Supporters of the All Progressives Congress, under the aegis of The Progressive Youth Movement, have insisted that party positions in the upcoming congresses and the national convention must be contested for.
The group said this at a media briefing in Abuja, on Tuesday. One of the conveners of the movement, Zarah Audu who read from a prepared text, explained that the future of any political party was in its youth population.
She stressed that members of the party who were under 40 years of age were determined to take their place in the scheme of things first within the party hierarchy then before taking their position in various elective political and appointive offices.
The group rejected the proposal for a consensus arrangement for the election of party officials in the forthcoming congresses.
Audu said, “To stabilize the APC, the Progressive Youth Movement have set up and inaugurated committees to ensure the involvement of young stakeholders across the spectrum of the party.
“We would like to use this medium to inform the (National) Caretaker Committee that the Progressive Youth Movement strongly recommend that all party positions be gotten through free and fair elections and the party constitution upheld in all circumstances.
“The idea of a consensus candidate is itself an undemocratic decision and will cause a tear in our already delicate party fabric. It is public knowledge that this decision has already received a lot of objections from several factions within the party.
“The party constitution states that the position of Youth Leader be reserved for members under the age of 40 years, it is our stand that this position be upheld in the coming congresses and convention.
“In addition to the position of Youth Leader, the positions of Organising Secretary, National Auditor, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Secretary, Woman Leader, Welfare Secretary, All Deputy/Vice Chairman positions shall be occupied by members under the age of 45 years.”
Another member of the group, Oscar Obi, who also spoke during the briefing said, “The main focus of this group is to unite all young people within the APC family and attract new members.
“We recognise the fact that to take political power, we need to begin from the party structure. We demand that young people step up and take their rightful place. The only way to protect this party from going extinct is for youths to be involved in its day to day running.”
The group which is planning to begin a zonal town hall meeting beginning from September enjoined youths within the party to close ranks and ensure that candidates over the age of 50 were not elected into the next National Working Committee of the party.