● ‘I will mobilise millions of youths to join APC’

● ‘I will mobilise millions of youths to join APC’

Muyiwa Alakija, a former pupil union chief is one of the newly appointed Youth Ambassadors of the United Nigeria Forum (UNF), an rising group inside the All Progressives Congress (APC). Among different issues, the group which has simply been inaugurated in Lagos is making an attempt to mobilise help for the APC’s nationwide membership drive and revalidation train scheduled to take off at present (Monday), by making the Youth Ambassadors the face of the {party} at the grassroots. Alakija spoke to reporters not too long ago about this improvement. Deputy Political Editor RAYMOND MORDI stories

You have simply been appointed as a Youth Ambassador of the United Nigeria Forum (UNF), an rising group inside the APC. What are the tasks hooked up to this place?

Basically, the tasks hooked up to the place are cumbersome. But, I might say that it is not an excessive amount of, notably whenever you acknowledge that it has to do with planning. If you have a look at the state of affairs in Nigeria at present, you will uncover that the youth has not been getting actively concerned in politics that a lot. They have a distinct notion of politics. Given the undeniable fact that we’re in the technological period, they have interaction extra with themselves on social media. We believe that the elders have not executed sufficient, however that’s the place it ends; we do not take steps to take part in the political course of and thereby make our enter in the system. So, my main accountability is to have interaction with the youths, to encourage them to take part actively in the political course of. They can’t proceed to sit on the fence and believe that there would be a miracle in some way and issues would change. We can’t proceed to blame the elders forever. We should acknowledge that the elders are not excellent and place ourselves in such a way to make them see that we now have one thing embedded in us that we are able to contribute to the system. So, my main function is to have interaction with the youths in each side. This would span the broad spectrum of the varied classes of them, each the intellectuals and non-intellectuals. We want to change the narrative, not solely in politics however in life usually, for individuals to acknowledge that all of us have one thing to contribute to making the nation nice. Our response ought to not simply be that we wish to take a look at of the nation as a result of issues are going from unhealthy to worse, however we should additionally to supply options to make Nigeria a greater place.

The APC has indicated not too long ago that it needs to triple its membership throughout the forthcoming nationwide membership drive and revalidation train. What methods do you will have in place to realise the above goal in your locality?

The technique I’ve mapped out transcends my locality. The fundamental factor is that millions of Nigerian youths are not members of any political {party}; millions of Nigerian youths do not a voters’ card; millions of Nigerian youths which have voters’ card do not exit on election day to solid their vote, and they’ve the notion that politics is all about expressing our views on social media. But, you and I do know that politics is not solely executed on social media however that we want to be actively and straight concerned in the political area earlier than you may make an impression positively. So, my technique is straightforward; I’m popping out with a plan to attain out to millions of Nigerian youths at the grassroots degree in Oshodi/Isolo Local Government, in Lagos State and the nationwide degree. I need to elevate my voice loud and clear that it is time youths began getting concerned in politics. Now is the time as a result of it is not sufficient for us to say “Not Too Young to Run” (an act of parliament that diminished the age restrict for operating for elective workplace in Nigeria) and go to sleep. If you say “Not Too Young to Run” and you might be not a member of a political {party}, how do you take part? That is the first part. Now, since I stand for the APC, when it comes to the time to register to turn into a member of the {party}, I will additionally guarantee that I encourage hundreds of them to register. When it is time to register to vote, I will additionally encourage them to purchase a voters’ card to be in a position to actualize their ambitions. Finally, when the time for election comes, they might additionally be mobilised to exit and vote.  In different phrases, my job is to make sure that I have interaction the youth in any respect ranges — via face-to-face interactions, via social media and different platforms — to clarify why they want to get entangled. But, I’m going to use extra of the social media to have interaction them as a result of millions of youths are energetic there. As my {party} has stated it desires to triple its membership base throughout the registration train that’s developing very quickly, I’m going to have interaction with them to clarify why they need to come on board. My plan is to attain out to a median of seven million youths in Nigeria.

Given that the youth, who type the bulk of the voting inhabitants, do not often prove on election day, how do you propose to change that narrative?

As already indicated, we want to have interaction them straight and via social media, to create an consciousness of the want to change their angle to politics. This is the greatest manner we are able to persuade them to take part actively in politics. The purpose why youths don’t come out most occasions is maybe that they don’t believe in the system. When you don’t believe in the system and you proceed to sit on the fence, you don’t make any distinction and the system will proceed to get rotten. We are going to attain out to them extra via the grassroots. We are creating a system or construction whereby we will have a number of youth ambassadors in each ward, youths of respected characters who can discuss to them and they will hear. Through repetition of the similar message in a number of media platforms, there’s a tendency for them to have a rethink and toe the path of efficient participation. It’s an enormous accountability, which is not going to be achieved in a single day.

