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The Afenifere for Collective Transformation (ACT) has demanded that the All Progressives Congress must produce a youth as its presidential candidate in the 2023 forthcoming General Election in the country.
This Director General of ACT, Prince Tolu Ajayi made the demand during the South-West Benefit Conference held at Premier Hotel, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Ajayi in his remark stressed that the APC Presidential candidate for 2023 should have vibrant traits which the youth possessed.
He noted, “we belong to a generation that is endowed by God to build and develop the nation with their collective energy.
“We belong to a generation called the independent generation politically and economically.
“This generation has responsibility to provide food, build roads, and pass responsible information to the
next generation. We belong to a generation that determines the model generation after us will replicate.
“We Afenifere for Collective Transformation demand from President Mohammadu Buhari and the entire ruling party APC to as a matter of must present to us a youth president to restore back
the glory of the youth of Nigeria.”
Ajayi further stressed, “we have made June 12 a day 20,000 Nigerian youths will March to Abuja to present our message to the national chairman of APC to be more patriotic than ever by presenting a youth as president our country.
“We demand ambassadors at 35 – 55 years, we demand ministers at 35-55 years. We demand youths back into their original positions as independent generation. We demand that our fathers take the back seat as we lead our nation.”
Ajayi further noted that the importance of the association is to re-energise the youth potential by ensuring adequate youth inclusion in governance
“ACT is a movement with the understanding that our generation and generation after us have been
shortchanged, denied, abused, demoralized, cheated, assaulted, reprogrammed for evil, spiritually and
physically, economically and politically maltreated by conditioning us to only do the bids in favor of the older generation, who have taken our space economically and politically in the name of godfathers whose major sacrifice is loyalty.
“Youths in Nigeria are not the real people they are expected to be. Youths in Nigeria now have a branded image of irresponsibility by the same generation that messed up with our God giving initiative to fit into their robotic program we unconsciously walk into.
“Youths are not born corrupt or fraudulent, but intimidated through unnecessary show of wealth by the generation expected to be custodians of the information we need to grow and engage positively with the society.
“I weep for my generation each time I hear information on crime, cyber fraud, kidnapping, examination malpractice, drug addiction, support trafficking for slavery, mass transit via illegal route abroad, poor job performance and so many acts of an inferior generation who have lost confidence in themselves.
“If we sincerely wish to show concern for our race, the time to act is now. We should not entertain any further engagement of supposed economically dependent generation in decision making and policy implementation for our nation, but engage them in advisory roles that can enable them function effectively as genuine custodian of information for the next generation.
“The Yoruba says ‘Ti Okete ba dagba, omu omo e lo nmu’ is not just an adage but prayer for human cycle. Humans are expected to grow and depend on the energy of the generation behind them.
“If we see a society where the youth child is still dependent on the parents for basic necessity for growth and development, then we should look at the space of the independent to check who occupies them. Once we can sincerely discover our problem, we should not struggle to solve it.”
Speaking in the problem facing the country, Prince Ajayi noted, “our fathers enjoyed quality role modelling from their fathers who believed so much in the Omoluwabi training.
“Our fathers were trained and brought up by those who believed that Oruko rere, san ju wura ati fadaka lo. Those of us born in the 70’s and 80’s are the last generation who grew up in that value system. The question we should all ask ourselves is what led to the disconnection.
“A generation made the custodian of culture and value system lose confidence in who they are by creating mass unemployment. Unemployment became our major problem as the older generation kept reducing their ages which was not done by the generation that trained them into responsible adults.
Also speaking at the Event, the Governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello represented by Head of Kogi Blueprint, Barrister Moses Okezie emphasised the importance of youth in political affairs in the country.
In his words,” Its very clear that 2023 belongs to the youth unless they decide not to take the chance and some of us are already taking the chance, its a question of youth joining the population of moving youth, Nigeria has Reach the point where everybody is calling for youthful president pastors, imams recently the UK high commissioner in Nigeria also specifically told the APC and PDP that their ideal candidate for 2023 must be youthful as much as possible involves the women
“It is no longer what role does the youth have to play is the question of what role don dey to play come 2023. And one man has been proving over the last half a decade that the youth are capable and Mr President has made it possible for the youth by passing the NOT TO YOUTH TO RULE BILL into an Act today and is a law of the land
“No Excuse for the youth to say I can’t run for any office in the land.
“So Youth are encouraged, interested and if possible they are directed to arise and battle for the soul of this nation come 2023.
“The Elders have done their best I can tell you we won’t be where we are as a nation if not for the effort of Elders even they themeselves have acknowledged that it is time they pass the battle so we are ready his Excellency Governor Yahaya Bello is ready if he shows any sign of unreadiness we will compel him”, Okezie concluded.
Also present at the event includes: Lagos State delegation, Ogun state delegation, Ondo state delegation Osun state delegation , Ekiti state delegation, Kogi State delegation and Oyo state delegation who host the event.