From Abel Leonard, Lafia
About 300 youth groups across the country under the aegies of Presidential Support Council (PSC) yesterday demanded for the resignation of the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, as National Youths Co-ordinator of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council.
Recall that the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was reported to have recently approved the appointment of Governor Yahaya Bello to lead the Nigerian youths into his Presidential Campaign.
But the 300 groups were, therefore, sceptical about the Kogi governor’s role in the APC’s presidential campaign when they alleged that the governor was the only person that had kicked against the zoning of the 2023 presidency to the southern part of the country.
National leader of the youth groups, Dr Kassim Muhammad, made the demand when he addressed a press conference yesterday in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, wondering why the Kogi governor is making claims for coordinating youths across the country. “How and where” he asked.
The group equally challenged the authenticity of Yahaya Bello Claims by demanding that the Governor should tell the Party and Nigerian Youths one single National Youths Conference or a meeting ever sponsored or Organize between him and Nigerian Youths for Unity and progress of Youths in this Country.
“To the best of our knowledge, Yahaya Bello only paid some youths to carry his Presidential Campaign Banners across the country.”
“Even the Youths who shared his banners can no longer see or talk to him on phone again because the mission is over. How can such a person represent our interest in the Campaign Council Kassim said.
The National Co-ordinator queried the appointment of Yahaya Bello as youths co-ordinator of the Ahmed Tinubu campaign team that the governor does not belong to the the youths grade of the society and therefore urge him to resign honourably in the next one week or face a massive Protest.
“During the sales of forms for the build up to the 2023 general election, APC as a party in its magnaminity, approved that all youthful age aspirants should pay 40 percent of the nomination forms fee. But, Yahaya Bello, not being a youth, paid 100 percent of the N100 million sum.
“It means the party itself didn’t recognize him as a youth. If the party had recongnised him as a youth, he wouldn’t have paid N100 million for the nomination form,” Kassim stated.
Instead, he opined that Bello deserved to be given the North Central Zonal Campaign Director of the APC and not the National Youths Co-ordinator given to him by the party.
The National leader of the group, however, explained further that in 2021 he led a group of youths across Nigeria to a National Youth Summit in Abuja where a National Youth Commission was advocated to give Nigerian youths a special recognition.
“A bill to that effect was later sent to the National Assembly and after 2nd reading, the Federal Ministry of Youths through the Permanent Secretary went there to kill the bill on the simple reason that it will contradict the department of youth in the ministry, which was not true and we were not even invited for public hearing of that bill.
“Unfortunately, Governor Bello could not appear to influence the effort of the Nigerian youths in that direction and the bill did not see the light of the day. Why is Bello now warming up to lead the youths that he did not recongnise?” Kassim asked.
He added that Governor Yahaya Bello was too big for such a role, hence such appointment should be reconsidered.
“The party and its presidential candidate should give youths the assurance that their government will be that of inclusivity, and the only way to do that is to ensure that a youth is given such a position. Youths excluded in the just released Campaign list is worrisome. We are lovers of this Party and shall continue to argue on fundamental issues until corrections are made.
” Recycling of leaders who are already in leadership positions will not augor well for the youths and the country. We (youths) can be empowered to also play such roles,” Kassim appealed.