The choice of Mallam Kashim Shettima Mustapha, a former governor of Borno State, as the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) vice presidential candidate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has been rejected by 13 youth organisations from the nation’s six geopolitical zones, including the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), who claim that Shettima is unacceptable to the nation’s more than 30 million youths.
The Director of Communication signed the Statement for the Youths Coalition, Comrade Salisu Olowonikoko.
In a letter to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the youth organisations also stated that they had decided it would be in their best interests to present Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda, also known as EL-DABI the APC’s vice presidential candidate after months of discussions and interaction across ethnic and religious lines.
The Youth groups were made up of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Ex-Militant Generals in Niger Delta, National Association of University Students (NAUS), National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), National Association of Nigerian Colleges of Education Students (NANCES) and All Farmers Progressive Association (AFPA).
The groups, in a resolution reached after a deliberation, argued that “the youths, as key stakeholders in the polity of the nation, will resist and work against the pairing of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima Mustapha for the 2023 presidential elections”.
The statement noted that the youth groups involved are “not only a major stakeholder in the Niger Delta, but as Nigerians, we owe our nation a duty in ensuring that quality leadership emerges, as the nation moves towards another very important exercise of electing her leaders in 2023”.
According to groups, “it is notable and worthy to say that youth and women constitute the largest percentage of the electorate and are the most affected by the type of leadership produced. Therefore, we are very interested in who leads our nation at different levels of governance”.
They declared that after months of consultations and interaction across the ethnic and religious divide, “we agreed that it is in the interest of the youths to present to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the APC Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda, also known as EL-DABI.
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has decided to adopt Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda EL-DABI as the official youth spokesperson after holding several consultations across the Niger delta. Today, we joined all the groups mentioned above in expressing our viewpoint to Nigerians and the rest of the globe.
“Dauda is not to us a Christian or a Muslim, a Northerner or Southerner, but a unifier and an example of patriotism personified. We, therefore, strongly appeal to APC to adopt him as running mate to the candidate of the party.
If our modest request is granted, you have our unwavering guarantee that the IYC will use every effort to ensure support for the party. This will exemplify the APC’s commitment to the inclusion of young people beyond any reasonable doubt and help to bring the youth and general populace of our beloved nation of Nigeria back together.
“It is time we do away with the sentiment and emotions that have driven us apart as a people. We have co-existed peacefully without these sentiments, and we strongly believe we will be better off without them. Let leadership be about values, integrity, character, ethics, and patriotism, and not about sentiments. Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda – with a proven track record and amazing personality, will bridge the generational gap between the old and the young.
“He is a detribalised Nigerian of very high reputation and integrity, a thorough bred professional, a technocrat and an advocate for digital leadership for sustainable development. Apart from being a Chartered Management Accountant, EL-DABI is a certified Project and Program Manager, a certified Risk and Loan Manager, and a certified Forensic Graphologist.
“He also possesses a Professional Diploma in Intelligence, Certified in Cyber security, Professional Diploma in Criminology and Security Studies with a verifiable certificate from International Security Organisation, (ISO).”