From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Umbrella bodies of 13 youth group from the six geo-political zones including the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) have written to the Presidential standard bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the choice of the Former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettim as running mate, declaring that the choice is unacceptable to the over 30 million youths of the country.
The youth groups also declared that after months of consultations and interaction across ethnic and religious divide, it was agreed that it is in the interest of the youths to present to Tinubu and the APC, Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda also known as EL-DABI.
The Youth groups, made up of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), ex-militant generals in Niger Delta, National Association of University Students, (NAUS), National Association of Polytechnic Students, (NAPS), National Association of Nigerian Colleges of Education Students (NANCES) and All Farmers Progressive Association (AFPA).
Others include the Yoruba General Assembly (YGA), the Coalition of Northern Christian Youth Groups, The EL-DABI Grassroot Mobilization Movement, The EL-DABI Support Groups, EL-DABI Women Support Network and other Numerous Youth and Women Support groups for EL-DABI in all the 774 Local Government areas of Nigeria, including EL-DABI professionals in politics for their public endorsement and Support for Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda also known as EL-DABI.
The groups, in a resolution reached after a deliberation on the choice of Shettima signed by Director of Communication for the Youths Coalition, Comrade Salisu Olowonikoko argued that the youths, as key stakeholders in the polity of the nation will vehemently resist and work against the pairing of Tinubu and Shettima for the 2023 presidential elections.
The statement read in part: “Today, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) also join all the above-mentioned groups in making our position known to Nigerians and indeed the whole world that after several consultations within the Niger delta, we have resolve to adopt Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda EL-DABI, as the representative of the youths.
“Dauda is not to us a Christian or a Muslim, a Northerner or Southerner, but a unifier and an example of patriotism personified. We therefore strongly appeal to APC to adopt him as running mate to the candidate of the party. You have our full assurance that the IYC will work tirelessly to ensure support for the party if our humble request is granted. This will demonstrate beyond words the youth inclusion drive of the APC and will foster the re-unification of the youth and people of our dear country Nigeria”
“It is time we do away with the sentiment and emotions that have driven us apart as a people. We have co-existed peacefully without these sentiments, and we strongly believe that we will be better off without it. Let leadership be about values, integrity, character, ethics, and patriotism, and not about sentiments. Dr. Ibrahim Bello Dauda – with a proven track record, amazing personality will bridge the generational gap between the old and the young. “