State Youth Leaders of Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), have distanced themselves from the ministerial ambition of the party’s National Youth Leader, Dayo Israel, whose shocking public campaign for the position has sparked widespread criticism and revulsion.
They made this known in a letter sent to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu conveying their appreciation of his eldest son, Seyi Tinubu, while also requesting that he guides the nomination process for a youth minister.
According to them, Seyi maintains a robust engagement with country’s youth population and has gained an unparalleled understanding of their aspirations and yearnings as a result.
Emphasizing the importance of appointing a Youth Minister with “peculiar character of the youths in terms of ability to network with the segment and the contribution of the youth ministry to ease youth agitation of the country”, they disassociated themselves from a statement that earlier made the rounds claiming that they backed Israel’s ambition.
They clarified that their faith lies with Seyi Tinubu who provided leadership and youthful vigor at the time it was needed to drive the campaigns.
“Seyi travelled at very odd hours to numerous states to do on-the-spot assessment and canvas support for the success of the administration, which made him better understand and appreciate the peculiar challenges confronting the youths,” they said.
The background to the clarification was Israel’s bizarre public campaign to emerge as Youth Minister no sooner than the position opened up following a reshuffle by the President. With the support of a few hangers-on, he took to social media with messages aimed at the president and with the clear goal of forcing his hand on the matter.
However, the campaign looks set for failure as it was met with mockery and condemnation by members of the party and ordinary Nigerians who regard Israel’s tenure as the youth leader of the party as one defined by failure and disappointment.
Seeking to hide his personal thirst for power behind a youth inclusion campaign, Israel ostensibly sponsored a statement presenting him as the consensus choice of the party’s youth wing. But that claim has been undercut by a series of denials and rejections, including the letter signed by all 36 state youth leaders who form the core of the party’s youth wing.
Since his controversial emergence as National Youth Leader, Dayo Israel has failed to consolidate support in the party’s youth wing. Instead, he has caused and promoted factionalism, refused calls for transparency, and alienated members for voicing their opposition to his alleged lack of transparency and accountability, especially in the management of the wing’s finances, including funds earmarked and released for electioneering campaigns.