The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has urged youths in the country to join and participate in politics if they truly want to see the change they desire.
The President said this on Thursday in Abuja during a meeting with the youth wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Presidential Villa.
Presidential media adviser, Femi Adesina quoted Buhari to have promised the youths to be their supporter if they take up the challenge to actively participate in politics.
The president also told the youths that their energy and zeal is needed in political activities as well as all other sectors of the country so as to ensure the needed national growth and development.
“Tell your colleagues to go back to their constituencies and join in party registration, attend party meetings, pay your dues, make contributions and bring your youthful energy and zeal to bear on the development of the party right from the unit and ward level up to the national,” Mr Adesina quoted Buhari to have said in a statement.
He added that “If you want to see something different, you have to be willing to do something different.
‘‘While I will be looking forward to a more robust engagement with young people across the country, I wish to emphasize to you all that in me, you have a major supporter.
“I will offer you my full support to grow in politics, public service, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and many other sectors because I know that the future we envisage as a country cannot happen without our youths.”
Buhari who promised to discuss with the Youth and Sports Minister on ways to better engage Nigerian youths called on the APC youths to take advantage of the ongoing membership revalidation exercise to join grassroots politics and make their presence felt.
‘‘I was in Daura to revalidate my membership, and I encourage you all to do same. My belief and firm commitment are that politics is a game of numbers, and political power truly belongs to the people. Parties are built from the ground up.”
‘‘So, I envisage a party that we can have transparent electoral contests, drive policies and programmes that are pro-people, and most importantly, have the members determine who represents them, not some leaders somewhere,” the President told the youths.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni has explained that the membership revalidation exercise embarked upon by the party is very important.
Buni made this view known on Thursday in response to a position by the APC pioneer national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande who had earlier argued that the exercise is an aberration and a waste of resources.
Akande questioned the decision of the party leadership to call for a re-validation of the party’s membership register less than ten years after the party was initially formed in 2014.
Akande in his submission while speaking at the APC (2021) membership registration and revalidation exercise in Ila Orangun, Osun State, noted that if not properly managed, handpicking the leadership of any political party might spell danger for such a party.
He added that calling for an update of the membership register less than ten years after the formation of the party is an aberration that should not be taken lightly by the leaders.
However, Buni, who is also the Yobe State Governor in a reaction to Akande’s submission said the ongoing nationwide membership revalidation exercise is a strategic move by the APC.
Buni in a statement issued on his behalf by his Director-General, Press and Media Affairs, Mr. Mamman Mohammed, said the exercise gives a sense of belonging to party members and is a planning tool for the party leadership.