by Deji Abiodun
A group of youths from Southwest Nigeria has rejected the recent endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan by some individuals as the consensus candidate of the region for the forthcoming election.
Speaking under the aegis of the South West Youth Stakeholders Forum, the group told journalists at a press conference held on Thursday at the Ibadan office of the Oyo state Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalist that it was wrong for any individual to impose his candidate on the entire people of the region.
According to the group, there was never a forum where the youth met to discuss the endorsement of any candidate for any elective office among the contestants in the rescheduled March 28 and April 11 elections.
While making specific reference to the post-confab conferences held in Ibadan and Akure by a team of Yoruba elders, the group’s spokesperson and Chairman of the forum, Ayodeji Babalola, faulted the premises laid for the endorsement.
“We have the following conclusions. We have not forgotten the national confab only accommodated 18 youths out of almost 500 delegates which indeed shows that the PDP-led Federal Government has little regards for our future as we were represented by less than 5 percent of total delegates. We dare ask that which serious country plans for her future while committing such minute participatory roles to its younger generation?
“This is even as a rather large number of these handpicked youths, particularly the ones who supposedly represented the Yoruba Youth at the National Conference unarguably only went in to lace their pocket with the national cake and played rather insignificantly role as they have little or no following within their respective states and in the entire zones. This undoubtedly cast enormous aspersion on the credibility of the report of such confab”.
“For us, this is beyond the convocation of a national conference and the possibility or otherwise of the implementation of its report. It is more about the over 250 girls who have disappeared and till date still missing from chibok; it is about the gruesome killing of the Buni Yadi School Children; It is more about the continued number of unemployed youths who roam the streets of Nigeria looking for jobs after their National Service; It is about the businesses of young Nigerians that fold up due to lack of stable power supply; It is about the lack of good water and hospital for the masses; It is about the marginalization of the South West in the policy of Nigeria vis a vis appointments,” Babalola submitted.