The All Progressives Congress (APC) national leadership has given the party’s youth wing permission to form zonal strategic lobby committees at the State and Ward levels ahead of the 2023 general elections.
In a statement released on Thursday in Abuja, Ismaeel Ahmed, the APC National Youth Representative on the party’s Caretaker and ExtraOrdinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), said as much.
He praised the party’s leadership for implementing part of the suggestions of the last APC National Progressives Youth Conference, which stated that anyone seeking for the role of youth leader in the wards must be between the ages of 18 and 35.
Mr. Ahmed believes that this should be included in the party’s next Ward, Local Government, and State congresses.
Adopting the party’s leadership’s advice, he claims, has reignited the dreams of millions of progressive youths.
He pointed out that such youths had previously been discouraged from engaging in party activities and holding elective leadership positions, particularly at the grassroots level.
“On our part, we will take this further by setting up Strategic Engagement Committees which will work in conjunction with caretaker youth leaders in the various zones.
“The committee will engage Governors, Legislators, Ministers, and other leaders and stakeholders in every zone to get more young people to occupy large percentages of the executives at the Ward and Local Government levels.
“We believe that since the battle of the forthcoming elections will be fought for the youth vote, it is wise for our party to fight that battle with youth voice,” he said.
Mr Ahmed implored young progressives to take advantage of the Ramadan holiday to engage and sensitize youths in their wards and polling units to attend congresses and advance the progressive movement’s agenda.
For optimal impact, he stated that the approved committees should collaborate and confer with interim youth leaders in their respective sectors.
“The Chairman of the CECPC has approved for the Youth Wing of the APC to set up zonal strategic lobby committees.
“The committees are to engage with party leaders, Governors, Legislators, Ministers, Elders and other critical stakeholders within their zones.
“The committee is to ensure that most party positions are manned by youths at the lower levels,” he said.
He went on to say that this was crucial in drawing the energy, passion, and intelligence of young people to manage the party and giving them a sense of ownership.
Mr Ahmed added that a National Youth Lobby Group had been formed to engage with the party’s national leaders to ensure that the youth mandate was carried out effectively.
He predicted that the congresses would produce many young and devoted members of the party at the ward level as leaders, either by consensus or through contests, invigorating the party ahead of 2023.