The upcoming convention of the APC is the most important and consequential convention of our lifetime as young people of this great party.
My name is Dada Olusegun, I am 33yrs old. I’m a digital communications strategist, entrepreneur and youth rights advocate. I have been involved in partisan politics for over a decade. I led the All Progressive Youth Forum as State Coordinator in the lead up to 2015 elections which saw several youths from Lagos APYF get elected and appointed to strategic positions of Political leadership, Governance and public administration. I have been involved in both presidential campaigns of our great party and 34 Gubernatorial Races where I served in several capacities.
I served on the Youth Directorate for the Campaigns and also as Secretary of the Media and Publicity Committee of the 1st ever Progressive Youth Conference. It is on this basis that my participation in the youth wing of the party at the National level has been one of empowerment and passion for youth inclusion in our great party and government.
In 2011, when the merger between the CPC and ACN failed, I realized that there was a major need for young people to be a crucial part of the merger talks if and when another opportunity presents itself. In late 2012/2013, when the talks started; I, alongside the young people that were members of the legacy parties under the leadership of our current National Youth Representative in the Caretaker Committee, Barr. Ismael Ahmed started the All Progressive Youth Forum which served as a major political pressure group which lobbied leaders of the legacy parties involved in the merger to ensure the merger doesn’t fail.
After the formation of the party, as young people, we rededicated ourselves to aggressively market the APC brand and ensuring that we mobilize our demography for the 2015 elections. Under the leadership of our able leader, Barr. Ismael Ahmed, we spent our time and resources to market our candidate to our demography. While other factors contributed to our electoral success in 2015, both the leaders of the party and indeed the President publicly and privately commended the efforts of the youth wing for its contribution to the historic victory of our great party in defeating an incumbent for the first time.
In 2013, as the heat of our passion to ensure the victory of our party and our candidate became a manifested reality, the youth wing never entered into an official or unofficial agreement on our inclusion in the decision making processes in both the party and government that was to come.
Since 2015, the youth wing of the party which forms the largest demography of our great party has been unfairly marginalized due to the simple fact that we didn’t collectively as a bloc negotiate our place in the party and government. Few young people luckily got appointed into decision making, yet the majority was left without succor or direction. Some have gone to become permanently aggrieved, others have continued to plough on. Those who got appointed or appointments came under undue pressure from those on the outside which has resulted in bad blood among the youth movement of our great party.
Dear young people of our great party, the upcoming convention present us with a vital opportunity to correct the mistakes of 2013 , one where we gave our all to the party without securing an agreement that will guarantee our inclusion.
In the course of my consultation with major APC Youth Support Groups from all six geo-political zones of this country, I have come to realize that the sum total of all our fears as progressive young people is the same irrespective of tribe, gender, religion and/or ethnic groups.
A distinguishing quest to become the National Youth Leader, aside being a founding member of the party; is my wealth of experience in the National party politics which places me in a unique position to adequately represent the diverse interests of young people in our party. My antecedents are clear for all to see. I’m an imperfect yet passionate fighter for youth rights and inclusion.
My passion for youth inclusion in politics will form the basis to chart the policy drive and execute template on inclusiveness for progressive youths on the National Working Committee.
My first and foremost vow to the young people in our party is that I will fight for you and push for your interests with every fibre of my being. My manifesto titled “Eliminating the Rat Race” (which I will unveil shortly) explains my road map into expanding opportunities for young people in our party as we move towards 2023.
I present myself as your best leg forward, your champion within the leadership of our great party and government.
Policy strategy and Deliverables for my Manifestos :
- Job opportunities drive for Unemployed Progressives :
If elected, I will earnestly agitate for young and qualified progressives; I will ensure they get the right of first refusal when it comes to getting jobs in Federal , State and Local Government levels which will be aided by developing a comprehensive register for young progressives.
- Progressive Young Women Wing
This will be set up as a statutory arm of the Youth wing of our great party. if elected, my office will aggressively negotiate and canvas on issues affecting women, especially young women and their inclusion at levels of party hierarchy and in governance. The Progressives Young Women Wing will also double as an institution where elected persons in the party can consult or pick from for appointments and execution of women and gender related policies.
