by M. Oluwatobi
Ahead of the forthcoming congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC), it is important to stress the need for party-men to place more premium on the exercise, especially in states where the party is playing the opposition card which is the case in Oyo State. It is no time to take things with levity as getting the acts right in the congress will shape the possibility of power returning to the Progressive fold.
Events of the recent times where a number of political arrowheads who supported the gubernatorial bid of Governor Seyi Makinde dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC are a tonic and huge boost if the crack is strategically converted to an added firepower for the Progressive machinery. The icing on the cake will however be getting the political acts right in the forthcoming congress by fixing the right people to represent a common and acceptable interest; thus providing strategic directions for the party.
In doing this, there is a demography that should not be overlooked: the youth. Youth occupy a very important place in both politics and governance just like other strata of social life, especially in recent times as they have come to a high level of political awakening and consciousness. Undoubtedly, they have the number, instruments and strategies to make or mar things in a democracy.
As posited by the National Youth Leader, Bar. Ismaeel Buba Ahmed at the recently held Progressive Youth Congress, “APC will not crumble! For us to retain our position though, we must work on gaining the young people on our side more. Engagement is the key”. For Oyo APC, Ismaeel’s words are like the voice of the oracle; if neglected, the end result may be catastrophic for the party, who has been battling with the deceptive administration of Seyi Makinde.
Within the ranks of Oyo State Chapter of APC, there are brilliant, fantastic and energetic young persons who have paid their dues and on whom close tabs should be placed for the purpose of the growth and development of All Progressives congress. Youths like Afeez Bolaji Repete, Adediran Alao, Fatima Hassan Adeleke, Yusuf Adams, Adeyemo Abass Adebass, Titi Gbadamosi have all made frantic efforts in contributing to the progress and strength of the APC. Hammed Olabisi, Hammed Okikiola Oyelekan, Banji A Banji, Alonge Babatunde, Abiola Oyeyemi, Ishola Akeem Adetoyese, Debo Adeniran, Adelabu Adeola, Akin Akinwale, Christiana Olowofela have been putting Governor Seyi Makinde on consistent checks, and essentially mobilising enormously for the party.
It therefore beggars belief that going by the quality of these young persons the Oyo APC boasts of and the great roles they have been playing, the youth wing of the party remains unattractive. The reason may however not be far-fetched. There is a need for a dynamic, up-to-date Youth Leader who can coordinate these teeming youth, mobilize them for activities and galvanize their support. There’s therefore only one job for the Oyo APC; these youths must have one of their own elected at the congress.
Important to note is that the use of the internet, digital platforms and social media by these youths showed not only social and political awareness but creativity and alignment with global trends of democratic engagements to effect political and social change. I could go on to mention; Raji Saheed, Akin Akinwale, Ademola, Babajide Fadoju, Kolade Omotosho, Kola Adebiyi, Dewumi Quadri, Tope Oye Alamu, Abiola Saburi, Aare Olayiwola Saheed and many others; time will not permit to mention.
The person that rightly fits for the position of Youth Leader should be a youth in the real sense of the word so that he can speak to young persons in the language they best understand. Bringing an old person will create a huge gap and disconnect. The personality should have a network of friends within and outside the state, plus the street credibility among the general youth of Oyo State.
We need one of our own to make the party attractive to the growing youth population in the state. Once we get this point right, it portends the beginning of greatness for our party. I give the instance of the national structure of the party. The APC has succeeded owing partly to the National Youth Leader, Bar. Ismaeel Ahmed who developed frameworks to carry the teeming youth along. We should therefore not fritter the opportunity the upcoming congress is providing us to place Oyo APC on a right footing by electing the right person as the State Youth Leader.