Gentlemen of the press, I welcome you all.
I am comrade Ahanonu C. Williams, Imo State Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party.
As you all know, youth of this country have been neglected to political obscurity for so long, inspite of their enormous contributions to national development and emancipation of our country from colonial rule.
It is record that Chief Anthony Enahoro of blessed memory was editor of a vibrant newspaper at the age of 21. He also moved the motion for Nigeria’s independence on the floor of the federal House of Representatives before he attained the age of 30. Chief M.T. Mbu also
became Minister of Information at about the same age. The great Zik of Africa returned from America after his studies in 1934, at the age of 30, settled in Ghana, then known as Gold Coast, where he established a chain of newspapers, including the West African Pilot, with which he fought colonialism and became a renowned Pan African nationalist as a youth. The list is endless. They performed creditably because, they were given the opportunity to showcase their genius, administrative and leadership acumen.
In sports, music and other areas, the exploits of Kanu Nwakwo, Victor Ikpeba, Mickel Obi and others, who have won international laurels and
made Nigeria proud at different for a, remain a reference point of what Nigeria youth can do, if encouraged, motivated and given enabling
But regrettably, since the inception of the second republic in 1999, resilient, dogged and innovative Nigeria youths, who from all indications, have the necessary wherewithal to perform creditably, if put in positions of trust and responsibility, have been sidelined and made mere observers in our country’s political equation.
Few of us, who are lucky enough, to be close to the corridors of power end up as Personal Assistants (PA), Special Assistants (SA) or as menial political jobbers, hangers on or used as thugs, and dumped with ignominy, later.
We will not continue to be leaders of an unattainable tomorrow. We have to quit being spectators and become actors and gladiators on Nigeria’s political horizon, because we are most affected by bad and inept governance, arising from ill conceived, anti people programmes and policies of insensitive leaders, who have misused our collective mandate, given to them on trust. The civil servants owned gratunity, several months
arrears of pensions and salary are our parents, brothers, sister, uncles, guardians, friends, associates and fellow youths. We are direct victims of the ravaging unemployment, while majority of those whose homes, shops, offices, etc were and are still being demolished are also youth.
This is why the applause that heralded the “not too young to run bill”, recently signed into law by President Muhanmmadu Buhari is well deserved. The age limit, which aside being an unnecessary impediment that took precedence over mental capacity, emotional stability, integrity and track record, as genuine pre-requisites for occupying elective positions, has been removed form good, in the overall interest of youths, the country and her citizens.
We no longer have any reason to watch political events from the periphery.
Let us now, courageously step forward and be part of actions that decide put fate by seeking elective positions and other mainstream political and leadership positions, on the platform of PDP, the largest and most vibrant political party in Africa.
A new dawn has come and it has signaled a new era. Let us take our destiny in our hands rectify all anomalies. Let us be motivated by the giant strides of the current French President, Emmanuel Marcron who assumed office at the age of 39. The veil has torn and the hurdle removed. What is now required of us as youths, is the will, the resolve, capacity and ability. We already have the number and can always mobilize support for ourselves. The youths have the capacity to decide where the pendulum of electoral victory swings in this country. The earlier we start using it to our
advantage, the better.
Let me also note that the bill that culminated in the signing of the “not too young to run” law that has offered us this wonderful opportunity, was sponsored by Ezinihitte Mbaise, Imo state born Hon. Tony Nwulu, representing Oshodi, Isolo federal constituency in the federal house of representatives, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. This, no doubt shows that PDP is Youth friendly and our manifesto is people-oriented, with programs and policies that will address the needs of the
people and impact positively on their lives.
I, therefore urge all Nigerian Youths to identify with the PDP and aspire to elective positions on the party’s platform. Let us join hands to vote out the APC government that has become our collective albatross, so that the glorious days of the PDP administration, when salaries, pensions and gratuity were paid as and at when due. When jobs were created and employees remunerated according to their qualifications and experience, just like beneficiaries of the 10,000 jobs of Ikedi Ohakim administration, and quite unlike now that graduates and those with Masters degrees are employed as traffic controllers on agreed salary of N20,000 monthly, that has now been reduced to N10,000. Yet they are owed several months arrears.
PDP is poised to turn around our battered economy, rehabilitate our dilapidated hospitals, industries etc., and give back lands and properties that were unlawfully and forcefully appropriated by the APC government and their greedy agents to the rightful owners, restore the dwindling morale and dignity of civil servants and salvage our people from the debilitating effects of hunger, poverty and lack, unleashed on them by the APC government in the state and the federal level.
Let us not be deceived by the gimmicks and deceptive antics of the so-called Imo APC Coalition because they are as corrupt and as polluted as the rescue mission group they are accusing of impunity and other sundry offences. All members of APC are driven by greed, self interest and insensitivity. They lack compassion for the masses and should no longer be entrusted with power. I, therefore urge all Nigerians Youth at home and the Diaspora to identify with and support the PDP and contest for elective positions on our platform because we have the solution to the country’s myriad of problems, and will provide level playing ground for all aspirants, in the spirit of fairness, justice and equity.
To God be the glory.
Comrade Ahanonu C. Williams (ABURI)
Imo State Youth Leader
Peoples Democratic Party