The Youth leader of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Segun Sowunmi, on Wednesday said the party lost the 2015 presidential election in the country, because it lost touch with the youths.
He said that the PDP left the youths behind while organizing its structures and activities ahead of the last presidential election which led to the party losing space on the new media which, according to him, is potent for correcting false impressions and sending the right messages to the youths.
Sowunmi stated this while addressing party stalwarts during the presentation of the final report of the party’s Strategy Review Committee to the party chairman, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
He said that the youths drive the narrative of political communication in the 21st century through their dominant presence on social media stressing that the time is apt for the succession plan of the party to come in place, so that youth members of the party can now begin to engage their colleagues like the ruling party is currently doing.
He expressed optimism that going by the repertoire of capacity, experience, knowledge, know-how, and wealth at the party’s disposal, Nigeria, under the of PDP youths will become a more coercive, and bigger nation that accommodate the totality of all Nigerians.
He said: “We are not unmindful of how we lost (the 2015 general election). We lost because we stopped connecting with the youths.
“The youths form the largest base of those who drive the poetry of anything; be it for good or otherwise. And therefore, when you begin to leave the youths behind, you will start losing space on social media, you’ll start losing space on new media, and eventually, whatever lie your opponents are telling; will then begin to resemble the truth. There’s no way you will go through the nooks and crannies of the 36 states and Abuja in Nigeria, over a 16 year period, and come up with a verdict that our party has failed. No, we have not failed.”
Earlier, the Chairman of party’s Strategy Review Committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, said that the victory of the party in the 2019 general elections depends on the level of integration women and youths will be given within the party structure.
He noted that the women and youths constitute formidable groups in any political party, and as such well-articulated programmes that aim at mobilizing, organizing and integrating them within the PDP structures should be implemented.
The erstwhile Minister of Information urged the party leaders to establish formal youth and women wings in the party so that they can mobilize voters for the party during elections.
He said: “Particular attention should also be paid to full implementation of a clear policy of integration of the youth and the women in our party structures and activities.
“The women and the youth constitute formidable groups in any political party, and as such the report contains well-articulated programmes for youths and for our women. We neglect them, we neglect our victory.
“The women and the youth form a formidable group that we really should mobilize and organize and integrate within the PDP structures. In fact, we recommend there should be formal youth and women wings of our party so that they can mobilize heavily for the party.”