Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Youths of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC have kicked against zoning of party and public offices ahead of the APC national convention and the 2023 general election, expressing preference, instead, for a generational shift.
The decision was part of resolutions reached at a meeting of the youths held Sunday at the APC national secretariat.
Youth Representative in the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, Ahmed Ismael who chaired the meeting said it was time the youths were given more leadership opportunities.
“On the issue of zoning, APC has never been big on zoning like that. To be honest, it has always been big on balancing not necessarily zoning and you will remember that in the 2014 primaries that President Muhammadu Buhari emerged, five people contested for the Presidency. Only two were from the same zone. All the others were from different zones. Late Sam Nda Isaiah was from the North-Central, Atiku Abubakar was from the North-East, Rochas Okorocha was from the South-East. Only Buhari and Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso were from the North-West. So the party did not sit down and zone particular positions.
“Even in 2014 convention that happened in August that Chief John Odigie-Oyegun became the National Chairman, if you remember, there was no committee on zoning but there was balancing internally. It was like an informal arrangement. Everybody knew about it.
“We discussed the issue of zoning. The only thing we want zoned is not to the political zones, but it is to the generational zone, which is young people. We want certain positions zoned to us as young people. And those positions once they are zoned, we are also craving the indulgence of the leadership of the party to allow us as young people and stakeholders to be able to decide the leadership of at least that wing of the party and so ditto for women.
“For other positions that we want to run, if the NEC by its wisdom decides to zone them to any place, we have capable young people in every zone that can march and run for those positions. So, we are expecting that the NEC would sit down at some point before the convention and decide where they want to balance positions. Whatever they decide, we want to be part of that decision”, he added.
The youths also applauded the Progressive Governors’ Forum and other critical stakeholders of the party for agreeing on the February 2022 date for the National Convention.
“The youth leadership is using this opportunity to encourage youth in the party to present themselves for elective positions in the forthcoming National Convention.
“The APC youth leadership also encourages all members of the party with any form of discontent to take advantage of the National Reconciliation Committee headed by H.E. Senator Abdulahi Adamu to air their grievances and seek adequate recompense rather than slugging it out on the pages of newspapers, Social Media, Television or Radio stations”.