As the nation counts down to the presidential election, youths in Lagos have come under a single umbrella to reiterate their support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Tinubu, they submitted, is the most experienced and reliable candidate to lead the country in the next dispensation.
The youths, who came from all the traditional divisions in Lagos, converged on Marquee Hall in Agidingbi, Ikeja, on Thursday, to unanimously adopt the APC presidential candidate and his running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima.
Besides, the youths endorsed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for another term, describing the Lagos helmsman as the most performing state administrator in the outgoing dispensation.
The attendees included members of non-political youth organisations, members of voluntary youth organisation (uniform) operating in Lagos, and their non-uniform counterparts in various groups.
Reading out the decisions agreed at the event, chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in Lagos, Comrade Biliamin Oba, said the attendees were convinced that Tinubu remained the only presidential candidate who possessed the capacity and vision to turn things around in the country.
“We watched carefully all the campaigns ran by the major presidential contenders and we came to the understanding that only one of them understands the challenges facing our country. His manifesto is believed to offer solutions, because we have seen his track record.
“Tinubu governed a modern city that could be a country of its own and initiated development plans that have been efficiently implemented by his successors. Lagos, today, has become a pacesetter in governance. On the day of election, we have resolved that all of us will be independent canvassers for Tinubu.”
Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Hon. Olusegun Dawodu, on whose instance the event was convened, said the Saturday election would be another watershed moment in the country’s political history, stressing that Tinubu remained the only true unifier among the contenders, who would bring the country together.
Dawodu, who recalled how Tinubu scouted for youths under age 35 for cabinet appointments in 1999, said the leadership tutelage model adopted by the APC presidential candidate had raised and thrown up new generation of leaders working to improve governance across the country.
The Commissioner said Sanwo-Olu, appointed into Tinubu’s cabinet in his 30s, had risen on the leadership ladder to become the best performing Governor in the country. Dawodu said young people would be the backbone of the Tinubu presidency if elected, urging the youths to mobilise members of their constituency into voting for APC on Saturday.
He said: “Among those running for president, Tinubu is the only candidate who stands out with verifiable track record. He is a visionary leader who will take our country to its destiny. Tinubu has always been a true believer in the youth. Governor Sanwo-Olu was appointed into Tinubu’s cabinet when he was in his 30s.
“Today, we have a Governor who has been fulfilling and delivering on his promises. This is a sign of things to come when Tinubu is elected as president. We have seen the Lagos experience and records of performance that have been the benchmark for quality governance. Tinubu is a true unifier; he will bring the country together.”
Youngest Lagos cabinet appointee, Hon. Mobolaji Ogunlende, who supervises the Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, said the “catch-them-young” legacy bequeathed in Lagos by Tinubu had created opportunities for young people across the State.
“Let us be prepared to vote on Saturday. We need to continue to build on the legacy set by Asiwaju, so that his vision can lead the country forward,” Ogunlende said.
Special Adviser to Gov. Sanwo-Olu on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, said it was vision which differentiated Tinubu from other candidates, reminding the youths of the progress recorded in Lagos education system.
Wahab said Lagos would not have recorded the progress if there had not been continuity in the governance of the State by political parties backed by the APC presidential candidate.
He said: “Election is a science of mathematics and numbers. This will work out better if we are able to mobilise people to vote for APC on Saturday. With a good head start of 4.5 million votes in Lagos alone, this will give Tinubu a comfortable edge over other contenders,” Wahab said.
Lagos Youth Ambassador, Zainab Aderounmu, acknowledged the impacts and opportunities created for young people in Lagos, noting that she personally won support of the APC government in Lagos to pursue her goals.
Miss Aderounmu said the Saturday election was crucial for youth in Lagos to choose between a leader who care about young people’s future and opportunists who came every election year to seek support.
She urged young people to be peaceful in their conduct on Election Day.
Speaker of Nigeria Youth Parliament, Dr. Azeezat Yishau, said she personally endorsed Tinubu and urged her colleagues in the parliament to support the APC candidate for the country’s progress.