During the inauguration of the UNF, the Southwest regional coordinator spoke extensively about bringing extra youth, girls and professionals into the {party}. Do they’ve what it takes to survive in politics, given the emphasis positioned on cash in Nigerian politics?

We ought to aspire to construct our integrity and get to a degree we will not want to spend an excessive amount of cash to win elections. It has occurred earlier than in Nigeria; President Muhammadu Buhari does not have cash, however individuals clamoured for him in 2014/2015 as a result of of his integrity. They felt that he’s a disciplined and incorruptible man who has fought corruption earlier than throughout the navy period. Nigerians voted for him as a result of in addition they noticed him as a person who has tackled insurgency too as navy Head of State and has lots of constructive attributes that the nation requires to chart a brand new path. As a consequence, Nigerians from all walks of life supported him, not as a result of he had lots of cash to throw round however as a result of of his observe report as a person that may be relied upon to ship. For the youth that will have the ambition to contest for one elective place or the different, ought to take comfort in that. A superb identify is healthier than riches; they need to take steps to construct their integrity and individuals will put their belief in them as a result of of what they’ve executed inside their communities. Integrity has contested earlier than towards cash and triumphed; I feel it can nonetheless occur once more.

What are the positives that we are able to take away from the current #EndSARS protests?

I supported the EndSARS protest. If you have a look at my social media platforms, you will see all the messages I posted in help of the protest. It is a wakeup name for the political class, in addition to the Nigerian youths themselves. It signalled the finish of the period of docility as a result of now the consciousness is there. Many youths at the moment are conscious that they need to get entangled to make the subsequent common elections in 2023 a turning level our political historical past. But, the fact is that we can’t obtain 100 per cent consequence via protest alone. Every warfare that has been fought, together with the First World War and the Second World War, at some extent there would be a necessity to sit at a spherical desk to negotiate. So, it is excessive time we strategized to discover out what we are able to do as well as to obtain our desired purpose. Now that the preparations for 2023 common elections are steadily taking off, the consciousness that has been created amongst the youths is such that many have realized that they need to be actively concerned in the course of. If we proceed to draw back from becoming a member of political events, how are we going to realise our objectives and aspirations? On the different hand, the political class can be aware that the youths at the moment are alert to their tasks as residents and will proceed to make the most of that energy in future.

What are the probabilities of the APC in Lagos and the nation at massive in the subsequent common elections, given the rising notion that the nation is changing into extra insecure, the financial system in unhealthy form and the combat towards corruption wobbling?

If we are saying that the APC as a celebration has not carried out nicely in over twenty years in Lagos and shut to six years at the federal degree, we’re deceiving ourselves. Though there might be some lapses right here and there, the {party} has executed creditably nicely in Lagos and the federal degree. If we’re speaking of corruption, it is obvious that there’s an enchancment in that regard since the emergence of the President Buhari-led administration at the centre. There are sure policies that the administration has put in place since it got here on board that has helped to checkmate corruption. These are policies the earlier authorities was reluctant to implement, comparable to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and many others. As a consequence, corruption has diminished. On the financial system, it would appear the {party} is not performing nicely, however in actuality, it is doing a superb job. There is a worldwide melancholy and the worldwide market value of commodities like crude oil, which is our main supply of earnings, has dropped drastically. It is when you will have cash to spend that you simply will be in a position to execute initiatives and lay a strong basis for the financial system. When there isn’t any cash, you will have to improvise and handle the toddler you will have. If you examine the income of the authorities earlier than the introduction of the APC in energy and state of affairs since 2015 when it took over, you will realise that the distinction is greater than 250 per cent. That is why the Buhari administration is making an attempt to harness different income sources, by specializing in agriculture and native manufacturing of many gadgets. The border closure is a coverage that has impacted positively on the financial system by creating employment and diminished importation of rice and different commodities. On safety, the authorities is working and I feel that may get there; it is not a day’s journey. So, the probabilities of the {party} in 2023 are very vivid, I need to say. In Lagos, the probabilities of the {party} are very clear. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been performing nicely and the degree of improvement in the state is self-evident. He has executed nicely, with the manner he has continued the implementation of ongoing and deserted initiatives, associated with the youths and has managed many crises throughout the interval he has been on the saddle. His developmental initiatives reduce throughout all sectors of the financial system.

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