all the other ills associated with the conduct of our elections.

“Rigging may not be dead, but it has been decapitated. Our democracy is maturing, and we are maturing with it.

He further pointed out that from the results of February 25, 2023, general elections announced so far by INEC, the APC won the presidency clean and clear, and a majority in both chambers of the National Assembly.

“We chose not to rout the other political parties because they are our partners in our national progress and development. I look forward to the governorship and state houses of assembly elections on March 18. I am sure the results will make our victory even sweeter,” he stated.

Adamu said the party deemed it necessary to convene the meeting for three critical reasons.

First, he said the meeting was convened for the NWC, which is the organ charged with the day-to-day running of the Party to welcome the new lawmakers for and on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to the APC family and to impress upon them the fact that APC is much more than a political party.

He said, “The elections at the national level are over. We are now in the critical phase of forming a government. It is a tough phase because whatever we decide from this moment will make or mar the new administration. It is not our portion, Mr. President-elect.

“We would like to emphasise teamwork. Neither as president nor as legislators can any one of you go it alone. Once the President and Vice-President are sworn-in and the National Assembly is inaugurated, each of you becomes the face of our government, just as each of you becomes the face of our party in governance.

“Whatever you do and whatever you fail to do will either impact positively or negatively on the interests of the party as a family. Let us remember this in all that we shall be doing in each of the two arms of government, to wit, the executive and the legislature,” he said.

Adamu added that the president-elect needs help in putting together a new national team that will help him make a positive difference in the institution of good governance.

“I know his policies will be guided by the party manifesto. I urge you, as legislators, to familiarise yourselves with the party manifesto and our President’s plan of action so that you understand your role and appreciate why certain decisions are taken by the president.

“Second, a democratic government is a government freely instituted by the people. A government of the people by the people is a servant of the people in the service of the people. We must never lose sight of what this entails in our form of government.

“Despite your wealth and your sartorial elegance, you still must be prepared to dirty your hands in serving the people. You must not relish your bigmanism at the expense of the interests and the hopes of the people who gave us the vote. On the day you received the people’s vote you signed a binding sacred social contract with them”, he said.

Adamu further said for the president-elect and vice-president-elect, the task ahead of them is huge and even frightening.

“This is the time for you and the party to gird your loins and focus on hitting the ground running from May 29, 2023.

“I know you are men with a purpose. I know that you are driven by the love of the people and the country in seeking this exalted office. I salute you and give you my blessings and the blessings of the national executive committee and the national working committee of our Party.

“Let me draw attention to the forthcoming Governorship and State Assembly elections scheduled for March 18, 2023.

“I urge you to return to your respective states and give all the necessary cooperation to the Party and APC candidates contesting the elections. There must be no misunderstanding between the state teams and yourselves that may affect the fortunes of the Party at the elections.

“You must therefore join hands with the existing structures in the state to bring victory for our Party. I wish you luck,” he said.


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