Ahead of the 2023 general elections, some youths in the South East geo-political zone, have declared support for the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and his vice presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
Operating under the auspices of the Conference of South East Progressive Youths (CSEPY), the youths explained that their support for the Tinubu/Shettima ticket was informed by the duo’s patriotic disposition, capacity to deliver the much-needed dividends of democracy, and their pan-Nigerian approaches to issues of national concerns.
The youths drew attention to the people-oriented policies, and infrastructural transformation that defined the tenures of the APC’s presidential and vice presidential candidate, in Lagos, and Borno states respectively.
In a statement by its National President, Barr Emeka kalu, CSEPY said members’ support for Tinubu/Shettima, in the face of the subsisting ambition of an Igbo son, Mr. Peter Obi, to contest the presidency on the platform of the Labour Party (LP), is a demonstration of their desire to support competence, rather than sentiment.
According to the statement, the youths clarified that they have no personal issues against Obi, as their overwhelming support for the APC presidential ticket, is borne out of the need to offer Nigerians an opportunity to change their fortunes for better.
The statement reads in part: “At this time in the life of our dear nation, we must jettison sentiments, ethnic and religious affiliations, and opt rather for candidates with pan-Nigerian outlook, urbane, cerebral, track records of achievements, and above all, those with unifying capacities.
“We make bold to say that, a Tinubu/Shettima joint ticket, has all that we have enumerated above, hence our resolve to commit to its actualisation and realisation.
“By benefit of hindsight, we will like to remind Nigerians that it was Tinubu’s dogged spirit, and resilient character, that enabled him to weather the storm of seized Local Government Allocations, brought upon Lagos State by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo-led Administration.
“On his part, Shettima braved the odds of biting insurgency in Borno State, and enthroned a regime of infrastructure transformation, human-capital development, and religious harmony.
“We, therefore, wonder what other indices are needed to demonstrate capacity and capability to cause growth and development to happen, at a time of want such as we are expressing in the country today.”
It further disclosed that the Okigwe, Imo State meeting, which made the resolution to rally support for APC, was a product of thoughtfulness,and introspection on the best way to advance the cause of Ndigbo, as well as the general good of the Nigerian state.
The statement continued: “We are the Conference of Progressive Youth group in the entire South East, and one of the major decision-making youth body in the zone.
“We decided to meet in Okigwe, Imo State, to discuss pressing national issues as it concerns Nigerian politics, and have come up with the following positions, which we shall take back home to all our teeming supporters across the states in the South East and Ndigbo outside the zone.
“After due and extensive consultation, we have decided to endorse the presidential candidate of the APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his running mate Alh Kashim Shettima, for the 2023 presidential election.
“Accordingly, we shall mobilise and go all out for the APC in the zone, as that is the surest way the realisation of an inclusive South East.”