By Onoja Integrity
The governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has enjoined young Nigerians to go and get registered with the All Progressive Congress (APC), in order to position the party for victory which he said is the bane of the political body.
The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja, made this known on Saturday while speaking on behalf of the governor at the official launching of the Bello Ambassadors Network (BAN), held at the Merit House, Abuja.
Onoja said the governor sent him to tell the youths to ensure that they become members of the APC.
He charged the national coordinator of BAN, Anthony Edogbo and his team to stretch their bench mark from bringing 5 million youths into the fold before December this year to a larger number. According to him, the body can do more by targeting at a better percentage of the youth as record of the last election shows that the young people takes a larger share of the nation’s voting power.
He said if BAN can get 10 million young Nigerians who are of 35 years of age and bellow, the “job is almost done.”
The Deputy Governor added that his boss assured his support for the ambassadors as they move on in their mobilization and that God should grant them speed and wisdom to a celebrating end.
Speaking at the event, the Chief of Staff to the Kogi State Governor, Jamiu Asuku, described Yahaya Bello as “the man of the moment and the future.” Asuku added that the governor didn’t come into politics for himself and his family as he (Bello) was already “made” before 2015 when he made the move into power and that he came in to rescue farmers from the fear of going to their farms as a result of insecurity and for the poor and vulnerable who wouldn’t have been able to come close to the corridors of power.
He thanked the Bello ambassadors for coming out of their comfort zones to speak out in the language of the youths.
The National Coordinator of BAN, in his speech, noted that within 96 hours of the release of the organization’s website (www.ban2023.org), it has recorded 230,000 membership registration. This according to him, is the first voluntary organization to have achieved that fit so quickly.
Anthony said it was possible for the organization to achieve that fit because young Nigerians have come together with love and passion to push a single agenda which he termed the “actualization of a youthful and responsive national leadership.”
He said, over the years, the young people in Nigeria have failed to utilized their strength of being the majority in the nation’s population and voting strength. Adding that the leadership of the old people has so far landed the youths in frustration.
“Nigeria is a nation with a youth population of over thirty-three million. Sadly, over the years, we have failed to utilize our numerical strength, creativity and powers towards building the Nigeria of our dreams.
“Over the years the older generations have done their best and their worst in leadership. The results are all around us and there is no young person in Nigeria today who is not frustrated by the state of the nation. In the circumstances, it is only fair that we make a concerted bid for the nation’s top office in 2023 for the express purpose of bringing our youthful energy, modern outlooks and contemporary approaches to governance,” Edogbo said.
Giving a closing remark at the event, Dr. Hillary Nkem, the Executive Assistant to the governor of Anambra State on Students and Mobilization Matters, assured the Kogi State governor that the ambassadors are well to do and would be successful. He said, “We are capable and we must deliver.”
BAN’s mission as outlined on their website include, “Coordinating communication between Yahaya Bello and the masses, provide support to state entities for the campaign process, mobilise Nigerians from different states to support the Bello Presidential Team, prepare and administer an exploratory/outreach plan to Nigerians that provides needed information to Yahaya Bello and solicit meaningful information from them, as a matter of course, take grassroots input into account, and have as overarching goal the growth of the Bello Presidential Team,” among others.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion include Folashade Arike, Sunday Faleke, Gabriel Olofu, Victor Omofaiye, Mohammed Sani Ibrahim (SAN), Idris Asiru, Abubakar Ohere, David Apeh, Baron Okwoli, Daniel Ejigbo and Idris Musa.
Others are Wemi Jones Ojo, Onogwu Muhammad and Oladele John Nihi.