3 . Law Enforcement Abuse Desk
Police brutality and Law enforcement abusing their office is a feature in the life of the Nigerian Youth today and Law enforcement abuse does not recognise political bias.
Therefore, we will put a law enforcement abuse desk in the national secretariat with a coordinated network of phone numbers, emails and social media handles to be made public. Thereafter, we will be able to escalate complaints and get justice for the innocent
My office will interact with the zonal , state, LGA and Ward youth leaders to set up the Law Enforcement Abuse Desk in all APC chapter offices nationwide and also work effectively with The COMPLAINT RESPONSE UNIT (CRU) of Nigerian Police Force.
- Creation of a Youth Directorate
My policy drive will birth the Youth Directorate in our great party. The Youth Directorate will seek to facilitate the absorption of young progressives into party structure and organize relevant leadership tutelage and programs to further improve their human capacity development. Within my first 100days in office as the National Youth Leader, I will facilitate the creation of the Youth Directorate Office.
- Information Hub for Nigerian Youths
Being the National Youth Leader of our party, my office will champion the reorientation of Nigerian youths especially the hordes who have been infested with misinformation, hatred for their fatherland by the opposition and interest that loathe this country have put into their heads about our great party and the administration by taking the message to the level of our youths who are hip and upwardly mobile in a fast-moving digital world.
- Progressive Youths’ Conference
The office of the National Youth Leader would ensure the continuation of the Progressive Youth Conference. The conference shall be a yearly event that will bring young members of our great party together to discuss how to advance and further the cause of young Nigerians.
- Youth Driven Campaign in 2023
If elected as the National Youth Leader, my office will ensure there is a youth-driven campaign throughout the electioneering process for the forthcoming 2023 General Election. The office will also have a campaign council comprising of young people who will act and serve as campaign spokespersons for young contestant.
- Progressive Young Leaders Club
There shall be a creation of the Progressive Young Leaders Club across the tertiary institutions in the 6-geopolitical zones of the country. This Progressive Young Leaders Club will be an Avenue for undergraduates who are interested in learning the progressive ideals and developing their leadership capabilities.
The Progressive Young Leaders Club will be inaugurated by the office of the National Youth Leader and there will be supervision over the club by creating an alumni database which will make networking easier and to further inculcate the members of the club into our great party upon graduation.
- Progressive sport festival
During my tenure as the National Youth Leader, my office will work towards organizing a yearly sport festival named “Progressive Sport Festival. This sport festival will be an Avenue for young members of our great party to showcase their sporting talent and as the National Youth Leader, my office will also partner with relevant national and international sport promoters to support, develop and groom the progressive sport talented individuals to the best standard.
As globally agreed that technology is the bedrock of developing a nation, my office will have a special program for the young progressives that are technology enthusiasts at the annual progressive Conference. An Exhibition which play host to relevant industry players will be incorporated into the Progressive Youth Conference in order to create a pitching Avenue for startup ideas.
- N120m Empowerment Fund
As the National Youth Leader of our great party, my office will formulate and create an empowerment scheme for the teeming youths.
This empowerment scheme aims to fund 24 young people that are tech entrepreneurs, small and medium scale business owners and other great ideas across the country. There shall be a selection of 4 young progressives in each geopolitical zone and each will be funded with a 5 million Naira cash.
- Support For Young Aspirants
President Muhammadu Buhari has given young Nigerians the “Not Too Young To Run” law but we still have the “Too Poor To Run” to contend with.
As the National Youth Leader of our party, my office will champion a campaign of “Not Too Poor To Run” policy. This policy will seek a reduction in the amount of nomination forms for all young progressives within the age range of 18-40 and will also create a level playing ground for them in our great party.
- Working closely with Ministry of Youths and Sports Development
As the National Youth Leader of our great party, my office will work closely and partner with the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development. This is to ensure that young members of our great party are keyed into the programs of the youth ministry.
It is on these basis, I call on all young people in our party to see the convention as one that will shape their political lives for the next 8 years and beyond. I therefore appeal to you to contact and engage your delegates both statutory and elected to vote for your. best interests at the February convention.
Thank you for your time, long live the APC , long live the young people of our great party, long live the people’s President Muhammadu Buhari and long live Nigeria.
Yours in struggle,